PROS / Contains every feature we look for in this category.
CONS / It's a bit heavy on power consumption.
VERDICT / Great video and audio features make this unit an excellent buy.
Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it is no longer available. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
The Sony 3D Blu-ray Home Theater System BDV-E280 is an outstanding home theater in a box system. Various HD content viewing options such as Blu-ray, streaming and a digital tuner combined with a speaker system that utilizes 5.1 channels of surround sound goodness.
An integrated Blu-ray player is a big factor in the home theater in a box category. Sony incorporates its Blu-ray player into this home theater's AV receiver. This is a great feature for users who haven't made the leap from DVD to Blu-ray yet. Furthermore, relying on a third-party player doesn't guarantee the high-quality picture that an integrated player can provide. The incorporated Blu-ray player's guarantees include nearly perfect synchronization with this home theater's settings and speakers.
Another advantage to having an integrated Blu-ray player is that it also plays DVDs. Although DVDs don't have the high-definition capability of Blu-ray Discs, there's no need to worry. The Sony 3D Blu-ray Home Theater System BDV-E280 features 1080p upconversion technology. This feature takes standard-definition images and scales them to a higher resolution that fits an HD television or monitor. While this is not HD quality, it ensures that every piece of viewing real estate is utilized to its full capacity.
Sony takes great care to make sure your experience with the Sony 3D Blu-ray Home Theater System BDV-E280 is as accessible and intuitive as possible. To that end, the company designed a GUI (graphical user interface) that allows you to navigate the home theater's settings and features easily. Sony has had a lot of time and experience to perfect its menus, and it shows in this home theater system.
Even though Blu-ray Discs are a huge leap forward in digital media consumption, this young technology has a new rival in cloud-based internet streaming. The Sony 3D Blu-ray Home Theater System BDV-E280 allows you to stream movies, TV shows and internet videos directly through the system's AV receiver. Services such as YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, Pandora and many more are all at your disposal with this home theater system. Therefore, you don't have to watch internet movies on a display that's too small for you to fully appreciate the content's true potential.
Receiver and Connectivity
The speakers on the Sony 3D Blu-ray Home Theater System BDV-E280 employ 5.1-channel surround-sound technology. Most media content utilizes this standard. With few exceptions, you'll experience any content pumped through this home theater's speakers in its intended mixing and quality.
This home theater system's speakers include a single center speaker, two front speakers, two satellite speakers and a subwoofer. Sony prides itself on the quality of its products, and these speakers are no different. Expect to get the highest-quality sound possible out of these speakers; Sony provides you with no less. The combined output power of these speakers is just more than 1,000 watts. That's a lot of power to draw. However, it's not unexpected given how many speakers this home theater has.
Further, in the sound department, the Sony 3D Blu-ray Home Theater System BDV-E280 is compatible with every flavor of Dolby Digital sound. Almost all Hollywood productions utilize some variation of this sound standard to capture and mix their content. From Dolby Digital to Dolby Digital Plus through Pro Logic II, True HD and DTS, this home theater system is compatible with all of them for flawless playback.
Help & Support
All the above video and sound goodness would be rendered worthless if the Sony 3D Blu-ray Home Theater System BDV-E280 had poor connectivity options. Primarily, Sony ensures you have enough HDMI ports to connect multiple HD televisions and other devices to the AV receiver.
The back panel of the Sony 3D Blu-ray Home Theater System BDV-E280 possesses all the analog connections you've become so used to over the past few decades. Component, coaxial and composite are all available and perform their assigned functions with no problems.
Analog and digital signals both connect via physical cables, and there will always be a place for them in our high-tech lives. However, wireless connections are the wave of the future (and the future is now!), so the Sony 3D Blu-ray Home Theater System BDV-E280 allows you to connect to the Wi-Fi network in your home. This feature allows the afore-mentioned internet-streaming features to function.
One of the first questions anyone asks about any media player, home theater or not, is "Can I connect my iPod to it?" The answer to that question for the Sony 3D Blu-ray Home Theater System BDV-E280 is a clear affirmative. Sony specifically designed a part of the user interface to interact with your iOS device.
The Sony 3D Blu-ray Home Theater System BDV-E280 stands head and shoulders above many other products in our home theater in a box category. This is no small accomplishment for this system given how many great products it is up against.