Planning to buy a player? Let it be known that there are two types of players.

The first is the standard Blu-ray player. The other is the Blu-ray player.

This quick Blu-ray will discuss both below. First, let’s get some basic facts explained before we get to that.

If you’re wondering why you should consider a Blu-ray player when there HD streaming services available at your fingertips, please read, What’s the Difference Between 4K Blu-ray and 4K Streaming : Which is Better?

Backward Compatible

You may be wondering whether you can use your older optical discs like DVDs, CDs, VCDs, DVD-RAM, DVD+/-R/RW with Blu-ray players.

The good news is you can. Both the standard and players are backward compatible.

But then if you want to use DVD-RAM or DVD+/-R/RW with your Blu-ray player, you could do well to check whether a player model can play it back.

Better still, bring the disc(s) along to see it for yourself if they work with a particular Blu-ray player before you make a purchase decision.

1080p Blu-ray Player

If you’re looking to replace your DVD player, don’t go out and look for another DVD player. Instead, opt for a Blu-ray player which would play back your DVDs, CDs and VCDs, as mentioned above.

Chances are you already have a Full HD and an 1080p Blu-ray player would be an ideal replacement for your DVD player.

For one, Blu-ray players upscales your DVD movies to Full HD, though not true 1080p. You’ll get better quality video than what you do over a DVD player.

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player

If you have a 4K UHD TV or plan to buy one in the near future, then you should consider a 4K Blu-ray player.

With a 4K Blu-ray player, you get a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels.

That’s four times the resolution offered by a standard Blu-ray player.

A 4K Blu-ray player offers a wider range of colour. This is because 4K Blu-ray players supports High Dynamic Range (). If your 4K TV supports , you’ll have a feast of colours.

Some 4K Blu-ray players support Dolby Vision but your TV must support Dolby Vision, too.

You may play Blu-ray discs in a 4K Blu-ray player and get it upscaled to 4K resolution. However, it’s not true 4K resolution but quasi 4K resolution.

Features to Look Out For

Disc Formats

As has been mentioned earlier, check to see what disc formats are supported. Choose a player that can play almost any disc format, including SACD and DVD-Audio.

3D

Some players come with 3D video enabled. But then newer TV seldom have the 3D feature. 3D didn’t really catch on with the TV manufacturers. Furthermore, there is limited 3D content available on Blu-ray.

But then if you’ve an older 4K TV that supports 3D, you would want to consider purchasing a 3D Blu-ray player.

AV Connectivity

When you talk about Blu-ray, it’s all about connectivity. Standard Blu-ray players have HDMI 1.4 out and 4K Blu-ray, HDMI 2.0 and 4K Blu-ray with HDR support, HDMI 2.0a.

USB Connectivity and Memory Card Slots

USB and memory card slots will come useful if you wish to play digital video content, especially from digital cameras or camcorders.

But then most TVs have these features as well.

Internet Connectivity

Blu-ray players are just meant to play physical optical discs. They are also Internet-streaming ready. Once you’re connected to your home network, you can access various video streaming apps ranging from Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video and even YouTube.

So, when you can’t find a particular Blu-ray movie you can always get the movie through a streaming app.

Ensure the player supports WiFi and comes with a wired Ethernet jack.

Screen Mirroring

If you wish to ‘project’ your Android smartphone or tablet to your TV, most newer Blu-ray players can do it. You can use the built-in screen mirroring app like Miracast or AllShare (Samsung) to make this possible.

Audio Capabilities

By default Blu-ray players support 5.1 channel and 7.1 channel audio.

If you need Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio, then you would have to select certain models.

Similarly Dolby Atmos or DTS : X is only available with certain 4K Blu-ray players.

If you’re into digital optical or digital coaxial audio, some Blu-ray player models support that for older home theater systems.

You can also play lossless digital audio files like FLAC, AIFF, WAV, DSD or ALAC through your Blu-ray player’s USB port. This can be done through a flash drive or an external hard disk.

Hope the above quick Blu-ray player buying guide will help you in choosing a Blu-ray player that meets your needs.