Sony BDV-E770W Review
The Sony DAV-E770W is the company’s flagship Blu-ray home cinema in 2010 and it has almost every feature that you can imagine. It can stream media for a ton of online sources (including Netflix, Amazon VOD, Pandora, and Slacker) and it comes with a USB wireless dongle so you do not have Ethernet in the living room. A wireless rear speaker package is also included, which is a welcome plus now is that many manufacturers are these even on high-end systems. You can see an iPod directly with the BDV-E770W the USB port, and browse your music with the screen. The built-in Blu-ray player is even compatible 3D.
With all that functionality, it is surprising that the BDV-E770W a key feature lacking in competing systems such as the Samsung HT-C6500, and even much cheaper systems like the LG LHB535: HDMI inputs. That’s a shame, because the HT-E770W connects the rest of its functionality with excellent sound quality, stylish design and fast disc-loading speeds (for a HTIB). If you can get the lack of HDMI inputs, the HT-E770W an impressive Blu-ray home theater system at 650 $. Nevertheless, buyers should definitely consider that for the competing Samsung HT-C6500, which offers slightly better sound, two HDMI inputs and a lower price.
Sony home theater systems, find the “sweet spot” between the too-shiny look of Samsung and the ho-hum dull Panasonic systems. The entire aesthetic is subdued, matte-gray finish, with some of the AV receiver/Blu-ray device for a refined feel. All speakers are small enough so they do not pass on your living room, coming in at 3 inches wide and 8.88 cm and 2.88 cm deep. The subwoofer is the size (10.88 cm wide and 16 cm high and 10.88 cm deep) and must be connected to the AV receiver/Blu-ray head unit. The buttons on the front of the main unit are just tiny nubs that run along the crack on the floor, think of it as a balance between touch-sensitive controls and physical buttons. Looks are subjective, but we like the Sony style, the best of the systems we’ve seen this year.
The included remote control is unclear, as is the case with many all-in-one systems. We liked the record button for the volume rocker, although they are placed too low for such important controls. The directional pad is centrally located, and we appreciate the importance of Blu-ray buttons such as “Top Menu” surrounded “pop-up menu”. Playback controls are well placed, but the keys are small. If it is up to us, we would take the number pad on the remote control focus on the more important functions.
Like nearly all products of Sony these days, using the HT-E770W a version of the XMB interface. We are fans of the design, although there is a slight learning curve in front, come to the logic of the layout. Different types of media (music, photos, videos) are placed horizontally, with the setup menu. The most important thing is that the navigation feels zippy (though not as fast as on a PS3) so you can quickly get to the menu.
Blu-ray playback in all streaming media services under the symbol video thrown in a pot. Our biggest gripe with the video section is that Sony does not use much discretion in the collection services, there are a lot of unneeded streaming video services, which would be better in a folder grouped “more service”. On the other hand, the most important services such as Netflix, Amazon VOD, and YouTube at the top for easy access are grouped. Sony is also a symbol of Qriocity that Sony’s proprietary on-demand video service. Sony includes a cross-platform video-search feature, but it does not work with Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube, the most diluted its utility work.
The BDV-E770W is well equipped with functions. It includes the TA-SA200WR Wireless Surround amplifiers with which the rear speakers without using cables from the front of your home theater, the back, which is a feature that is missing from the competing Samsung HT-C6500. The BDV-E770W does not have an iPod dock, but you can contain one iPod directly into the USB port with the standard USB dock connector cable with iPods.
Blu-ray features are a plus for the BDV-E770W too. The great advantage of the 3D compatibility, their HTIB be future proof if you ever decide to get into the new format is mean. Wi-Fi is included, though note that you must use the supplied dongle. The need for a Wi-Fi dongle is a cost as competing systems offer integrated Wi-Fi.
The suite offered by streaming media services by the BDV-E770W one of the most complete packages offered on the market. Netflix and Amazon VOD are excellent choices for streaming movies, and Pandora and Slacker meet nice free streaming music. With the latest firmware update is the BDV-E770W also DLNA compliant so you can transfer music, photos and video from a connected PC. Overall, we have something Samsung prefer expandable Apps platform, but it really depends on what services are important to you.
Like all Blu-ray HTIB this year, the BDV-E770W onboard decoding for both Dolby and DTS high-resolution soundtrack formats. There are also SACDs that have a step up compared to all other Blu-ray HTIB we’ve seen this year is to support. If you are looking for both DVD-Audio and SACD playback, you have to go with a stand-alone Blu-ray player from Oppo.
The big blow against the BDV-E770W is the lack of any HDMI input port. Competing systems such as the Samsung HT-C6500 and LG LHB975 both offer two HDMI inputs, plus optical and analog audio inputs. Even Sony’s HT-CT150 soundbar has three HDMI inputs, so it’s a bit puzzling that the BDV-E770W no. If you can live without the HDMI, the HT-E770W a good selection of audio connections, including two digital audio inputs and two analog audio inputs. You can total three external devices that have a less than most other systems.
The rest of the BDV-E770W connectivity is standard. Although the two USB ports can seem like a step up over other systems, remember that one of them will be occupied by the USB wireless dongle.
The BDV-E770W is an accomplished performer. We heard that once we have great-sounding AIX Records audio calibration disc/HD Music Sampler Blu-ray won. The mixture of acoustic and electric music sounded very natural – Bass was bloat-free, fast, and reached a surprisingly deep – but it was the sound of acoustic guitars that best demonstrated the BDV-E770W accuracy. This HTIB is at least on par with three-times-as-expensive Yamaha YSP-4100 Soundbar to the guests.
We saw the next “Avatar” Blu-ray and the BDV-E770W resolution of fine details during the biosphere Pandora scenes became clear. The range of buzzes, chirps, grunts and groans from the critters scurry across seemed to come from all over the listening room. As one of the larger hammerhead loaded Titanothere animals in a scene that made the BDV-E770W subwoofer’s known his presence. The low rumble of a powerful helicopter, such as SA-2 Samson, twin exhaust sound, awesome utility aircraft. Human dialogue lacked natural heat, but it was clear and clean.
Next, we have progressed a shooting with the Samsung HT-C6500, and to review the Samsung. That being said, was the BDV-E770W tonally thinner and thus more detailed sound during intense battle sequences of “Black Hawk Down”. The Sony subwoofer do not have as much of a tendency to muddy when played loud to get, it’s a better all round and much larger sub. Nevertheless, won the HT-C6500 is richer overall balance and fatigue-free listening past us. They are both above average sounding HTIB.
The BDV-E770W lean tonal balance was even more problematic with CDs. The clarity was still there, but we were better than the satellite speakers’ small, and that the subwoofer to the mix was ideal. Kd Lang’s lush “Ingenue” CD did not sound as lush as we do on some of the better HTIB, as Onkyo HT-stellar S9100THX heard. The BDV-E770W starch films, thanks mainly to its excellent subwoofer.
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