A Blu-ray player is a good and inexpensive source for lots of entertainment - both via Blu-ray or DVD discs and the Internet.
For those who want the best quality when they watch films and TV shows, Blu-ray media is still the way to go. With sparkling image quality in Full HD resolution and not least, up to 7.1 channels of high definition surround sound, the Blu-ray has a solid edge over the other formats such as DVD in terms of picture and sound quality.
That said, not everybody wants to pay extra to view a Blu-ray movie in HD resolution. That's why Blu-ray players are backwards compatible with any DVD movie, or can even stream movies from the Internet if it has smart features built in.
Online services such as Youtube, Vimeo and subscription services like Netflix and HBO can be streamed to a Blu-ray player with smart features. Here you can see older titles and check out a thrilling series before buying it on Blu-ray. In this way it is easier to find good titles, as well as sorting out some "rotten apples" and B-movies that are not worth having in your collection.
The main characteristics of blu-ray players:
There is greater resolution with a Blu-ray player than a regular DVD player. With Blu-rays you can watch movies, TV shows and documentaries in full HD (1920x1080) and 4K resolution (3840×2160). You also get far superior colour reproduction and contrast with a Blu-ray player and if you fancy watching 3D movies, this is also an option on many models now.
When you connect your Blu-ray player to your home theater system to watch movies you can experience the best sound quality that is currently available. If you are really interested in good sound, it might be an idea to check if the Blu-ray player comes with new audio formats like Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master.
Look for a player with Wi-Fi, so you have the opportunity to surf the net and also stream movies and TV shows from online video sites. Some players may only come with a ethernet connection, meaning you have to use a cable to connect the player to your home router.
It's nice to have a Blu-ray player that turns on and starts up fast. When Blu-ray players first hit the market it took some time from when you turned on the machine to being able to watch a movie, but today virtually all Blu-ray players have extremely fast start-up and loading times.
Connecting a blu-ray player to your TV is done via a HDMI cable. But check that your television has enough HDMI cable ports, unless you will be unplugging cables every time you want to watch a movie.
Built-in TV tuner and HD Recorder
There are blu-ray players with built-in HDTV tuners and a hard disk that allows you to record current programs on television. If you want this feature and plan to record lots of television shows, make sure you buy one that has enough storage space. Ideally, something between 500 GB and 1 TB is ideal for most people.
We recommend that you check the following when selecting a Blu-ray player:
- That it supports the ability to upscale DVD movies to HD quality.
- That it supports Blu-ray Profile 2.0, or at least can be upgraded to 2.0. This is important if you want to utilize additional features that Blu-ray offers, such as the ability to download extras, etc.
- That it supports the latest revision of HDMI (version 1.4) which supports lossless audio formats, such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio.
- It supports playback of movies with 24Hz frame rate, so-called 1080/p24. This ensures the best possible playback of films that support this.
- That it supports the audio formats DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD.
- It supports playback of a variety of image and video formats. For example, support for JPEG and DivX in our opinion is a "must".
- That it supports DLNA that enables playback of media content from a network. Eg. movies and music stored on your PC.
- That it has Wi-Fi capabilities built-in.
You can make up your mind about what is important to you, but if you buy a player with the above specs, the more flexible it will be.