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Home Theater & A/V

Best Blu-ray Players

As prices on Blu-ray players continue to drop, more and more consumers are making the switch from DVD to Blu-ray discs. Blu-ray players offer crisper image quality with full 1080p HD output as well as superior sound performance, making them the best way to enjoy high-definition movies in the home. But not all Blu-ray players offer the same level of performance or features, so it's important to consider many different factors when trying to determine the best Blu-ray player for your needs. If you're not yet sure exactly what you're looking for, take a look at our recommendations and buyer's guide below.

OPPO BDP-103 Universal Disc Player

Oppo has built its reputation on relatively affordable Blu-ray players with the BDP-103 building upon the technical base its predecessor established, offering a complete blu-ray package without requiring an investment of several thousand dollars worth. The BDP-103 includes built-in 4K upscaling and 2D-to-3D conversion, both of which work better than expected. The dual HDMI input/output endows the BDP-103 with much-appreciated flexibility and the 7.1 channel analog surround sound output ensures audiophiles can have the best experience possible.

Unlike many other high-end Blu-ray players, the BDP-103 offers modern conveniences such as integrated Netflix, Vudu, Pandora, and YouTube streaming. Though it seems pricey, the BDP-103 is an absolute bargain considering its elevated performance capabilities and full suite of modern technology features.

Sony BDPS6200 3D Blu-ray Player with Wi-Fi and 4K Upscaling

Considering Sony had a hand in co-developing the Blu-ray standard, it comes as no surprise this company has a bit of an advantage. The BDP-S6200 represents Sony's stand-alone Blu-ray player for 2014 which comes with a long list of features contributing to its overall excellence. The dual-core processor allows fast load times and responsive menu navigation while built-in 4K upscaling allows regular HD material to look amazing on 4K-capable HDTVs. For owners of Sony's Triluminos-enabled HDTVs, the BDP-S6200 takes full advantage of this technology's superior color representation. Considering its flagship positioning and advanced features, the sub-$200 price tag is a downright steal.

Playstation 4 Black 500 GB Console (PS4)

Sony has created a powerhouse with the Playstation brand and loyal followers have come to expect unrivaled versatility and performance from any device bearing the brand name. The Playstation 4 is heralded as one of the most advanced gaming consoles on the market today with elevated capabilities allowing it to serve double-duty as a high end Blu-ray player; load times are minimal and menu navigation is very responsive. Built-in WiFi eliminates the need for extra wires allowing the Playstation 4 to be set up in just about any location throughout the house. The only drawback is the unit’s high price but remember it's essentially several devices combined into a single convenient package. If this breadth of capability is worth the added cost for you, the Sony Playstation 4 is an excellent choice.

Panasonic DMP-BDT330 3D Blu-ray Player (4K Upscaling)

Panasonic has a well-deserved reputation for offering solid Blu-ray players at reasonable prices, complete with features usually reserved for high-end models. The DMP-BDT330 offers tons of features including built-in 4K upscaling (A nod towards early adopters of 4K HDTVs), fully 3D-compatible, and can readily convert 2D-only content to 3D. The dual HDMI outputs allow added versatility in terms of home theater installations and DLNA compatibility provides extra flexibility for streaming content or sharing media across networks. While the DMP-BDT330 may not have the extra flash of high-end units, its reliable performance more than makes up for the shortfall.

Samsung BD-F5700 Wi-Fi Blu-Ray Player

As one of the original founders of the Blu-ray format, Samsung is capable of manufacturing solid media players with sleek design and modern technology. Although Samsung products are noted for being fairly expensive, the BD5700 is extremely affordable. While the BD5700 is simpler in function than some of its pricier peers, it includes enough technology to effectively mirror the functionality of a SmartTV when used with a regular television. This includes WiFi, internet streaming, support for Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, Pandora, and more. The BD5700 also features DLNA capability for syncing and streaming content. Wired connectivity is achieved though a single front HDMI output, front USB port, and coaxial digital output. While the BD5700 might not be loaded with features, its sleek design and snappy, reliable performance make it an excellent budget-friendly choice.

OPPO BDP-105D Universal Audiophile 3D Blu-ray Player Darbee Edition

Oppo's pricey BDP-105 shares the same overall components and performance of the cheaper BDP-103 model. This model costs roughly double the price but it’s because of the extra attention placed on creating audiophile-grade performance to accompany the excellent video and audio quality. Beyond the changes made specifically for sound quality, the BDP-105 includes additional design touches giving it a higher-end appearance and feel. Built-in 4K upscaling is included along with 2D-to-3D conversion while a dual-core processor allows fast performance and access to Netflix, YouTube Pandora, and more. If quality video and sound are what you're after, the Oppo BDP-105 is an excellent choice.

OPPO BDP-103 Universal Disc Player

Oppo has built its reputation on relatively affordable Blu-ray players with the BDP-103 building upon the technical base its predecessor established, offering a complete blu-ray package without requiring an investment of several thousand dollars worth. The BDP-103 includes built-in 4K upscaling and 2D-to-3D conversion, both of which work better than expected. The dual HDMI input/output endows the BDP-103 with much-appreciated flexibility and the 7.1 channel analog surround sound output ensures audiophiles can have the best experience possible.

Unlike many other high-end Blu-ray players, the BDP-103 offers modern conveniences such as integrated Netflix, Vudu, Pandora, and YouTube streaming. Though it seems pricey, the BDP-103 is an absolute bargain considering its elevated performance capabilities and full suite of modern technology features.

OPPO BDP-105D Universal Audiophile 3D Blu-ray Player Darbee Edition

Oppo's pricey BDP-105 shares the same overall components and performance of the cheaper BDP-103 model. This model costs roughly double the price but it’s because of the extra attention placed on creating audiophile-grade performance to accompany the excellent video and audio quality. Beyond the changes made specifically for sound quality, the BDP-105 includes additional design touches giving it a higher-end appearance and feel. Built-in 4K upscaling is included along with 2D-to-3D conversion while a dual-core processor allows fast performance and access to Netflix, YouTube Pandora, and more. If quality video and sound are what you're after, the Oppo BDP-105 is an excellent choice.

OPPO BDP-103 Universal Disc Player

Oppo has built its reputation on relatively affordable Blu-ray players with the BDP-103 building upon the technical base its predecessor established, offering a complete blu-ray package without requiring an investment of several thousand dollars worth. The BDP-103 includes built-in 4K upscaling and 2D-to-3D conversion, both of which work better than expected. The dual HDMI input/output endows the BDP-103 with much-appreciated flexibility and the 7.1 channel analog surround sound output ensures audiophiles can have the best experience possible.

Unlike many other high-end Blu-ray players, the BDP-103 offers modern conveniences such as integrated Netflix, Vudu, Pandora, and YouTube streaming. Though it seems pricey, the BDP-103 is an absolute bargain considering its elevated performance capabilities and full suite of modern technology features.

Denon DBT-3313UDCI Universal Audio Video Player

Denon's DBT-3313UDCI is a universal audio and video player offering high-end performance and execution. Top-notch design isolates independent internal mechanisms preventing interference, ensuring the highest quality playback regardless of format while the absence of an internal cooling fan keeps the player nice and quiet during quiet entertainment scenes. While lacking WiFi, the DBT-3313UDCI has plenty of online connectivity options and streaming works well through either Ethernet, wireless adapters, a networked PC, or simply via the USB port. HDMI outputs keep audio and video separate, and there’s even an HDMI cable conveniently included.

All the expected features are present, such as DVD upconversion, and streaming Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and more. While the average user might not need to spend this much on a Blu-ray player, audio and video enthusiasts will appreciate the performance quality and design of the DBT-3313UDCI.

Pioneer Elite BDP-52FD Blu-Ray Player

Pioneer Elite BDP-52FD Blu-Ray Player

After an admittedly disappointing run with rebadged Sharp Blu-ray players, Pioneer has altered their game plan and are back to producing their own devices. Because of this, the 'Elite' Blu-ray players are once again a true alternative to Oppo's award-winning lineup. As with anything else bearing the 'Elite' badge, the BDP-52FD carries serious-looking styling and solid build quality. A quick peek at the internal components reveals that the BDP-52FD is built on a Mediatek chipset and the spec sheet is seeded with Pioneer's own performance-enhancing technologies.

Video performance is excellent with quick load times and responsive operation. The BDP-52FD supports 1080/24p output and can play back DVD and SA-CD content as well. Unfortunately, there’s no sign of component video or multi-channel analog audio outputs, leaving only a single HDMI-out, composite video, and optical audio to connect to your TV or A/V receiver. However, the BDP-52FD comes in at a full $100 less than Oppo's competing BDP-103, making it a more attractive choice for budget-minded buyers. BDP-52FD signals Pioneer's return to the high-end home theater market with a product worthy of carrying the 'Elite' name.

Onkyo BD-SP809 Blu-Ray Disc Player

Although the Onkyo BD-SP809 certainly costs less than it could, it remains nonetheless more of an enthusiast-focused niche product than an ideal general purpose product. Performance is excellent with isolated audio, THX-Certification, Qdeo video processing for upscaling of standard video, and a Dolby digital-to-analog converter. Upscaling works well, and movie sound is very good along with excellent video quality in all formats including 3D Blu-ray playback.

Although there’s no multichannel analog output, a quality AV will handle high-quality sound just as well. Streaming such as Netflix is supported but built-in Wifi is not included necessitating hardwiring, a wireless adapter, a networked PC or the rear USB port. The BD-SP809 is simple to operate with no complex menus or settings. Some users describe this unit as being reminiscent of an old school high-end unit, with its focus on quality, simplicity, and a tank-like build quality. While likely not the first choice for a casual user, the Onkyo BD-SP809 is a solid high-end choice for a Blu-ray player.

Sony BDPS3200 Blu-ray Disc Player with Wi-Fi

Sony's BDP-S3200 is a basic and affordable option for those either looking to save money, or just to try out Blu-ray before investing more money. If 3D isn’t important for you, the BDP-S3200 sacrifices little in terms of features. This Blu-ray player offers numerous streaming services including Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and Pandora and while there were some issues with Amazon Instant Video, a recent software update has been issued to rectify the problem. On-board WiFi is included as is DVD upscaling, DLNA compatibility, and Miracast screen mirroring.

The sacrifices made to ensure a low price point show up in the lack of a dual-core processor and the outdated XMB interface. This means although the BDP-S3200 is fast to startup in "quick start" mode, it’s a bit slow overall and the interface is less streamlined than the competition. However, it plays Blu-ray discs well for the price, has a decent amount of features, and is a good entry point to these media players.

Samsung BD-F5700 Wi-Fi Blu-Ray Player

As one of the original founders of the Blu-ray format, Samsung is capable of manufacturing solid media players with sleek design and modern technology. Although Samsung products are noted for being fairly expensive, the BD5700 is extremely affordable. While the BD5700 is simpler in function than some of its pricier peers, it includes enough technology to effectively mirror the functionality of a SmartTV when used with a regular television. This includes WiFi, internet streaming, support for Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, Pandora, and more. The BD5700 also features DLNA capability for syncing and streaming content. Wired connectivity is achieved though a single front HDMI output, front USB port, and coaxial digital output. While the BD5700 might not be loaded with features, its sleek design and snappy, reliable performance make it an excellent budget-friendly choice.

Samsung BD-H5100 Blu-Ray Disc Player

While the Samsung BD-H5100 is quite basic, its simplicity allows for easy setup and a user-friendly interface. This model features a quick start mode, which draws more power but significantly cuts down on load times along with DVD upscaling, DLNA compatibility, and streaming apps such as Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube. To accommodate older receivers, a coaxial digital output has been included as well as an HDMI output. The BD-H5100 is compact and lightweight, so it won't take up much space. If a basic and ultra-affordable Blu-ray player is what you're looking for, this is a good choice as long as 3D and built-in WiFi aren't must-haves for you.

Sony BDPS3200 Blu-ray Disc Player with Wi-Fi

Sony's BDP-S3200 is a basic and affordable option for those either looking to save money, or just to try out Blu-ray before investing more money. If 3D isn’t important for you, the BDP-S3200 sacrifices little in terms of features. This Blu-ray player offers numerous streaming services including Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and Pandora and while there were some issues with Amazon Instant Video, a recent software update has been issued to rectify the problem. On-board WiFi is included as is DVD upscaling, DLNA compatibility, and Miracast screen mirroring.

The sacrifices made to ensure a low price point show up in the lack of a dual-core processor and the outdated XMB interface. This means although the BDP-S3200 is fast to startup in "quick start" mode, it’s a bit slow overall and the interface is less streamlined than the competition. However, it plays Blu-ray discs well for the price, has a decent amount of features, and is a good entry point to these media players.

LG Electronics BP340 Blu-Ray Disc Player with Internet Applications and Built-In Wi-Fi

The LG BP340 offers simplicity and affordability for those seeking a basic Blu-ray player used primarily for playing discs although streaming features such as YouTube and Pandora are also included. BP340 offers decent overall performance, with DVD upscaling, a USB port for sharing multiple media types, and DLNA compatibility. While the BP340 does include built-in WiFi , some users have reported connectivity issues with Netflix which haven’t  been fully resolved by LG. With a price tag of under $100, the LG BP340 is an affordable option for those who just want a basic Blu-ray player used mostly for disc playback.

Buyer's Guide

Blu-Ray Player Buyer's Guide

Still not sure exactly which Blu-ray player is for you? Here are some of the most important criteria to consider:

Image Quality
When it comes to Blu-ray image quality, there typically isn't a major difference between the top Blu-ray players on the market. The quality of your HDTV will make a much bigger impact, so if you're planning to buy a new TV at the same time, we recommend taking a look at our Best LCD TV or Best Plasma TV recommendations. Ideally, you want an HDTV that offers 1080p resolution and that can properly handle 1080p/24 signals (the standard film frame rate and the format most Blu-ray discs are encoded in). The Oppo BDP-93 offers the best Blu-ray image quality on this list, but unless you're a videophile, you'll be hard pressed to notice the difference.

DVD performance, however, can vary quite significantly between players because there is more processing involved in the upconversion process. This becomes an important factor to consider if you already own a large library of DVD discs. While all the recommendations on this list offer very good DVD image quality, the Oppo BDP-93 is the clear leader in this category – but again, unless you're a videophile, you likely won't see much difference.

Audio Performance and Connectivity
Blu-ray players are able to offer far superior audio quality than DVD players because of their support for high-definition audio formats such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. These soundtracks are lossless, resulting in crystal clear sound. With most Blu-ray players, the high-resolution is passed through HDMI, so you'll need an AV receiver with HDMI inputs to take advantage. However, some higher-end Blu-ray players also offer multichannel analog outputs, allowing consumers with older AV receivers that lack HDMI to still enjoy high-definition audio.

Networking and Streaming Content
With the latest crop of Blu-ray players, built-in networking and support for online content streaming services have mostly become standard. If you won't be able to easily run a wire to an Ethernet connection, be sure to buy a Blu-ray player with built-in Wi-Fi so that you can stream content wirelessly. Additionally, consider the different content providers supported by each Blu-ray player. The most popular services are Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand, Roxio CinemaNow, Blockbuster, YouTube, Vudu, and Pandora.

It's also important to note that manufacturers often release firmware updates to fix issues and occasionally add new features. If your Blu-ray player can accept firmware updates via the Ethernet or wireless connection, it'll be much easier to keep updated.

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