Day 23 – Sony BDPS7200


Some companies need no introduction. Sony is one of them. So, moving swiftly on!

The BDPS-7200 is the Japanese giant’s latest and greatest Blu-ray disc spinner. As one of the founders of Blu-ray technology, at the very start of the 21st century, Sony are well placed to offer up the best machines in the business. This year’s latest What Hi-Fi Product of the Year award goes to show that in some areas, the old master is still untouchable.

After a quick unboxing, the Sony was given the once over. Much reminiscent of its Monolithic series of TV sets from a few years back, the 7200 is a slim rectangle, who’s front fascia offers clean and minimal lines. Indeed, the only buttons to be found on the front of this whisp of a player are the power and eject buttons, That’s your lot! Elsewhere, a small flap that sits flush to the unit hides a USB input, keeping up with a now de rigueur option for all manufacturers. It looks classy as anything, and its understated design is Sony through and through.

Around the back, we’re served up the obvious HDMI output, a further USB socket, a digital coaxial port, and an Ethernet port, too. So, the minimalism isn’t just skin deep. But was this a problem? My first thoughts were of shock at a lack of optical audio output alongside the coaxial, but it’s omission isn’t as drastic as first imagined. It’s fairly safe to assume that users of this type of machine will be making full use of the HDMI port for both audio and video directly into their A/V receiver of choice. Those that aren’t able to do so are left with coaxial which is arguably the better of the two digital audio outs. Fair enough! The rear USB seemed a tad unnecessary, but it does help to keep that sleek approach to the front by keeping its own USB out of use.

As with most machines of its ilk, Wi-Fi is built in, and the brief setup process that the machine guides you through on first start up gets this part out of the way quickly. The rear Ethernet socket is still very much advised if you plan to stream HD content, as this is a more secure connection and is less prone to drop out – although this is the case on ALL equipment used for this purpose.

As a self-confessed audio buff, I was delighted to see another of Sony’s old technologies catered for, in the form of SACD playback. It’s lack of analogue audio outputs means the 7200 has to use the HDMI for playback into a suitable A/V receiver, but this often forgotten format still offers great sound to those with discs in their collection.


Setup is pretty pain-free, and anybody familiar with Sony’s Cross Media Bar (XMB) from the Playstation 3, will instantly feel at home here. Button presses are responsive, and there are plenty of options to tweak through the various menus. The Smart features, too were quick to load and to navigate. Lovefilm, BBC iPlayer and YouTube are provided alongside a couple of smaller similar sites. Sony do fall a little short in sheer quantity of their apps, certainly in comparison to Samsung – but that’s true for everybody else too, so it won’t be held against them too much.

Using Sony’s own KD49X8505, we knuckled down to some watching. This particular set is 4K, and that gave us a perfect chance to see how well the BDPS7200’s up-scaling worked. On the Blu-Ray release of Star Trek: Into Darkness, we were presented with a sharp, clean and vibrant image. The deep reds of the trees and foliage of the opening scene were conveyed brilliantly. Definition of blacks and separation of colours on this alien terrain was spot on, and fast action failed to trouble its sturdy grip on the image.

Switching to our handy DTS test disc allowed us glimpses at a number of scenes cherry picked to work out a system’s strengths. The Dark Knight Rises sounded and looked stunning during the stadium scene, that sees villainous Bane blow up the ground from underneath the feet of Gotham’s American Football team mid-game. Again, colour balance was maintained brilliantly in this fast paced scene, as the players sprint towards the goal, inadvertently chased by the pitch itself, as well as the opposition. The guttural rumble from the multiple explosions was lapped up by the 7200 running into our demonstration room system.

Scaling on to the 4K screen showed little evidence of artefacts, and whilst it doesn’t match up to actual 4K footage, the quality on offer was great.

It didn’t trouble the Panasonic DMPBDT700, or the Cambridge Audio 752BD, but then these are over double and quadruple priced respectively, so it’s to be expected. These higher end players are able to turn the dial up to 11 when it comes to almost every aspect of performance, but at a far greater cost.

If you’re thinking of getting a new Blu-ray disc spinner before the impending release of a 4K equivalent next year, then you’d be hard pressed to beat the BDPS7200.

Check out our selection of fantastic Blu-ray players and come and see us in your local store.

Author: Chris, Liverpool store