Top Picks Blu-ray Players

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Blu-ray Players
< $199
LG BP540 3D: $130
The BP540 is more expensive than today’s average Blu-ray player but it represents one heck of a bargain if you’re looking to add streaming capability to your AV setup. It’s not the fastest player on the market but in addition to putting a bevy of streaming options at your fingertips—including Netflix, Vudu, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu Plus—it plays regular and 3D Blu-ray discs, DVDs, and CDs without a hitch. (December 2014, Read Full Review)
Panasonic DMP-BDT220: $150
Panasonic has released some of the best budget Blu-ray players year-to-year, and the latest crop has yielded the DMP-BDT220, which reviewer Kris Deering found delivered “reference-quality Blu-ray playback,” along with 2D-to-3D conversion and a host of streaming video options. “What’s not to love here?” he wrote. “This one goes straight to the top of my budget player recommendations and delivers the Blu-ray experience in spades.” (October 2012, Read Full Review)
Samsung BD-H6500: $180
The BD-H6500 has a lot to offer for less than $180: An easy-to-navigate user interface, 4K/Ultra HD upscaling, 3D capability, smartphone screen mirroring, built-in Wi-Fi, and apps for Netflix, Vudu, and other streaming services. But, most important, it delivers outstanding audio and video performance. As reviewer David Vaughn noted: “The player’s audio and video prowess didn’t let me down in any way and matched the experience from my reference Oppo BDP-103D player.” Impressive. (July/August 2014, Read Full Review)
Sony BDP-S790 3D: $250
Sony’s best, late generation player offers up cutting edge features, including 4K upscaling of 1080p content when mated with one of the new 4K displays, as well as 2D-to-3D conversion. Reviewer David Vaughn found it offered “flawless playback of Blu-ray Discs, outstanding DVD upconversion, and more streaming services than you can shake a stick at.” (September 2012, Read Full Review)
Oppo BDP-103 3D: $499
An update to the highly regarded BDP-93, which has won the favor of many on our staff, the BDP-103 holds the line on price but adds 4K video upscaling, 2D-to-3D conversion, dual HDMI inputs, and MHL USB-port compatibility for watching video from compatible smartphones and tablets. Add its performance chops into the mix and it’s no wonder it comes highly recommended: Near flawless playback, support for DVD-Audio and SACD, home network streaming, and best-in-class video processing are just some of the things you get in the bargain. (January 2013, Read Full Review)
Oppo BDP-103D: $599
When it comes to Oppo Blu-ray players, the good just keeps getting better. An update to the BDP-103, the BDP-103D costs $100 more but bears gifts that will make videophiles giddy: Fully featured and updatable Darbee video enhancement (see our review of the Darblet processor ), DVDO VRS ClearView processing for 4K scaling and detail/edge enhancement, support for high-res DSD music files, and a convenient iPad app. Everything about this player is top shelf, which is why reviewer Kris Deering rated it five stars across the board and proclaimed it a “revolutionary.” (, Read Full Review)
Oppo Digital BDP-95 Universal 3D: $999
Essentially a BDP-93 universal player with a multichannel analog audio output outfitted with high end DACs for superior audio playback. Set for replacement by the BDP-105, which adds 4K video upscaling, 2D-to-3D conversion, dual HDMI inputs and MHL USB-port compatibility for watching video from compatible smartphones and tablets. Watch for availability and reviews; we expect this to perform as good as or better than its predecessor. (August 2011,; Read Full Review)
$1,000 >
Oppo BDP-105: $1,199
Successor to Oppo’s outstanding BDP-95, the BDP-105 is a Blu-ray player and serious A/V processor rolled in one. You get reference-quality video playback, two HDMI inputs, three audio inputs, an excellent headphone amplifier and onboard video processing in the form of the exceptional Marvell QDEO chip. Marveling over the 105’s audio prowess—complete with two Sabre32 Reference Audio DACs— reviewer Kris Deering wrote: “Taken all together, you have a very capable audio/video processor here that could easily replace a digital pre/pro…” (April 2013, Read Full Review)
Cambridge Audio Azur 752BD: $1,299
With the Azur 752BD, Cambridge melds a custom audio section with the video platform used in the acclaimed Oppo BDP-105 to deliver reference-quality audio and video. “From the exceptional build quality to its flawless Blu-ray performance, the 752BD really doesn’t leave much on the table,” wrote reviewer Kris Deering. If you’re in the market for a topnotch Blu-ray player, this is definitely one to consider.(, Read Full Review)
McIntosh MVP891 Universal 3D: $5,500
Reviewed as part of our review of a complete $34,000 McIntosh system in our June 2012 issue, the MVP891 is a full universal player that features Anchor Bay video processing and Analog Devices 12-bit/297MHz video D/A conversion with noise-shaped video processing, and digital noise reduction. The player includes five two-channel, 192khz/32-bit audio D/A converters. Reviewer Michael Fremer called the MVP891 “a superb-sounding digital-audio player on CD via its balanced outputs, as well as on DVD-Audio discs through it’s single-ended, 7.1 channel, analog outputs.” (June 2012, Read Full Review)
Ayre Acoustics DX-5 Universal A/V Engine: $9,950
A serious audiophile deck that plays all disc types (except 3D Blu-ray) and combines state-of-the art video playback with a USB DAC for processing high-resolution music files from a computer or hard drive. Reviewer Shane Buettner wrote, “The DX-5 not only bridges our disc-based past with our discless future; it also goes substantially further in bridging the still golden sound and tonality of analog with digital audio than any other component I’ve yet encountered. In my opinion, the Ayre Acoustics DX-5 is destined to become a classic.” (June 2011 Read Full Review)
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COMMENTS's picture

I use you guys for buying electronics but I notice that you never do recommendations of these larger sizes that are under $3000.00.There has to be some good units out there and I am not interested in 3-D and could live without smart features if I can get a best picture at a down to earth price.

drron's picture

This may sound a little strange, but I am looking for a 12 " led flat screen tv for use on my desk. I don't have a great deal of room on my desk, so 12 or 13 " seems to be a good size choice. This seems to be an area that has been overlooked by most of the flat screen manufacturers along with S&V mag. Many of us spend long hours working at a desk and would like a little diversion now and then. How about some basic information on the smaller size flat screens?

Howard's picture

In your January 2014 you selected this Yamaha unit as a TOP PICK but it is not listed on Top Picks on your web site. Did you remove this unit as a top pick or just left it out in error?
Please advise. Thank you
Howard baskin

tomd51's picture

Check under 'Processors & Amps' section, the CX-A5000 is a processor, not an AV Receiver.

kathleen's picture

Has anyone heard of - AZON DEAL UPDATER (google it)? They have a little gold box on the site that spits out any discount promo codes for any product on Amazon. Bought my Samsung HT-E6500 lower than the discounted price. Don't think too many people know about this.

Aschinck's picture

Good afternoon guys.
As a worker in the electronic industry i often look at your top pick to see if some of my products would find a place in it. Recently i realize that for a buyer your list is kind of shitty. First most of the model are 2-3-4 years back. Would it be possible to have a top pick of 2014 and then 2015 product so we can keep a fair track?

thank you

Vrahode's picture

There has been a lot of new technology in viewing surfaces in recent years as the prior post stated. Draper, for example, who I work for has released a new line of surfaces called TecVision that out perform many competitor products through wider viewing cones, more consistent gain, lower gloss levels and even superior angular reflectivity. We would love to send samples and allow the folks at Sound and Vision the opportunity for objective comparison of these recent breakthroughs in screen technology.

Angelo's picture

On my projectors JVC DLA-X3 the lamp is at 900 hours and the brightness has dimed a bit!
The brightness calibration on the unit is at 10(from day one) .
I use the projector only for movies . Can you please provide any suggestion/recommendations on how to calibrate the brightness !
Greatly appreciate your help.

johnny_y_mac's picture

Any thoughts on the X2000, 3000, or 4000?

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