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)
Samsung UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player: $400
The next generation of Blu-ray is here at last and it was definitely worth the wait. As the world’s first Ultra HD player, the UBD-K8500 isn’t perfect (what first-generation product is?) but with the right disc and a topnotch TV it will deliver a mind-blowing home theater experience that puts state-of-the-art advances such as as high dynamic range and wide color gamut on vivid display. Best of all, it’s only 400 bucks. (June 2016, 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)
Pioneer Elite BDP-88FD: $2,000
Is the BDP-88FB the end-all, be-all universal disc player? Yes and no. The answer is a resounding yes if you limit the scope to Blu-ray in terms of video. The 88FD is one of the most impressive players out there. But if you’re looking ahead to the next-generation 4K/UHD disc format expected to debut in late 2015, the 88FD falls short because it won’t be able to play native 4K content. Still, if budget is not a concern and you’re content with five-star Blu-ray performance from a player that doubles as an audiophile CD/SACD player, the 88FB is well worth a look. (June 2015, 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)

johnny_y_mac's picture

Any thoughts on the X2000, 3000, or 4000?

HALO's picture

I spent a few thousand this year upgrading my home AV system. I bought the Denon AVR-S700W. So so happy, until the blue-tooth function died. No worries, I just bought a new I-pad too, so the AirPlay saved the day. THen the display died. OK, no worries, long as I can get my audio and video through. Then Wi-Fi connectivity died, so I can't use AirPlay. All this in less than six months. So so unhappy, especially since I learned that Denon's customer support is pretty much worthless, though still under warranty. I do not have time to figure out stuff on my own, so I am reaching out for a little help in what brand to trust for replacing this Denon POS. Not a rich guy, but willing to spend the bucks to get my music back. FYI, I mostly play music from my selection stored on I-Cloud in conjunction with I-Tunes. I really like the AirPlay streaming function. What I ned is kproduct reliability and decent support. What to buy?? HELP!!!