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The Best Blu-ray Players

A Blu-ray Player is the perfect complement to an HDTV


Blu-ray players (AKA Blu-ray Disc players) are popping up everywhere, especially since prices for some players are as low as $99. Another benefit is that Blu-ray players also play DVDs and CDs, and many also now offer internet streaming and media player functions, and some also offer 3D Blu-ray Disc playback. Check out my favorite current Blu-ray Player offerings. Note: Entries on this list are periodically updated to keep them current.

In addition, if you looking for PC Blu-ray Disc drives, check out some suggestions from Mark Kyrnin, About.com Guide for Computers.

1. OPPO Digital BDP-103 Blu-ray Disc Player

OPPO BDP-103 Blu-ray player with included accessories.
Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

The OPPO Digital BDP-103 Blu-ray Player plays 2D and 3D Blu-ray Discs as well as internet streaming from services such as Netflix, Vudu (including Vudu 3D), Pandora, and Rhapsody. The BDP-103 also continues OPPO's tradition of providing both SACD and DVD-Audio Disc playback as well as compatibility with a host of other formats, including, but not limited to, HDCD, MKV, and standard audio CDs. The BDP-103 can also play back media files from connected USB flash drive, or from a network-connected PC.

For convenience, the BDP-103 provides Dual HDMI outputs that enable the connection of one HDMI output directly to a 3D-TV, while using the second HDMI output for connecting to another 2D or 3D compatible display or to supply a separate audio feed to a pre-3D HDMI home theater receiver. An added bonus is the inclusion of the two HDMI inputs, as well as a total of three USB ports.

You get all of the above, plus 4K upscaling, if you need it.
Review - Photo Profile - Video Performance Test Results - Official Product Page - Check Price with Roku Streaming Stick Also Included

Also Available: OPPO Digital 103D Blu-ray Disc Player with Built-in Silicon Image VRS ClearView and Darbee Visual Presence Video Processing.
Photo Illustrated Review - Compare Prices

Also Available: OPPO Digital BDP-105 Audiophile Blu-ray Disc Player with toroidal transformer-based power supply, built-in headphone amplifier, a set of XLR stereo output connections, both digital optical/coaxial audio inputs, and enhanced analog audio output stage using ESS SABRE DACs (Digital-to-Analog Converters).
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2. Kaleidescape Cinema One Movie Player

Kaleidescape Cinema One Movie Player - Front View with Included Accessories
Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

The Kaleidescape Cinema One Movie Player is an innovative home theater component looks like an oversized Blu-ray Disc player, and, yes, it does play Blu-ray/DVD/CD discs (that is why it is included in this Blu-ray Disc player listing), but does a whole lot more.

The Cinema One also functions as a movie server that can store up to 100 Blu-ray Quality movies on a 4 TB harddrive, which can be imported directly from a disc or downloaded (in full Blu-ray audio and video quality) via the internet from the Kaleidescape Store. In addition, you can import your own Blu-ray discs, DVDs, and music CDs for easy access at the touch of button.

Set-up is very easy, but it really helps if you have a fast internet connection for downloading large Blu-ray and DVD quality files.
Review - Photo Profile - Video Performance Test Results - Official Product Page

3. Panasonic DMP-BDT330

Panasonic DMP-BDT330 3D and Network Blu-ray Player
Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

The Panasonic DMP-BDT330 slim and stylish Blu-ray Disc player that provides 2D and 3D playback of Blu-ray Discs, 2D to 3D conversion, and both 1080p and 4K upscaling. The DMP-BDT330 also features both Ethernet and built-in WiFi for easy connection to the internet for accessing audio/video streaming content, such as CinemaNow, Netflix, Pandora, Vudu, and more.

Two new innovations include Dual HDMI outputs, providing more connection flexibility when using a 3D TV in combination with a non-3D compatible Home Theater Receiver, and Miracast, which provides wireless streaming directly from compatible smartphones and tablets.
Review - Photos - Video Performance Tests - Compare Prices

Also available is the lower priced Panasonic DMP-BDT230 which eliminates the 4K upscaling, and second HDMI output. Compare Prices for the DMP-BDT230

4. Sony Playstation 3 Slim - Blu-ray/DVD Player and Game Console Combination

Sony Playstation 3 Slim
Photo Courtesy of PriceGrabber
The Sony Playstation 3 Slim is not only a hot video game console, but it is a great Blu-ray Disc player. For about $399, you not only get a game console that can be connected to your home theater and home network, but also provides 1080p upscaled DVD and Blu-ray Disc playback via HDMI outputs. Unlike most Blu-ray Disc players, the new PS3 Slim is Profile 2.0 equipped. The Playstation 3 Slim will give you your money's worth, even if you never play a video game. If you are a movie fan that has been put off buying a Blu-ray Disc player due to cost or fear of obsolescence, check out the Playstation 3 option. For a complete rundown on the PS3 Slim's functionality, check out the report from Roger Altizer, About.com Guide For Playstation Games.
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5. Sony BDP-S790 3D and Network-Enabled Blu-ray Disc Player

Sony BDP-S790 3D and Network Blu-ray Disc Player  - Front View with Included Accessories
Photos (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

The Sony BDP-S790 is a compact and stylish Blu-ray Disc player that performs well and provides a lot of entertainment options. The BDP-S790 provides 2D and 3D Blu-ray Disc playback, 1080p and 4K upscaling for standard DVDs and internet streamed content, and offers dual HDMI outputs for easier integration with non-3D compatible HDMI-equipped home theater receivers.

The Sony BDP-S790 also provides network media player functions, including the ability to access digital media content stored on USB flash drives, iPods, and PCs, as well as stream audio/video content from the internet. With the purchase of an optional compatible webcam, you can even make Skype video phone calls.
Review - Photo Profile - Video Performance Test Results - Compare Prices.

6. Samsung BD-F7500 3D Network Blu-ray Disc Player

The Samsung BD-F7500 is a slim, stylish Blu-ray Disc player that packs in a lot under the hood. First off, to enable it perform required playback and menu navigation tasks quickly, the BD-F7500 incorporates a Dual Core Processor. The player is compatible with Blu-ray Discs, standard DVDs, most recordable DVD formats, music CDs, and CD-Rs/RWs. Of course Blu-ray discs are output at 1080p resolution, and standard DVDs are upscaled to 1080p via the HDMI output, but in addition, the BD-F7500 also provides the 4K upscaling option. For audio, the BD-F7500 also provides bitstream and fully decoded output options for all available digital audio formats, including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD.

If that isn't enough for you, the BD-F7500 also provides 3D viewing of Blu-ray Discs as well as access to content from your home network or the internet via Samsung's Smart Hub interface and connection via Ethernet or built-in WiFi. WiDi technology is also included, which allows you send audio and video from compatible portable devices to the Blu-ray Disc player (without the need to be connected to a home network) for viewing on your TV via the HDMI connection from the player to the TV. If that wasn't enough, you can even use the BD-F7500 to rip your CDs to USB flash drives.

For home theater connectivity, this player provides Dual HDMI outputs, for more connection flexibility when using a 3D or 4K TV in combination with a non-3D or 4K compatible Home Theater Receiver, as well both digital optical and 7.1 channel analog audio output options.

On the other hand, the BD-F7500 does not have component or composite video outputs.
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7. LG BP730 3D Network Blu-ray Disc Player

The LG BP730 is slim styled, fast loading, Blu-ray Disc player that features 2D and 3D Blu-ray disc playback, video processing/upscaling for DVDs, and CD playback. 4K upscaling is also provided for compatible TVs.

Additional capabilities include playback of still images, video, and music stored on USB flash drives or other compatible devices can also be accessed via the front mounted USB port (you can also use the USB port to plug an external windows mouse or keyboard), as well as internet streaming capability (including HuluPlus, YouTube, Vudu, and Netflix and a lot more), via either wired or wireless network connectivity. The BP730 also incorporated LG's Smart Share, which provides access to media content stored on other network connected devices, such as PCs and media servers.

Also included in the box is a "magic remote" which allows you use an onscreen cursor for menu navigation. Also, if you install the LG Remote App on a compatible mobile phone, the BD730 can send its audio playback signal to your phone so you can listen in privacy on earphones - great for late night viewing.

NOTE: It is important to point out that the BP730 only provides HDMI and Digital Optical output connections. No analog audio or video connections are included.
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8. Sharp BD-AMS20U 3D/Network-Enabled Blu-ray Disc Player

Sharp is well-known for its LCD TVs, but they also have a great Blu-ray Player product line. The BD-AMS20U is a player that packs in a lot of features. In addition to 2D//3D Blu-ray, DVD, and CD playback, the BD-AMS20U also offers internet streaming, via included Ethernet connection or built-in WiFi, from content providers, such as Netflix, Pandora, and YouTube. In addition, the BD-AMS20U has a very fast disc disc loading time. If you have a Sharp LCD TV with Aquos link, you can control both units with one remote. An added bonus is an MHL-enabled HDMI input that allows you to connect an MHL-enabled mobile device to the BD-AMS20U, allowing you to view or listen to content from that mobile device on your TV or home theater system.

NOTE: Your TV must have an HDMI input connection. This player does not have analog video or audio outputs. For a detailed look at how the Sharp BD-AMS20U operates before you make a buying decision, you can download the User Manual.
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9. Sony BDP-S5100 3D Network Blu-ray Disc Player

The Sony BDP-S5100 is a very affordable (and very stylish) player that is compatible with Blu-ray discs (both 2D and 3D - including 2D-to-3D conversion), DVDs, SACDs, and audio CDs. In addition to disc playback capabilities, the BDP-S5100 also incorporates both Ethernet and WiFi connectivity enabling access to audio/video streaming content from Netflix, Pandora, Hulu Plus, as well as content stored on network-connected PCs. The BDP-S5100 can also stream compatible 3D content from the internet. Built-in Web Browsing is also supported.

For additional content access from flash drives and other compatible devices, two USB ports are provided. To make operation easier, the BDP-S5100 provides an easy-to-use onscreen menu and is also compatible with Sony's TV SideView iOS and Android remote control Apps.

However, is must be pointed out that BDP-S5100, as with almost all newer Blu-ray Disc players, does not provide component video or analog audio outputs.
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Also available, the Sony BDP-S3100, which carries a lower price tag, but is not 3D or SACD compatible.
Compare Prices for the BDP-S3100

10. Samsung BD-F5900 3D Network Blu-ray Player

The Samsung BD-F5900 is compatible with Blu-ray Discs (both 2D and 3D), standard DVDs, most recordable DVD formats, music CDs, and CD-Rs/RWs. Of course Blu-ray discs are output at 1080p resolution, and standard DVDs are upscaled to 1080p via the HDMI output. The BD-BD-F5900 also provides bitstream output for both Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD via HDMI.

If that isn't enough for you, the BD-F5900 provides 3D playback from compatible Blu-ray discs, and can also stream audio and video content from your home network or the internet, including Netflix, YouTube, Pandora and much more. Network/internet connection can be made via Ethernet or built-in WiFi option.

However, the BD-F5900 does not provide component or composite video outputs. Also, analog audio outputs are not provided.
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Also available, the Samsung BD-F5100, which is priced below $99, but does not provide 3D or built-in Wifi, has limited internet streaming features, and provides a digital coaxial, rather and a digital optical audio output option.
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