questionswhat kind of blu-ray player should i get?

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a PS3 would make an excellent blu-ray player as well as give you access to lots of other great apps and provide storage for music and video as well.

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Like DVD, Blu-Ray is a purely digital medium, so how the movies look and sound depends much more on your TV, receiver, and speakers than on the player itself. As a result, you can get a perfectly decent brand-name player for $50 or so, and they regularly show up right here on Woot at or near that price point. Higher-end players do exist, but the difference is mostly in features like wireless network-connected apps and such which, while cool, don't have anything to do with playing Blu-rays.

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I was going to pitch the PS3 too (along with another half-dozen people by the looks of it heh..) but it looks like I got beaten to it :D
Blu-ray players have come down in price a lot and can be had for ~$60 for cheap ones.. but for not much more the PS3 can do infinitely more things and with a robust/simple interface is actually probably easier to use than most players.. And all of it's bonus-features are just as simple to use.

A few of the more popular things:
Blu-ray/DVDs/CDs
PS3 Games (and PSP/PS2/PSOne Games)
Netflix
Amazon Instant
Redbox streaming
YouTube
Streams videos/music/pictures from USB drives and PCs.

(+ quite a few more things)
And if you choose to "jailbreak"/hack it, it'll do just about anything. (Not sure if the newest model is 'hacked' yet or not)

Cowboom had the PS3 SuperSlim (the nicest/newest 250gb version) for $129 not long ago.

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Research brands/models when they go on sale -- preferably on Woot of course. :)

Reason I say that about research 1st is that some players have huge numbers of upset customers.

Other potential considerations are whether you want to be able to play video stored on a USB stick or external hard drive, & whether you're concerned about playing burned rather than just store bought discs.

If you use subs or listen to alternate audio tracks, note that some players [like my older Sony] have buttons for that on the remote. Some let you connect the player to a regular TV as well as a HDTV.

IMHO the drive mechanism is usually the lowest quality part of most any player, & depending on how much you use it, it can fail in a few years. Because of that I agree with starblind, & don't advise paying top dollar for the highest end player. Spend somewhere around $50 or less & you should be to get something reman with USB like I mentioned as well as the on-line stuff, e.g. Netflix.

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PS3 for sure.

And we got "Sharknado" for Christmas as well! We will be watching it on New Year's Eve (via our PS3).

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refurb player on woot tonight.

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Unfortunately for Woot!, I went with the PS3 option...that was a great suggestion everyone! I also do like to do the occasional gaming, so the PS3 made more sense than just a blu-ray.

One point to note: the PS3 Slims are NOT back compatible, but the regular ones are! Now you know and knowing is half the battle! G.I. JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOE!!!!!

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Does the PS3 have region codes? I'm starting a collection of foreign DVDs and would like to play them.

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@klynb: From my research, it seems like the PS3 doesn't have region codes, but some games and blu-rays do. From what I read, it seems like the majority of games and blu-rays AREN'T region coded. DVD's on the other hand, do seem to be heavily region coded.

I did this a LONG time ago, but a search on eBay or Amazon might be able to yield you a DVD player that can play multiple regions. I think about 7-8 years ago or so I found one for like $40.

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@supersox: Depending on the size of your hard drive, it might be nice to note that almost any USB connected hard drive will give you additional space to store music and video as well as saved and downloaded games. Just remember to format the drive and follow the PS3 file system.

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@supersox: How much did you spend? What are PS3s going for these days?
A $50 blu-ray player can include wifi and apps and so forth. A big thing to be aware of is the outputs the player offers. Cheaper players may only have 1 HDMI out which may work great for most people. Some, however, don't have HDMI ports on their TVs and/or would like a digital audio out for their surround sound. Just be aware of what the connections the player offers and if it's a good fit for the rest of you components.

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Save your money. In a few years they will go the way of vinyl.

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@bsmith1: Sorry for the late reply! I paid around $210 for my 160GB one. I could have gotten a slim one, but I wanted the back compatibility, so that I could resurrect my old PS2 games. The slim one I was looking at would have been about 120GB (I think) and only been $10 less. Since I knew going into this that I have an HDMI input (3 to be exact) on my TV, I wasn't too concerned with the PS3's number of outputs.

So far, a few weeks in, I am loving it. I use the Blu Ray to start my new tradition of watching "Sharknado" on New Year's Day, I've been watching my "Get Smart" DVDs aaaand loving it, I've been using the YouTube app to watch YouTube on my TV, and I am also looking forward to getting out my Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts 2 games and playing them through again!

All in all, I am pleased with the PS3 and am very thankful to the Wootizens for recommending it! Had you not done that, I would have never thought to use a gaming system as a Blu Ray player...and beyond! Thanks

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@kylelmccoy: I just bought a vinyl at a concert a few months ago lol

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I'm currently using Mac Blu-ray Player, just got my newest release and from what I see, it's qualified to support Blu-ray discs and files. At first people say it supports Blu-ray video on Mac so I bought it for this reason; looked like I did make the right decision haw haw~

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I was just in the same situation, just wanting a stand-alone Blu-Ray player instead of using the only Blu-Ray player I had, my laptop's. I bought a new Sony Smart Blu-Ray player for $59 on sale at Best Buy. As someone else said, even this inexpensive Blu-Ray player is GREAT when combined with a good TV, receiver and speakers. I connected it with Ethernet cable and have access to NetFlix and an amazing no. of others. For $59, I'm ecstatic! Anyway, this is just one option as evidenced by all these other excellent posts and suggestions.

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One last thing I forgot to mention in my previous post that "may" be of value. I have a large library of both DVD and Blu-Ray and, even though I bought my Sony BDPS1100 primarily for it's Blu-Ray capabilities, this unit "up-converts" my DVD's and the result is, in one word, amazing! I never realized the capability of this feature, and I don't know if this feature is available on the options mentioned by others (the others would have to comment) but it makes my DVD's like I'm watching them for the first time! After witnessing what the up-converting circuitry can do, I would gladly have spent the $59 just to enhance my DVD library, let alone get the excellent Blu-Ray output! Just a thought if you also have a lot of DVDs.