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Best Blu-ray Player

1st Place: Panasonic DMR-BS850 Freesat Blu-ray & HDD-Recorder

OK, so it's not just a Blu-ray player, but that's kind of the whole point. Panasonic broke new ground with the DMR-BS850 by launching the very first Blu-ray recorder into the UK market, which makes this a special enough product, but it's actually so much more than that. As well as Blu-ray recording, the DMR-BS850 is a fully featured hard disk PVR with 500GB of storage, and of course recordings made to the hard disk can be archived to Blu-ray. You also get twin Freesat HD tuners, so you've got access to high definition content to record in the first place.

Not only are the recording features first rate, the Blu-ray playback is also top draw, with the DMR-BS850 turning in a performance that's as good as Panasonic's high end Blu-ray players. Meanwhile, both DTS HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD lossless surround sound formats can be output in either bitstream or multi-channel PCM, so you're getting the best possible sound as well as top class pictures.

Put simply, the Panasonic DMR-BS850 provides TV in high definition, HD recording to hard disk, HD archiving to Blu-ray, and superb Blu-ray movie playback. It may not be cheap, but if you're serious about high definition, and don't want to sign a Sky contract, the DMR-BS850 ticks all the right boxes.

Read the full review of the Panasonic DMR-BS850 Freesat Blu-ray & HDD-Recorder

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2nd Place: LG BD390

If you're not bothered about Freesat HD tuners and recording capabilities, and just want a feature rich Blu-ray player at a great price, you should take a look at the LG BD390. Not only is this a superb Blu-ray deck, with all the latest BD goodies like BD Live, but it's also a great media streamer.

The BD390 has built-in Wi-Fi, including support for the latest Wireless-N standard, which means that you can wirelessly stream media from any DNLA compliant source. File support is also impressive with DivX, AVI and MKV, to name but a few. LG hasn't just created a Blu-ray player, it's built a fully featured media hub for your living room.

Read the full review of the LG BD390

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3rd Place: Samsung BD-P3600

If there was a prize for the best looking Blu-ray player, then the Samsung BD-P3600 would probably win it. This really is a great looking deck - all smooth curves and glossy surfaces. It may need a lot of polishing, but it's worth the effort. Better still, that beauty isn't skin deep, since there's a lot to like inside this player too.

Although the BD-P3600 doesn't have built-in Wi-Fi like the LG, it ships with a USB Wi-Fi dongle in the box, which plugs neatly into a port at the rear. This allows you to stream audio and video from a remote source, while also negating the need for wires when accessing BD Live content. Although slightly eclipsed by the LG now, this is still an incredibly well featured Blu-ray player at a great price.

Read the full review of the Samsung BD-P3600

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