Although DVD players are slowly becoming a part of history, Blu-ray players are still holding their ground, refusing to give up. They constantly introduce the new features and improvements and deliver an overall positive user experience, which makes them still worth buying.
Of course, finding the best Blu-ray player isn’t that easy. Nevertheless, with a little bit of research and advice from this guide, the whole searching process shouldn’t be too much of a trouble.
How to Choose the Best Blu-ray Player
As you already know, since there many similar products on the market, choosing the best Blu-ray player can be a tricky job. However, certain characteristics make a higher impact than the others and will allow you to separate the more valuable devices. They include the following:
Things are pretty straightforward considering the supported resolution. If you want to fully enjoy 4K content, your device has to offer native support for that resolution. Otherwise, you won’t be able to play the disc at all, or you will be forced to watch it in lower resolution. Therefore, if your budget allows it, go for 4K resolution, which is becoming more and more mainstream these days.
Upscaling is a handy feature, which, as its name suggest, upscales the lower-resolution videos to a higher resolution. In other words, if you have a 4K Blu-ray player, with an upscaling feature and want to play a regular 1080p Blu-ray disk, the player will convert the disk’s Full HD image into a 4K one. Yes, the resulting image won’t be of the same quality as 4K Blu-ray, but still will be drastically improved and much better than on players without that function.
For that reason, if you want the best possible movie-watching experience, make sure that your desired player has this option available.
For today’s standards, streaming services are a must for Blu-ray players. Yes, it is great to enjoy your own movie collection, whenever you want, wherever you want, without any hassle. Nevertheless, having a feature that vastly expands the available content is always a good thing.
Greater compatibility usually means you will be able to enjoy more different formats or advanced features as 3D, for example. Of course, you will never need many of them. However, if you want to save yourself from possible trouble in the future and enjoy better user experience, more features and better compatibility are always a good thing.
Best Blu-Ray Players
A Basic, but Affordable 4K Blu-Ray Player
If you are looking for a solid Blu-ray player that won’t take too much money out of your pocket, Samsung UBD-M8500 is the ideal device for you. Although it only comes with the basic features, this device will give you great value for your money. It supports 4K resolution and HDR10, offers Smart TV functionality (Samsung Smart Hub), supports 4K Netflix and Amazon services and a lot more.
Unfortunately, its audio quality isn’t up to the standards of the rest of the device, which can also be said about the noise levels that will ruin, an overall positive impression about this device a little bit.
What will undoubtedly please you, on the other hand, are Samsung UBD-M8500’s amazing loading speeds and overall great picture quality, with deep contrast and exceptional brightness. Also, you will be happy to know that this player comes with a Wi-Fi and LAN connectivity, 3D support and upscaling feature, which will ultimately lead to the better image quality of all of your non-4K materials.
In other words, if buying the best budget Blu-ray player is your main goal, Samsung UBD-M8500 should be at the top spot of your list.
- Great 4K HDR image quality
- Support for 4K Netflix and Amazon
- Fast loading times
- Boring design
- Not the best audio
Amazing Video and Audio in One
Sony UBP-X800M2 comes as an upgraded version of the Sony UBP-X800 player, with Dolby Vision and HDR10 support, which were missing in the older model. Moreover, these two devices are basically the same, with great picture quality and exceptional audio reproduction (it supports high-resolution audio, Dolby Atoms and DSEE HX), which makes them highly suitable for high-demanding music fans.
Aside from that, Sony UBP-X800M2 provides a native 4K support, has an upscaling feature and offers Smart TV functionality (MediaTek platform). Furthermore, it is 3D-compatible and features great connectivity, which includes LAN, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection.
Moreover, this player offers great compatibility and will decode various disks such as SACD, DVD-Audio, DVD, etc., but also various file formats from either your network or USB. Its interface is simple and intuitive; however, it offers only the basic functions, which is, on the other hand, more than enough for most people.
Altogether, Sony UBP-X800M2 is an amazing device and, because of its advanced compatibility and features, compared to the main rivals, such as LG’s UBK90, one of the best UHD Blu-ray players available.
- Amazing picture quality
- Support for 4K Netflix and Amazon
- Great sound quality
- There is no analog stereo output
A Simple and Efficient Blu-Ray Player at an Affordable Price
Simplicity and low price are sometimes a winning combination, and LG UBK80 Blu-ray player is the prime example of that. It comes with only the basic features, offers just LAN connectivity and has a limited number of outputs (one USB port and one HDMI port). Moreover, this player is not a streaming device and lacks the support for Netflix, Hulu and other similar-type services.
However, LG UBK80 delivers everything that a regular movie fan might need for full enjoyment in their favorite Blu-ray titles. It has a clear image, offers native 4K support and is supplied with the upscaling feature. Also, it comes with 3D and HDR10 support and is compatible with various file formats (MP4, MKV, etc.), which adds to its overall versatility.
This affordable player is fitted with built-in audio decoder, which is compatible with Dolby Digital, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, etc., and more importantly, it is very fast and easy to use.
Altogether, although LG UBK80 is not among the best 4K Blu-ray players, it is surely among those that offer the biggest value for the customer and certainly represents a great choice for those striving for the simplicity and basics.
- Good value for the money
- Great versatility
- Excellent picture quality
- No support for Netflix and other streaming services
- No Wi-Fi
Solid Blu-ray For The Money
If you’re a demanding user on a limited budget, and you’re still into Blu-ray and/or DVD players, boy, LG UBKM9 has your name on it. For a little more than 300 bucks, you’ll get one of the best, if not the best Blu-ray player in LG’s portfolio, and an excellent tool for watching blockbuster movies in full 4K HDR.
The LG UBKM9 is actually the latest gen of a perennial favorite, but it’s more affordable than ever, and comes with Dolby Vision, a feature that its predecessor didn’t have. Besides high-end video reproduction and tons of features, the LG UBKM9 can also be used to play virtually any musical format available, and yes, before you ask, Dolby Atmos is on the menu, boys.
Unfortunately, this Blu-ray doesn’t work with DTS:X, but other than that, every base is covered: Ultra HD 4K – HDR, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Dolby Digital, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, and DTS-HD Master Audio. Moreover, the LG UBKM9 comes preloaded with various streaming apps, including YouTube and Netflix, is region free, which means it will play basically any DVD or Blu-ray disc, it’s easy to use straight out of the box, and, most importantly, image quality is awesome.
Finally, if you’re into wireless streaming, the LG has it covered via dual-band wi-fi, and if your video content is lower-res, don’t worry, as this machine is capable of upscaling to 4K to perfection.
- Dolby Vision
- HDR10 compatible
- Streaming ready
- Good value for money
- Solid Ultra HD 4K image quality
- None really at this price
It Just Works!
Here comes another LG, this time a budget option which can be yours for way less than $200, the LG BP175 respectively. This is the definition of a no-nonsense (also non UHD) Blu-Ray/DVD player, a region free and very affordable machine which looks the part and gets the job done with flying colors.
By getting the job done, we mean that if all you want from this life is to enjoy your DVD/Blu-Ray collection in full HD 1080p without spending a fortune, the BP175 would make for the sensible choice. One cool thing about this Blu-Ray player is that if your old DVD collection is in SD, the upscaling function of the BP175 will deliver the exceptional image quality and video performance, as well as stunning high-def sound.
There’s not much to say about this “normie” Blu-Ray player other than it just works out of the box, it plays virtually all formats and it’s absolutely hassle-free. We must mention that LG put a 6ft HDMI Cable & Dynastar Plug Adapter in the retail package, so everything’s a plug-and-play deal with the BP175.
- Good image quality
- Well implemented 1080p upscaling
- Easy to use
- Versatile player
- Amazing value for money
A Cheap, but Super-Efficient Blu-ray Player Packed with Features
If your budget is something that worries you the most, and DVD players are below your standards, Sony S6700 Blu-ray player might be the best deal for you. It is cheap and filled with features that would satisfy even the more demanding users.
This great device comes with a 3D compatibility, offers 4K upscaling and is fitted with support for various file types. Moreover, it has a 2D to 3D functionality, which will turn your regular movies into a pleasant 3D experience, and is compatible with Dolby TrueHD, DTS HD and even Dolby Atmos.
Sony S6700 is supplied with LAN, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, but more importantly, offers one of the largest app catalogs and supports for Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Pandora and other streaming services.
However, it lacks the HDR support and it is not compatible with UHD disks, which deteriorates its perfect impression a bit, but considering the price, that is expected and acceptable at the same time.
This player offers a sharp image, with deep blacks and vibrant colors and altogether delivers a premium user experience. It is supplied with the IP Content Noise Reduction feature; it offers one HDMI output and one USB port and overall represents a great value for your money.
Yes, it isn’t perfect and lacks some of the features, but if you want the best Blu-ray player under $100 or near that amount, Sony S6700 should be your only option.
- Great access to streaming services
- Strong image quality
- It lacks the HDR support
- Poor design
- No UHD disks support
An Exceptional Device at a Hefty Price
Premium quality always comes with a high price tag, and OPPO UDP-203 Blu-ray player is another example of that rule. This a bit overpriced player offers a ton of features and support for various formats, but on the other hand lacks some of the most wanted options in recent time: support for streaming services.
Although it has both LAN and Wi-Fi connectivity, you can use it only for playback of your locally stored files and basically nothing else.
On the bright side, this player supports for Dolby Vision, HDR10, Wide Color Gamut, BT.2020 color space and a lot more. It offers superb connectivity with three HDMI ports (one for the input connection of streaming players), two USB ports, a full 7.1 analog output and many others.
OPPO UDP-203 delivers excellent build quality, with highly durable construction and offers an overall easy use. More importantly, its image is crisp and vivid, with deep blacks and overall represents an impressive visual experience.
The same also goes for sound reproduction, which delivers dynamic, rich sound, found only on the best audio devices.
Unfortunately, although OPPO UDP-203 is an amazing device and altogether one of the best Blu-ray players available, fact is that its price is just too high. Therefore, think through before the purchase and be sure that you really need it.
- Amazing picture quality
- Easy to operate
- Great dynamic, rich sound
- No support for streaming services
A Great Value for the Money
If you are searching for the best Blu-ray player that offers great compatibility, variety of features, and before anything else, exceptional image and audio quality, Panasonic DP-UB820-K should be your choice.
This quality player offers a crisp clear image and great audio quality and support for Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HLG and BT.2020 color space. Also, it offers native 4K resolution, upscaling feature, 7.1 audio and a lot more.
Panasonic DP-UB820-K is equipped with two HDMI ports and one USB and offers fairly decent networking with both LAN and Wi-Fi connectivity, that are allowing for use of various streaming services. Unfortunately, 4K and HDR aren’t supported, but you are still left with Full HD content.
On the other hand, its build quality is average and kinda disappointing, which can also be said about its interface that lacks a bit more user-friendly approach.
Otherwise, Panasonic DP-UB820-K offers a great value for the money and is one hell of a deal – of course, if you can handle a few of its flaws that don’t affect its overall positive impression that much.
- Super-clear image and audio
- Excellent compatibility and support
- Great value for the price
- Streaming services lack 4K and HDR
- Average build quality
- Not that user-friendly
If you are a Blu-ray fan, and you are thinking of buying a player that can fulfill all of your movie-watching needs, you have all the necessary information right here. We hope that our suggestions have helped and that you are now ready for that important purchase! Have fun!