It has been reported that Sony will reduce the price of the BDP-S350 in late September to $299. The BDP-S550, originally slated for a $499 list price, will go on sale in late October (a slight delay from the announced ship date) for $399.
Thanks for the news. Appreciate it.
Shenandoah Valley, VA
Good Morning, Robert.
Exciting news about the S350 and 550's price reductions.
You seem really thrilled about the 350, and the 550 looks interesting to me, with internal decoding of all advanced audio formats, built-in memory, and 2.0 profile.
Has Sony addressed all the issues with the 300, like bugs, slow loading, etc??
I also assume, that true to Sony form, the S550 will be the platform for an ES model.
Thanks for your always great discussions, and input.
The BDP-S350 is much faster loading and responding to commands compared with the first-generation BDP-S2000ES. It's still slower than a DVD player, but nothing like the S2000ES.
One more thing: I haven't encountered any bugs with the S350. The BDP-S2000ES would periodically output the menu image that was torn and overlaid with colors (as I reported in my review). So far, the S350 hasn't misbehaved.
I want to really look hard at the BDP-S550 when it comes out in the fall.
What, if anything, do you think will show up at CES next year?
The 350/550 were introduced this year at CES, but not out till late year.
Anything on the horizon I should hold out for?
Do you think Sony will hold true and release an ES model, perhaps based on the S550?
How about a more upline ES model?
The S550 looks to be a player for me, but I'll wait for a few reviews.
Any thoughts are always apprecisted from your "global knowlegebase".
I think we'll see a flood of new Blu-ray players at the upcoming CES. That event will mark the one-year anniversary of the end of HD DVD (unofficially; Toshiba's cancellation of an HD DVD press conference at the 2007 CES was all but throwing in the towel). A year is enough time for all the major manufacturers to show up with at least prototypes. Competition will be good for the market, with more features and lower prices. Plus, the Far Eastern electronics companies' model is to drive down costs and manufacture in vast numbers. They are relentless in pursuing market share, even at the expense of margin.
My local Sony dealer has not heard about a price reduction for the S350, and has said that the S550 is not even on his price list, yet, nor is it on the Sony website.
I am really interested in the 550, especially at $399.
Is this good info from a reliable source, Robert?
I really hope so, as that would be sweet!
The source is quite reliable. He has a history of getting stories before anyone else. For example, he once knew the feature set of a line of upcoming HD rear projection televisions long before the products were announced because he had a source at the chip-maker who was supplying chips to the major TV manufacturers.
Latest Crutchfield catalog has the 350 for $299 and the 550 for $399
Sony says the 550 will ship Oct 13. That isn't necessarily exact in my experience, but it is usually only a day or two off.
CEO and Editorial Director, Nextscreen LLC
It's not surprising that the Crutchfield catalog lists the original prices. Manufacturers tend to keep forthcoming price reductions under wraps, for obvious reasons. I hope that the report of the lower prices is correct.
Looks like your sources were right, Robert, as all the Sunday ads show the Sony BDP-S350 at at "price drop" of $299.
I want to see the 550,and watch it work, load times, etc.
I still am on the fence about "is it the right time", but for $399, it seems pretty good, as long as something is not compromised.
The 550 would seem to "have it all".
An article IN WSR by Terry Paullin, he makes some great points about a player at "$200" leaves very little $$ for the processing, and HD requires much more than NTSC, for sure.
Robert, do you still maintain that the 350 is a great player, and if so, that weighs heavily for me.
Still happy with it?
Are the load times still long, and how long?
I played with one, and it still seemed to be a bit long, as the little Playstation seems to load almost instantly.
Quicker that previosly, but still a bit long.
Why can't they get the stand-alones to be as quick as a gaming console is still beyond me.
So, is it still a "work in progress" for Blu-ray??
Or, is a "Christmas present" a possibility??
I believe that Sony is packaging Casino Royale with the BDP-S350 at $299.
I still like my unit, although I should say that I'm not a video perfectionist the way I am with audio. The load times are longer than DVD, but much faster than the first-generation Blu-ray players. I'm glad I bought the player; watching BD is a great experience. I don't think the BDP-S350 will be a long-term solution for me, but it will see me through for another generation or two.
I'm not concerned about compromised performance in $200 players, at least in the long term. The big manufacturers are very good at integrating high-level procesing functions into a single chip that can be produced inexpensively.
Well, Robert, your "inside source" was dead right on, about the new pricing of the Sony BDP-S350 and 550.
We all saw last week-end's ads for the 350, and now on Sony's website, the 550, shipping October 6th, is priced at $399.
Maybe an upgrade to (excuse the film analogy) to "70MM" at the Colwell Theatre is in order.
My Classe' SSP-25's digital inputs are all in use, and I'll need to get a simple a/b for the SPDIF from the Sony and Denon players, but that would be simple to do.
By the way, that Shelby Lynn LP "Just A Little Lovin" is "smokin' hot", as is she!!