In a nutshell, the BDP-S560 is a media-friendly upgrade to the entry-level S360, with built-in wireless connectivity and a front-mounted USB port.
In picture-quality terms, it’s identical to its little brother with fine, crisply resolved Blu-ray features, assured motion and lustrous colours.
Sound’s good, too, although we were surprised to hear the BDP-S560’s tonal balance: relative to the cheaper unit, it’s both louder and a little brighter, although not uncomfortably so.
More importantly, the Sony will both decode all forms of audio to PCM if required, and stream them in their native form if you (and your AV amp) prefer – it’s up to you.
So if what we’re talking about is much the same player in broad terms, how does Sony justify the premium over the BDP-S360?
Essentially, what you’re paying for is a front-mounted USB input for easy display of your digital camera pictures, plus built-in wireless network connectivity for easy access to BD-Live features from the internet.
Thanks to DLNA support, you can also use either a wired or wireless network to link to other similar devices, such as your PC, to share your digital photos.
And that, in essence, is it. So, what we’ve got here is a tweaked BDP-S360 that costs a bit more, but is a bit more convenient to live with.
Is that worth the extra money? It depends how much you value convenience. You could upgrade the cheaper Sony to wireless spec for less money, using a simple wireless bridge, and if you’ve got kit like that to hand (and know how to use it) then we’d say you’re better off simply plumping for a BDP-S360.
But if you fancy a fully connected solution straight out of the box and are prepared to pay for that, then the BDP-S560 is a great choice.