Sony BDP-S480 Blu-ray PlayerThis is the time of year when we normally see the big brands launch their latest Blu-ray players. Sony will be launching three models in the UK this year, and they pretty much follow on from the models we saw in 2010.

The design of all the players has been updated a little with Sony adding a little curved edge to the bottom of the front fascia. We loved the ‘monolithic’ design of the previous models, and whilst this is not a big departure from that, we can see why Sony have decided to soften the effect slightly.

The new entry level model is the BDP-S380 which supersedes the extremely popular BDP-S370. Replacing the mighty S370 might seem a difficult thing to do as the player sold in huge numbers and introduced many thousands of people to the joys of high definition Blu-ray. The S380 still has a full feature set, and will suit most people, but it does lack the 3D playback and wireless networking capabilities of the models further up the range. But if we see the same sort of deals being offered on this player as we did its predecessor, then this model will again do very well for Sony.

The mid range model is the BDP-S480 which not surprisingly replaces the BDP-S470. This model does include 3D playback and has more networking capabilities, and the RRP is only around £20 than the entry level model. However, we fully expect there to better deals to be had on the S380 so that price difference will probably be greater as we progress through the year.

The most interesting model in the range for us though is the BDP-S580 which is due to be launched in May. This model has Wi-Fi built in and is fully network capable so if these are important to you, then this is probably going to be the best value player. The BDP-S570 won lots of awards in 2010 and we wouldn’t be surprised if this model does too.

There is one model that won’t be available in the UK, and that’s the BDP-S780 so unless Sony change their mind, the S580 will be the top of the range model.

See our Sony Blu-ray players page for the full range.

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