Home theater boxes are in an awkward transitionary period right now; almost like the VHS to DVD switch that happened years ago, but worse. It’s clear that streaming media from the Internet is the way of the future, but streaming services like Netflix and Hulu haven’t been able to match the variety and availability of physical disks, which leaves savvy consumers in a bit of a quandary. Do you buy a media streamer that can’t play discs, or do you buy a disc player that can’t connect to the web?
A handful of manufacturers have offered up devices that attempt to bridge this gap, but none can match the style and elegance of the Sony S5100.
With it’s edgy, angular design and matte black finish, this thing looks like it could’ve fallen out the cockpit of a stealth fighter jet. But the modern look isn’t without purpose — we get the impression that the designers are making a statement here. The angled top suggests it can’t be stacked on, can’t be topped, and will therefore always enjoy a prominent spot in your home theater setup. In essence, it’s the last box you’ll ever need.
What’s best is that the S5100 has the guts to back up that statement. Sporting an impressive list of specs, it may very well be the last box you ever need to purchase. In addition to the blue-beam optical drive that can play your DVDs and Blu-Rays, it also has built in WiFi, app support, NFC, and 3D playback. As long as smell-o-vision isn’t invented anytime soon, it’ll probably remain relevant for years into the future.
Sony hasn’t yet announced an official release date, but expect the S5100 to roll out sometime this spring.