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  • Blu-Ray has taken the home entertainment world by storm, offering never-before-seen levels of sound...

    04/05/2011

Blu-Ray Players


Blu-Ray Players: Buying Guide

Blu-Ray has taken the home entertainment world by storm, offering never-before-seen levels of sound and picture quality. This article leads you through the discovery of the technology behind Blu-Ray players and also lists the features you need to look for when buying a new player.

Origin
Blu-Ray takes its name from the blue laser which the players use to read data on the disc.

How does it work?
Unlike the 650nm red found in DVD, the 450nm blue laser has a shorter wavelength, which together with an increased lens aperture and thinner cover layer, allows the laser beam to be focused on a smaller area, therefore enabling much more information to be stored in a given area.

Larger storage capacity
As a result, Blu-Ray discs can store five times as much information as DVD. Blu-Ray discs typically have two layers with each layer capable of storing 25GB of data.

Resolution
High definition video is stored on Blu-Ray with a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio. Blu-Ray specification mandates that all players must support MPEG-2, MPEG-4 AVC and VC-1 codecs. Most modern releases are encoded with MPEG-4 AVC or VC-1.

Audio/sound specifications
For audio, Blu-Ray players must support linear PCM, Dolby Digital AC-3 and DTS. They may also optionally support Dolby Digital Plus and DTS HD high resolution audio. For the best sound quality, however, they should have Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio which are loss less formats.

Regional coding
Like DVD players, Blu-Ray players support regional coding allowing content providers to limit disc playback to a particular region. However, this feature is optional and many of the Blu-Ray discs are free of region coding.

Region coding is divided countries into three groups, labeled as A, B and C. Region A includes America and South East Asian countries while Region B includes Europe and Africa. Region C covers China, Russia and some Asian countries.

Updated player profiles
Four Blu-Ray player profiles have evolved since their introduction. Profile 1.0 was the first profile to be defined, followed by Profile 1.1 or Bonus View, which offered interactive features not supported by Profile 1.0.

The latest introduction has been Profile 2.0 or BD-Live which offers access to internet-based features. Profile 2.0, an audio-only profile, has also been introduced.

Blu-Ray 3D
However, the hottest development has been the release of the Blu-Ray 3D specification, enabling people to enjoy the latest 3D blockbusters.

Make sure that the Blu-Ray player you buy has the latest features before you get ready to enjoy movies in unparalleled quality.

 
Samsung BD-H6500

Samsung BD-H6500

Samsung Blu-Ray Players


Score attributed to product
2 reviews - 30 user opinions - 3 news - 2 videos - 4 photos
Multi-talented 3D Blu-ray player with dual core processing and 4K upscaling TechRadar — 06-2014

Ratings in depthWhat's the most important innovation in home entertainment in recent months?No, it's not smart apps or 4K upscaling, but the spread of the dual core processor. Happily, Samsung's...

£165 to £1,131 Compare
 
LG BP 740

LG BP 740

LG Blu-Ray Players


Score attributed to product
1 review - 4 photos
LG BP740 review Trusted Reviews — 08-2014

LG BP740 Blu-ray Player review: LG's flagship Blu-ray deck is packed with features and a joy to use, but struggles to justify its hefty price tag

£40 to £639 Compare
 
Samsung BD H8900

Samsung BD H8900

Samsung Blu-Ray Players


Score attributed to product
2 reviews - 1 news - 1 video - 1 photo
A decent Blu-ray player for those looking to avoid monthly subscription services TechRadar — 06-2014

Ratings in depthIf you're not tempted by pricey packages that include PVRs from Sky and Virgin Media, then it's to the confusingly tiny market for YouView or Freeview HD recorders that you must head.

£165 to £1,128 Compare
 
Sony BDP S1200

Sony BDP S1200

Sony Blu-Ray Players


Score attributed to product
1 review - 1 news - 5 videos - 1 photo
Great Blu-ray but no Wi-Fi TechRadar — 05-2014

Ratings in depthThe BDP-S1200 is Sony's most basic Blu-ray player for 2014, and that says a lot about how smart these machines have become in the past few years, with playback of HD discs just one of...

£194 to £440 Compare
 
Sony BDP S6200

Sony BDP S6200

Sony Blu-Ray Players


Score attributed to product
1 review - 2 news - 3 videos - 5 photos
Dual core processing is the star on Sony's flagship Blu-ray deck TechRadar — 06-2014

Ratings in depthWant a fast-working Blu-ray player that can upscale your existing discs to Ultra HD 4K quality? If you do, you've probably got an Ultra HD telly and won't mind paying the premium that...

£198 Compare
 
Sony BDP S5200

Sony BDP S5200

Sony Blu-Ray Players


Score attributed to product
2 reviews - 2 news - 1 video - 1 photo
Pulls out nearly all the stops with super W-iFi, screen mirroring and plenty of apps TechRadar — 06-2014

Ratings in depthHas your Blu-ray player got Super WiFi? Sony's mid-range option for 2014, the BDP-S5200, has. Claiming to keep a stronger signal than others, it's not the only slice of flexibility on...

£198 Compare
 
Samsung BD-D5900

Samsung BD-D5900

Samsung Blu-Ray Players


Score attributed to product
335 user opinions - 7 videos - 8 photos
£165 to £1,131 Compare
 
Harman/Kardon BDS 270

Harman/Kardon BDS 270

Harman/Kardon Blu-Ray Players


Score attributed to product
1 review - 1 video - 1 photo
Harman Kardon BDS 270 review Trusted Reviews — 12-2011

Harman Kardon BDS 270 Surround Sound System review: The Harman Kardon BDS 270 is a 3D-capable 2.1-channel system that boasts sensational build quality, stunning looks and AV performance to die for

£165 to £1,208 Compare
 
Panasonic DMP BDT360

Panasonic DMP BDT360

Panasonic Blu-Ray Players


Score attributed to product
2 reviews - 6 user opinions - 1 photo
Panasonic DMP-BDT360 review Trusted Reviews — 07-2014

Panasonic DMP-BDT360 Blu-ray Player review: Panasonic's midrange Blu-ray player boasts Wi-Fi,web content and DLNA, but can it trump its impressive rivals?

£218 to £300 Compare
 
LG BP135

LG BP135

LG Blu-Ray Players


Score attributed to product
139 user opinions - 1 video - 7 photos
£38 to £633 Compare
 
Philips PD7042

Philips PD7042

Philips Blu-Ray Players


Score attributed to product
2 user opinions - 6 videos - 8 photos
Philips PD7042: Very good quality picture and resumes to the last scene if the power is off. The internal battery is great as the kids can continue watching them once the car is turned off - gives me time to bring the shopping in without them under my feet! Reevoo — 10-2012

Good points: Very good quality picture and resumes to the last scene if the power is off. The internal battery is great as the kids can continue watching them once the car is turned off - gives me...

£70 to £320 Compare
 
Philips BDP2285

Philips BDP2285

Philips Blu-Ray Players


Score attributed to product
3 photos
£65 Compare
 
Lexibook Barbie

Lexibook Barbie

Lexibook Blu-Ray Players


Score attributed to product
1 feedback - 1 photo
Forgotten MP3 player... Ciao — 10-2012

Before I bought my 6 year old daughter an iPod touch for her last birthday she was given this by my parents last Christmas. The reason she was given this was due to the fact that she loves Barbie and...

£11 to £40 Compare
 
Toshiba BDX5500

Toshiba BDX5500

Toshiba Blu-Ray Players


Score attributed to product
1 review - 1 photo
Toshiba BDX5500 review Trusted Reviews — 07-2014

Toshiba BDX5500 Blu-ray Player review: Toshiba's top-end Blu-ray deck boasts all the mod cons and a stunning vertical design, but do its rivals offer more?

£52 to £300 Compare
 
Xtreamer DVD

Xtreamer DVD

Xtreamer Blu-Ray Players


Score attributed to product
1 feedback - 2 photos
XTREAMER XTREAMER DVD Pixmania — 07-2012

It is a vety good product. It plays mkv files which is rare for a dvd player. It is relativley quick to open and process files however it could be quicker. It is great value. All in all it is a great...

£120 to £320 Compare
 
Yamaha BD S677

Yamaha BD S677

Yamaha Blu-Ray Players


Score attributed to product
4 user opinions - 1 video
£143 to £1,122 Compare
 
Toshiba BDX 1500

Toshiba BDX 1500

Toshiba Blu-Ray Players


Score attributed to product
2 reviews - 2 photos
Toshiba BDX1500 review Trusted Reviews — 07-2014

Toshiba BDX1500 Blu-ray Player review: Toshiba's vanilla Blu-ray player is light on features but delivers solid hi-def pictures at a rock-bottom price

£79 to £436 Compare
 
Panasonic DMP BDT700

Panasonic DMP BDT700

Panasonic Blu-Ray Players


1 news - 3 videos
£218 to £349 Compare
 
Sony BDP-S4200

Sony BDP-S4200

Sony Blu-Ray Players


1 video - 5 photos
£198 Compare
 
Panasonic DMP-BDT160

Panasonic DMP-BDT160

Panasonic Blu-Ray Players


Score attributed to product
1 review - 2 news
3D and wired access to Netflix justify the price, but other apps are in short supply TechRadar — 06-2014

Ratings in depthWhile other brands have only a small selection of mostly cheap Blu-ray players, Panasonic's range for 2014 is large and relatively expensive. However, it's obvious why the company's...

£218 to £300 Compare
 
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