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 just starting to see 4K upscaling appear as a feature, as manufacturers prepare to bring 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 our current pick is the Sony BDP-S790, which offers amazing picture and sound quality plus incredible IPTV features, albeit at an AU$429 price tag. We've listed four other players that are currently available, which we think are well worth considering.