In early 2009 Sony released the BDP-S560 Blu-ray Player. It is a Profile 2.0 player that supports BonusView/picture-in-picture playback and BD-Live content. It has a Quick Start Mode which allows Blu-ray Discs to start within seconds. It can support high resolution audio formats and has a built-in 802.11n for a wireless internet connection. It is basically a step up from the entry level BDP-S360 Blu-ray Player.
The BDP-S560 has an attractive design with a black gloss exterior and touches of dark gray on the top and bottom of the player. The Open/Close button is located on the left at the top corner and will open up the dark blue front panel revealing the disc tray. The power button is found on the opposite side near the top corner. Other playback controls are just limited to the Play and Stop buttons. Therefore, the remote control will be needed for most playback functions. A USB port is located near the bottom right corner of the player. All other connections are on the back of the Blu-ray Player.
Video Quality: The BDP-S560 has a number of video connections. They include the HDMI Output, Component Video Outputs, S-Video Output and Composite Video Outputs. It supports 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 output resolutions through the HDMI connection. This will provide you with the best possible picture when playing back blu-ray and DVD discs. DVDs are also up scaled to near high definition levels via the HDMI connection.
In addition to three types of noise reduction, you have the option of choosing between three preset picture modes. They are Standard, Brighter Room and Theater Room. The BDP-S560 also has x.v.Color and 24p True Cinema features. The x.v. Color output allows for AVCHD format discs while also providing twice the amount of colors as standard RGB color sources, producing more spectacular images. The 24 True Cinema features allows you to view a movie as it was original intended to be seen; at 24 frames per second.
Audio Quality: The BDP-S560 audio outputs include the HDMI Output, Optical and Coaxial Digital Outputs and 2.0ch Analog Outputs. It has internal audio decoding and bitstream output for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. Which means the Blu-ray Player can decode these high resolution audio formats or you can pass these formats via HDMI to your Audio/Video receiver to decode. Unfortunately, the BDP-S560 does not have multichannel analog audio outputs, so a HDMI connection is needed to pass decoded high resolution audio formats.
One great advantages of the BDP-S560 that sets it apart form othre entry level players, is its built-in Wi-Fi. It supports the 802.11n/g/b/a frequencies and eliminates the need to use a cable to connect to the internet. Of course an Ethernet Port is available if you are unable to use the wireless feature. Once connected to the internet you can access any BD-Live content you might find on selected Blu-ray Discs. The BDP-S560 does not have any internal memory storage, therefore a USB storage drive is required if you are downloading any BD-Live content. A USB Port can be found on the back and front of the player.
The USB Port on the front will supports photo playback, but not music or movie playback. This is true for any DLNA compatible devices, such as a computer. Photos can be streamed from your computer to the Blu-ray Player; but no Music or Movie files can be streamed.
THE PROS: Sony's BDP-S560 has great video quality and supports 1080p/24 playback on blu-ray discs. It has internal audio decoding of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. These HD formats can be transmitted in bitstream form via HDMI. It is a Profile 2.0 so it supports BD-Live content and Bonus View. Access to these features are made easier with built-in Wi-Fi wireless network capabilities (802.11a/b/g/n). And it can stream photos from any DLNA compatible devices. Also has a Quick Start Mode that allows most Blu-ray discs to start within seconds.
THE CONS: Unfortunately, the BDP-S560 does not have multi-channel analog audio outputs. If you have an older A/V receiver, you may want to look else where. No internal memory so a USB device is needed to download BD-Live content. The DLNA function does not support streaming of Music or Videos.
THE FINAL WORD: Sony's BDP-S560 has all the great features of a good Blu-ray Player. It has 1080p/24 output, giving you great image quality. It has internal High Resolution audio decoding and built-in Wi-Fi. It does not have streaming media features that some other Blu-ray Players offer. If you can overlook this lack of streaming Media Services than the BDP-S560, with its Wi-Fi support and DLNA Photo streaming, would make a sound choice. -- Price you should look for when purchasing -- Under $250.00