This quick Blu-ray buying guide 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?
The good news is you can. Both the standard and 4K Blu-ray 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.