The Ultimate Buying Guide for Blu-Ray Players

Blu-Ray players are, most definitely, the future of the modern home theatre systems. If you are looking for high picture quality on your HDTV, you simply have to switch to a Blu-Ray player. However, if you thought that a Blu-Ray player was just about state-of-the-art picture quality, you were highly mistaken. Even the most average of the current Blu-Ray players come with a surprisingly fresh range of services right from offering 3D to supporting stream content from the web.

A quick market survey will reveal that a Netflix subscription has become a minimum standard with Blu-Ray players. Additionally, most of these players allow access to Pandora and Picasa and they also have some pay-per- view plan wherein you can stream movies from sites like Amazon or Vudu. Basically, every effort has been made to incorporate all modern forms of home entertainment into a single device.

What to look for in a Blu-Ray player?

One would imagine that video quality would be the key factor while choosing a Blu-Ray player. Truth be told, every Blu-Ray player out there excels in that department almost uniformly. Therefore, one can’t really make a decision based on just the picture quality. Interestingly, it is the additional features like Wi-Fi connectivity, ability to stream videos etc. which make all the difference. That’s why big players like LG and Sony have come up with innovative features to stay ahead in the competition. Price is also an important consideration when it comes to buying a Blu-Ray player. You can find a decent player for about a $100 while high end Blu-Ray players can cost up to $500. The choice will depend eventually on your budget and personal requirements.

Considering these factors, we have put together a list of the best Blu-Ray players out there. We have tried to choose players from different price ranges since this will help you compare their features along with their costs.

1. Sony BDP-S380- Priced at close to $110, the Sony BDP-S380 offers complete value for money. It has a sleek design with a matt black finish and the video processing is surprisingly fast. The networking options are great, you can access Hulu Plus, Netflix, Amazon, Pandora. Slacker etc. On the flip side, the video processing can get a little sloppy at times, but, it is still ideal for casual use around the house. You can also try out other Blu-Ray players like LG BP620 and Panasonic DMP-BDT 220, which fall in the same price range.

2. LG BD 670- The LG BD 670 has a very simple and minimalistic design, but it’s performance sets it apart from many others. Both the video processing and 3D are exceptional with no jerks or breaks in between. The player comes with in-built Wi-Fi connectivity allowing the users to connect to a variety of online streaming platforms. Price wise, it falls somewhere in the mid-range section (it is priced at close t0 $250), but we can assure you that your money will be well spent.

3. Sony Play Station 3- Yes, we know that the Sony Play Station 3 is a gaming console, but, the good news is that is doubles up as a Blu-Ray player as well. So, it has all the features of a normal Blu-ray player like Wi-Fi connectivity and other networking options. But, it goes a step ahead since you can use it for all your gaming interests as well. To top it all off, it is quite affordable at $250. If you are willing to spend some extra money, you can also try Oppo BDP-93 and LG BD 690, both of which come highly recommended.

Editor in Chief alaTest.com : Arie Struik

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