The biggest reason is that even though the two premium players feature DLNA functionality, the function is restricted to just playing back photos. And while I happily admit I’ve been using my PS3 to play back slideshows on my 50-inch plasma for a while now, I also use it to playback video and music files stored on my home computer.
There are still some things that make these players attractive for those who don’t want a PS3 in their loungeroom – the BDPS360 entry level player ($449) has a six second startup time, which is lightning fast when compared to the near-minute times of their ancestors; the BDPS560 ($549) adds HD audio decoding, Wi-Fi and DLNA for photos; and the premium BDPS760 ($729) adds gold plated connections and a headphone jack, among other things.
But none of those features outweighs the ability to stream video over my home network for me. Don’t get me wrong – I think they’re all a step in the right direction, but they still can’t top the versatility of the PS3.