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2009 Holiday Gift Guide: Blu-ray Players Print E-mail
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Article Index
2009 Holiday Gift Guide: Blu-ray Players
Intermediate Level
Videophile Caliber

Perhaps you were an early Blu-ray player adopter that’s ready to upgrade your aging Blu-ray hardware with a new player.  Perhaps you are looking for a Blu-ray player that offers more functionality, faster load times or a higher level of Blu-ray picture quality.  Here are our recommendations for the next step up in Blu-ray hardware.

Top Pick: Oppo BDP-83 

- Full Review -

Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Player

This is the Blu-ray player that you won’t find in brick and mortar stores, but may possibly be the most sought after Blu-ray player on the net this holiday season.  Beyond its superb prowess at handling Blu-ray discs and delivering a cinematic experience that blows other players away, its ability to upscale DVDs is stunning.  Those with large DVD collections won’t feel the annoying pressure to upgrade their entire collection of discs to DVD.  

Harman Kardon BDP 1 

- Full Review -

Harman Kardon BDP 1 Blu-ray Player

The Harman Kardon BDP-1 is a profile 2.0 player with a small footprint, but offers impressive audio / video quality as well as fully functional BD-Live support.  The player renders a sharp and colorful image out of the box, with the capacity to bitstream native TrueHD and Master Audio tracks flawlessly.  Sound may actually be its strongest suit, as each of the audio portions tested through the Blu-ray side of the technology were impressive, to say the least. Most of all, the visual and audio qualities in Blu-ray mode are both excellent, while the standard-definition upscaling stands impressively with others of its ilk. 

Yamaha BD-S1065 

- Full Review -

Yamaha BD-S1065 Blu-ray Player

Opposite from the small footprint of the HK unit, the Yamaha BD-S1065 is a hefty beast; similar to the design of other Yamaha components.   With fantastic audio / video quality and the ability to upscale DVDs very well, Yamaha adds another key feature; PAL playback.  Those with multi-region discs in their collection will be happy by investing in the Yamaha to play all of their imported Blu-ray discs.  On the flip side, consumers will have to live without wi-fi and simply average load times for discs. 

Sony BDP-CX960

- Preview -

Sony BDP-CX960 Blu-ray Player

Let’s face it, movie collections can be an eyesore inside a home theater.  Stacks upon stacks of DVD or Blu-ray boxes may be fun to browse, but are quite ugly.  Enter a megachanger from Sony.  The BDP-CX960 provides storage for 400 Blu-ray discs and has a built in navigation system for finding your favorite discs; specifically by jacket art, title, director, cast, or genre.  The a/v quality certainly isn’t up to the other Blu-ray players in this class, but storing all your Blu-ray discs in one place can be very enticing to the home theater guru looking to hide those Blu-ray boxes.   


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