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The Best Network Media Players Built Into TVs or Blu-ray Disc Players - 2010

A Network Media Player-Enabled TV or Blu-ray Disc Player is Great Gift Idea

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Accessing Your Media Files on a Samsung TV

Media Servers, NAS, and computers on your home network are listed as sources along with components that are connected to the Samsung TV. This makes it very easy to access your movies, photos and music to play on the TV.

Photo (c) Barb Gonzalez - Licensed to About.com
Updated January 19, 2012

If your family or your gift recipient is in the market for a new TV or home theater component, consider one with a built-in network media player. Networkable TVs, Blu-ray Disc players, video game consoles, TIVOs, and home theater receivers can find photos, music and movies in media libraries on your home network, as well as connect to online content providers.

The built-in network media player of the three listed Home Theater brands stand out from the rest. Of course, you will also want to be sure that the TV you choose also fulfills the criteria for good picture, and a home theater AV receiver for good sound.

Samsung TV, Blu-ray Disc Players: Samsung Apps

Makes a good gift for: Someone who wants a new TV or Blu-ray Disc Player; novices who shy away from devices; those who own a Samsung Android smartphone; those who like using those who want to stream media from their home network directly to their TV.

Don't buy it for: Someone who is looking for a network media player that is easy to move from room to room.

Many of Samsung's 2010 home theater line of TVs and Blu-ray Disc players feature Samsung Apps. While many TVs claim to have "apps," often they are simply referring to their online content partners-- Netflix, Vudu, Pandora. Some of Samsung's apps are truly applications in the same way that Android phones or iPhones have apps. There are apps to play games, an app to plan a wedding and there are certain to be many new apps as they have opened it up to app developers. Samsung has a large variety of content partners, Netflix, Vudu, Blockbuster On Demand, Napster, Pandora, Hulu Plus and many more. As one of the best network connected TV and component experiences, this is easy for most users. The Samsung lines are also DLNA certified so it easily finds your media and can play a number of media file formats. TVs start at around $1,000. Blu-ray Disc players start at $229, such as the BD-C5900 (Compare Prices).

LG TVs and Blu-ray Disc Players: Netcast

Makes a good gift for: Someone who wants a new TV or Blu-ray Disc Player; novices who shy away from devices; those who want to stream a wide variety of media from their home network directly to their TV.
Don't buy it for: Someone who is looking for a network media player that is easy to move from room to room; someone who wants a long list of apps; someone who predominantly uses iTunes.

The LG TVs and Blu-ray Disc players also make it easy to access online content from Netflix, Vudu, Pandora, Napster, MLB Baseball TV and Picasa. The BD-590 Blu-ray Disc player (compare prices) plays a wide variety of media including AVCHD--a high definition video format used by many camcorders. It also has a 250 GB hard drive so that you can download movies bought on Vudu or easily copy your media from your computers and other network devices.

Sony Bravia TVs: Bravia Internet Video and Internet Widgets

Makes a good gift for: Someone who wants a new Sony TV or Blu-ray Disc Player; novices who shy away from devices; those who want to stream a wide variety of media from their home network directly to their TV
Don't buy it for: Someone who is looking for a network media player that is easy to move from room to room; someone who wants a long list of apps; someone who predominantly uses iTunes.

Sony offers two types of internet connected TVs. The Bravia line has had Bravia Internet Video and Bravia Internet Widgets for a couple of years and has amassed a number of unique online content partners. Along with Facebook, Hulu Plus and Amazon On Demand, the Sony Bravia's include Sony's own Qriocity library of Sony movies and TV shows to rent.

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  6. TVs and Home Theater Components with Built-in Network Media Players - 2010

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