questionswhat blu-ray player has the most bang for your…

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You said it was a media center -- was it a PC BRD player? If so, I highly recommend any of the LG drives. If not, then I would suggest a PS3. They are a bit pricey, but you get a lot more use out of it than with a conventional Blu-Ray player.

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I had a LG bluray drive that is about 2 years old now. It was the combo bluray and hd dvd drive. For some reason now I can play dvds fine but no blurays. Even ones I had previously played that worked.

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I have a LG BD550 and I think it's awesome.
http://www.google.com/products/catalog?cid=10817354747742714051
Netflix, Pandora, Blu Ray, Youtube, etc.

My only complaint is that it uses SPDIF coax out instead of Optical, but that's not important if you're using HDMI audio.

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How about the PS...oooooh boy... Cough* Cough*

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@neolithicx: Sounds like the laser has just crapped out. The diode degrades over time. I would imagine using the 'pot trick' that's been used for the ps2/xbox 360/etc since the beginning of time would probably get you more use out of it.

If you want a standalone player I would highly recommend the PS3 even with things as of late. I believe I saw a deal from newegg where you get a $50 gift card yesterday...

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Personally? I still say the PS3. It does Netflix, has a web browser, does Blu-Ray, plays games (albeit not really online right now), and can also hook up to your media center PC to stream any videos, music and pictures via your network.

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I have an lg bd570 and am quite happy with it. I would recommend going for the lg bd670.

A lot of people will push you towards a ps3 and there's nothing wrong with that, but it depends what you want. A ps3 costs a lot more and is not as good for media playback since it plays less filetypes natively. Also it cannot read ntsc formatted hdd's. Of course as others have said its web browser and gaming are both great. It just depends on what you want to spend and what you want it to do.

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@portezbie: Definitely agree with that, good sir or madam!

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Yeah, PS3 CAN be a good answer here, but not for everyone. Sony's BDPS780 is a fine new player with all kinds of streaming and other cool options. Sony players are really better than any of the others...just ask any of the kids working at a big box electronics store. Then there's the Oppo argument. Oppo players play any kind of disc media and they sound wonderful! Much better than any other player and their blu ray playback is awesome - as good as the Sony. Lots of good choices out there. It's a good time to be a consumer with $'s to spend on electronics.

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I just purchased the Panasonic DMP-BDT110 and am very happy with it. It was very reasonable on Amazon and you get a certificate good for a free 3-d blu-ray of Avatar, which you can either use yourself if you have a 3-d TV or sell on Ebay for at least $20, further reducing your cost.

If you prefer wireless access to the internet from your player, get the BDT210, which has the wireless built-in.

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For me, about 18 months ago I spent $250 on a nice Samsung unit. I loved it! Loaded fast, was quiet, beautiful picture. Then 7 months later I was watching a movie stored on a USB thumb drive on it and hit pause to go get a drink. Came back in, hit play and nothing - it was frozen. I tried everything and ended up having to unplug the unit. After that it refused to boot up.

I tried some reset sequences all to no avail. Ends up the memory got corrupted on it somehow. Even though it had a 12 month warranty, Samsung REFUSED to repair it unless I sent them $80 for labor AND paid to ship them the unit. (They claim parts was 12 months, but labor was only 3 months). All this for them to reflash it.

Right after that I found an RCA unit on sale at Target for $60. It does netflix and it has played every blu-ray I've put in it. Takes a minute to load but so what! I haven't had a single problem with it in almost a year now and looks every bit as good as the expensive Samsung unit!

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PS3. Not a contest. Some of these players people are suggesting cost more than a PS3, and do far less. A PS3 + Harmony remote is the best entertainment center purchase you could make. Play CDs/DVDs/BluRay, the latest BluRay features are always supported, and there is plenty of hardware to keep going with that, the bugs are few and far between, and always fixed quickly, its the most popular BR player on the market, so it has a huge community, it does Netflix, web browsing, it can be a DLNA client (and PS3 Media Server is trivial to set up), and it has the ability for more things to be added in the future. What's not to like?

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Depends what you want to do with it.

PS3:

- plays games
- slow to load blu-rays compared to medium to high end players
- old technology (came out years ago, software updates only do so much.)
- no remote
- noisy fan
- average picture (compared to hi-end, Opppo's etc.. - check avs forums)
- likely makes you register with Sony to use Netflix.

Oppo:

- Best on the market
- Pricey

Sony:

- Good quality picture/sound, fast loads, etc...
- Sony rams DRM down your throat
- Requires registration with Sony to stream Netflix (I own a BDP S570 but wouldn't have bought it if I knew this before.)

LG:

- Very good Good picture/audio, etc... (for their top end model.)
- Super fast load times.
- Lower quality hardware - they break often (LG stands for Lucky Goldstar, for those who remember the Goldstar brands.)

Samsung:

- Depends heavily on model, low end is low, high end is high.

Other brands:

- Check AVS forum or other reputable information sources.

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From what I hear oppo is great but, besides being incredibly expensive, they seem to have a lot less features than many of the other major brand ones. No amazon, no hulu, no dlna streaming, no youtube etc. They have netflix at least which is nice, but still the price to features ratio disappoints me with the oppo's. However, I guess they are the best if perfect quality is really important to you.

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@tyross:

I just wanted to correct 2 things out of your description of the PS3: "no remote" Not true. You can buy one for ~$15 if you want the Sony one, or for ~$30 you can buy the adapter for a harmony remote -- and let's be honest here, anyone serious about their media center will have a programmable remote already, and would not be using the one that 'came with' any way.

As for the noise, I am not sure why you think it is loud. Mine is next to silent, and when you are more than 3 foot away you cannot hear it, even if the TV is off...

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@ozymandias2:

Anyone serious about their media center would never use a ps3 game console as their primary blu-ray device.

As for the remote, it doesn't come included, so no remote is accurate.

A friend of mine was using a ps3 on his home theater and I could hear it (noisy fan and unit imo.) After seeing this video, he bought a dedicated player: http://youtu.be/wbV8vf7nuMA

However, if you have the need for an all-in-one type of device that plays blu-rays then the ps3 is for you (once you buy a remote). Saying it's the best player is like saying a cell phone is the best digital camera on the market - they have cameras, but...