Watching a movie on an HDTV - a Blu-ray player delivers an incredible viewing experience.
Consumer Reports tested more than 40 Blu-ray players, costing as little as $80 all the way up to $650.
The most important test - assessing picture quality. The good news - every Blu-ray player rated "excellent" for high-definition picture quality- from this Oppo, which sells for $500, to this Samsung, which costs $140.
And lower-priced players can still pack in plenty of features, like a
U-S-B port, so you can watch home videos on your TV … and Internet capability, which allows you to access movies online if you pay for a service such as Netflix or Vudu.
Jim Willcox with Consumer Reports says, "Some of the Blu-ray players are Wi-Fi capable, which means you can connect to your home network wirelessly."
Another consideration - how long it takes the player to load a movie. Consumer Reports times how many seconds it takes until the first screen appears.
Thomas Maung with Consumer Reports says, "This one took only nine seconds, but some took as long as 37."
If a 3-D TV is in your future, Consumer Reports recommends the $200 Sony B-D-P-S-570
Blu-ray player, with built-in Wi-Fi.
Willcox found, "Right now there's not a lot of 3D content, but all these machines will play Blu-ray discs and regular DVDs. And you'll be set to go should you decide you want to buy a 3D TV."
Not likely to go 3-D any time soon? Then this Samsung
B-D-C-5500 is a good choice. And it's a Consumer Reports Best Buy at $140.
If streaming movies from the Internet is important to you, be aware that Blu-ray manufacturers have agreements with certain service providers. The two recommended Blu-ray players in this report stream movies from Netflix. Consumer Reports says that if you're interested in one service in particular, make sure the player you get offers it.