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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 25, 2013 0 comments

When I reviewed Oppo’s BDP-93 — the company’s first universal player to support Blu-ray 3D and high-rez FLAC audio playback — I wrapped things up by saying it could be the last disc player you’ll ever need. Turns out I spoke too soon, because Oppo keeps finding new ways to make the whole disc-player concept relevant.  Its most recent offerings include the BDP-103 ($499) and the BDP-105 under review here, a $1,199 version that has been hot-rodded for two-channel-audio enthusiasts.

David Vaughn Posted: Aug 02, 2010 0 comments
toppick.jpgPrice: $350 At A Glance: Exceptional speed • Plethora of streaming services, including Netflix, Blockbuster, and VUDU • Built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi • Blu-ray 3D

Blu-ray 3D Is Here

To 3D or not to 3D, that is the question. Sorry to go Shakespeare on you, but I’m skeptical as to whether 3D is the next big thing on the horizon. Samsung is one of the major players vying for your 3D dollar, and I have to give the company credit for leading the charge on the next advancement in home entertainment. You may recall that Samsung was the first company to release a Blu-ray player (BD-P1000). While that launch wasn’t as smooth as the company would have liked due to a faulty noise-reduction setting, Samsung eventually fixed it, and the format has now become mainstream. Is history going to repeat itself for Blu-ray 3D? And if not, is the BD-C6900 worth your 2D investment?

Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 21, 2011 6 comments
2D Performance
3D Performance
Price: $160 At A Glance: 3D at rock-bottom price • Superb A/V performance • Online apps well-implemented • No multichannel analog-audio outputs • No DTS-HD decoding

Samsung's BD-D5500 proves that you don't need to spend a lot on a 3D Blu-ray player to get great results. Its video and audio performance are top-notch, and it provides 3D capability and access to lots of online and locally networked media content. However, it's lack of DTS-HD decoding is a significant drawback, which you can overcome by spending $40 more for the BD-D6500, $20 more for the Sony BDP-S480, or $10 less for the Panasonic DMP-BDT110.

Kris Deering Posted: Jun 27, 2011 1 comments

Price: $300 At A Glance: Top-of-the-line streaming • Exceptional 2D and 3D playback • Compact, sleek design

Stream City

Blu-ray players just aren’t what they used to be—they’re a lot more. Sony’s PlayStation 3 has long offered more than just standard Blu-ray playback. Today’s breed of players bring not only state-of-the-art Blu-ray performance but also connectivity to your home media network and a range of streaming options from the most popular movie and music providers on the Internet. These players can become the hub of your home entertainment system and eliminate the need for separate devices to get the most out of today’s technology.

David Vaughn Posted: Dec 28, 2012 0 comments
David Vaughn runs Samsung's top-of-the-line 3D Blu-ray player through the ringer with stunning IMAX footage from The Dark Knight Rises. But is it up for the challenge?
David Vaughn Posted: Jul 18, 2013 1 comments
Price: $150 At A Glance: Unique design • Middling Web browser with built-in Wi-Fi • Extremely loud disc loading

Every year a new generation of Blu-ray players hits the market from the major electronics manufacturers. While 3D was the last big advancement to hit the streets, the latest rage is 4K upconversion in the flagship players, but you won’t find that on the budget-friendly Samsung BD-F5900. What you will get for $150 is a 3D-capable player with a plethora of streaming options, a built-in Web browser, and Wi-Fi capability. With all these goodies, is there a reason to pay more for a Blu-ray player? Read on and see…

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Dec 28, 2010 0 comments
Price: $850 At A Glance: AVR with integrated Blu-ray 3D player and slim speakers • Proprietary auto setup with musical test tones • Attention-getting array of fun network-enabled apps

The Start of Something Big

Samsung’s HT-C6930W 7.1-channel Blu-ray 3D Home Theater System, to quote the full official name, includes a speedy Blu-ray 3D drive, seven speakers, subwoofer, wireless connection for one pair of surrounds, and an auto setup system that replaces the customary bleeps and sweeps with musical test tones. It builds on Ethernet and Wi-Fi network connectivity with DLNA certification and a variety of apps.

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Oct 24, 2011 0 comments
Audio Performance
Video Performance
Price: $600 At A Glance: A/V receiver with Blu-ray player • Trove of network A/V content • Supplied iPod/iPhone dock

Whenever I want to watch a movie, I plunge a fiberoptic cable into the back of my neck. Apart from a persistent dribble of blood from my neck jack, the results are enviable. In my mind, I experience a full 360-degree 3D image—there’s not even a frame—accompanied by surround sound with height and depth channels that extend from heaven to hell. Music is just as easy. I just access the 100-zettabyte solid-state drive built into my brain. My doctors tell me that with one more firmware update, I can have lossless audio with a bit depth of 831 and a sampling rate of 90,245 kilohertz. Almost as good as vinyl.

David Vaughn Posted: Sep 05, 2012 18 comments

Price: $250 At A Glance: Elegant design • Plethora of streaming options • Fast startup and loading of Blu-ray Discs

Sony single-handedly won the format war with its timely release of the PlayStation 3. Up until the PS3 hit the market in November 2006, HD DVD was beginning to gain the upper hand with disc and player sales. But the vaunted game station changed the marketplace virtually overnight and signaled the beginning of the end for the red-laser format. Fast-forward almost six years, and the PS3 is still the most-owned Blu-ray player on the market, although the standalone units have closed the performance gap and in some cases, surpassed the powerful game system.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 13, 2014 1 comments
PRICE $350

Good video performance
Unique ergonomics
Vertical or horizontal placement
No front-panel display
Sluggish YouTube access

Its video performance, 4K upconversion, and atypical form factor may well attract buyers, while its slight edge enhancement and mixed performance on some Internet sites may not. But it’s clear that this Toshiba is not your father’s disc player.

It’s getting harder these days for a manufacturer to build and sell a high-end Blu-ray player simply as a Blu-ray player. The market is saturated, and the latecomers, who finally realize that DVD is not high definition and a Blu-ray Disc offers the best quality video currently available to the consumer, seem content to pop for the $49.99 Blu-ray special on aisle 5.


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