Now that apps are the norm and whole television series can be watched back-to-back without having to get up and press anything (whether or not they should be is an entirely different question) it can be hard to see the usefulness of Blu-ray discs. However for proper cinematic quality, they’re still hard to beat, so we’ve gone to the trouble of rounding up the best Blu-ray players for you to watch them on.
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The type of Blu-ray player you should buy depends quite heavily on your television. If you own a 4K set, it makes sense to take full advantage and buy a 4K Blu-ray player, along with a library of 4K Blu-ray discs. If you don’t, a 1080p player should be ample, and many of them can be picked up for a reasonable price. For the ultimate home cinema setup, our first choices are by Panasonic for a superb all-rounder, and Oppo, for a high-end but oh-so worth it model. Elsewhere, there’s our best Blu-ray player for streaming, our best one for 3D movies, and even one that’s not strictly a Blu-ray player at all. Keep reading to find the one that’ll suit your setup to a T.
After the perfect pairing for your ultra high-definition TV? This 4K-ready Blu-ray player handles HD signal with ease, and adds smart features into the bargain for a package that beats the competition to our top spot. Among those smart features is a mirroring function, allowing you to stream video content or your favourite snaps straight to the screen, and on-demand video from Netflix, Amazon Video and YouTube already in 4K. Along with what users say is top-quality sound, and 3D capabilities to boot, it’s our best Blu-ray player all round
If you, like the bods at a certain cinema chain, are fanatical about film, it makes sense to invest in your own cinematic set-up, and reviewers say this Oppo Blu-ray player is the best way to do it. Sure, the price tag is slightly wince-worthy – the main reason it just misses out on our top spot – but it looks and feels justifiably expensive, and that’s before we even get onto the functionality. Reviewers were rapturous with praise for its image and sound quality, and its quick responses and processing don’t hurt either.
For the family with conflicting tastes or schedules, this multi-tasking DVD and Blu-ray player might help to see off some of those post-dinner arguments. While one watches the soaps on the TV, someone else can be streaming a film directly to their phone or tablet, all from the same magic box. Once it’s fired up, it boasts a load of small but incredibly convenient features as well as its obvious charms (crystal-clear 4K picture, saturated colours), such as being able to access menu features without leaving your stream to head back to the home screen. A great one for Netflix lovers.
The Oppo player might be an aspirational piece, but if you can’t justify the price tag, you’ll be cheered to note that you can still get a great picture for a fraction of the outlay courtesy of this Panasonic player. It features 4K upscaling – which’ll take bog-standard HD content and translate it into a better-looking image for a 4K TV – as well as 3D functionality for enjoying those eye-popping animations and adventure films. Plus, as a surprisingly rare break from other solid black Blu-ray players and DVD players, this one has an attractive brushed silver outer for a neat-looking media centre.
Hey, no-one said anything about a Blu-ray player being just a Blu-ray player now did they? If you’re looking to buy a new games console, consider upgrading and going for one that does double duty. The Xbox One S not only handles 4K images when it comes to your favourite movies, but to those gorgeous game graphics as well, and streaming services Netflix, Amazon Video et al too. This not only makes it a sensible investment for the household that games, streams and enjoys the odd movie night, but a space-saving one too.
Amplify the sound for all round quality with the best soundbars