Help! Which Blu-ray Player Should I Buy?

Help! Which Blu-ray Player Should I Buy?

Eric Chen
Oct 13, 2011

Q: I disconnected my cable and I'm going to rely on Netflix, Hulu and my Blu-ray collection since I have no time for TV. I use my laptop to view Blu-rays but I'd like to buy a separate Blu-ray player. I'd like to know what Blu-ray players are good in the market today, with features like being able to access a Netflix account and maybe wireless (or wired depending on the pros and cons)?

With the rise of streaming solutions, physical media seems to be on its way out. But there are a great many of us, who may or may not be cinefiles, who still holds a massive collection of Blu-ray or even DVDs. And Blu-ray still holds the crown for the best picture and sound quality available to consumers. If you haven't peruse the Blu-ray player section at you local electronic store lately, you may be surprised to find more than a few that will play your collection as well as connect different video streaming sources, such as Netflix and Amazon. You will find a good mix of all these features in our suggestions, and all models are Wifi compatible.

Our favorite Blu-ray player: Sony PlayStation 3. This also happens to be our favorite gaming rig. The PS3 from Sony won't only play your Blu-ray discs and stream videos from a variety of sources such as Netflix, and Hulu Plus, it also has the added benefit of playing video games! If you're not a gamer, no worries, you stand to benefit from the large user base, which means continually supported operating system with consistent updates. You can also purchase or rent video from the built-in Playstation store. 120GB of onboard storage also means that you'll be able to store your music as well as those digital copies of videos right on the PS3. However, if you use Amazon's Instant Video service, you won't be able to stream videos with the PS3. In our opinion, this is definitely the best value for your money if you want to play games.

If you don't need the gaming function a good alternative is Sony's BDP-S580. We like the most variety of streaming available on this device, which not only includes the standard Netlflix and Hulu but also Crackle and YouTube. It is also compatible with a number of music streaming services such as Pandora and even NPR. If performance is your main concern, we also like the Panasonic DMP-BDT210 for its fast disc load time. Although it does lack in the selection of streaming sources when compared to the Sony model.

(Images: pitzyper licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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