While we still think the Sony Playstation 3 offers one of the best Blu-ray players around (plus you get the added bonus of rad game playing) there are those who don't really care enough about gaming to spend the cash on one. So, are all Blu-ray players built the same. Digital Trends informs us that they aren't and there are a few specs you won't want to overlook when shopping.
In their comprehensive breakdown of what to look for in a Blu-ray player, Digital Trends makes some great points for stuff to look for before you commit to buy. Here are a few we found especially informative and helpful.
While all Blu-ray players hold the same basic guts, some improve digital performance through proprietary technology. While some are just gimmicks, some upgrades do make a difference. Read reviews to find out which are worth the extra cost and which are for cinephiles only.
In the past, there were two Blu-ray profiles -- 1.1 and 2.0. The former won't let you take advantage of extra features, such as additional content streamed via the web, that are available on Blu-ray 2.0 discs. While all new players are now 2.0 compatible, there are still 1.1 players on store shelves. Check out a player's specs to make sure it supports BD-Live before buying.
While Blu-ray players can play DVDs, CDs, and obviously Blu-ray discs, not all can play other formats such as DivX rips or stream media content from sites like Netflix or Hulu. If you want these added features in your player, make sure to check the model's spec sheet. Digital Trends reports that DivX, Roxio's CinemaNow, Pandora, and Netflix all list what players are compatible with their tech on their respective Web sites.
Lastly, Digital Trends warns us of one seldom talked about compatibility issues -- CEC, or Consumer Electronics Control.
This rarely-discussed standard allows the remote for one piece of equipment -- like your TV -- to control another piece of equipment -- like your Blu-ray player -- via the HDMI connection between them. Unfortunately, every manufacturer has its own name for the same technology (Samsung Anynet, Sony Bravia Sync, Panasonic Viera Link, etc.) and most of them aren't compatible with one another. Check your HDTV to see if it offers CEC and consider buying a Blu-ray player of the same brand if it does.
Check out Digital Trends' full tutorial on their site.