Pros Picture quality is stunning
Two USB ports
An ethernet port
Virtually instant start-up
Access to internet video, including BBC iPlayer and YouTube
Very user-friendly interface and remote control
Cons Not every avi file is recognised by the player, but most are
Summary OK, well where do I start as it seems everyone has already said most the things that most people want to know about an item before they buy it, but it has not covered everything.
I am really fussy, I will not tolerate `stretch vision' in any way shape or form and refuse to manually select a screen size or zoom mode so that an aspect ratio is displayed properly, with today's technology one should never have to do that as it should be completely automatic. I realise this is not really a problem with DVD and BD disks through an HDMI connection but it can be for compressed formats.
I really have no need of a blu-ray player as such as I don't have any BD disks, I actually borrowed a BD disk to try this machine out when I received it and the picture was superb and at least on mine, I never heard a whining noise at all. The sound was also astonishing through my Onkyo AV Receiver and Yamaha Speaker set.
The external USB drives that can be read by the S380 do not have to be powered as the USB slot (at least on the front of the unit) will power portable ones with ease, the reason I mention this is that on my old Panasonic an external HDD was not recognised at all as it would only read a flash drive. I have a powered 1TB in the rear USB slot, a nice neat way to have all that extra space without having a USB drive or cable sticking out the front.
The main reason I bought this was that I wanted it to play compressed formats from an external drive and this is the information that I think has not been covered here, so I hope to add something with this review. I have every episode of the Star Trek, Stargate and Babylon 5 universe converted by myself to MVK files with 5.1 surround sound, I also converted the entire 10 seasons of FRIENDS in the same way, More importantly in many ways with regards to playback capability, I also have a lot of older stuff, like documentaries I once recorded from TV and Sky that used to be on VHS and then recorded from them onto my first DVD recorder and from there eventually converted to varying formats from avi and DivX and onto Xvid as the changes in compression and formats improved over the years.
This has played absolutely everything I have thrown at it (except for my Cameras Quick Time files) from the new stuff to the really old avi stuff. And the picture quality is stunning, especially on the MVK's I made recently. It passes the 5.1 audio to the receiver and fills the room with a truly rich sound and I could not be happier. The aspect ratios switched perfectly for all formats and for all discs be they old 4:3 documentaries or 2:35.1 and 16:9 movies or anything in between, either from the External HDD, ( I suggest lowest price for this Blu-ray player at: www.*********.info/BDP-S380 )the DVD or the BD once the settings were made in the player, black bars where they should be and none where there should be none - wonderful.