PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It’s the season when people are buying all sorts of electronics.
If you’re looking to give or get a Blu-ray player, your timing is good because prices have fallen dramatically.
Watching a movie on an HDTV with a Blu-ray player can deliver an incredible viewing experience.
Consumer Reports tested more than 40 Blu-ray players, ranging from $80 to $650.
The most important test was assessing picture quality. The good news is every Blu-ray player rated “excellent” for high-definition picture quality, from an Oppo, which sells for $500, to a Samsung, which costs $140.
Lower-priced players can still pack in plenty of features, like a USB port, so you can watch home videos on your television. They also offer Internet capability, which allows you to access movies online if you pay for a service such as Netflix or Vudu.
“Some of the Blu-ray players are Wi-Fi capable, which means you can connect to your home network wirelessly,” Jim Willcox with Consumer Reports said.
Another consideration is how long it takes the player to load a movie. Consumer Reports timed how many seconds it takes until the first screen appears.
Some took as little as nine seconds, while others took up to 37 seconds.
If a 3D TV is in your future, Consumer Reports recommends the $200 Sony BDPS-570 Blu-ray player, with the built-in Wi-Fi.
“Right now there’s not a lot of 3D content, but all these machines will play Blu-ray discs and regular DVDs. And you’ll be set to go should you decide you want to buy a 3D TV,” Willcox said.
If you’re not likely to go 3D any time soon, the Samsung BDC-5500 is a good choice. It’s also a Consumer Reports “Best Buy” at $140.
If streaming movies from the Internet is important to you, be aware that Blu-ray manufacturers have agreements with certain service providers.
The two recommended Blu-ray players in this report stream movies from Netflix.
Consumer Reports said that if you’re interested in one service in particular, make sure the player you get offers it.