Just thought since this forum is monitored by Sony staff that it would be a good way to pass some customer feedback up the chain to the developers.
Though I imagine not many people use the DLNA features of their Sony Bluray players at the moment, I'll start by saying that this, together with BBC iPlayer, was my main reason for buying the player.
The issue for Sony is that most DLNA server software is bad, so interoperability complaints tend to fall on deaf ears. However, I have tried many servers (Windows Media Player, PS3 Media Server, Mezzmo, Wild Media Server, and finally the excellent and free Serviio). While trying to improve PS3 Media Server I ended up working with the source and taking packet captures to analyze the traffic. I also have a Bravia TV with DLNA from 2009 and have been able to make comparisons with that.
By and large the Sony DLNA renderer built into the BDP products is very good, but there are some fairly minor things which hold it back from being perfect. Here's the wishlist:
- Thumbnail artwork support for media other than photos using the JPEG_TN resource. Inexplicably this is missing on BDP units, despite being enabled on my Bravia TV which is one year older. Again I have compared many DLNA servers and packet captures so I can see that the resources are definitely presented to the player correctly - it's just ignoring them.
- Subtitle support in MPEG program streams (VOB files in other words). The player supports these from disc, but not via DLNA - which is an odd decision since they are supported from MKV files over DLNA. This stops us being able to enjoy foreign movies over DLNA.
- SRT subtitle file support. This falls outside the DLNA spec, though should not be too hard to implement. Samsung have done this for their latest products I believe.
Compared to how complex the whole firmware must be, I'm guessing that to implement these changes would not be a huge undertaking. Given that you seem to use a unified DLNA stack for the whole family of players any fixes here would improve a huge range of Sony products. The whole DLNA space is virtually unknown to most consumers right now and people I have shown my BDP setup to are amazed that something so cheap can be a full blown media centre - several of them have gone straight out and bought one. Iron out these small imperfections and this players' versatility and the simplicity of the XMB interface will allow Sony to lead the way.
The other minor thing which would make a nice difference would be to have the subtitle button on the Bravia TV remote carry out that same function on the BDP. Then I'd pretty much never need the BDP remote at all, which should surely be an important design objective. I seriously favoured buying a Sony disc player to avoid having completely different remotes!