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Best Blu-ray Player 2016: 5 best Blu-ray players right now

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BlurayRoundup

Looking for the best Blu-ray player to play your HD discs? We pick the top-rated decks to consider

You’ve picked out one of the best TVs and set up a soundbar nearby, but there's still the matter of the Blu-ray player to consider. Luckily, we've rounded up the best of the best players so you can make an informed decision on which hardware is best for you.

Whether you want the very best picture quality possible, or a feature-packed player that lets you stream from every possible source on the planet, we've got you covered.

The technology has come a long way since Blu-ray was first introduced. Modern players will often feature a range of extras, from 4K upscaling and 3D playback to Wi-Fi and streaming capabilities.

Before you buy a new player, however, consider the upcoming launch of UHD Blu-ray. New players and discs, which support 4K, are coming this year, so if you have a 4K TV or plan to buy one soon, you may want to wait a while before buying a new player.

Current players, such as those in our list, won't support Ultra HD Discs.

What is Ultra HD Blu-ray?

Currently, the likes of Sony, Samsung, Pioneer, and Panasonic are among the key manufacturers offering Blu-ray players at both ends of the price spectrum, and the same will likely be true for the forthcoming UHD Blu-ray format.

For the uninitiated, UHD Blu-ray essentially refers to 4K Blu-ray discs. Whereas the current standard conforms to the Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, Ultra HD Blu-ray uses much higher capacity discs to deliver films with a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160. The new discs, while capable of delivering much better picture quality, are definitely going to cost you.

Samsung K8500 UHD Blu-ray player

2016 is sure to be the year of 4K, with a flood of 4K TVs already on the market and more to come. A host of companies have announced UHD Blu-ray hardware in anticipation of 4K's imminent rise. Panasonic used CES 2016 to announce the DMP-UB900, which supports 4K video at up to 60fps, and also contains support for HDR.

You can find out more about HDR and the new UHD Premium standard for HDR TVs with our helpful guides: HDR: What is it and why should you care? and What is UHD Premium?.

Samsung introduced the UBD-K8500 player at last year's IFA technology show, which will also offer 4K content support at up to 60fps, upscaling, and support for Samsung's smart hub and multi-room link hardware. The company also announced that the UBD-8500 will be available from March, with US pre-orders now open.

Bearing all this in mind, you may want to wait for the first UHD Blu-ray players to become available before shelling out for a new device. But if you simply have to upgrade your current setup or want to finally sample the Blu-ray experience now that the prices have fallen, we’ve taken a look back at our most recent Blu-ray player reviews to give you the best players to buy in 2016.

Ike Bottema

February 23, 2016, 12:42 am

You must be Kidding! Either that or you actually haven't tried the BP550 yourself.

OK the Blu-ray itself is fine. No issue there. But the WiFi frankly sucks ... like big time! Set it up to connect, Fine so far. but notice there are no options to speak of. IP address and DNS etc cannot be set manually for example. True, not many people play with that level of detail however get this... it doesn't save passwords! So when the link goes down and you reconnect, guess what, it's time to reenter the password again! That gets old real quick when the link is somewhat flaky.

That's bad enough but now you're connected and using Netflix say. Now you get to experience frequent pauses as the buffer overflows (presumably). Brings me back to several years ago using an underpowered PC and low-bandwidth Internet connection. "Oh it must be your connection" you say? No. Not so much. I have tried other Blu-ray players with WiFi as well as a WD TV Live media player that I can hook up easily to compare. Nothing performs as dismally as the BP550.

Another fail is the fact that no CD playlist info is displayed when playing music. And some CDs are flagged as faulty but reinserting them a few times will finally allow them to be played.

Out of a scale of 0 to 10, I rate this Blu-ray player a minus 5!

Ike Bottema

February 23, 2016, 12:53 am

I tried the Sony BDP-S5500 myself. Not bad. Slick setup and nice user interface. The remote isn't prone to fat-fingering so that's nice too. The biggest problem I have with the Sony is that the player has to call home to do anything. I found out about that after purchase because I was having a problem (can't recall exactly what it was) so went to the Sony site to get the manual --- you know when all else fails RTFM :) Anyway while at the site, I read some of the reviews and it seems many people had extended periods of Netflix unavailability because as it turns out, Netflix was working just fine but a Sony server was down (apparently for several weeks and not just a one-time thing) I said to myself "screw this, I'm not going to chance an unnecessary point of failure" so brought the unit back.

Ike Bottema

February 23, 2016, 12:57 am

The Samsung BD-J7500 isn't bad but the remote sucks big time. The buttons are too close together even the arrow navigation arrows. It becomes very frustrating attempting to navigate through menus esp when emulating keyboard functions. One wrong move and kiss a long string goodbye! So I kissed the player goodbye.

EM87

June 3, 2016, 6:41 pm

Eh, i'm buying the Sony BDP-S6500. It's just amazing for its price (100€).

Rex Steinkuller

June 12, 2016, 6:29 pm

So I got the Samsung BD-J5700 cause it has "Opera TV Store" but there's no Opera browser there?! Samsung support was clueless! I finally figured out, on my own, I should've gotten the J6300 which also has 3D which I don't want...arghh!

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