To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Sony BDP-S380 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £120
inc VAT

Improvements over the S370 are few and far between, and it's disappointing not to see iPlayer in HD. DivX support has gone, and start-up is slower.


Two new audio codecs are supported: Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio. There’s no real benefit to this currently, as we’ve yet to see any discs or digital files using these codecs, but it could come in handy in the future.

Another subtle difference is the removal of the S370’s optical S/PDIF output (there’s only a coaxial S/PDIF now).

Sony BDP-S380 ports

Unfortunately, start-up time has taken a step backwards. Although the disc tray ejects almost immediately, it took 44 seconds to begin playing Casino Royale on Blu-ray. The S370 took just 21 seconds. If you’re in the middle of watching a movie and put the S380 into standby, you can simply press the play button on the remote to resume viewing, but that still takes almost 40 seconds.

You can enable a quick-start mode, but while this does save time, it also draws a continuous 6W when in standby and means the fan spins constantly, and will prove an annoyance to those with acute hearing.

Bravia Internet Video has evolved slightly since the S370 was released, but firmware updates mean there’s no difference between the old and new models here. BBC iPlayer’s interface remains sluggish, but fast forwarding and rewinding internet video is still smoother than on other manufacturer’s products. However, it’s worth noting that, as with the S370, there’s only a choice of Normal and High Quality video – not proper HD as you get with Humax’s Freeview HD PVR, the HDR-FOX T2.

Also bear in mind that, as with every other set-top box, Bravia Internet Video provides only catch-up on-demand TV, which means the last week’s worth of BBC and Channel 5, and even then only selected programmes. Channel 4 remains unavailable, despite being added to the PlayStation 3 in 2010. YouTube allows you to sign in and awkwardly search for videos using the number buttons on the remote. Again, like virtually all other set-top and mobile devices, you’ll see a different set of search results than on a laptop or PC: full-length sponsored TV episodes will be unavailable.

If you own an Android phone, iPhone or iPod Touch, you can download the MediaRemote app which lets you control the S380 via Wi-Fi. The only really useful feature is the Disc Info tab which shows you information about the disc currently playing, including cast, director and producer.

The BDP-S380 is still a great-value Blu-ray player with a wealth of features, but it’s not quite as impressive as the S370 was. The lack of DivX support is arguably more of a problem than the ‘missing’ optical S/PDIF output, but the slower start-up time is also disappointing. If you can still find the BDP-S370 on sale for under £120, buy it, but otherwise, this is a great choice if you don’t need 3D support.

Pages: 1 2


Price £120
Rating ****

Buying Information

Price £120
Warranty one-year RTB

Features and Connections

Blu-ray profile 2.0
HDMI outputs 1
HDMI Version 1.3
Component outputs 1
S-video output 0
Composite outputs 1
Stereo phono outputs 1
Coaxial S/PDIF outputs 1
Optical S/PDIF outputs 0
Wired network ports 1x 10/100
Wireless standard optional
USB ports 2
Mass storage support yes
Supported memory cards via USB
BD Live storage none

Video, Audio and Photo

Video playback formats MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 AVC, AVCHD, Xvid, WMV9
Image viewing formats JPEG
Audio playback formats MP3, WMA, WAV, SACD, AAC
YouTube streaming yes


Dynamic Range Control no
Dolby TrueHD support yes
DTS-HD MA support yes


Power consumption standby 0W
Power consumption on 9W
Size 430x210x38mmmm

Read more