The fact that the PS3 is the main force driving the adoption rate of the Blu-ray discs is pretty much common knowledge nowadays. However, one question that has really given a few nights of restless sleep to quite a lot of people faced with the decision of purchasing their first Blu-ray player was whether Sony's gaming console was the best solution for the playback of Blu-ray movies or not. Well, it seems that now we've got a more or less definitive answer to this question, courtesy of a very interesting comparative benchmark by Blu-ray.com.
The website (which is not related to the Blu-ray Disc Association, meaning that it's probably not interested in promoting one particular company's interests) took some of the most popular standalone Blu-ray players on the market and benchmarked them, following certain specific criteria. The models in question were the Sony PS3 (40GB and 80 GB), Insignia NS-2BRDVD, LG BD300, Olevia BD100, Panasonic BD35, Panasonic BD55, Pioneer BDP-51FD, Pioneer Elite BDP05FD, Samsung 2550, Sharp HP21U, Sony 350 and Sony 550.
The tests carried out on these machines were related to pretty much every important aspect of their operation. We're talking about disc eject times, movie load times (Basic, BD-J and BD+ modes), BD-J (Java) overall performance when playing the Java content, BD-J small and large object performance, as well as BD-J scaling and opacity performances.
The results were a bit surprising, to tell the truth, since they proved that actually, Sony's PS3 was pretty much THE best Blu-ray player out there, out-performing each and every one of its competitors in just about all of the tests mentioned above. Add that to the extra functionality it provides and Sony's claims that the PS3 is all that one needs within one's home entertainment center don't seem that farfetched anymore, especially given the fact that the price tag of the PS3 is actually lower than those of many of its competitors from the test.