- Written by Chris Heinonen
- Published on 17 September 2012
The Sony BDP-S790 Blu-ray Player On The Bench
After reviewing the Sony BDP-S590 and finding it had an issue with RGB output, my first question was if the S790 would suffer from the same issues as well. As of August 3rd it has been fixed and the firmware update available to you will allow you to have much better RGB output than before, as you can see in the chart.
Adjusting the Contrast Remaster or Clear Black settings led to more issues as well, as they skew the values at the top or bottom of the spectrum from their targets. I am a fan of the noise reduction features for those titles that look less than stellar, but the Super Resolution just added edge enhancement and noise for the appearance of a sharper image, while the Texture Remapping didn't do much in my testing of it. The difference scene modes beyond Standard were also widely inaccurate, though you can look at the test data for the BDP-S590 that we already published to see examples of what they can do.
Aside from the noise reduction features, most adjustments mimic the controls already available in your display, but as they work differently, using them in the display can provide the same benefits, but without the downsides that accompany doing them inside of a Blu-ray player.
On our Blu-ray and DVD Benchmark, the Sony proved to be very good for the most part. On the Mixed Wedge test, which moves between film and video content quickly, the recovery time was very fast, but there was artifacting in the wedges that shouldn't have been there causing a fail. Similarly on WHQL 3-2 Wedge Chapter PF True the issue is that there was artifacting inside of the wedge itself, even if there was a correct lock onto the cadence. On everything else the Sony breezed through, and while mixed flags are not common, they are still there on some material. The responsiveness of the player was top notch, and the scaling quality on the WHQL wedges that passed correctly was superb.
Load times were also quite good on the player. For basic discs like The Fifth Element, you see the same time as the Sony BDP-S590 since there is no BD-J involved at all. With Toy Story 3, which is much heavier in BD-J content, you are shaving 13 seconds off the load time. While 13 seconds isn't much now, as titles add more and more BD-J, the faster processing of the dual core processor will start to pay even more dividends.
So provided you stick to Direct mode, the Sony BDP-S790 will put out a very accurate image, and does a fantastic job with older DVD content as well.