If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to go through all the reviews and buying advice compiled by our researchers but you do want to find the best Blu-ray player money can buy, this short paragraph should tell you everything you need to know. We do not want to drag you down with confusing product specifications and various marketing gimmickry here so we’ve trimmed down the fat and present you with just what you need to know as a consumer. Our information gathering has taken us through plenty of expert review sites, price comparisons and even social media activity just so we can give you exactly what you need. Out of all the products we’ve looked over, we consider the OPPO BDP-103D the most impressive among the lot thanks to its universal support for a variety of media formats, so you can use anything that is in your collection. If you want a blu-ray player that offers connectivity with usb devices, this is the one for you, as it has three USB inputs along with dual HDMI inputs and outputs and much more. The OPPO BDP-103D is also geared with capability for 2D to 3D conversion, upgrading to 4K and True 24p video. If a player compatible with old TV models such as the OPPO BDP-103D is beyond your budget, may we suggest getting the second best product on the market, the Samsung BD-J7500 (2015 Model).
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This buying guide is designed to help the consumer make a sensible buy. In the midst of hundreds of models on the market, you deserve to get the best blu-ray player for the money. Here’s how to tell if that unit you’re looking at is truly a fantastic buy.
Your trusty old DVD machine can easily get blown away in terms of picture performance especially when you’ve got a Blu-ray player at the core of your home theater system. Compared to a DVD that only stores up to 4.7GB data, a Blu-ray handles up to 50 GB, which means greater picture detail for HD content that can be enjoyed on a high-definition TV. Blu-ray players are also backwards compatible, capable of playing DVDs with upscaling capability to 1080p, making your prized disc collection look better. In addition, you can also play CDs on Blu-ray decks. You can enjoy sharp detail and superb color that rivals that of high definition streaming. Standard DVDs are upconverted to 1080p.
3D-capable blu-ray players are used with 3D discs, 3D TV and 3D glasses, enabling you to enjoy three-dimensional images while being able to play regular DVDs, blu-ray discs and CDs. 4K upscaling lets you use the player with an ultra high definition TV, converting 1080p and 1080i in keeping with the higher 4K quality of the TV for fantastic 3840×2160 resolution.
Thanks to the revolutionary Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, Blu-ray players offer exciting and accurate movie sound. Bringing bit-perfect audio with those cutting-edge technologies, the blu-ray player delivers Hollywood studio mixing desk sound quality straight to your living room. You can expect nothing less than lossless audio plus discrete 7.1-channel playback for a truly immersive movie viewing experience. With compatible home theater receivers, the blu-ray player can even play Dolby Atmos content.
Today’s blu-ray players come with a solid construction that helps optimize sound and picture performance due to reduced resonance and stable spinning of discs while ensuring longer life expectancy. Plenty of models feature a premium quality digital-to-analog converter (DAC) that easily beats multi-channel sources and stereo with their outstanding sound output.
All blu-ray players come with built-in WiFi, making them capable of going online thanks to the standard feature called BD-Live, which means all decks are outfitted with an Ethernet socket. With Internet connection, the player allows you to view trailers and access content along with other cool things. BD-Live functionality is not a standard feature in all blu-ray discs, though, and it depends on the production studio whether or not to throw that feature in. For blu-ray players that have no built-in WiFi, a dedicated WiFi dongle can offer the same thing but at additional cost.
The blu-ray player connects to your broadband service through an Ethernet cable linked to a router or modem. This kind of connectivity can be rather inconvenient if the modem and the player are in different locations of the house. Fortunately, many newer models are able to link up with a wireless home network.
A/V Connectivity Outputs
To be able to carry both audio and video using a single cable, all blu-ray players come with HDMI outputs for simplified connections. You can use any high-speed HDMI cable for 3D-capable units equipped with newer HDMI 1.4 connections, eliminating the need to purchase a special cable. Some models come with component-video outputs, which allows you to connect to older generation HDTVs without an HDMI output.
All blu-ray players use digital-audio outputs to support at least 5.1-channel audio, while most of them support 7.1-channel high-resolution sound from blu-rays discs. For connecting the player to a receiver or TV, the HDMI output is instrumental.
All Blu-ray players have an HDMI output to connect the player to your TV or receiver. But if you’re going to connect it to an audio system without HDMI connections, look for a player with dedicated audio outputs. Many players offer optical or coaxial digital audio outputs for sending audio to an older home theater receiver or a sound bar.
For streaming movie services from various Internet sources, look for models that offer this capability. Allowing you to expand your viewing options, such blu-ray players are designed to be compatible with Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, CinemaNow, VuDu, Netflix and others. With an Amazon Prime subscription, you have access to some of the streamed titles on a large pay-per-view library (Amazon Instant Video). Other pay-per-view sources include Vudu. Hulu Plus and Netflix provide unlimited streaming subscriptions for a monthly fee. You can get free content from sharing sites including Flickr, Picasa and YouTube, Slacker Internet radio stations, etc.
Depending on what arrangements the blu-ray player maker enters into with Internet companies, services and sites that can be accessed can continuously change. Updating of the software or firmware of the device may be required and you may be prompted by the player to do this, although it is an automatic event in plenty of cases. Today, there are players with full browsers that enable Web surfing just like a smartphone or PC.
Other Useful Features
Blu-ray players with bluetooth wireless connectivity are great for audio streaming from Bluetooth-enabled devices. Others support Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) for easy access to music, movies and photos in your smartphone, computer or tablet connected to the same home network. Some models boast a compact size that makes them suitable for car use. Some models feature an angled or textured top that makes it impossible to put things on, while many feature a plain box design that does not pose this issue.
Top rated Blu-ray players in 2016
We consider the following products to be the best blu-ray player models on the market.
The new Samsung BD-J7500 2016 Model Blu-ray Player offers impressive viewing quality of your Blu-ray discs in high technology 4K resolution on a compatible 4K TV. Boasting four times the resolution of full HD, the player ensures crisp images on your screen. The player also offers playback of 3D Blu-ray discs as well as 1080p through HDMI, which also supports high-resolution audio formats including DTS HD Bitstream, Dolby TrueHD and more. Thanks to the player’s built-in Ethernet and WiFi port, access to apps is never a problem. You can also make the most of wireless connectivity such as DLNA and SHAPE, for greater versatility.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($197.99)
Enjoy outstanding full HD picture quality with the affordable Panasonic DMPBDT330 4K Upscaling 3D Wi-Fi Blu-Ray Player. Built with cutting-edge image processing technology, this player enables you to watch upscaled 2D images to 3D, resulting in more natural depth perception. Get blown away with the reproduction to high-quality sound of various audio sources, minus the annoying audio distortion. The onboard Miracast capability enables you to view the display of smartphone or tablet content on an entire TV screen, allowing content sharing from your personal device on the big screen.
You can also make the most of home entertainment convenience thanks to the integrated VIERA Connect.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
When it comes to Blu-ray players, Sony manages to create professional and efficient models with the capacity to provide quality movies, TV-shows, concerts or documentaries playback. The current top rated Blu-ray reviews show that the Sony BD-PSX910 portable Blu-ray player is one of the best, delivering high resolution and clarity through the widescreen LCD monitor. The Sony BDP-SX910 has a rechargeable battery and it lasts up to 4.5 hours. Furthermore, with the HDMI output you can easily transform the BDP-SX910 model into a standard Blu-ray disc player for your home HDTV.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($229.99)
The new Sony BDPS5500 3D Blu-Ray Player lets you enjoy Blu-ray disc and DVD playback with outstanding near-1080p resolution and 3D. By upscaling from 2D to 3D, the player enables playback on a 3D TV. You can also enjoy PlayStation 3 games even without a console. The Sony BDPS5500 3D Blu-Ray Player comes with PlayStation Now, which enables you to stream and enjoy PlayStation 3 games using just your DualShock 4 Controller. The HDMI output supports playback of 1080p full HD Blu-ray discs, for an enhanced home theater experience. Get access to more than 300 streaming services that enable you to play TV shows, movies, music and plenty more.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
According to the best blu-ray players reviews, the OPPO BDP-105 Blu-Ray Player is crafted with the latest and most innovative equipment in order to fit the improved analog audio capability. This unit is has a sophisticated analog audio stage, optimized by two ESS Sabre32 Reference Digital-to-Analog Converters (DAC), balanced and unbalanced (RCA) dedicated stereo outputs, Toroidal linear power supply and an asynchronous USB DAC input. These features are integrated to deliver a remarkable video and audio quality that everyone wants. It also has a DVD playback capability and PAL NTSC Converter, so you can definitely experience unlimited full HD 1080p videos from over 100 streaming services.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
Currently, the Sony BDP S590 Blu-ray model represents one of the best Blu-ray players in 2016, offering its users the possibility to enjoy movies, TV-shows, concerts or documentary in high definition. The 3D playback of the Sony Blu-ray disc player enables the user to enter a new dimension, thus setting the proper context towards an impressive and unique cinema experience. The BDP S590 disc player gives you complete access to Sony’s Smart TV service and to the Sony apps, thus enhancing the whole cinema experience, making it worth sharing with friends and family members.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($339.99)
When it comes to Blu-ray disc players, there is no surprise to see that the Panasonic models are highly regarded by thousands of people. 4 out of 5 top rated Blu-ray player reviews underline the high quality and efficiency of the Panasonic DMP-BDT310 integrated-Wi-Fi 3D Blu-ray player when compared to other models available in its category. Coming with twin HDMI outputs for both video and audio, the built-in Wi-Fi and the Viera Cast, CinemaNow and Vudu features, this Panasonic DMP-BDT310 disc player represents a smart investment and great addition to any home.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
The characteristics of the Samsung BD-E6500 3D Blu-ray player represent the ultimate addition in technological findings. The Samsung 3D technology enables you to watch cinema-quality 3D movies and the Blu-ray disc player can take the cinema experience to a new level of enjoyment. Considered one of the best Blu-ray players in 2016, the Samsung BD-E5600 3D model brings the full clarity of the high definition entertainment right in the comfort of your home. Furthermore, this model gives you access to the Samsung Smart TV service with a wide array of other multimedia options.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($229.99)
Products which are no longer available
Blu-ray technology has raised the bar even higher when it comes to cinema experiences. One of the most top rated Blu-ray players is without a doubt Sony BDPBX39 which offers you the best video quality possible. To top it all off, you can choose the party Streaming Mode from its menu and prepare to boogie all night long enjoying a crystal clear sound. Whether you want a nice quiet evening watching a flick or you want to party till the morning, Sony BDPBX39 is ready for both.
With this unit, you can conveniently share your files using the front USB slot. This model also allows you experience 10x quality disc playback and provides a quicker start and load controls in order to watch high definition movies. Its audio and video quality is powered by the Dolby TrueHD feature. In addition to its wonderful characteristics, it comes with BonusView support. Its Ethernet port which is DLNA-compliant gives you the freedom to download music, photos, and videos from an integrated PC USB 2.0 Media Host. You can also view photos, play videos and listen to music in a MP3 format thus creating an unique experience for you and your friends.
The Samsung BD-D5500C 3D Blu-ray disc player suits any home, bringing affordable high definition viewing. This model provies clarity and full high definition 1080p resolution, thus adding clarity to all the videos and images. The Samsung Smart Blu-ray player allows the user to easily search for movies, TV-shows and explore the large array of Samsung apps that are capable of enriching the quality of the time spent using this device. Furthermore, with a stylish design the player can easily blend in any home decor without disrupting the general look off the area.