Want the very best picture and audio experience for your movies? It still comes from a disc. So for serious film lovers, a disc-spinner is a must. So if you've got yourself a shiny new HD or 4K TV, then it deserves an equally capable Blu-ray player for the ultimate quality - and you should try and avoid simply buying the cheapest Blu-ray player you can find. So we've rounded-up the best Blu-ray player deals on some of our favourite machines to help you get a piece of the action.
Vibrant colours, oodles of detail and a great sound? The model we've linked to here has a 1TB hard drive, too. See the PlayStation 4 Pro. Sony are one of the few companies who continue to regularly release new Blu-ray players. We do have misgivings, however. It would have been nice to see some more tweaks, but either way, this is an excellent player.
By the way, the Amazon listing we have linked here throws in two Blu-ray discs as a bonus to get you started.
What We Don't: You definitely miss out on some options. If you want to save some cash, and aren't interested in 4K viewing, you could easily go for the S So, what do you get with this option? Wireless access, p functionality, 2D-to-3D conversion tech, decent load times, and solid picture quality. However, there's a little bit of clumsy implementation of the PlayStation Now app. If you're interested in using that app, we suggest going for the PS4.
There are also a few issues with lag, particularly when inputting text. Regardless, these are minor inconveniences, and for those who want a simple and effective Blu-ray experience, we would recommend this player. What We Don't: There are better options for less-demanding users. Pioneer's Elite UDP-LX not only continues the tradition of naming Blu-ray players after dropped boxes of Scrabble tiles, but also occupies a particular niche. It's designed for those who demand the absolute best audio from their Blu-ray player, whether through listening to CDs, or through movie soundtracks.
The circuitry here is designed to generate as little noise and distortion as possible, resulting in crystal clear sound. But the problem is, most people simply don't demand this level of audio precision from Blu-ray players. Nor, arguably, should they. Even if they did, shelling out for a player that costs over a thousand dollars at the time of writing is absurd.
As good a player as this is, we can't justify putting it in the upper echelons of this list. For audiophiles, it's perfect. For the rest of us? Stick with the more affordable options up top. What We Don't: Limited streaming options.
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It does virtually the same things, at roughly the same price, with just enough difference in the picture to make it an alternative. We think that the colors the BDP offers aren't quite as bright as the UBK90's, despite the presence of HDR, but we did feel like there was a touch more definition and detail to the picture. Ultimately, these two players are perhaps two sides of the same coin.
One thing it doesn't have that the UP does is 3D capability - bear this in mind before you buy. Philips can't really compete with the functionality and build quality of brands like Sony and LG, but they've always done a pretty good job. We also like the design here, which has a bevelled front end and looks terrific. See the Philips BDP What We Don't: Has had hitches playing Blu-ray, isn't the easiest to operate.
The XBox One X is a superb console, with a huge range of games and great interface. It does well with Blu-rays, too. The picture quality is stellar, especially with 4K gaming. It has an unrivalled crispness, which easily matches Blu-ray players that are far more expensive. And as with the PlayStation 4 Pro, above, you can both watch movies and play games, as well as get full access to streaming services.
However, as good as it is, it's not the best console for Blu-ray. The PlayStation 4 Pro easily surpasses it, thanks to the its ease of playing 4K content. Not only is it more tricky for the XBox to play 4K, but you will need to download a separate app to play any Blu-ray discs at all. It's a needlessly complicated process, and as good as the XBox is as a console, we think the cheaper PlayStation 4 Pro is a better option.
- The best 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players you can buy right now | TechRadar.
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See the XBox One X. What We Don't: Definitely not for the average viewer. No idea what those are? No worries - we had to look them up ourselves. Custom Blu-ray installation is a bit beyond our scope, but this is the model the pros swear by.
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Of course, its specialization means it simply isn't the best option for most people. It offers incredible picture — not just for the price, but any price. This is easily one of the best players that Panasonic have produced yet. The downside? You have to be willing to put in the time. Getting the very best out of this player requires a little bit of technical know-how, and the patience and skill to navigate various options.
What We Don't: Way too pricey for what you get. Audio is an underrated part of the Blu-ray experience. It contains balanced audio outputs, which are a superior form of getting the soundtrack from the player to the playback device. It's brilliant for Blu-rays, but it's even better if you use the player for music.
The BD-A matches this feature with solid picture quality, too. Although there's upscaling, there isn't native 4K or HDR, which we really would expect for this price. The much cheaper LG UBK90 may not have the audio chops, but it is a better player overall, and for nearly half the price.
What We Don't: Lacks advanced features. The level of detail is superb, and we really felt the rich colors made it worth the asking price. However, just like it's bigger brother, the Yamaha BD-S lacks advanced features. There's no 4K - although you do get the ability to upscale - and there's no HDR playback. It's still worth the money for the picture alone, but it's not the best Blu-ray player here.
See the Yamaha BD-S Why the difference? Because of one simple reason: connectivity. This means that, while it's a great Blu-ray player with a good range of features, it's definitely not worth getting for the majority of people. If you're a Blu-ray fanatic, however, and do all your movie watching simply through physical media, then this is an excellent choice.
Considering that the only other difference between it and the more-expensive UBK90 is the Wi-Fi, and the presence of a few less digital outputs, this player actually offers fantastic value for money. It's definitely not the best or most forward-thinking player on this list, but for those who just want to watch a few discs, it's an excellent choice.
What We Don't: You'll need to sell a kidney to get one. At The Master Switch, we spend a lot of time looking at product specs.
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They aren't always easy to find, but we are usually pretty confident that, at the very least, we can tell you how much something costs. We can't do that here. We had to contact them to ask, and got back a price quoted in Swiss Francs. Put this in the category of "if you have to ask, you can't afford it. There's no question that this is one of the finest Blu-ray players on the planet, with incredible picture quality. That being said, we were surprised to find out that there's no Wi-Fi connectivity, meaning that the most expensive player on this list shares something with one the cheapest: the LG UBK80, above.
Then again, if you have the money to buy one of these, our guess is that you probably have a spare room just to house your Blu-ray collection. See the Goldmund Eidos 36U 4K. At the time of our latest update, new Blu-ray players on the horizon are scarce. Panasonic have some new models on the way, though they are more incremental updates to existing products. Plus, both of them will support Dolby Atmos surround sound, making them perfect for home theater junkies. No word on price yet, though Want Even More Master Switch?
While Blu-ray tech has advanced over the years, it doesn't improve at the lightning speed that other products do. Older models are still relevant, and it can often make sense to buy one if you don't need additional features found in more expensive options. That means we won't shy away from recommending models that aren't brand new. We've broken down the list into categories, with Blu-ray player choices awarded for best overall, best budget, and so on.
To get these picks, we look closely at not only value-for-money - because let's face it, some of these can be pretty expensive - but at feature sets, ease-of-use, and image quality. We think you'll agree that we've got some real winners here. Whether you're looking for the best budget player, or the best one for 4K, we've got something for you. Unlike a lot of old formats, DVDs are still around, and are still viable competitors to Blu-ray.
Both take the form of physical discs that you need to slot into the player to work. The main difference between the two is one of storage. What that translates to is the ability to not only deliver better picture and sound, but also to offer much smoother menus, higher resolutions, newfangled picture enhancements like 3D, and additional features.
Of course, the downsides are that Blu-ray discs are a little more expensive, and that it's been around for slightly less time, meaning that there are fewer titles available. Our take? Blu-ray all the way. It's just better, and more titles are becoming available each day. It's fastly becoming the standard.
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Besides, nearly every manufacturer includes the ability to play standard-definition DVDs in Blu-ray players - even upscaling them for better quality, which we'll get into below. It may also be worth investing in additional equipment to enhance your experience. Why not invest in a home theater system to kickstart your sound? Probably not nearly as much as you'd think. Image quality is obviously a factor. While a large portion of this is handled by the TV, it's still up to the Blu-ray player to translate the data on the disk into a workable picture. Pricier players will handle this more effectively than cheaper ones will.
Although, you can rely on all the players on our list to produce stellar quality - we wouldn't have featured them otherwise. You would think that details like ease-of-use, extra features, and 3D compatibility would only appear in the more expensive bracket. But you'd be wrong. High-end technology can often appear on entry-level systems. Sure, it can play 4K UHD discs — and it even supports Dolby Atmos audio — but the images that it produces aren't likely to blow you away.
That's probably because the Xbox One X doesn't have the same level of picture-upscaling that some of the other dedicated media players on this list have. Read the full review: Xbox One X. The Xbox One S might be primarily a video game console, but it's also a stellar and cheap 4K Blu-ray player. Not holding the title of a "proper Blu-ray player" doesn't stop the Xbox One S from being a great, cheap way to play 4K Blu-ray discs. Sporting a Blu-ray disc drive and the capacity to run Netflix in 4K Ultra HD, Microsoft's latest iteration of the Xbox is a great 'jack-of-all-trades' machine that's capable of satisfying your UHD disc needs as well as playing the latest console game released for the system.
The downside of it being able to do everything is that you'll be working with an interface designed primarily for gaming. The controller that comes with the console isn't the most efficient way to control movie playback, and the machine lacks support for Dolby Vision.
At a glance
Regardless, if you want a machine that can handle both your gaming and your home cinema needs, the Xbox One S is the console for the job. Read the full review: Xbox One S. The K is currently the cheapest route into 4K Blu-ray. It's also a useful hub for 4K OTT services from Netflix and Amazon, and while the design is a bit Marmite, you'll be consistently impressed by its loading speed and colourful UI. You can get better image quality, support for more formats and better build quality by spending more money, but if you want a cheap machine that covers the basics, then the Samsung UBD-K is yet to be beaten on price.
Best 4K Blu-ray player. Offering superb video and audio, this high-end Sony is a star performer. See more Home cinema news.