Five of the best Blu-ray players

About The Author

CNET Editor

Nic Healey can usually be found on a couch muttering about aspect ratios and 7.1 channel sound - which is helpful given that he's the home entertainment guy at CNET.

Blu-ray players have been on the market for quite a few years now, and we've seen the price of players plunge from around AU$3000 at launch to under AU$100 for some brands.

A Blu-ray player is now a fully net-connected device, with many offering IPTV features such as catch-up TV, video-on-demand services and more. Despite the slow-ish uptake of 3D technology in Australia, 3D play is also quite common. We're starting to see more and more 4K upscaling appear as a feature, as manufacturers bring additional Ultra HD (UHD) TVs to the market.

Features to look for in a Blu-ray player nowadays include a broad range of online video streaming built in, such as ABC iView, Plus7, SBS On Demand, YouTube and more. Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity is a "nice-to-have" feature for people who don't feel like stringing Ethernet cables around their home, and one or the other is essential if you want to get regular firmware upgrades. BD-Live is what you need to make the most of the player's internet connection in terms of interactive features on Blu-ray discs. Sound purists will want to ensure that there's on-board decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, in addition to the plain old DTS and Dolby Digital that players have to support.

As mentioned above, 3D playback can be nice, but unless you've been bitten by the 3D bug, we wouldn't recommend paying extra for it. DLNA support is important if you're intending to use the player for media streaming from your home network.

If money isn't too much of an option, then it's hard to go past either of the Oppo players, both of which offer great quality, albeit at a high price. For bargain hunters, the launch of the PS4 has dropped the price of the PS3 considerably, so you're getting a good Blu-ray players, as well as a gaming console with a massive back catalogue of games for a bargain cost.


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RickyN1 posted a comment   

That should be Cinavia protection of course.

 

RickyN1 posted a comment   

All these players are bad and for one reason.They all have Civea protection>I'll just stick to my Samsung and my very useless Sony which has the Civea protection.

A review of players that do not have this protection would be welcomed as I understand that in Japan it is legal to make 6 copies of a Blu ray movie for personal use so even though Civea was invented by Sony its the rest of the world that suffers while the Japanese get the last laugh.

 

Ellin.ada posted a comment   
Australia

I just want to say, I use imElfin blu-ray creator. Works like a charm.

 

CampbellS posted a comment   

"Lacks backward support for PS2 games, No infrared port means non-Bluetooth universal remotes aren't compatible, Online gaming, media and commerce options still aren't as fully developed as Xbox Live, though they're getting better"

With the PS4 roumered lets hope they have backwards compatibility with PS3 ganes. I wont be buying one that makes all my PS3 games Ive spent over a thousand on redundent.

 

booboosix40 posted a reply   
Australia

No backwards compatibility for the PS4 or the xbox one. Only a small percentage of people even try to play the previous gen games on the next gen systems. PS3 released with backwards compatibility but less then 5% of owners put a PS2 disk in their PS3. Trust me once you play next gen, going back will leave a bad taste in your mouth.

 

CampbellS posted a comment   

Blur ray what ever. I have digital movies all on my hard drive some of them 6GB in size. I cannot tell the difference between that and a normal bluray.
Besides Im not interested in having my living room cluttered in hundreds of plastic cases

 

oscarcat posted a reply   

Is your TV wired to accept hard drive or do you use WD TV live or similar?
Have you HD'd your audio CD's and if so how do you replay them?
I'm a newbie to this and using hard drives instead of plasticdiscs is appealing. Not too genned up on the playback tech needs though!

 

zi ggy posted a comment   
Australia

if your even a casual gamer, get the ps3. If you aren't gonna play games at all, buy a dedicated system

 

DevinC posted a comment   

ps3s wireless remote is the controller you have to push more buttons but still

 

Red posted a comment   

I already own a Sony 570 model and love it. But if anyone is interested... quite recently I also purchased the new entry level Sony 370 (replaces the 360) Blu ray player at a Melbourne Clive Peeters for $149
as a gift to a 'hi fi geek' friend . He loves its incredible performance. Yes, it was new , and in a factory sealed box! While at the same time, JB'S were asking $221 for it on their website. So shop around.


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