Blu-ray Player Reviews

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uavKim Wilson  |  Jul 21, 2008  |  0 comments

The BD-P1500 is Samsung's fourth-generation Blu-ray player. Its elegant high-gloss, piano-black chassis is sure to stand out in any equipment rack. While dedicated Blu-ray players haven't reached rock-bottom prices yet, the BD-P1500 is Samsung's least expensive to date at $400, $150 less then the BD-P1400 that came out less than a year ago. The BD-P1500 is not the holy grail of Blu-ray players, but its feature set and lower price could be just what you've been waiting for.

Kris Deering  |  Feb 23, 2009  |  0 comments
Price: $400 At A Glance: Netflix streaming • Average usability • BD-Live support • Outstanding HD and SD video processing by Silicon Optix HQV

Streaming in Blu

Samsung was the first consumer electronics company to bring a Blu-ray player to market. Since then, the company has released quite a few players with varying degrees of performance. With the BD-P2500, Samsung delves into another market for the first time—video on demand. In the January issue, I reviewed the LG BD300, which was the first player to incorporate Netflix streaming capabilities. The BD-P2500 brings this same feature to the fold and includes some other features that the LG lacks.

Kris Deering  |  Jun 01, 2009  |  0 comments
Price: $400 At A Glance: Extremely responsive • Fast load times • Pandora and Netflix streaming • Full interactivity and audio decoding • Wireless Internet connectivity

Samsung has delivered some solid Blu-ray offerings in the past. The company hasn’t been shy about including high-end video processing, and it’s quick to adopt new features for its lineup. The new BD-P3600 is no exception. It comes with $100 tacked onto its price tag compared with the other players in this roundup, but you may find some interesting features that are worth the investment. At $400, it’s the most feature-laden player of this group and includes onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, 7.1-channel analog outputs, Netflix streaming, and Wi-Fi connectivity.

The BD-P3600 is a very sleek-looking player that takes a minimalist approach to aesthetics. The front panel is jet black, and only the tray is obvious. It also has a garish-looking sticker that flaunts the player’s advanced features. Personally, I’m a silkscreen guy when it comes to logos. I think manufacturers should skip the cheap-looking stickers on their players’ front panels.

David Vaughn  |  Nov 10, 2009  |  0 comments
Price: $450 At A Glance: Solid performance on both DVD and Blu-ray Discs • Netflix and Pandora streaming capability • Unique wall-mount design

Back in 2006, Samsung was the first manufacturer to release a Blu-ray player to the masses. It contributed to the format’s less than stellar launch reportedly due to an incorrect default setting in the video processing chip set used in the player.

Samsung fixed the issue in its debut player with a firmware update and has been at the forefront of player development ever since. Over the generations, its players have offered HQV video processing, Wi-Fi, and media streaming capabilities. The BD-P4600 is Samsung’s most expensive offering in 2009 at $450, but it brings a lot to the table with oodles of features, solid performance, and a unique design.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 28, 2008  |  0 comments
A cease fire or a bridge too far?

Months ago, when Samsung announced its BD-UP5000 dual format player, there appeared to be no end in sight to an ugly format war that threatened the future of high definition on a disc.

Mark Fleischmann  |  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.

Thomas J. Norton  |  May 12, 2016  |  3 comments

PRICE $400

World’s first UHD Blu-ray player
Outstanding overall performance
Reasonable price (for a “first”)
No auto picture adjustments for HDR, non-HDR, and 1080p discs with current UHDTVs
Small, frustrating remote

As the first Ultra HD Blu-ray player, the Samsung UBD-K8500 provides exceptional performance with the right display and disc. But as with any new format, there are growing pains to be sorted out before we can toast to its complete success.

The video world, or at least the segment that still values packaged media, has been waiting impatiently for Ultra HD discs. Many of us still prefer to pay for our movies once and have them on the shelf. More important, we want their video and audio quality uncompromised by Internet bandwidth limitations. Editor's note: For our reviewers' impressions of some the first UHD Blu-ray movie titles, see "Eye on UHD: 14 Ultra HD Blu-ray Movies Reviewed."

David Vaughn  |  Nov 13, 2017  |  14 comments

PRICE $400

Plethora of streaming options
Outstanding picture quality
Dual HDMI outputs
No 3D support
Flimsy disc tray
No Dolby Vision support

This second-generation Ultra HD Blu-ray player delivers exceptional performance and value, especially for heavy Netflix or Amazon users.

I’m in my 13th year of reviewing consumer electronics, and I’m continually amazed at the industry’s pace of innovation. In the span of about 20 years, we’ve gone from bulky, backbreaking CRT displays to flat-panel TVs that hang on the wall, as well as projectors that are smaller than the base of a vacuum cleaner—all at prices that the middle class can easily afford.

Daniel Kumin  |  Mar 06, 2015  |  0 comments
Audio Performance
Video Performance
PRICE $5,000

State-of-the-art wireless (WiSA) audio performance
Includes full WiHD Wireless-HDMI link
Substantial, very high- quality design
High-res audio compatible—wirelessly
File-streaming feature not fully baked
No mixed wired/wireless multichannel output
No video processing on HDMI inputs
Limited system control features

The SD-WH1000U is beautifully built and an outstanding A/V performer wired or wireless, but it’s not quite up to service as a full-system hub controller.

Trundle down to your local big-box store, and you will find quite literally dozens of Blu-ray Disc players on offer, starting well under $50. Big ones, little ones, skinny ones, flat ones, cheap ones, and cheaper ones.

None of these will be Sharp’s new SD-WH1000U, a Blu-ray player with a difference. Two differences, in fact: First, it has a jaw-slackening price tag of $5,000; second, Sharp’s design is wireless-centric, being the first WiSA-compatible player to appear, and one of the very first WiSA sources of any description.

Geoffrey Morrison  |  Oct 21, 2006  |  First Published: Oct 22, 2006  |  0 comments
Inside Samsung's BD-P1000 Blu-ray player.

It's rare that a product will get journalists from different publications all calling each other—and by rare I mean never. But that's what happened with Samsung's BD-P1000. There have been calls back and forth between different magazines, then different manufacturers. Even content providers have been keeping the phone lines busy for the past few weeks. At first, it was to see if everyone was seeing the same things, stemming from disbelief. Then, it was thoughts on what was going on. Next, it was trying to find answers. And it all started with this little DVD, er, Blu-ray player. (See my full review on page 126.)

David Vaughn  |  Jan 04, 2010  |  0 comments
Price: $1,900 At A Glance: Solid build quality • Admirable Blu-ray and DVD playback • Middling HD video processing • Average load times

Dream Machine?

Sony’s foray into the U.S. electronics market began more than 50 years ago when co-founder Akio Morita came to New York to sell a $30 miniature transistor radio. At the time, he attracted the interest of Bulova, a watchmaker with a vast retail network. Bulova offered to buy 100,000 units under one condition—Sony would have to original equipment manufacture (O.E.M.) the radios, and they would be branded and marketed under Bulova’s name. Amazingly, Morita went against his board of directors’ advice and turned down the deal. His 50-year goal was to make the Sony name as popular as Bulova’s. Through the strength of his vision, Sony is now one of the most recognized brands in the world.

David Vaughn  |  Mar 15, 2010  |  0 comments
Price: $250 At A Glance: Onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio • Streaming options include Netflix and Amazon Video On Demand

Sony sells seven stand-alone Blu-ray players, ranging from its entry level BDP-S360 ($150, HT, July 2009) up to its Elevated Standard BDP-CX7000ES MegaChanger ($1,900, HT, March 2010). But one of the biggest complaints against Sony’s BD players has been the lack of networking features. Well, Sony has addressed that complaint with the BDP-N460. It includes a plethora of streaming options from Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand, YouTube, Slacker, and a host of other content providers—some more useful than others. Network connectivity is a great add-on feature, but how does the player perform as a disc player? Let’s find out…

Just the Facts
In the waterfall of Sony Blu-ray players, the BDP-N460 is a step up from Sony’s entry-level players. Aesthetically, it looks nearly identical to the BDP-S360, with a simple glossy black plastic facing that drops down to expose the disc tray. The only other buttons on the front are Play, Stop, Eject, and Power.

Ultimate AV Staff  |  Jul 16, 2006  |  0 comments

<UL CLASS="square">
<LI>Digital Video Output: HDMI</LI>
<LI>Video Upconversion: 720p, 1080i/p</LI>
<LI>Audio Decoding: DD, DTS, MP3, WMA</LI>
<LI>Ins and Outs: HDMI, component, composite and S-Video, coaxial and Toslink digital audio, two-channel and 5.1-channel analog audio</LI>
<LI>Feature Highlights: Blu-ray Disc Player, upconversion of standard-def DVDs to 720p or 1080i/p via HDMI</LI>
<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/706sonybdps1.jpg" WIDTH=450 HEIGHT=166 BORDER=0>

 |  Dec 08, 2006  |  0 comments

In one significant way, the Blu-ray Disc format got off to an even more inauspicious start than the rival HD DVD format. <A HREF="">Samsung's BD-P1000</A> player was the first, and for months, the only BD player on the market. It had shipped with a Noise Reduction circuit cranked up to 11, softening the picture substantially and actually increasing the noise in the image by several orders of magnitude. On top of that, many BD titles released over the last several months have been surprisingly variable in image quality, even compared with broadcast HD. In short, a lot of the BD titles released so far just don't look very good.