- Best All-Around Blu-Ray Player
- Best High End Blu-ray Player
- Best Budget Blu-Ray Player
- Best 7.1 Analog Output Equipped Blu-ray Player
Best Blu-ray Players
As prices on Blu-ray players continue to drop, more and more consumers are making the switch from DVD to Blu-ray discs. Blu-ray players offer crisper image quality with full 1080p HD output as well as superior sound performance, making them the best way to enjoy high-definition movies in the home. But not all Blu-ray players offer the same level of performance or features, so it's important to consider many different factors when trying to determine the best Blu-ray player for your needs. If you're not yet sure exactly what you're looking for, take a look at our recommendations and buyer's guide below.
Best All-Around Blu-Ray Player:
The best Blu-ray players deliver an ideal home movie-watching experience with hi-def 1080p video output and support for the latest HD audio soundtracks such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.
These best all around blu-ray players were evaluated in part on their video performance, specifically clarity with a wide range of materials including test videos and fast-moving scenes. Higher-end Blu-ray players such as the Oppo BDP-103 feature name-brand video processors such as Marvell and Anchor Bay, which helps with motion clarity and DVD upconversion quality.
Although most Blu-ray players focus primarily on HDMI connectivity, these best picks boast excellent sound output like 7.1-channel analog audio catering to audiophiles. These best all around Blu-ray players are manufactured by industry leaders like Sony, Samsung, Panasonic and lastly have in-demand features like smart TV integration, providing streaming support for Netflix, Hulu Plus, and various other popular online sources.
The Oppo BDP-103 offers some of the top Blu-ray player performance available before getting into truly high-end prices. WiFi, upscaling and internet streaming capabilities bring the convenience of modern technology to an already excellent blu-ray device. Read Full Review
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As Sony's current top offering for Blu-ray players, it's a welcome surprise to learn the BDP-S6200 can be purchased for less than $200. Excellent performance and snappy load times are enhanced by a full suite of features, making this Blu-ray player feel worth much more than its actual cost. Read Full Review
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Despite being primarily a gaming console, the Playstation 4 offers excellent Blu-ray performance along with video gaming capabilities, WiFi, and more. If the combination of what are essentially multiple devices appeals to you, the high price will be worth the cost. Read Full Review
This versatile Blu-ray player offers excellent performance and features found on high-end models. If you want most of the technology currently available for blu-ray players (without the high price tag) the Panasonic DMP-BDT330 is a worthwhile option. Read Full Review
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Coming in at under $100, the Samsung BD5700 is downright affordable. Although some functionality sacrifices are made, the BD5700 offers WiFi, streaming, and snappy performance making it an excellent choice for those not wanting to invest too much into a dedicated Blu-ray player. Read Full Review
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Best High End Blu-ray Player:
While plenty of sub-$400 Blu-ray players offer a performance sure to satisfy most consumers, a handful of these media players are designed for audio and video enthusiasts who demand the very best.
These picks for best high end Blu-Ray player have enhancements like dual processors allow modern Blu-ray players faster load times and operational speed while internet streaming for sites like YouTube, Hulu, Pandora are becoming the standard; WiFi however remains elusive on both high and lower end Blu-ray players (However, hardwiring our best picks via the ethernet port or using a wireless adapter can remedy this.) Our picks also include features such as 4K upscaling and 2D-to-3D conversion along with excellent audio quality perfect for the dedicated audiophile.
If you’re willing to invest the money and have the necessary associated equipment like high end speakers and flat screen technology, these high-end Blu-ray players offers superior build quality and deliver the best possible audio and video performance while keeping the price well below $3000.
At about double the price of its sibling, the BDP-103, the BDP-105 provides absolute best in terms of audio performance. However, if top-notch video and audio qualities are a priority worth investing in for you, it's difficult to do better than this unit. Read Full Review
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Although the Oppo BDP-103 doesn't match up to the audio performance of the more expensive BDP-105, its performance overall is top-notch. If you don’t need the extra focus on audio quality, the BDP-103 is excellent for your household. Read Full Review
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Individuals with high-end setups will enjoy the performance-enhancing technology and features of the Denon DBT-3313UDCI. High quality performance and sound is assured but the high price tag won’t be justifiable for the average buyer. Read Full Review
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Pioneer has moved away from offering rebadged Sharp Blu-ray players and has resumed the old Elite naming scheme. The Elite BDP-52FD is positioned as a successor to the BDP-51FD, designed entirely by Pioneer. Much like the Oppo BDP-103, the Elite BDP-52FD is a universal disc player built around a robust chipset. Read Full Review
As a relatively affordable option for a high-end Blu-ray player, the Onkyo BD-SP809 delivers excellent performance. Players such as this usually won't be worth the investment for a non-enthusiast, but the focus on top-notch quality will please audio and videophiles alike. Read Full Review
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Best Budget Blu-Ray Player:
With the emergence of sub-$100 players from major manufacturers such as Sony, LG, and Samsung, Blu-ray is finally part of mainstream consumer electronics. Despite their low price tags, these best budget Blu-ray players we’ve selected feature excellent basic performance, networking features such as DLNA compatibility, support for popular media streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, and Pandora and a few even offering built-in WiFi connectivity (Like the Sony BDP-S3200.) Excellent video and audio quality, fast operational speeds, and value proportional to their cost make these fantastic options for the budget-minded consumer.
None of our picks include 3D in order to remain under the $100 price cap - if 3D is a necessity for you, you'll be able to find good options for under $200 on some of our other Blu-ray player lists.
Sony's BDP-S3200 offers the basic features expected from a consumer Blu-ray player while being affordable. At less than $100, the BDP-S3200 can't be expected to deliver the world but makes for a good budget-friendly entry to the world Blu-ray. Read Full Review
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While Samsung products tend to be quite pricey, the BD-F5700 manages to cost less than $100. Although this Blu-ray player is a simpler model than its more expensive peers, it offers solid basic performance and features such as built-in WiFi, and support for Netflix and YouTube. Read Full Review
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The Samsung BD-H5100 is a good way to pick up a basic Blu-ray player which doesn't take up a lot of physical space nor does it take a big chunk out of your wallet. Available for well under $100, this simple and compact Blu-ray player might be lacking in certain features, such as built-in WiFi, but it’s easy to use and delivers solid performance. Read Full Review
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Some reported Netflix connectivity problems keep the LG BP340 from being at the top of this list, because otherwise it includes some dynamite features such as built-in WiFi. However, potential streaming problems make this model a good consideration only if the use Netflix isn't a top priority for you. Read Full Review
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Best 7.1 Analog Output Equipped Blu-ray Player:
While Blu-ray players with 7.1 analog output are more expensive, they're the only option if you have an older AV receiver without HDMI inputs but still wish to take advantage of the latest high-definition audio soundtracks, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. Though you can still use optical or coaxial digital audio output to get surround sound, these connections do not support the lossless audio soundtracks. Blu-ray players equipped with 7.1 analog outputs are becoming increasingly difficult to find, especially among the non-ultra-high-end brands.
The following are our picks for the best 7.1 Analog Output Equipped Blu-ray Players with multichannel analog outputs evaluated on their exceptional audio/video performance thanks to superior design and quality internal components. We also assessed their value based on inclusion of features such as DLNA networking, emphasis on audiophile-grade sound quality and internet streaming for top entertainment sites like YouTube and Netflix streaming. Finally, we made sure that our selections are easily available at a variety of retailers while being priced fairly for the amount of performance and features they offer.
The BDP-105 delivers some of the best sound quality you can get from a Blu-ray player. A 32-bit 'SABRE' digital-to-analog converter allows the Oppo BDP-105 to really stand out, delivering top quality video and audio performance for around $1000. Read Full Review
The 7.1 analog outputs offered by the Oppo BDP-103 allow buyers to continue to use their older AV receivers and enjoy top-notch sound quality. Since the BDP-103 delivers excellent video quality along with a suite of convenient features, the high price tag is absolutely reasonable. Read Full Review
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Blu-Ray Player Buyer's Guide
Still not sure exactly which Blu-ray player is for you? Here are some of the most important criteria to consider:
When it comes to Blu-ray image quality, there typically isn't a major difference between the top Blu-ray players on the market. The quality of your HDTV will make a much bigger impact, so if you're planning to buy a new TV at the same time, we recommend taking a look at our Best LCD TV or Best Plasma TV recommendations. Ideally, you want an HDTV that offers 1080p resolution and that can properly handle 1080p/24 signals (the standard film frame rate and the format most Blu-ray discs are encoded in). The Oppo BDP-93 offers the best Blu-ray image quality on this list, but unless you're a videophile, you'll be hard pressed to notice the difference.
DVD performance, however, can vary quite significantly between players because there is more processing involved in the upconversion process. This becomes an important factor to consider if you already own a large library of DVD discs. While all the recommendations on this list offer very good DVD image quality, the Oppo BDP-93 is the clear leader in this category – but again, unless you're a videophile, you likely won't see much difference.
Audio Performance and Connectivity
Blu-ray players are able to offer far superior audio quality than DVD players because of their support for high-definition audio formats such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. These soundtracks are lossless, resulting in crystal clear sound. With most Blu-ray players, the high-resolution is passed through HDMI, so you'll need an AV receiver with HDMI inputs to take advantage. However, some higher-end Blu-ray players also offer multichannel analog outputs, allowing consumers with older AV receivers that lack HDMI to still enjoy high-definition audio.
Networking and Streaming Content
With the latest crop of Blu-ray players, built-in networking and support for online content streaming services have mostly become standard. If you won't be able to easily run a wire to an Ethernet connection, be sure to buy a Blu-ray player with built-in Wi-Fi so that you can stream content wirelessly. Additionally, consider the different content providers supported by each Blu-ray player. The most popular services are Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand, Roxio CinemaNow, Blockbuster, YouTube, Vudu, and Pandora.
It's also important to note that manufacturers often release firmware updates to fix issues and occasionally add new features. If your Blu-ray player can accept firmware updates via the Ethernet or wireless connection, it'll be much easier to keep updated.