Sony BDP-SXI DVD and Blu-ray player

* Essential 'staycation' kit for your car * We look for the best in-car' package * Single and twin units reviewed...

Sony BDP-SXI DVD and Blu-ray player

Sony BDP-SXI DVD and Blu-ray player
Cost: 263.85
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Features: A handsome, feature-packed Blu-ray and DVD compatible unit. The single player has a stunning 10-inch screen with a picture-perfect 1024 x 600 resolution. It's not just about discs, either, with its Ethernet and USB connectivity allowing connection to the internet and playback of just about any format of movie, photo or audio. There's also an HDMI out socket that will let you connect the player to bigger, high-definition televisions. However, there's no Internet TV or streaming functionality. On a more pragmatic level, the package comes with mains and in-car power leads, a remote control, but no headphones for the player's twin jacks. The on-board battery pack has a five-hour playback capability.

Mounting system? No. Nothing is supplied with the unit and Sony does not offer a bespoke mounting kit to buy separately. Universal systems are available from other manufacturers, but we'd certainly advise caution before you buy.

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Ease of use: The Sony BDP-SX1 can be connected and ready to play within a few minutes, although we had no car mounting kit to test. Another disappointment is there's no carrying case, making it awkward to store or carry when you remove it from the car. To operate the player there's a remote control unit or touch-sensitive buttons on the machine, which require just the right amount of pressure to operate. DVDs and other media load very quickly, too, even if the machine is a little noisy as it works.

Performance: The large screen and superior picture resolution make viewing the Sony an extremely relaxing experience. The screen is not overly bright and its non-reflective screen makes it even better for in-car viewing.

What Car? says An extremely well-featured machine that looks good and delivers high-quality performance. The USB and ethernet connections will make it more of an attractive proposition to teenagers and older passengers who want more than just a movie, while features such as the HDMI output will extend its use far beyond the car. However, the lack of a bespoke car mounting kit is a big blow, and for such a big, heavy machine, you want to be sure it's firmly anchored in place. We'd also have to question whether a portable DVD player needs to be so feature-packed when laptops and tablets are not that much more expensive. We'd recommend looking for something more focused on playing DVDs and save yourself some cash in the process.