The benefits of Blu-ray are crystal clear: Video from traditional DVDs contains fewer than 350,000 pixels, while 1080p HD video packs more than two million, which translates to sublime, high-resolution detail. If you want to make the most of your 1080p HDTV, you should upgrade to a Blu-ray player.
And there's never been a better time to do it. The technology has matured, and the current crop of Blu-ray players offer stellar HD picture quality, fast disc-handling, and extras like integrated Wi-Fi, audio and video streaming, and in the case of Sony's Internet TV Blu-ray Player, Google TV, which brings Web search and other Internet features right to your HDTV.
These days you can find a very solid, well-rounded player for less than $200 if you do some smart online shopping. Still, there are a lot of choices out there. Here's what you need to consider when choosing the right Blu-ray player:
Looking for a portable Blu-ray player on the cheap? The Deal of the Day offers the Samsung BD-C8000 10.3-inch Blu-ray player for just $259, a savings of $240 off the retail price, knocking 48% off the cost of this thing. It packs in 1GB of RAM and has built-in Wi-Fi for those BD 2.0 features as well, and you even get free shipping. Definitely one to consider if you're a movie buff on the go:
Don’t forget, if you’re looking for other deals, be sure to check out our Newegg Promo Code thread.
If you were wondering how Toshiba‘s mid-range Blu-ray player fared when compared to everything else out there, the guys over at TweakTown have put together a nice review of the device.
Toshiba was once a major player in the two-year long “High Definition Wars”, pitting the HD-DVD format against Blu-ray disc. With fans in each camp, the ultimate fate of HD DVD came about when manufacturers began dropping support for that format and switched over to releasing movies on Blu-ray alone, thus cutting HD-DVD off at the knees. Though the format still lives on today in used movie stores all across the country, Toshiba eventually dropped all support for their competing format and began releasing Blu-ray disc players of its own.
The BDX2700 is a replacement to Toshiba’s first generation Blu-ray player; the BDX2000 (released almost a year ago) and is the current top of the line player (the BDX2500 is a cheaper version which lacks built-in wireless connectivity). The BDX2700 is a “basic” Blu-ray player, which is perfect for those who are upgrading from the straightforward DVD disc players and are confused by the myriad of connectivity options and “apps” that are required for so many consumer electronics these days. Video connections are the typical HDMI, component and composite, while the audio side of things drops the coaxial connection in favor of full analog connectivity (in the event that your sound system doesn’t decode the Blu-ray lossless audio codecs).
Click on over to the site for the full scoop.
Read More | TweakTown
Amazon is currently selling a Slyvania Blu-ray player for $59.99, which has got to be the absolute cheapest price we have ever seen for a standalone Blu-ray player to date. It’s compatible with all the expected surround sound formats, and can play back just about any kind of disc you can think of. It supports Bonus View Profile 1.1, so while it isn’t a 2.0 player, we think it is safe to say that not many people use those 2.0 features. For $60, this is a steal.
Read More | $60 Sylvania Blu-ray player
My friend Tyler Pruitt from over at Format War Central got his hands on one of the new VIZIO VBR100 Blu-ray players from Wal-mart - you know, the Profile 2.0 player that sells for just $178? Check out an unboxing of the device above, along with some thoughts on the pros and cons of this player.
Sharp is aiming to help eliminate at least one set-top box from your rack with their BD-series Aquos LCD HDTVs, which come with a Blu-ray player packed in to the television unit, announced today at CES 2009. If interested, you can pick one up later this month in 32-, 37-, or 42-inch flavors, or if you need something larger, next month the 46- and 52-inch models drop. These also bost the Superlucent ASV panel technology which means less glare in the end, and a brighter picture. It also does 24p through HDMI, in case you have an old HD DVD player you have lying around that you want to use (since the included Blu-ray technology doesn’t use up an HDMI port.) QAM and ATSC tuners along with RS-232C inputs round this one out. Full release after the break.
So, you know how VIZIO was working on switching from being a discount player to wanting to be seen more as a high end manufacturer? Well, looks like they are looking to merge those two together with their VBR100 Blu-ray deck, which they announced today at CES 2009. Here’s a look at the features of this 2-inch thick Blu-ray player:
- Video outputs: HDMI (1.3), component, and composite
- Audio outputs: 7.1 channel analog audio, coax and optical digital audio, and analog stereo (RCA)
- Dimensions: 17 X 11 X 2”
- Includes Remote Control (Oh rly??)
In addition, when watching a standard DVD, you can set the player to upconvert to 720p, 1080i, or 1080p, and it has on-board Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA decoders, and that can be output from the unit’s 7.1 analog outputs. You can pick this one up in April for $199.99.
Now that Sony has felt the smell of victory, this summer they will be releasing Blu-ray disc players with new features. The BDP-S350 features an ethernet connection for broadband which will be accessible with the software upgrade BD-Live. That will allow download bonuses such as trailers and games The player should carry a MSRP of ~$400.00. The BDP-S550 will already be BD-Live capable for about $100.00 more. Both will feature PIP Bonus View for cast and crew commentary. Note how it is encased in a “we won” color.
Read More | ABC News
Sony showed up in force for CES 2008 with a bevy of Blu-ray players in tow. Check the video above for a good run down of the Blu-ray technology. Some of the new interactive features are sure to impress, although many of the features have been available within HD DVD for some time.
Take note of the awkward cut that occurs when we ask them about the whole format war thing and the fact that studios are jumping over to Blu-ray left and right. That is when they stopped and told us they didn’t want to talk about that subject. We pushed the issue a bit, but they wouldn’t budge, so we just cut that portion out. Not sure what the big deal was though, I mean, it seems victory may be at hand for the Blu-ray side of things.