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Buying a Blu-ray Player

When it comes to finishing off a great home entertainment system, a Blu-ray player will bring everything together. Making the leap from your DVD player to a top-of-the-line Blu-ray Disc player will utilize your high-definition (HD) television's remarkable picture quality to its fullest. You can find models capable of playing 3-D Blu-ray Discs or ones with built-in Wi-Fi and streaming apps. Understanding what the different models of Blu-ray players have to offer you will help you decide which is best for your home.

Why buy a Blu-ray player?

High-definition Blu-ray movies will look far better on your HD television than on a standard DVD player.

Fewer films may come out on DVD in the future as consumers make the switch to Blu-ray.

With built-in Wi-Fi and streaming services, your Blu-ray device can give you access to your favorite streaming sites along with playing movies on the highest quality format.

Features of Blu-ray players

Standard features

  • All Blu-ray players are backwards compatible and will be able to play your standard DVDs
  • They connect to your TV set with an HDMI cable
  • Their slim design and small shape allow them to be placed anywhere in your media center

Specialty features

  • Built in Wi-Fi can give you access to a myriad of television shows and movies through your choice of streaming services
  • Certain models come with streaming apps built-in which you can access them with the press of a button on your remote
  • Variable audio experiences can allow you to play your Blu-ray's audio through devices like your smartphone in order to keep from disturbing others around your house
  • 3-D Blu-ray players, when paired with a 3-D TV, will give you the best 3-D movie viewing experience possible outside of the theater.

Types of Blu-ray players

Smart Blu-ray player

With built-in wireless capability, you'll have access to all your favorite content through streaming apps.

  • Price range: $60-$120
  • Internet connectivity: Built-in wireless
  • 3-D Availability: No
  • Streaming apps: Yes               

Smart Blu-ray players are best for...

People without a streaming device: If you don't have a streaming device but enjoy watching movies and TV online, then this is going to be the model for you. They let you view all your streaming apps on your TV with one device.

Those who throw a lot of parties: With Internet access, you can connect to music streaming apps, turning your TV into a jukebox when your party starts.

3-D Blu-ray player

If you want to get an immersive 3-D experience with the clearest picture, this is the way to go.

  • Price range: $80-$200
  • Internet Connectivity: Built-in wireless
  • Streaming Apps: Yes
  • 3-D Availability: Yes

3-D Blu-ray players are best for...

Advanced Internet options: Often, these 3-D players will have more advanced Internet surfing capabilities, so you have access to some basic online functions just from your Blu-ray player.

People with 3-D TVs: If you have a 3-D TV then you're going to want a Blu-ray player that can take full advantage of your television's capabilities.


Bottom Line

If you are looking for something to play your movies in high definition and access your favorite streaming services, pick up a smart Blu-ray player. For those of you with 3-D TVs, you'll want to make sure you have a 3-D Blu-ray player so you can enjoy the full capabilities of your TV.