Stunning 1080p image quality and full, robust sound make Blu-ray discs the media choice of cine-maniacs and videophiles everywhere. Just like its ancestors, VHS tapes, BetaMax, Laser Discs, and DVDs, the Blu-ray disc requires its own dedicated player. Like any other electronic, there is a list of options and features to consider when purchasing this forefront technology. This buying guide will help you decide what you want and need.
For help selecting the perfect Blu-ray player, contact one of our Blu-ray specialists at 888.228.5800.
Why Do I Need a Blu-ray Player
It seems like forever ago that DVDs replaced VHS tapes and in more recent years we’ve been introduced to Blu-ray DVDs. To begin with why it is a good idea to invest in a blu-ray player, let’s discuss the most popular misconception that surrounds it. A Blu-ray player will play any old DVDs or CDs, in addition to playing Blu-ray discs. Majority of the time a Blu-ray player will provide better picture quality for those older DVDs, when compared to your basic DVD player. But with Blu-ray technology, these discs are able to offer over 6 times the resolution of regular DVDs, which in turn means you can take full advantage of your HDTV. Nowadays, most Blu-ray players also come with built-in internet apps such as Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, etc. Bottom-line, Blu-ray discs look and sound better than standard DVDs.
Things to Keep in Mind...
Would you like to enjoy online-streaming content?
Some Blu-ray players feature built-in Wi-Fi for wirelessly streaming your favorite content from providers like YouTube™, Hulu™, Netflix™, and more. A great feature for those who enjoy the vast content available online and the ease of a streaming service.
For players that don't have built-in Wi-Fi, but are internet-ready, a wireless adapter can be purchased and some players even feature a hardwired Ethernet connection.
*Note: Online connectivity also gives users BD-Live content. These are extra features like bonus scenes, bonus views (picture-in-picture), internet chats, director commentary, games, featurettes, quizzes, trailers, which are only available online.
Are you a gamer?
If you answered yes to this question then you may want to consider purchasing a Sony Playstation
or a Microsoft Xbox
. These options combine a Blu-ray player and streaming content, with a high definition gaming console.
What about 3D content?
More and more content is being released in fantastic 3D format. It's important to recognize that not only do you need a 3D capable Blu-ray player and a 3D movie, but a 3D ready television and special 3D glasses as well. If you're interested in watching TV and movies in 3D, consider a standalone 3D-capable Blu-ray player as well as extra 3D shutter glasses so you can the family don't fight over who can enjoy their movie in 3D!
Features like 2D-3D conversion sound enticing but in reality are never really worth considering. If your favorite player has it-great. If not, don't sweat it, a true 3D capable player will significantly outperform the conversion models. Dual HDMI outputs are nice, but not necessary, unless you plan on connecting your Blu-ray player to a projector.
What cables do I need?
Don't let naysayers fool you-not all HDMI cables are created equal. Higher quality connectors and cable insulation will not only defend against electronic interference, but will deliver better picture and sound. When it comes to cables, speed is key. The more information able to pass through a cable at one time the more received by the display, resulting in superior audio and video.
*Note: Online users may also require an Ethernet cable or an adapter for access a Wi-Fi network.