questionswhat is the best blu-ray player?

vote-for12vote-against
vote-for6vote-against

When I asked this question a month or two ago, the overwhelming response was to get a Sony PS3.

Since I already have a Wii and an Xbox 360, spending several hundred dollars on yet another game system didn't fly with Mrs. Durkzilla.

She bought me a Sony BDP-S370 on sale at BJ's Wholesale Club for Christmas for what she will only describe as "less than a PS3".

The nice thing about this player is that I can get my streaming content from a multitude of sources (Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, etc), and it will play media on a USB device.

The thing I don't like about this player is that I can't browse Netflix like I can on the Xbox 360 - it will only show you items you have added to your Watch Instantly Queue from another source.

Picture quality for Blu-Ray, DVDs and streaming content are fantastic. I'm quite happy with it overall. If you're also in the market for a game system and you don't have a Mrs. Durkzilla minding your finances go grab a PS3.

vote-for3vote-against

What @durkzilla has said is a great and concise starting point. There really are a lot of good non-PS3 blu-ray players out there, especially among the higher end ooptions. Samsung and Sony both have some great offerings.

However, that said, I will still put in a plug for Sony's little wonder-child. The PS3 is arguably among the better blu-ray players, with easy updates for firmware, and capability for internet and DLNA streaming, 3-D support, bitstreaming for HD audio, etc... Not to mention gaming :)

And, if we're to take your question at face value, without any parameter for upper price limit, I'd recommend Oppo as the elite, which unfortunately for me, I can't quite reasonably say that I can afford :D
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16868110067
And yes, I realize that this model isn't available until February, but for now the BDP-93 is $499.

vote-for5vote-against

Speaking strickly from what I have experience with, I love the LG BD570 that I recent got. I didn't want to buy a gaming system, so a PS3 was out for me, and the LG seemed to be the best fit, price vs options wise.

The netflix interface could use a little work, like adding a "search by" function, but it does allow you to browse recomendations and newly added movies, as well as by genre. It does the standard streaming content; Vudu, Pandora, Accu Weather, YouTube, Cinema Now, Picasa, and for me the best is MLB.TV

One thing I really like is the Homelink function that will allow you to access other devices on you network that are set up for sharing. So I can get into the photo albums on my desktop and show pictures/videos from there on my TV. I have heard rumor that there is a firmware update so that HULU will be available, but haven't seen it in any of the updates that I have done yet.
And as for Blu-Ray & DVD quality, I think it does really well, much better than my old DVD player.

vote-for5vote-against

What do you want to do with it?

If you're looking to watch Blu-Rays and DVDs, and that's it, then go low end. Sony S360/S370, LG BD530/550/570. These are all BD-Live 2.0 compatible via wired ethernet (if you add a USB memory stick for persistent storage). I got a refurb S360 for $59 before christmas, and got my dad a BD530 for $79 from sears (currently $83 at amazon).

If you need your BD player to get on a wireless network, or if you need netflix or HDMI 1.4 (audio return channel for example), then you might need to go for a higher end model. But I'm pretty darn happy with mine (A/V quality is beautiful, and load times are livable- about 10-15 seconds per disc) and they didn't break the bank.

vote-for3vote-against

@oopsz: The BD570 has built in wireless, so no need for any adapters/cables on that one. I believe the 530 & 550 still require an ethernet connection.

Just depends on how far you are going to set it up from your router I suppose. Right now my router is set up ~6 feet from my Blu-ray player but it will be moving to another spot in the house, so the wireless connection was a must in my decision.

vote-for1vote-against

To all of those of you who say that the PS3 is the best option, let me ask simply from a Blu-ray perspective:

-How long does it take to load and start playing a disc?
-If I insert a disc, will it automatically turn on and start playing it?
-Is there a remote available for the PS3? Does it come with?

Mrs. Quantamm has zero-interest in a PS3 and if it is even slightly harder to use than a dedicated Blu-ray player, she probably won't use it.

vote-for2vote-against

Watched and owned quite a few of these and I have to say, if you are looking for the best and most accurate color reproduction go with a Sony. I bought a Sony BD570 off a dude who won it in a contest and it is significantly better than the Samsung blu-ray it replaced. Sony just does this stuff right, period. The PS3 is likely very similar, as I'm sure their innards are about the same. The 570 streams content very well, boots up discs in less than 5 seconds and updates choices for streaming without any hassle, so you always have what others paid buckets for in their new TV in terms of being able to stream content. Good luck with your search.

vote-for1vote-against

I have to agree with kjmac. I just bought a Sony BDP-S570 for my techie boyfriend for Christmas, and he's been obsessing over it ever since! Sony really is the best thing you can go for. I watched Avatar on my friend's blu-ray (unfortunately, I cannot recall what make it is, only that it's not a Sony), and then on the new Sony. The difference is amazing. It also comes with wi-fi built in, not just ready, which will cost you more in the end.

vote-for3vote-against

As was posted by several other posters, if you can afford the PS3, its worth the pickup. I have one upstairs and it is fantastic, updates are a piece of cake, it plays games, 3D Blu Rays, and does basically everything else you would want it to do, other than cook you breakfast.

However For my downstairs TV, I did not want the PS3 down there, because someone would always be playing games on it. So for downstairs, I picked up the Sony BDP-S570, for $140 at my local Wal-Mart. I LOVE IT! It has built in wi-fi, with streaming netflix, amazon, hulu plus, plus it streams content from my media center on my PC and internet radio for free like pandora and slacker. Also updates for that are easy too, and with the first free update, it was ready for 3D Blu-Ray. If your looking for just a player, and not a game system, get the Sony BDP-S570

vote-for3vote-against

I appreciate all the comments made so far. Sooner or later I'll have to break down and update my home entertainment setup, and seeing all the love for a specific blu-ray player gives me confidence that it'll be useful when the time comes. I don't really care about quality, to be truthful, but as long as I'm doing it, it might as well be decent.

Considering that I rarely watch anything, it's more to just upgrade than because I care very much. I'm still content enough with the current (non-HD, non-digital, non-younameit) television, but recognize that it's getting long in the tooth. As am I, of course.

vote-for1vote-against

I personally have gone the PS3 route (I have 2). My parents have a Haier BDP1 and is decent, despite some quirks. As far as the PS3s go, every now and again you can find a deal on them. This weekend I picked up #2 for $200 from costco and it came with a game and remote control. My girlfriend has no problem what so ever using it with the remote. I'd really recommend the remote if you go PS3.

vote-for4vote-against

@quantamm: To answer your 3 questions;
- Takes no longer to load a DVD/Blu-Ray than any other DVD player I've used.
- A disc plays automatically upon insertion, but only if the disc is inserted while the PS3 is booted up. If you power it up with a disc already in it, you have to pop over to the Video menu and then down to the disc to play it.
- There's a $20 Bluetooth remote, doesn't come with it, or you can use a game controller.

Things of note:
- There is no dedicated power button on the remote. Any button will work to power it up. Powering it down requires holding down the "PS" button, selecting "Power Down the System" from the 2-4 options that pop up, then confirming that selection... so, a few extra steps to turn the thing off.
- Works well with Netflix and Vudu... I hear Hulu Plus works, don't have it
- Run a free server program on your networked PC and use the PS3 to stream videos/music/pics from your hard drive, including "backed up" DVDs.

I'm a 1-year very happy owner.

vote-for1vote-against

I'm honestly not sure why so many people are so strongly opposed to a PS3 as a blu-ray player... Admittedly, they do have a higher price tag than many, but not by much, if you want one of the better players - and I'm not saying that anyone's player isn't a "good" player because most are. Perhaps not in the "better" category though, and that also should not be taken to mean that they don't have features. For the record, features don't equal an awesome player.

Anyway, honestly the PS3 has some of the best features, and in addition to those, has very good picture/sound reproduction. It IS NOT the definitive solution for everyone, but it is definitely worth consideration for its ease of use, upgradeability, and further functions as a media server.

I apologize for my earlier error - I posted the wrong link. If you truly are interested in some of the "best" players, I had mentioned Oppo as an option for the true video and stereophiles:
http://www.oppodigital.com/blu-ray-bdp-95/

vote-for1vote-against

@arosiriak: I think it all boils down to what your intended uses/needs are. I don't have anything against game systems, but I didn't see the use in buying a PS3 just for the Blu-ray and Streaming options. I have never been that into gaming and don't own any other systems, and with a 4 year old I wouldn't have much time to get into them now.

I think that there are probably a few people in the same boat, that have younger children and don't need another thing to keep them infront of the television.

vote-for0vote-against

Of those discussed here, Oppo is definitely at the top of my list. Then the PS3. After that, the grading curve drops off rather steeply to a wide range of "Good" players. Typical commercial brands, such as; Panasonic, Sony, LG...all have proven to be "good" players. You couldn't give me a Samsung, unless it were to fill my garbage can.

I don't think you'll find anything more than opinions on stand-alone players, and you most definitely won't find a larger consumer concensus than the PS3.

vote-for1vote-against

So I've been thinking about getting a Blu-Ray player as well, and I thought I saw something with the PS3 about audio quality depending on your setup. My sound system is still of good quality, but old enough that it doesn't have any HDMI ports--it looks like the PS3 has a fiber port that I would connect to the sound system, and change the audio settings somewhere in the PS3 to use it instead?

Anyone know what, if any, differences there are between the two?

vote-for1vote-against

@dzeiger: The differences in audio for many or most stand-alone players, and even the PS3 are many times due to the sound system and not the player, since so many people feed an audio stream directly through the HDMI.

The major exception to that would be like you suggested, when you port the sound out of the player through something other than the HDMI (e.g. digital optic, coax, etc.)... In that case, the sound is being pre-processed by the player itself and will be a standard surround signal, almost identical to what you'd get from any DVD with Dolby or DTS 5.1, which is by no means bad, if you're system is good.

vote-for2vote-against

- cont'd -

Now, back to the advantage (or disadvantage if you have an only mediocre system) of running audio through HDMI - this will often truly show off the strength or weakness of your audio components since the audio for blu-ray is often uncompressed (PCM) or HD-Audio (Dolby True-HD or DTS-HD Master). This is only going to happen through "bitstreaming" over HDMI, and requires that the sound be processed entirely by your stereo receiver - virtually untouched by the player. This potentially is the best sound that you can get from a home theatre system.

As for me, I've yet to purchase a receiver that can support that, and I will vouch for the PS3 (and many LGs and Samsungs) as having fairly decent audiophile-quality sound ported through the digital optical - that's what I've got right now in my system. I'll upgrade as I like the difference, but it's not a high priority for me just yet. Just like my dreams for an Oppo player :)

vote-for2vote-against

Just thought I'd throw my PS3 hat into the ring.

BUT, with that said - if you wanna save some money, there have been some pretty good sales on Netflix/streaming enabled BR-Players. In like the $65-$95 range.

Still, the PS3 is an awesome player, with a lot of other features to boot..streaming/movie/tv stuff (Hulu Plus, PSN store, etc.) And you can customize it more than you can most any BRD player. Hardware too (remotes, controllers and stuff)

I say you sway your wifes opinion towards the PS3 with all of these comments from your TRUSTWORTHY and RELIABLE Woot buddies :D You'll be glad you got a PS3 if you do go that route. And I'm saying that playing my Xbox lol

Good question. I'm sure a lotta people will reference this in the future..

[edit] I read the 1st comment as the description lol...I'm guessing you don't have a Mrs. Durkzilla to contend with, so go sack yerself a PS3 my friend.

vote-for1vote-against

@dzeiger: The difference between running digital sound through an HDMI cable (along with the digital video signal) and running digital sound through a fiber-optic connection or a PCM connection separately is pretty much nil as far as sound goes. As I understand it, PCM "wired", which is the same as what runs along with HDMI, and fiber optic are more or less two different ways of getting the same thing from point A to point B. From my PS3, I run HDMI to my TV for the video and a fiber to my receiver for the audio, my receiver being too old to know what HDMI is but still does both fiber and PCM digital audio. The PS3 has the capability of running audio through the HDMI, through fiber, or through standard stereo RCAs... I don't know that you can do more than one at once, I've never needed to.

vote-for1vote-against

I use a Bluray Drive on my Desktop PC (Im in a dorm room so its already next to my TV). I also have one in my HP Probook Laptop. You can get one for your PC for $80 assuming you have a fairly decent CPU and GPU to run it smoothly.

vote-for1vote-against

@jgmcgowan: That's the solution I use too. Actually, it doesn't take a high end CPU to make it work, as long as you have a decent video card. I'm using a card that currently sells for $50 new and that's more than sufficient for Blu-ray playback.

vote-for1vote-against

@oopsz. I CAN NOT recommend that anybody get the Sony S360; it has problems playing too many BDs. While it's really the fault of the studios, who DO NOT CARE about problems they cause their customers, Sony doesn't keep the device up to date. I won't be buying Sony products in the future.

dnl dnl
vote-for2vote-against

I wouldn't say that at all- in fact, sony released a new update just a few weeks ago. I haven't had any trouble watching movies, and I'm netflixing new ones on a weekly basis. Is yours connected to a network? Are you running the network update every month or so?

vote-for1vote-against

Yes, an update came out Feb 10, leaving it unable to play some BDs for months.

Not buying Sony again...

dnl dnl
vote-for1vote-against

I also have an lg bd570 and have been quite happy with it, but I'm not really an expert. Has played all my blu rays with no problem plus the netflix,pandora,youtube and dlna all work very well. Plays a good range of file formats as well.

vote-for2vote-against

what other blu ray players have:
-DLNA
-built in wireless
-mkv,avi,mp4 support
-netflix,pandora,youtube(hulu plus is nice as well)

vote-for1vote-against

PS3 is a good player, very powerful and fast. I will point out 2 things which make it less than perfect:

1: It's loud. It's not right away, but after 1 or 2 hours the fans are spinning on high and there is a lot of noise which it makes.

2: PS3's HDMI Ground loop. You can google that for more information, but the jist is that the system has a lot of noise introduced when you use the HDMI connection for audio. Optical audio doesn't suffer from that, but optical doesn't give you the newest audio formats either so the HDMI ground loop is an issue if you want top quality sound.