Blu-ray Player are getting less and less expensive. And yes, all of these players, even the cheap ones, will give you excellent High-Definition pictures and sound quality to your movies. As well as being more affordable, these players are always adding more and more different Blu-ray features. So there are other factors to consider before you decide to shop for a Blu-ray Disc Player. The simple fact is, if you own a HDTV or planning on getting one in the future, you owe it to yourself to buy a Blu-ray Player. But don't rush out and get one just because you own a HDTV. There are certain factors about Blu-ray Players you should be aware of and knowing what they are will help you make a better choice.
For one thing, and this may surprise you, it is not all about High-Definition. While the main reason for getting a Blu-ray Disc Player is to enjoy the stunning, crystal-clear images they produce; don't forget about its standard-definition performance. Many of us still own a large collection of DVD movies. Blu-ray players are not only capable of playing back DVDs, they can up-scale them to a higher definition. So how well a player can do this should be factored into your decision, especially if you are still going to be watching a lot of DVDs.
Also, every player will at some point will have firmware upgrades. Firmware is used by manufacturers to fix problems with performance or to add new features to the player after the player has reach the market place. Players that have an Ethernet connection are simple to upgrade, as firmware can easily be downloaded and then installed rather quickly. The other method is to download the firmware to your computer and then burn it on a DVD, which you then insert into your player. This method can be time-consuming and certainly more difficult.
Having a HDTV is an oblivious factor to consider. Most HDTVs manufactured today are capable of 1080p resolution, but there are some older model HDTVs with only 720p resolution. If this is the case, images from the player will be scaled down to match the HDTVs resolution. Images will still be of high quality and in High-Definition, however. And if you are thinking about getting a 3D player to view 3D movies, your HDTV must be 3D capable; and you will need a pair of 3D glasses for each person.
Of course producing HD images is only half of what you get with Blu-ray players. You also get high-resolution audio formats such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. These are lossless formats that give us studio-master audio. Meaning we get the soundtrack identical to the original, without losing and sound quality. Most players can decode these formats internally or the signal can be transmitted via bit-stream through a HDMI cable to an A/V receiver. Of course, if connecting to a A/V receiver it must have a HDMI input. Some players do have multichannel analog outputs, which is great for those with older, non-HDMI A/V receivers. But these players tend to be high-end models and will cost more. DVDs and HD television programs are not capable of supporting these latest high-resolution formats.
Another important thing to consider is a network connection. Almost every player manufactured in the last couple of years will be BD-Live compliant. This means you need to connect the player to the internet to download content or interact with others. BD-Live features are found on certain Blu-ray discs and consists of deleted scenes, bonus scenes, chat rooms, live commentary, online games and other online content.
These, BD-Live compliant players will have an Ethernet port that requires a cable to connect to the internet. Some players will provide a Wi-Fi option, making it a lot more convenient to connect to the internet. These wireless players cost a little more than regular players, but many of us do not have an Ethernet cable in our living rooms, so the extra cost is worth it. Especially since many Blu-ray DVD Players offer access to Online Streaming Media Services. Services like Netflix, Vudu, YouTube, Pandora, Amazon VOD, Hulu Plus and much more. Having a player that can easily connect to the internet is fast becoming one of the most important features of any Blu-ray Player.
The last thing you should consider is shopping at different places to look for the best possible price for a Blu-ray DVD Player. You will find players can have a wide range of prices. The good news is that most entry-level and mid-level players are considerably cheaper than they were a couple of years ago. You can get a good, solid Blu-ray player for about $80.00 to $200.00. So the time has never been more perfect for purchasing a Blu-ray player. And if you keep the above factors in mind when choosing a player, you will soon be enjoying the best that Home Entertainment has to offer.