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10 Blu-ray Players Worth Picking Up Today  Print E-mail
Home Theater Feature Articles Best Of & Top 100 Lists
Written by Dick Ward   
Wednesday, 11 August 2010
Article Index
10 Blu-ray Players Worth Picking Up Today 
Top 10 Continued


Samsung BD-C7900

With 3D becoming more and more commonplace, you want a player that can handle it well.  Samsung's $400 BD-C7900 is one of the best.  It's a new player on the market, but it's essentially an upgraded version of the C6900 that came out earlier this year.

Samsung 7900

The biggest difference between the C7900 and the C6900 is the inclusion of a second HDMI output for audio.  That makes the C7900 one of few 3D players on the market that caters to customers with older receivers.

To add to that, it's got all the streaming features you'd expect.  You can get movies from Blockbuster and Netflix, as well as music from Pandora.  The C7900 even has WiFi built right in so you don't have to worry about cords. The biggest downside to the C6900 was the amount of noise put out by the player.  That's something that should hopefully be addressed in the C7900.

Sony BDV-E770W

Sony htibThere are times – though they're very few and far between – when a home theater in a box is just what you need.  Maybe you're getting a home theater system for the kids or for the folks, or for a room that doesn't need all the bells and whistles.

In that case, Sony's BDV-E770W is a great way to go.  It's one of few HTiBs that's 3D capable, and that's a major selling point.  The E770W also includes a decent set of speakers for what they are – the rear two of which are wireless.

The player itself also has wireless capabilities when it comes to internet streaming.  You can access Netflix, YouTube, Pandora and a series of other online providers as well as stream media from computers on your home network.  The E770W comes in at an MSRP of $649. 

Sony BDP-CX7000ES

Megachangers gained a great deal of popularity during the era of CDs and DVDs, but it's tough to find one out there these days.  Sony is one of few companies to create a carousel system capable of loading multiple Blu-ray discs.

Sony CX7000ES
The BDP-CX7000ES can handle up to 400 of them in a mix of Blu-ray, DVD and CD.  The changer connects to Gracenote for the metadata, which makes searching for the disc you want easier, and it can even grab the box art while it's doing so.  You'll need to connect an Ethernet cord though, since the CX7000ES doesn't have WiFi built in.

Sony's megachanger features 7.1 channel analog output, 1080p upscaling for DVDs, Super Bit Mapping, and an RS-232 port so the player can be integrated into a custom installed system.  This massive player comes with a MSRP of $1,899.

Panasonic DMP-B500


 You've only got a few different choices when it comes to picking up a Blu-ray player to use on the go, but there's only one right choice.  Panasonic's DMP-B500 is at the top of the very small mountain of portable players.  The B500 has a list price of $799, but you can find it for around $200 less.

Panasonic's portable player sports a 10 inch screen with a 1024 x 600 resolution.  It's not high def, but it's close – especially at that size.   It's a slick looking player that offers decoding of high definition audio formats and compatibility with a few different video files as well.

What's really interesting is that the DMP-B500 has built-in WiFi and the ability to connect to Panasonic's VIERA Cast, which enables streaming of online content from a variety of sources including the ever popular Netflix.

Sony PlayStation 3 Slim  (detailed review)

Sony PS3 SlimNearly four years after its release, the PS3 is still one of the most compelling Blu-ray players on the market, and the newer slim model makes the system even more attractive.  It's quieter, smaller, and more energy efficient than previous versions.

The PlayStation 3 handles Blu-rays just as well as, if not better than, any other Blu-ray player in its price range.  It's got nice quick load times too.  The PS3 also benefits from regular firmware updates.  It's one of few players that's still getting new firmware four years later, and likely the only player from 2006 that's 3D capable.

The PS3 can stream from Netflix, upscale DVDs quite well, play a variety of video and audio formats via your home network or attached USB drive, and even access the internet.  All that and it plays videogames too. A t $299, the Sony PlayStation 3 is still a player to beat.

 






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