Blu-ray Player Buying Tips

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David Vaughn  |  Apr 06, 2016  |  34 comments
With the announcement in January of Samsung's pending Ultra HD Blu-ray player, I got excited to jump right into a new disc-based format offering high dynamic range (HDR), wide color gamut (WCG), and 4K resolution (3840x2160). It took about five weeks, but on February 11 I was able to purchase a Samsung UBD-K8500 at a local Fry’s Electronics. Sadly, UHD Blu-ray software wouldn't be available until March 1. But I figured I could at least get the player installed in my rack and await the first UHD discs to arrive.
Rob Sabin  |  Mar 27, 2013  |  5 comments
Putting together a home theater can seem like a daunting task. So many pieces to think through and connect up! But if you care enough to do your homework and educate yourself, you’ll find it’s not as complicated as it looks. Here’s what goes into your typical viewing room.

Rob Sabin  |  Nov 06, 2012  |  0 comments
Looking for that perfect Blu-ray player? Before you hit the stores, here’s everything you need to know in a quick-read format. See our Top Receiver Picks.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jul 24, 2012  |  18 comments
If you want the best possible video and audio experience in your home theater, there is no better source than Blu-ray Discs—in fact, nothing else equals the super-sharp video and awesome audio you get from Blu-ray. But I get many questions about how to connect a Blu-ray player for optimum performance, so I thought I'd spell it out here. (Don't be intimidated by the diagram above; it shows lots of possible connections between lots of home-theater devices. This article covers only the connections between the Blu-ray player in the center, A/V receiver on the left, and TV at the top.)
Shane Buettner  |  Feb 28, 2011  |  1 comments
Getting the Best Blu for Your Buck

Not all high-definition video—or audio—is created equal. There isn’t an upgrade of any kind that you can make in any part of your system that will allow it to take a lower-quality source and deliver the kind of performance you’ll get from Blu-ray Disc. Blu-ray features the highest bandwidth, best-in-class high-definition video currently available to consumers. And it serves it up with a chunky side order of lossless audio that’s miles beyond the lossy compressed audio we’ve had in theaters and at home for the past decade and a half. Buying a Blu-ray Disc player isn’t the minefield it was just a couple of years ago, but we’ve still got some tips and tricks that will help you get the best Blu for your buck.

Joshua Zyber  |  Jul 06, 2010  |  0 comments
Blu-ray’s Missed Opportunity

In May of 2009, Home Theater ran an article titled “BD-Live in Action” with an overview of the Internet features available on Blu-ray. Even though that piece was written a good three years into the high-def format’s life, the BD-Live aspect was still very much in its formative stages. Many of the Internet features available at that time were gimmicks or filler material. Few could be classified as essential to the experience of owning a Blu-ray Disc. The article concluded with the statement, “We’ve only started to see the building blocks of BD-Live’s potential. Now is the time for a true innovator to step in and show us what it can do.”

Joshua Zyber  |  Jun 21, 2010  |  0 comments
A High-Def Interactivity Primer

I think it’s safe to say that Blu-ray’s early adopter period is finally over. The high-def video disc will celebrate its fourth anniversary on the market in June. Although it hasn’t caught up to DVD yet, the format has grown tremendously. It’s now firmly entrenched in the mainstream. Like many others, you may have waited for the product to work out its kinks before you joined the Blu-ray revolution. Now is a great time to hop aboard. Aside from the obvious benefits of high-definition video and lossless audio, Blu-ray also offers a host of interactive features that distinguish it from DVD and (hopefully) improve the user experience. The following primer will provide an overview of these features and how they work.