Sunday, July 17, 2011


Next to Apple, no other brand name has had my loyalty as long or as completely as Sony. I have done my share of supporting Sony products because they’ve proven their quality again and again. Great track record and always a good experience. It’s disappointing to find there is a chink in Sony’s armor.

A couple of months back I bought a new television and figured it was a good time to upgrade the old DVD player as well. Ignoring the hype that comes on every DVD these days, Blu-ray wasn’t what I had in mind for a couple of reasons. The salesman recommended a Sony player, the Upscaling Player DVP-SR500H, explaining it was good for boosting picture quality. Good price, slim, lightweight, so I bought it.

The paperwork that comes in the box describes the player’s features this way: See movies with 1080p upscaling; upgrades DVDs to near high definition for improved picture quality. Features Precision Cinema Progressive™ technology for sharper and more vibrant images, as well as the Precision Drive™ 3 system allowing playback of damaged or warped DVDs without any degradation of picture quality. In addition to watching movies the DVP-SR500H can play CDs, MP3s and also view digital photographs. Sounds pretty good, right?

Hard to comment on what all that means in terms of performance, and for all I know it may be the bug in the works. After a month of use the DVP-SR500H began freezing in the middle of playing movies. It started small, then gradually reached a point where nothing could prompt the machine to resume play. So, I boxed it up with the receipt and took it back to the store. No problem there and they gladly exchanged it for a new one—same Sony model.

Unfortunately, relief was short term. Within three weeks the NEW Sony DVP-SR500H was doing the same thing. A quarter of the way into a movie everything stopped for a minute or two and then resumed. A few days later the freeze time was longer, and a month after the exchange it was useless.

And once again the store happily exchanged the DVD player. Could I trade it for another model, either one made by Sony or another manufacturer? Nope, but I was welcome to buy a different DVD player at full cost if I wanted. Not liking the sound of that I brought home my third DVP-SR500H hoping for the best. It's hooked up now but hasn’t yet had a trial run. Can’t say I have high hopes. I’m of a mind now that Sony should rename this model, maybe something along the lines of DVP-Lemon500H.


  1. Suggest you send a copy of this blog to Customer Service at Sony. As the Jewish folks say about chicken soap and everything else, Couldn't hurt. Although I agree about Sony and Apple as a rule, I think the race to keep up with other companies in the "new and improved" latest technology sometimes leaves quality in the dust.

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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America