You can get a lot of Blu-ray player for under $100 these days, including built-in Wi-Fi and a full suite of streaming media services to supplement your disc playing needs. If you're looking for a player that offers a reasonable selection of apps and does a good job with most discs, the LG BP530 is a decent choice. While neither the best performer nor the fastest player available this year, it also doesn't have any deal-breaking flaws. Sure, the interface is unnecessarily cluttered, there's a minor issue with some film content, and the "Private Listening" … Read more
Even in an age when media is increasingly streamed to mini boxes like Roku and Apple TV, a disc player is still a must-have for those who already own a cache of discs. Thankfully, all Blu-ray players double as streaming-media boxes, too, so you can have your cake and eat it too.
To that end, the Samsung BD-F5900 is an affordable machine ($120) that offers almost everything you need in a disc player and a "smart" set-top box, with overall performance being a standout. This is the quickest player CNET has seen up until this point with the … Read more
It's hard to breathe new life into the stale Blu-ray category at CES 2013, but Samsung is giving it its best shot with the BD-F7500.
The Samsung BD-F7500 is the newly announced flagship Blu-ray player, including the company's new "S-Recommendation" feature, which suggests content based on what you watch. The BD-F7500's step-up features are rounded out by its 7.1 analog outputs and its ability to upscale content to 4K resolution.
Like most Samsung Blu-ray players these days, it has built-in Wi-Fi and access to Samsung's Smart Hub suite of streaming-media services. More importantly, … Read more
LAS VEGAS--There hasn't been much news at CES 2012 in the standalone Blu-ray player space, but Samsung's flagship BD-E6500 has a couple of legitimately new features.
The BD-E6500 has two HDMI inputs on the back, so you can switch between two devices. That could be an attractive feature for those who've run out of inputs on their HDTV (and don't have an HDMI-switching AV receiver), although I could see it causing problems for Harmony remotes not used to treating Blu-ray players as switchers.
The other big feature on the BD-E6500 is disc-to-digital, which enables you to "sync" your DVD collection in the cloud, making it accessible from any device which has the Flixster app.… Read more
Pioneer's new BDR-XD04J contains a mind-numbing array of disc burning and playback options that should cover you for the next several years.
Perhaps the biggest highlight is support for BDXL BD-R discs, which means you can burn those fancy triple-layer 100GB and quad-layer 128GB Blu-ray discs in a tiny package. This is supposed to be the world's smallest BDXL-compatible portable drive. … Read more
If you haven't ripped your CD collection yet, you either have a runaway case of procrastination or you're just not that into technology. That's what makes LG's CD-ripping Blu-ray player, the BD690, a bit of a strange hybrid. The type of tech-oriented people who will appreciate the BD690's solid Blu-ray playback and excellent suite of streaming-media services probably ripped their CD collections years ago and are in no rush to revisit that tedious process. They're also better off going with the similarly priced Sony PlayStation 3 Slim ($250), which gets you HD gaming, streaming video, Blu-ray playback, and CD ripping.… Read more
Although CNET hasn't reviewed the Samsung BD-D5700, we have reviewed the step up Samsung BD-D6700.
The BD-D5700 lacks a few features compared with the BD-D6700, most notably 3D Blu-ray compatibility, dual-HDMI outputs, and onboard storage. Also note that the BD-D5700 does not have onboard decoding for DTS-HD Master Audio or DTS-HD High Resolution, although you can still take advantage of those soundtrack formats if you have a receiver with the proper decoders.
Without performing a hands-on review, we don't know how the BD-D5700 will perform in terms of disc-loading speeds and image quality, although we'd note that … Read more
Onkyo has announced a new flagship 3D Blu-ray player, the BD-SP809, to be released in August for $600. In addition to Blu-ray, the BD-SP809 offers several streaming-media services, including Netflix, Vudu, Blockbuster, and Film Fresh. There's also a USB on the back panel, with the BD-SP809 capable of playing back several digital file formats, including DivX HD, MP3, and WMA.
The BD-SP809 is also THX-certified and (more importantly to us) includes Marvell's Qdeo processing, which we've found to deliver excellent image quality on Blu-ray movies and DVDs in the past. There are two HDMI outputs, which is helpful for those with an older receiver that has non-3D compatible HDMI inputs. Alternatively, dual-HDMI outputs can be used to connect to both a TV and projector simultaneously.… Read more
The ability to play Blu-ray movies in OS X has been a bit of a sore spot for Mac users. When Blu-ray was being developed, Apple's presence as a supporter of the technology spurred much speculation and rumor that Mac users would be seeing native Blu-ray support in OS X. Unfortunately, to this date this has not happened, and Apple has progressively shied away from Blu-ray in support of alternative options like the iTunes store.
While Apple has claimed that the complex licensing for Blu-ray playback has been partly to blame for the lack of Blu-ray support, oddly the … Read more
With every manufacturer adding bells and whistles to try to make its Blu-ray player stand out from the crowd, the LG BD670's no-frills approach ironically is what stands out.
Instead of adding features of dubious worth (2D-to-3D conversion, cross-platform search that doesn't work), the BD670 relies on a simple formula for success: built-in Wi-Fi, lots of high-quality streaming-media services--including standouts like Amazon Instant, MLB.TV, MOG, and Napster--and a clean, simple user interface. Its basic approach makes it one of our favorite Blu-ray players of the year, neck and neck with the Panasonic DMP-BDT210.
Overall, the Panasonic has … Read more