Sears Blu-ray Player Buying Guide

When Blu-ray players first became available, some technology experts predicted they would replace DVD players. While that hasn't happened, many consumers prefer Reproductores de Blu-ray over standard DVD players for their added flexibility and features. With the explosion in the popularity of high-quality HDTVs, Blu-ray are experiencing a resurgence. If you have a high-end TV and are looking for the highest image and sound quality possible when playing your favorite movies, consider a Blu-ray player. Here's what you need to know to select the right model.

The ability to play multiple disc formats

Blu-ray players are extremely flexible in terms of the types of discs they are able to play. In addition to playing Blu-ray discs, they can also play all standard DVDs and CDs. Some models are also able to play MP3 files that have been burned onto CDs. Some can even read media data off non-discs, such as thumb drives. If you like the ability to play all your disc-based content on a single device to minimize clutter and cable tangles, a Blu-ray player makes that possible.

High-quality digital results

As image quality has improved with the introduction of high definition television (HDTV) and other new TV technologies, players have struggled to keep up. This is one area where a Blu-ray player has a distinct edge over a traditional DVD player. The image quality is the best out there on the market today. A traditional DVD contains 350,000 pixels to convey an image, while a Blu-ray player uses more than 2 million. When combined with a high-definition TV, your home system can compete with the color and richness of projected film.

Video streaming, connections and Wi-Fi

Most Blu-ray devices have the ability to connect to the internet via a built-in Wi-Fi connection or a hard-wired Ethernet port. It's now possible to stream videos straight from the web to your TV. Many brands have applications built specifically for the most popular services, including YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and more. These players also can access online music services, photo sharing sites, and more. Some Blu-ray players have fully functional browsers that allow you to surf the web on your TV. Different manufacturers partner with services like Netflix or Hulu, so check to make sure your favorite services are available on a specific model.

Bonus view and BD-Live

Blu-ray players offer two additional features you may not have seen before. Bonus view is a function that allows you to explore scenes from different angles or have a director offering behind-the-scenes commentary on a specific movie. This feature is also called picture-in-picture and is a favorite of movie buffs. Some players also offer BD-Live, which allows you to stream related or interactive content directly from the web. Certain models have significant memory built in that's needed to enable this. Others that are labeled as BD-Live Ready may require you to purchase extra memory, which is inserted in the device via a USB drive.

3D functionality

3D TVs are starting to hit the market, bringing that "fly off the screen" feel of a 3D movie right into your living room. To get the most out of a 3D TV, you will need 3D glasses and a source player that provides 3D functionality. Blu-ray is the top format for 3D films at home, and most manufacturers have at least one player in their lines that plays 3D discs. Content has also been catching up with 3D choices: you can now build up a library of dozens of 3D movies. However, they are still a minority of the movie choices. The biggest question is whether you will want that functionality during the life of your player. If you think you will, invest now. Otherwise, you will have to replace the player earlier than necessary just to get that 3D functionality. Most 3D-enabled Blu-ray players are only slightly more expensive that standard models.  

HDMI connections

All Blu-ray players manufactured today come with at least one HDMI connection. HDMI connections are the cables that allow the device to transfer uncompressed audio and video to your TV. This connection type allows for the highest quality image transfer, and is also part of what ensures 3D compatibility. Some manufacturers will include an HDMI cable with the devices, but most will require you to purchase it separately. 

If you're considering replacing your aging DVD player or are in the market for a more powerful device, Sears' selection of Blu-ray players will help you find what you're looking for.

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