If you're considering buying a Blu-ray player, the time is now! Players have never been cheaper, and prices are continuing to drop. There are a variety of inexpensive players available, and all major studios are now releasing movies on Blu-ray. You can now see all current new releases, plus older titles from their libraries, in all their 1080P goodness, and with uncompressed 5.1 surround sound that rivals the sound experience of your local cineplex.
What to look for in a Blu-ray player
If you're buying a Blu-ray player, you can expect to get more features and a better quality player by spending more money. Even with prices dropping, you can expect to spend about $300 for a decent quality player. Sure- you can find a Blu-ray player cheaper, but it will undoubtably be missing some key features. You get what you pay for, right?
Key Blu-ray player features
Here's a look at some of the features to look for in your Blu-ray player:
- Profile 2.0: This is the latest Blu-ray spec and includes picture-in-picture and online functionality called "BD Live" (via a built-in Internet connection).
- Hi-resolution audio: Your Blu-ray player should have the ability to decode the newest high resolution audio formats like DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD and pass them to your A/V receiver as uncompressed PCM signals via HDMI. OR your Blu-ray player should be able to bitstream the high resolution audio to your receiver for decoding.
- Quick disc load times: There is a world of difference between the fastest loading players and the slowest. Some, like the PS3 will power up and have an image on your screen in a matter of seconds. The slowest Blu-ray players will take minutes.
- 1080P/24: All Blu-ray players will output 1080P/24, so this shouldn't be an issue. However, your display will still need to accept this format in order for you to get the best picture. The '24' indicates 24 frames per second which means there is no 3:2 pulldown required. Without getting into the technicalities of it all, let's just say you'll get a better picture if both player and display support 1080P/24 (all else being equal).
Blu-ray discs like AC/DC: Live At Donington are great home theater demos!
Additional Blu-ray player information
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