The Sony Network Media Player SMP-N200 gives access to the internet for old-style, not-smart TVs, and down-converts that content into standard definition format.
This media box revs up the older dumb TVs, making them smart, and internet enabled. Now we owned this set top player now for roughly three years, and our experiences with it we describe in this review below.
Setup of the SMP-N200 requires about ten to fifteen minutes (to connect the cables and set up on a home WiFi network, to register this device with Netflix). A high-speed Internet connection is required.
Sony Network Media Player SMP-N200 Benefits, Features, and Pros
Lots of Internet Content Available
First, this network media player plays many popular internet video and audio content providers. These include Netflix, The Sony Entertainment Network, Hulu, Pandora, YouTube Videos, Vudu HD Movies, Slacker, Berliner Philharmoniker, Flixter, CinemaNow, Oracle It’s On, and others.
On Board Web Browser
Also, you can bookmark pages for later (and much easier call-up). Plus, you can set the start page (home page), cancel loading of a slow page, and request the complete reload (refresh) of a page. A zoom function allows magnifying of displayed content.
Provides HDMI, Component, and Composite Video
The SMP-N200 streams internet programs to any TV that accepts either HDMI, component video, or composite video input.
Composite Video Cable Included with the Sony Network Media Player SMP-N200
This media network player comes with an NTSC video / audio cable, but also provides HDMI, optical, and component video outputs. But you must provide your own cables for these options.
Ethernet and WiFi Connections Supported
It connects to the internet via either Ethernet or WiFi, using your home broadband network.
External Storage Support
This Sony player also plays content from a USB storage device. So there’s a USB port on the side, for thumb drives, disk drives, memory card readers, et al.
Plays a Plethora of Video Formats
This unit supports a wide array of video, picture, and audio file formats, including Xvid, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, AVC, WMV9, AVCHD, MKV, JPEG, MPO, GIF, PNG, MP3 AAC, HE-AAC, WMA9 Standard, and LPCM/WAV. This covers all the media we often access in the home music library as well as on the internet.
The Sony Network Media Player SMP-N200 Also Includes a Remote Control
This Sony media player also features a remote control (the RMT-D302), which you use during setup and subsequent content access.
Works with Most Any Speed Broadband Connection
Broadband speed needs are low, at 2.5 Mbps for standard definition content, and 10 Mbps for high definition streaming video.
Mobile Devices can Control the SMP-N200
You can use WiFi-enabled smart phones and devices (such as iPhones and iPod Touch units) as remotes to control this device.
Plays 3D Programs
You can play 3D content as well if you have a 3D-capable TV, and the eyeglasses.
The Sony SMP-N200 Network Media Player Supports Many Formats and Technologies
The SMP-N200 features the following media technologies: Dolby Digital Plus, DTS 2.0 + Digital Out, Xvid HD 1080, HDMI, AVC HD, PhotoTV HD, Wi-Fi Protected Setup, Bravia Sync, DLNA Certified, USB, and Energy Star.
Quickstart Guide and Telephone Support
Sony provides a quick-start guide as well as thoroughly-detailed user’s guides. Phone support might still be available at 1-800-222-SONY (7669). By following this guide, we could watch internet programs on an old TV quickly.
The setup process is straight-forward and pretty easy, and we ran into no big problems.
DVD Level Quality on SDTVs
The picture and sound quality are as good as content from DVD players; particularly when you use the component video outputs.
Simple Product Registration for the Sony SMP-N200 Network Media Player
Registering the product is easy. But doing so requires a computer connected to the internet. Point your browser at http://www.sony.com/productregistration to register. You’ll need the product serial number from the n200’s carton as well as on the unit itself.
Detects New Firmware Updates Available
The n200 detects and alerts the user to new software updates. Such an alert occurred as we ran through setup. The updating was quick and painless, with the unit powering off automatically after updated software was downloaded and installed.
Stereo Line Outputs
You may connect the stereo audio outputs to an AV receiver / amplifier.
AC to 12 Volt Power Adapter Included
And included 12-volt, 1.4-amp AC switching power supply adapter is required for powering the SMP-N200. This has been a bit over-rated (a good thing), as this network media box itself only draws 0.85 amps.
Easy to Move Around on the Content and Settings Pages
Once you’ve finished setup, you come to the main menu; a simple list of available apps that you access by using the UP, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT, and ENTER keys in the remote’s ring control to access. How to work each app is intuitive and immediately clear once you enter the app.
Multi Room Streaming
Other compatible devices can “listen in” on what this device is playing via the party streaming feature. These “guest” devices must be connected to the same network as the SMP-N200, and also support this feature.
Many Screen Formats Supported
You can adjust screen formats (16:9, 4:3, and HD modes).
Sony also includes parental control features, to keep children from watching adult material.
A Troubleshooting Booklet is Included As Well
A handy troubleshooting guide is also provided.
The Sony SMP-N200 Network Media Player OffersTwo Standby Modes
The SMP-N200 has two modes of “standby.” The one is more OFF than the other, and consumes less power thus. However, upon start-up, the unit requires more boot time than the faster-startup standby mode. The drawback of this near instant-ON mode, is that it requires more standby power. It’s nice that Sony gives the consumer this power management option.
Impressive Picture Quality
Video and audio quality are very good; particularly when playing through ah HDMI television or monitor.
Sony SMP-N200 Network Media Player Disadvantages, Problems, Limitations, and Cons
Remote-Only Access to Most Features
Most features of this device can only be accessed via the RMT-D302 remote control. This can become a problem should the battery in the remote die, or the remote is broken. The SMP-N200 itself has no control buttons on it. You definitely need the remote to control it.
Does Not Switch TV Power
The SMP-N200 does not control your television power. This means that you must turn your television on as well as this device, via two separate remotes, in order to view Internet content via this device. A switched AC outlet would have been nice, to allow a single button to turn on and off both the SMP-N200 and the television.
Unusual Battery Type in the Remote
The battery in the RMT-D302 is a CR2032 button battery that is not carried by all stores that sell the more standard AA and AAA batteries. Plus, accessing this button battery requires a sharp object to open up the compartment.
No Copyrighted Program Playing on the Sony SMP-N200 Network Media Player
This WiFi media box will not play copy-protected content.
Has a Skimpy Warranty
The unit comes with a chintzy 90-day limited warranty, although they did offer to upgrade this to one year at the store. We declined.
Does Not Come Back On Automatically After Firmware Update
After a software update, the SMP-N200 powers itself off but does not come back on. You must manually power it up again with the remote.
Requires Sony Style Account to Enjoy All Features
To gain access to the full line of enhanced features of the SMP-N200, you must create a Sony Style account at their website. But the manual details this process sufficiently. See the SMPN200 Operating Instructions for details.
The Virtual Keyboard on the Sony SMP-N200 Network Media Playeris Hard to Work
Entering URLs into the built-in web browser (via what Sony calls, “the software keyboard”) is a bit cumbersome. Nor does the browser support all state-of-the-art web browser technologies according to the manual. This mean that some websites will not function correctly on the SMP-N200.
Hard to Operate this Media Player on a Standard Definition Television (SDTV)
Particularly when viewing on standard definition televisions, it’s hard to make out the details of the UI icons. But once we memorized their shapes and visible colors, finding our preferred content really wasn’t too bad. But indeed, Sony could indeed improve the visuals.
Some Apps Take a Long Time to Start Playing
The Netflix app takes a well over twenty seconds to begin playing a show, and this is on a 75 mbps down / 5 mbps up Internet service. This seems too long, and could be streamlined, by better optimizing the streaming speed tests that seem to occur EVERY time you start watching a move.
Power Adapter Failed on Us in Under Three Years
The 12-volt power supply failed on us after less than three years.
No Longer Carried in the Sony Store
Apparently, the SNP-N200 has reached EOL (End of Life).
Our Rating for the Sony Network Media Player SMP-N200
W found this a highly useful video player for breathing new life into older, “dumb” televisions. It’s affordable price, software update capability, and plethora of internet content applications help ensure that this media player will work for years to come. So we’d rate this home media entertainment appliance at 94 out of 100. Nope. The internet is not just for main frames and personal computers anymore.
Where To Buy The Sony SMP-N200 Network Media Player
We found ours at Walmart. But this device was once also available at Best Buy, and widely throughout the internet on eBay, Amazon, and many other providers. While you can still buy it used, and as new old stock, the major stores no longer carry the N200.
Related Posts to Sony Network Media Player SMP-N200
References for this Sony SMP-N200 Network Media Player Review
Revision History of this Sony SMP-N200 Network Media Player Review
- 2019-02-20: Fixed some typos, and added more tags and subheadings.
- 2017-02-17: Revised the tags list.
- 2015-11-16: Added appropriate tags.
- 2014-11-17: Added pictures. Fixed typos.
- 2014-10-30: Revised content, now that we have amassed a couple years of experience with this network media player. Added the References section as well.
- 2012-08-15: Original publication.