Which Blu-ray player is best?
Despite the various streaming services available, Blu-ray discs are a staple for people who want the best audio and video quality possible. It’s perfect for watching dynamic, high-resolution movies and shows. However, choosing the best Blu-ray player can be tricky, especially if you don’t know what to look for. Whether you want something basic or something premium with support for high-resolution videos, there’s an option out there for you.
This Panasonic 4K Streaming Blu-ray Player With Voice Controls is as good as it gets. It has extra helpful features, including 4K resolutions and voice commands.
What to know before you buy a Blu-ray player
Blu-ray vs. 4K video
If you’re looking for a Blu-ray player, many people choose to buy a player with 4K video because it has higher resolution playback. However, you must own a 4K TV for it to display correctly. It’s also worth noting that 4K streaming and 4K Blu-ray are different than regular Blu-ray. Not every Blu-ray player supports 4K Blu-ray discs. Additionally, 4K streaming is commonly offered on services like Hulu and Netflix.
Many Blu-ray players also include support for high-resolution video formats (HDR), such as Dolby Vision. Dolby Vision is one of many examples of video-enhancing tools that come with a high-dynamic range. While Dolby Vision support isn’t featured on every device, most new TVs, Blu-ray players and other media devices include some form of HDR.
Many people prefer to watch their Blu-rays with high-resolution audio to get the most out of their experience. Many Blu-ray players support high-resolution audio formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, making them perfect for surround sound systems. You’ll also need to make sure that your Blu-ray player features the necessary audio outputs for your speakers, even if it only requires an HDMI audio port.
What to look for in a quality Blu-ray player
Depending on your preferences, many users prefer 4K Blu-ray players to get the highest-quality experience possible for their favorite movies and shows. However, it’s worth noting you need a 4K TV to enjoy this kind of Blu-ray player. This extra expense may not be in your budget. In addition, most high-end media players now have software to help enhance lower-resolution videos, sometimes bringing low-quality videos up to 1080p.
As with any media device, it’s important to buy a Blu-ray player that features the correct video outputs for your TV or projector. If you hope to use your player with multiple different screens or devices, you’ll want to purchase a Blu-ray player featuring multiple HDMI outputs.
You’ll also want to make sure your Blu-ray connects to the internet easily. Many players have an ethernet port for wired internet connections, and many higher-quality versions also include Wi-Fi connectivity. If you want minimal cables in and around your TV, you may want to purchase a player with Wi-Fi support.
You can buy some Blu-ray players in bundle packs that include other accessories such as remote controls and HDMI cables. These accessories are important if you are starting out with a brand new setup.
Some premium Blu-ray players have voice control support through Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant or other voice assistants. Choosing a model that features voice commands can make navigation simple and easy to use.
How much you can expect to spend on a Blu-ray player
Cheap Blu-ray players can cost as little as $80, while midrange models cost between $100-$200. Other players with features like 4K video, Wi-Fi and voice commands may cost $200-$500.
Blu-ray player FAQ
Can gaming consoles play Blu-ray discs?
A. Yes, as long as they include a disc drive. Newer consoles from Sony, Microsoft, Playstation and Xbox all include Blu-ray support. However, the Nintendo Switch doesn’t include a disc drive, so Blu-ray discs can’t be played on the console.
Do Blu-ray players have Bluetooth?
A. Some do; however, this is relatively uncommon. If you’re hoping to connect your Blu-ray player to a Bluetooth device, make sure to double-check the product description.
What’s the best Blu-ray player to buy?
Top Blu-ray player
What you need to know: This Blu-ray player supports voice controls with Alexa and Google Assistant and features 4K video streaming.
What you’ll love: This powerful Blu-ray player can connect to streaming services via Wi-Fi or an ethernet cable. It also supports Dolby Vision and high-resolution audio formats. It also has upscaling technology for optimal color, textures and detail.
What you should consider: This media player doesn’t let users download unsupported streaming apps.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top Blu-ray player for the money
What you need to know: This media player can play Blu-ray, 4K and other high-resolution media formats. The bundle comes with an HDMI cable, too.
What you’ll love: This Blu-ray player can connect to the internet using either Wi-Fi or an ethernet cable. It also includes support for Dolby Vision and easily connects to Hulu, Netflix and other apps for 4K streaming.
What you should consider: This model doesn’t include voice controls, and some buyers had issues with certain streaming services.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This Blu-ray player is an excellent deal, offering video playback in resolutions up to 4K.
What you’ll love: This media player connects to the internet using an ethernet cable, and it features 4K streaming on Netflix, YouTube and other services. It includes a handy USB port and supports Dolby Vision and other video-enhancing features.
What you should consider: This model can’t connect to the internet via Wi-Fi.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Peter McGuthrie writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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