If you want to watch full HD 1080p movies at home, Blu-ray is the way to go. Here are the top 10 players we’ve tested.
Blu-ray discs currently deliver the best picture quality you can get from physical media. And since so many of today’s HDTV displays support full 1080p HD, it pays to get a new Blu-ray player to take advantage of all those extra pixels.
You should adjust your expectations depending on what you want to spend on a Blu-ray player; we generally classify players by price. Budget models (less than $150) will feature online streaming services like Netflix or Hulu Plus, but you typically need to plug them into your wireless router with an Ethernet cable, and you usually don’t get 3D support. Midrange Blu-ray players ($150 to $250) give you a wide selection of streaming services and add more features, like built-in Wi-Fi and 3D support, and they often perform better than budget players. High-end models ($250 and higher) throw everything into the mix, with Wi-Fi, built-in storage or advanced video connections, along with even-better speed performance and video processing.
Depending on how much you want to spend, we have Editors’ Choice players at all three price points. Our budget winner the Panasonic DMP-BDT110, for example, costs just $135 and has plenty of Web streaming options and performed very well in our speed tests, while the Oppo BDP-93 costs more than three times that, and is overflowing with features, connections, and sports the best performance and build quality we’ve ever seen. And if your budget falls somewhere between the low- and the high-end, we’ve got some great players there, too.
If you’re ready to move to Blu-ray, check out the top products we’ve reviewed (linked below), or . Need more shopping advice? Read How to Buy a Blu-Ray Player.
Budget Blu-ray Players
With great video performance, lots of online content, and fast load times, the Panasonic DMP-BDT110 is the best Blu-ray player you can get for less than $150.
Fast performance coupled with a robust feature set including integrated Wi-Fi and 3D support, which aren’t very common at the $150 price point, make the Toshiba BDX5200 a very solid budget pick.
When it comes to video performance, this budget Sony model isn’t perfect, but it’s the best player you’ll find hovering around the magic $100 price mark.
Midrange Blu-ray Players
With good speeds, solid performance, integrated Wi-Fi, a wide array of Web services and apps, and a less-than-$200 price, the Samsung BD-D5700 stands out as our current Editors’ Choice for midrange players.
Sony Internet TV Blu-ray Disc Player NSZ-GT1
We liked this Google TV-equipped player back when it debuted last year, and now its price is lower and it’s been updated to Google TV 3.1, which brings Android Market access and some other welcome interface upgrades.
It’s not the prettiest Blu-ray player on the block, but the 3D-ready LG BD670 is a workhorse loaded with plenty of features for the price.
The 3D-enabled Samsung BD-D5500 is a capable, full-featured Blu-ray player, but its slow startup time and only so-so DVD upconversion skills holds it back. If you can, spend the extra $20 on the BD-D5700 instead.
High-End Blu-ray Players
Sony PlayStation 3
One of the PlayStation 3′s best features: It’s also a very adept Blu-ray player. Getting a PS3 is like buying a midrange player that offers Wi-Fi, 3D support, all sorts of Web apps, and getting a really big bonus–one of the best gaming experiences you’ll find.
It’ll cost you twice as much as other high-end Blu-ray players, but the Oppo BDP-93 delivers enthusiast features along with top-notch speed and the best video-quality performance we’ve seen.
A full-featured Blu-ray player, the LG BD690 offers Wi-Fi, 3D support, and a built-in 250GB hard drive. But at $350 it’s just too expensive, unless you really need all that storage.
By Will Greenwald, PCMag