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burns flipper
23rd June 2011, 10:32
When shopping for a DVD player, you can pick the cheapest one for 30 in a supermarket and it will do everything you want.

What about Blu-ray players? I've been looking on play.com and they range between 70-150. Some of them claim to have greater picture quality - is this true? Does the quality of the picture depend on the player, i.e. are there some that give noticeably outstanding quality? And can you region-unlock players like you can with almost all DVD players? Are there some features of the more expensive players I really should be having?

Harrison
23rd June 2011, 13:02
Blu-Ray players are more software based than DVD was, so a player with networking is worth getting. Blu-Ray player OS updates are useful to add compatibility with newer discs. Blu-Ray discs also include network/internet connectivity within a lot of films for additional content.

Personally I would always pay a little more and buy a Panasonic or Sony players, rather than a cheap brand. It is true that picture quality differs from brand to brand and player to player because of the rendering engines different makers use. Some people can't tell the difference, but the engines also affect how the players upscale older DVD to HD when being played back. I've found Panasonic players seem to do a better job of upscaling DVD than most others. Some other makes seems to generate a lot of artefacts in the upscaling process. Definitely worth reading some reviews before committing.

However, saying all that, I think the Playstation 3 is still the best option and is what I use combined with the official bluetooth remote control so I don't have to use the game controllers to control Blu-Ray playback and it has the buttons for all the disc/player features.

Also don't pay too much for an HDMI cable to use with the Blu-Ray player. Anything over 10 for the cable is a ripoff. Just make sure it is at least an HDMI 1.3a cable. I got my last cable through an Amazon seller for something like 4 I think.

Demon Cleaner
23rd June 2011, 14:07
And can you region-unlock players like you can with almost all DVD players? Are there some features of the more expensive players I really should be having?
Problem is that it's impossible to do it softwarewise, you have to add a circuit board that does the region free, but they ask quite much to do it. You can check on eBay, a lot of people are selling every model of blu ray players region free, but the price is often 150-200€ more than without the region free modification.

Like Harrison mentioned, I also think that the PS3 is a very good option, having a decent blu ray player built in, and we all know what else you can do with it.

Another option would be the Cobra USB stick for the PS3, but that involves PS3 hacking, which is perhaps not the best option for someone who doesn't want that. You can find some info here (http://forum.classicamiga.com/forum/showthread.php/4593-PS3-Cobra-USB?highlight=cobra+usb).

burns flipper
4th July 2011, 10:39
I have 210 to spend in vouchers at Argos/HMV/Amazon (I can spend them all at 1 place) so I'm thinking of getting a PS3 slim, new (to make sure I get all the warranty/guarantees etc - they sell refurbished ones on eBay for 169 but I'm not sure if I'd get the warranty with that). I can get the 320gb model for 270 (which is 60 of my own money) or the 160gb for 240 (which is 30).

I don't think I'll be using it that much for games, it's mainly as a blu-ray player. What is everything the hard disc is used for?

Demon Cleaner
4th July 2011, 10:56
Game demos, game updates, game saves, game DLC, game installs... If you don't play, no need to buy one with a big HDD.

Harrison
4th July 2011, 13:07
Yeah, you won't need a large HD if you won't be playing many games. Just for OS updates and other stuff. The PS3 is also great for use as a media streamer too, so you could hold videos and music on another computer and stream it when needed.

If you are mostly going to be using it for watching Blu-Ray discs then invest in the PS3 bluetooth remote control because it makes it much easier to control DVD and BD video discs without needing to hold a game controller.