Question: What is a Network-Enabled Blu-ray Disc Player?
Answer: As a result of increased convergence of the PC and Home Theater, a new type of product has emerged, referred to as the Network Media Player or Media Streamer. These type of devices allow access to PC media content and/or the streaming/downloading of audio, video, and still image content directly from the internet that can be played on your TV or home theater system. In addition to standalone devices, Media Player/Streamer capability is also available on most Blu-ray Disc players. As a result, many Blu-ray Disc players can be used for accessing additional program sources.
Network-Enabled Blu-ray Disc Players are compatible with Blu-ray, DVD, and CD discs as well as providing Wired (Ethernet) and/or Wireless (WiFi) Network Connectivity. WiFi access may be either built-in or require an optional USB WiFi Adapter.
Using e network-enabled Blu-ray Disc player is becoming an increasingly popular method of integrating online media content with a TV and home theater system. A lot of consumers are not aware that many Blu-ray disc players, besides being able to play Blu-ray/DVD and CD discs, also have built-in Ethernet or WiFi connections that allow direct access to a home network.
This capability allows users to both access online content that may be associated with the Blu-ray disc they are playing, and may also provide access to streaming video and audio content from additional internet content providers, such as Netflix, Amazon Video On-Demand, Blockbuster, Flickr, and more.
However, you are tied into what services the Blu-ray player is associated with. If both Blu-ray and Internet content streaming are important to you, then you have make a decision based on what Internet content providers you prefer to have access to on your network-enabled Blu-ray Disc player.
Also, some Blu-ray Disc players can also access content stored on other devices, such as a PC, connected by a home network. One way to find out if a specific Blu-ray Disc player has this capability is to check to see if it is DLNA certified.