Blu-ray players (AKA Blu-ray disc players) are now an integral part of the home theater experience, and deservedly so. A Blu-ray player not only plays Blu-ray discs, but also play DVDs and CDs, and most can also stream content from the internet, as well as from local PCs and media servers. Also, the introduction of Ultra HD Blu-ray elevates the video and audio quality of home theater experience further. A Blu-ray Disc player is your gateway to the best that home theater can offer. Check out some of the best.
Top 1: Best Overall For Ultra HD Blu-ray: OPPO Digital UDP-203
Although 4K is making inroads in the internet streaming landscape, due to factors such as video compression and available broadband speeds definitely affects the quality of a streamed 4K signal. The solution, the Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc format.
Although the OPPO Digital UDP-203 is not first Ultra HD Blu-ray player to come to market, it has made its mark as possibly the best player to date.To start, the UDP-203 provides comprehensive disc playback, including Ultra HD Blu-ray, Standard 2D/3D Blu-ray, DVD, CD, SACD, and DVD-Audio.In terms of Ultra HD Blu-ray playback, out of the box, the UDP-203 is compatible with HDR10-encoded discs and is one of the few players that is Dolby Vision HDR upgradable via firmware update, which will be available once Dolby Vision-encoded discs become available. Also, for TVs that are not HDR compatible, the 203 has a setting that will strip out the HDR encoding on playback so that you can still access the 4K resolution portion of the disc information.
On the audio side, UDP-203 can perform both pass-through and decoding of most Dolby and DTS formats, and can also pass-through Dolby Atmos and DTS:X formats to a compatible home theater receiver for further decoding.The UDP-203 also provides extensive connectivity, including two HDMI outputs (one for video/audio and another for audio only), as well as both digital optical/coaxial, and 7.1 channel analog audio outputs for those that prefer using the 203’s internal audio processing.
Another unique feature is the inclusion of an HDMI input. What this means is that users can connect an external device that has an HDMI output (cable/satellite box, media streamer, etc…) and takes advantage of both the internal video and audio processing capabilities (including HDMI-to-analog audio conversion) of the 203.
There are even 3 USB ports provided that provide BD-live memory expansion, or access to compatible audio, video, and still image files from USB flash drives. Both Ethernet and built-in WiFi allow connection to the rest of your home network for access compatible content stored on PCs or media servers.
However, one important thing to point out is that although the UDP-203 is one of most comprehensive Ultra HD players available, it does not incorporate one feature most consumers are used to seeing in a Blu-ray or Ultra HD Blu-ray player – Internet Streaming.
In other words, you cannot use the UDP-203 to access internet streaming services, such as Netflix, Vudu, Pandora, etc… OPPO’s decision to not include this capability, was, instead, to emphasize the best audio and video quality possible. Since most TVs now provide access to abundant streaming content, and, with the HDMI input, you can connect a media streamer of your choice, OPPO felt that providing internet streaming capability on the UDP-203 would be redundant.
If you are looking for a high-end Ultra HD Blu-ray player that is also fully compatible with your current Blu-ray, DVD, and CD library, and don’t mind a slight inconvenience on the internet streaming end, then definitely consider the OPPO Digital UDP-203.
Top 2: Most Versatile UHD Blu-ray Player: Sony UBP-X800
Sony adds its name to the growing number of available 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc players, and it is in big demand. UBP-X800 has everything you would expect, and more, including playback compatibility with 4K UHD discs (including HDR), as well as 2D/3D Blu-ray, DVD, audio CDs and SACDs. Also, on added bonus is playback compatibility with Hi-Res audio files via USB, or network-connected PCs.
In addition to physical disc and hi-res audio playback, the UX800 is fully capable of streaming 4K content from internet, via ethernet or wifi, including Netflix.
For audio, the UBP-X800 is compatible with most surround sound formats, including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. You can also stream music from the UX800 to compatible wireless speakers via Sony’s SongPal App. No speaker system? Listen to your audio via compatible Bluetooth headphones or a portable speaker.
However, as much as the X800 offers, in terms of connectivity it must be pointed that only HDMI and Digital Coaxial outputs are provided. Although you can use this player with non-4K TVs (you just won’t get the benefit of its 4K capabilities), your TV must have an HDMI input to accept a video signal.
On the other hand, the X800 does provide two HDMI outputs, one of which dedicated to audio only output. This is very practical for those that own a 4K Ultra HD TV, but a home theater receiver that may not be compatible with 4K/HDR video signals.
Top 3: Best Ultra HD Blu-ray Player For Streaming: The Samsung UBD-M9500
If you are looking for an UHD Blu-ray that provides a comprehensive home theater content access experience, check out the Samsung UBD-M9500.
Featuring a stylish, thin profile curved design, this player will complement any home theater setup – and looks great below, or next, to a curved screen TV.
However, most importantly;the UBD-M9500 meets Ultra Blu-ray specifications, which means that it is compatible with Ultra HD Blu-ray discs.
In order to get the full benefit of native 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray playback, which includes HDR and Wide Color Gamut information encoded on Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, you need a compatible TV that has HDMI (ver 2.0a) inputs.
Also, in addition to Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, you can still play your current Blu-ray discs, DVDs and CDs as well, so your current collection is not obsolete.
However, there is more. The UBD-M9500 also features access to abundant internet streaming services (including 4K services), provides the ability to stream content direct from the player to compatible smartphones (yes, you can watch a UHD, Blu-ray, or DVD on your smartphone), and you can also stream content from your smartphone to the player, including 360 degree photos and videos.
In addition, if you don’t want to fire up the rest of your home theater audio system, you can listen to your content with most wireless Bluetooth headphones or speakers.
The UBD-M9500 also allows you to rip CDs to USB Flash Drives.
However, the UBD-M9500 does not include 3D Blu-ray Disc playback – so, take that into consideration if you have a 3D TV or video projector. If you desire 3D compatibility, consider Samsung’s 2016 UBD-K8500.
Top 4: Best For Small Spaces: Philips BDP7501 Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc Player
The Philips BDP7501 is a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player that is an extremely compact unit, measuring just 8.7 x 8.7 x 2.4 inches and only weighing 3.5 pounds. The BDP7501 has the ability to play Ultra HD Blu-ray discs (which includes enhancements such as HDR and Wide Color Gamut – but it can also play standard Blu-ray discs (both 2D and 3D), as well as DVDs and audio CDs – and, yes, 4K upscaling is provided for both Blu-ray discs and DVDs. Physical connectivity is limited, with 2 HDMI outputs provided (one audio/video, and the other audio only). There are no other audio outputs provided (either analog or digital).
On the other hand, a USB port for access to digital photo, video, music content via flash drives or other compatible USB storage devices is provided.
The BDP7501 also comes equipped with both Ethernet and Wifi for direct access to Netflix and YouTube (up to 4K) as well as the ability to access digital media files from compatible network-connected devices, such as PCs and media servers.
However, the BDP7501 does not provide access to other popular streaming services, such as Amazon Video, Hulu, Vudu, or Pandora. For access to more services, you need a recent model Smart TV or an external media streamer connected to your TV to access a decent number of internet streaming services.
The streaming offerings provided with the BDP7501 are definitely a weak point. However, if you what to upgrade to Ultra HD Blu-ray, this player is definitely an option to consider.
Top 5: Most Flexible Disc Format Playback – LG UP970 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
LG offers up its own Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc player. Starting off with attractive, space-saving, thin styling, the UP970 is fully compatible with HDR-encoded Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, as well as standard 2D (and 3D) Blu-ray discs, and CDs. However, its disc playing capabilities don’t end there, you also play discs recorded in the DVD-R/RW/+R/+RW formats as well as CD-Rs/RWs and even those rare DTS-CDs.
In additional to all that physical media, its USB port can also play compatible audio, video, and still image content stored on flash and external hard drives, and, using either Ethernet or WiFi connectivity, you can access your favorite internet streaming movie, video, and music content.
The UP970 also provides two HDMI outputs which can be configured so that only video outputs from one, and only audio outputs from the other – This comes in handy if your home theater receiver is not 4K or HDR compatible. However, if your receiver is compliant, you can configure the main HDMI output to send out both video and audio.
If you desire to upgrade to Ultra HD Blu-ray but still want versatile disc playback for other formats, as well as accessibility to internet streaming content, definitely consider the LG UP970.
Top 6: Best Blu-ray Disc Player For Gamers: Sony Playstation 4
The Sony Playstation 4 is not only a hot video game console, but it is a great media streamer and Blu-ray disc player. You not only get a game console that can be connected to your home theater or home network but also provides 1080p upscaled DVD and Blu-ray disc playback via HDMI outputs (you may have to install a firmware update to activate the Blu-ray and DVD playback features). The Playstation 4 will give you your money’s worth, even if you never play a video game. If you are a movie fan that has been put off buying a Blu-ray disc player due to cost or fear of obsolescence, check out the Playstation 4 option.
Source From: lifewire.com/best-blu-ray-players-1846400
When you at home, you can pull out the sleeve, handle the disc, and go through the various packaging included with your favorite BDs or DVDs as long as you own a proper DVD or Blu-ray player. But what if we want to watch Blu-ray, DVD videos on PCs or portable media players? A best way is to rip Blu ray/DVD disc to a more compatible format, so you can backup Blu-ray DVD on computer or enjoy it on other portable devices at your will.
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