There are now hundreds of blu-ray player models in the market from many manufacturers. With ever increasing mass market acceptance they have been getting cheaper and better at the same time. To help narrow your search, we have compiled a list of the latest blu-ray players that offer not only superior performance in video and audio playback in a home theater setting but also good value for your money. That’s why you will even find entry level players on this list because these players very often offer the best value in home theater today. Feel free to use this as a starting point in your search for the blu-ray player that caters best to your budget and needs.
May 2013 Update :
Oppo has followed up with the hugely successful blu-ray player BDP-93 with the new BDP-103. Debuting at top spot, the Oppo BDP-103 edges out its predecessor with new features while delivering the top notch performance and build quality. If you think all blu-ray players have almost the same picture quality you are in for a surprise as the Oppo delivers brighter, sharper, and has the best color and depth of any player we’ve seen, all that with smooth natural sound and excellent dynamic range.
Occupying second spot is Panasonic’s flagship Panasonic DMP-BDT500 with impressive video and audio performance that will satisfy even the most ardent videophile. The Panasonic DMP-BDT330, takes 3rd spot for its equally excellent picture and sound quality, flawless video-streaming, and ease-of-use.
1. Oppo BDP-103
The new Oppo BDP-103 is just like its predecessor: big, expensive, and excellent. It adds 2D-to-3D conversion, 4K upscaling, dual HDMI inputs, and a host of features to an already top-notch high-end blu-ray player that can handle any format you throw at it, including SACDs and DVD-Audio discs. Add the USB connectivity and the list gets longer, with support for DVD, audio CD, HDCD, Kodak Picture CD, AVCHD, MP4, DivX, MKV, FLAC, WAV and other audio/video/picture files on recorded discs. Also supported are Netflix Instant Streaming (now with 1080p and 5.1ch audio support), VUDU HD Movie Streaming and Pandora. It’s pricey at $499, but if you want a player that can do everything and really complement your home theater system, this is the one to beat, replacing the BDP-93 as our top choice for high-end blu-ray players.
List Price: $499.99
Panasonic has a lot of experience in producing Blu-ray players that gives more expensive hi-end players a run for their money. The Panasonic DMP-BDT500 continues that streak by combining good 2D and 3D video rendering with Adaptive Chroma Processing and audiophile sound quality. With four Burr-Brown 192kHz/32-bit DACs, you get soul satisfying music as well as an immersive movie experience in 7.1 glory. The DMP-BDT-500 features built-in Wi-Fi, expanded VIERA Connect functionality, Full HD 2D-3D playback, FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) compatibility and twin HDMI outputs, allowing one to be dedicated for audio output. The social networking TV app allows you to access social network sites while simultaneously watching TV. If listening to music is as important to you as top-notch blu-ray playback, this handsome machine should be top on your shopping list.
The latest Panasonic DMPBDT330 offer outstanding Full HD picture quality with cutting-edge image processing technology. The slim and stylish design comes well endowed with high performance and advanced features. It is a networked blu ray player that also allows you connect to a variety of network-connectable devices such as smartphones, tablets, PCs, and NAS (network attached storage), and also allow you to access cloud-based services for the enjoyment of various types of content such as movies, video clips, music, and photos. It upconverts input signal to high quality 4K video signal at 8,840,00 pixels for super clear resolution and rich textural expression.
List Price: $199.99
Accent your home theater with the unique design of the Sony BDP-S5100. Connect to the internet faster than ever with built-in super Wi-Fi and stream from over 100 services including Netflix, YouTube and Hulu Plus, plus the My Sports and Fitness app1. Take your next movie night to the next level by automatically converting any 2D movie into a 3D experience. Control and browse content from your phone or tablet with the built-in TV SideView feature3. Enjoy better picture quality with a fully-encased optical drive and I/P noise reduction. Wirelessly access music, videos and photos from your PC, tablet, and smartphone, and play them on your TV.
List Price: $139.99
With the Samsung BD-F7500 you can watch movies at the highest quality 4K, 3D and Blu-ray, or up-convert your favorite DVD to near Blu-ray quality. An innovative SmartHub makes it easy to browse movies, shows, the web, Apps and even get recommendations on what to watch. The menu is a simple affair where it is easy to explore the web with Wi-Fi and use AllShare to share content with your other smart devices.
Pricey Blu-ray players should at least look different from the entry-level models and the DMP-BBT01 goes way beyond that. To start things off, the Panasonic DMP-BBT01 is so compact that it is possible to hold this Blu-ray player with one hand. It is packed with tons of nifty features. It opens up with full support for all kinds of Blu-ray media. That includes the very latest 3D Blu-ray movies that you can only enjoy if the DMP-BBT01 is hooked up to an HDTV with 3D support. The Panasonic DMP-BBT01 is clearly not for consumers that are satisfied with a basic Blu-ray and online experience. But those that really want the best visuals and sound will enjoy the added hardware processing features.
The Sony BDP-S790 is treated to a classy brush metal finish and a clean front panel with soft-touch buttons that light up once the player is switched on. Built-in Wi-Fi is now standard for current players as is 3D playback and even social connectivity functions like Skype™ Video Chat. It also comes with dual HDMI outputs. Loading of discs is really fast with the Quick Start/Quick Load feature. Picture quality is gorgeous due to the use of the latest Dual Core Processor. 4K Upscaling capability ensures that it is future proofed when sufficient 4K media is available.
8. LG BP620
LG is taking their Blu-ray player designs to the thin and minimal route. The LG BP620 serves as the flagship model with more features and bells and whistles you’d need. The Wi-Fi equipped BP620 is capable of taking advantage of just about every aspect of a Blu-ray title from Bonus view features all the way to stunning 3D visuals. On the audio side, the BP620 is just as impressive with support for 7.1 channels of Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD and USB 2.0 playback. The disc load times have improved compared to last year’s BD670. For less than $150, the LG BP620 successfully keeps the price below the gaming consoles while offering plenty of nice features and a good Blu-ray experience.
One of the areas that Sony continues to innovate in products is the design. The BDP-S590 has that unique tapered design with a textured finish on top making this Blu-ray player more attractive than even the sleekest and thinnest media players. The BDP-S590 capable of handling just about any Blu-ray format. The built-in Wi-Fi capabilities is a nice addition for an entry level player. Loading times have improved over last year’s models, it streams Hulu and Netflix faster and it even updates firmware much faster. Minor shortcomings aside, the BDP-S590 is a compelling Blu-ray player for the $119 price tag.
10. Sony BDP-S390
While it is understandable to make entry-level models look and feel a bit cheap, the BDP-S390 surprisingly looks rather premium. It may not be the cheapest 2012 player in Sony’s offerings but it can be considered as Sony’s most affordable Blu-ray player with built-in Wi-Fi. As expected from a Sony Blu-ray player, the playback performance of Blu-ray discs is great. Setup is very easy and it works great connecting to both Netflix and Amazon Prime. The Quick Start and Quick Load features live up to their names as it takes only a few seconds to load a Blu-ray movie. Excellent value for money for a player below $100.