- Audio & Video
Top 10 Best Blu-ray DVD Players with WiFi Reviews
Bluray DVD Players
When the high-definition optical disc war broke out between Blu-ray and HD DVD in 2000-2002, experts were torn between which standard would win the right to supersede the DVD. It was like 1970s again, when VHS and Betamax battled to see who would reign supreme in the videotape format war. The war between Blu-ray and HD DVD got to the point where next generation game consoles PS3 and Xbox 360 took sides and were both released with an in-built Blu-ray and HD DVD playing compatibility respectively. In early 2008, however, after movie and production studios started producing releases purely in the Blu-ray format, HD DVD conceded defeat, owners who invested in a HD DVD player realized they are left with a white elephant in their home entertainment systems.
Since the fall of HD DVD and the start of mass production of Blu-ray players, we have seen a huge fall in the price of Blu-ray disc players. With major companies now mass producing Blu-ray players since there are no more competition in the high-definition standard format, consumers are spoiled for choice on the wide range of Blu-ray players available in the market. We take a look at the current Blu-ray disc players, with the current Blu-ray 2.0 profile in the market and help you pick out the Top Ten:
Sony Playstation 3
Even though plenty of standalone Blu-ray players have tried to dethrone the Sony Playstation 3, none has yet to come quite close to it. The Playstation 3 is more than just a Blu-ray disc player; it is the complete home entertainment system by itself at an affordable price. Compared against standalone players, Sony PS3 loads much faster than most other Blu-ray players and plays a better image quality when compared. If you are going to spend USD$400 on a standalone player, get the Playstation 3 instead. The New PS3 Slim, released recently, is fast becoming a favorite must have.
Sharp Aquos BD-HP21U
Although Sharp Aquos BD-HP21U is the older model in Sharp’s range of Aquos Blu-ray players, the HP21U is definitely Sharp’s best offering in standalone Blu-ray players. With its small size and a price that is quickly getting lower due to its release of newer but not-as-good models, the HP21U offers sharp (pun intended) images when playing Blu-ray movies and offers great quality at an inexpensive price.
Memorex MVBD-2510 is the no-frills and the cheapest Blu-ray player in the market today. Its sub hundred dollar price tag will definitely appeal to those looking for an inexpensive player to play their newly acquired Blu-ray movies. While the MVBD-2510 may be the cheapest kid on the block, its movie playback quality can be described as beyond acceptable and as good as a player substantially more expensive than it is. It does come with drawbacks though; the MVBD-2510 has a confusing remote and it does not convert DVDs well onto HDTVs or LCD TVs.
Marketed as the house brand at Best Buy outlets across the US, the Insignia NS-2BRDVD may be inexpensive with prices now ranging between USD$150-USD$190, but it packs a mean punch. While its design may appear dated and does not look appealing when stacked up against the likes of Sony or Samsung, its brilliance comes in the form of the hardware inside. Its Blu-ray images are of fantastic quality and its speed is comparable to that of Sony. However, the 2BRDVD does not convert standard DVDs well and consumers expecting DVDs to look great on their new HDTVs will be quite disappointed.
The Sony BDP-S350 offers one of the quickest, if not the quickest loading time for Blu-ray players currently in the market. It loads only a few seconds longer than that of traditional DVD players and with some Blu-ray players known to take up to a minute to load Blu-ray movies, the S350 will definitely bring a pleasant surprise. It offers Blu-ray 2.0 profile support and with prices for the S350 going as low as USD$200, it definitely makes the Top Ten list, easily.
Panasonic DMP-BD55K - the newest offering from Panasonic will set you back a good USD$400 but will reward its buyers with probably and arguably the best standalone Blu-ray player money can get you in the market today. It plays an arsenal of videos that of different formats and looks gorgeous when it plays a Blu-ray movie. The BD55K can also be hooked up to the internet fairly easily and with its speedy load times, Panasonic has definitely set the benchmark with the BD55K.
Having just reviewed its pricier brother, the P4600 above, the under-rated sister Samsung BD-P3600 is definitely the perfect buy for those looking for a Blu-ray player that is top-notch yet does not look like something that came out of an alien spaceship. With brilliant image quality on Blu-ray movies, and Blu-ray 2.0 profile compatible with Wifi support, P3600 offers a chockfull of features at a good price. However, consumers will be disappointed with its boring looking design and controls that are annoyingly located at the top of the player.
With its superb looks and design, the Samsung BD-P4600 looks set to win the design award for standalone player of the year. It offers wall mounting support so for those houses with avant-garde design where everything seems to be hung up on a wall, you can now have a Blu-ray player mounted on a wall as well. The P4600 is truly a work of art and looks more like a decorative piece than a Blu-ray player. Looks can be deceiving though as it plays superb quality Blu-ray playback and comes with Wifi capabilities. The P4600 is priced at USD$400, coming in more expensive than the Playstation 3, consumers would be better off getting something a tad less pricey.
With built-in Wifi capabilities, the LG BD390 is more than just a standalone Blu-ray disc player. It offers online streaming from multiple sites including the all-popular YouTube and with a 1GB onboard memory, it promises storage of your favorite pictures right into the player. BD390 also offers lightning fast loading times and a superior image quality. It’s only drawback? It costs as much as the all-superior gaming system, Playstation 3.
At first glance, the new Samsung BD-P1600 looks like an excellent buy, it is Blu-ray 2.0 compliant and its design looks sleek and futuristic, with its simple and great looking interface. When compared against competition, the BD-P1600 played superior looking Blu-ray image quality as well and on top of that, US consumers would enjoy the streaming capabilities it has tied down with movie rental services Netflix and Pandora. The features end there though because the design is jaded with flaws. Upon closer inspection, the BD-P1600 comes with a flip-down panel that comes up and down automatically upon disc eject and we all know what happens to flip-down items after a few years. Yes, they break down and manual flip-down is simply not cool.
With competition in the Blu-ray player market heating up quickly, consumers will definitely have to do research to find out which player suits them the most. Spend too little and you could end up with a player that loads too slowly and offers mediocre playback image quality. Spend too much and you will end up with features that you will not even use. The best way to get the player of your choice would be to decide how important loading speed and image quality is to you and spend within your budget. Just don’t go off and get that lonely HD-DVD player off the shelves just because it’s at a knockoff price!