Saturday, January 01, 2011

Quick-Tip : Blu-ray tip for Sony SDP-S360

It’s been a long while, but we’ve been thoroughly tickled pink with our BDP-S360 Blu-ray™ Disc Player from Sony.

Quality has been awesome at full HD 1080p and it was a real steal at the price we paid to join the HD/Blu-ray crowd.

Only issue is that when I purchased and played the Blu-ray edition of Leap Year quite some time ago, when it reached a climactic scene near the end of the movie in the pub, I would experience extreme pixilation, playback freeze, and then a crash.  Mashing on the FF button usually kept it alive though the process but would jump to the end of the movie.

I kept looking for reports of bad-disk manufacturing error, but hadn’t found any.  The disk was clean and had no visible scratches or blemishes that might have interfered with play-back as far as I could tell.

So while researching another (unrelated) Blu-ray thing, it struck me that maybe the device codecs/DRM information might need to be updated on the Sony appliance.

I knew from the get-go that the unit came with a Ethernet port and could have the firmware updated either “on-line” or via manual burn & play of a firmware update CD.  When checked, it was sitting on version .002 as loaded at the factory.

I don’t keep it attached to the network so I had to temporarily string my super-long Cat-6 GeekSquad patch cord down the hall to plug in.

Following the on-line information on this Sony eSupport - BDP-S360-specific page, I

About 5-10 minutes later the system powered off after downloading and applying the firmware update.

With Alvis carefully shadowing me and providing additional guidance and encouragement, I powered it back on and re-tested my LeapYear Blu-ray disk and popped over to that chapter section of the disk that always caused the player to bork-out.

Perfect playback.

So, lesson learned, if you have a Blu-ray player and it supports  updating of the firmware, and you are experiencing play-back issues with disks, seriously consider checking your firmware version and update if available.

It might really spare you unnecessary aggravation.


--Claus V.

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