The Best Blu-ray and Ultra HD Blu-ray Players For 2017

A Blu-ray Player Is the Perfect Complement For Today's Home Theater Set-Ups

Blu-ray players (AKA Blu-ray disc players) are now an integral part of the home theater experience, and deservedly so. A Blu-ray player not only plays Blu-ray discs, but also play DVDs and CDs, and most can also stream content from the internet, as well as from local PCs and media servers. Also,  the introduction of Ultra HD Blu-ray elevates the video and audio quality of home theater experience further. A Blu-ray Disc player is your gateway to the best that home theater can offer. Check out some of the best. 

Note: Entries on this list are periodically updated to keep them current.

In addition, if you looking for PC Blu-ray disc drives, check out some of our suggestions

Although 4K is making inroads in the internet streaming landscape, due to factors such as video compression and available broadband speeds definitely affects the quality of a streamed 4K signal. The solution, the Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc format.

Although the OPPO Digital UDP-203 is not first Ultra HD Blu-ray player to come to market, it has made its mark as possibly the best player to date.

To start, the UDP-203 provides comprehensive disc playback, including Ultra HD Blu-ray, Standard 2D/3D Blu-ray, DVD, CD, SACD, and DVD-Audio.

In terms of Ultra HD Blu-ray playback, out of the box, the UDP-203 is compatible with HDR10-encoded discs and is one of the few players that is Dolby Vision HDR upgradable via firmware update, which will be available once Dolby Vision-encoded discs become available. Also, for TVs that are not HDR compatible, the 203 has a setting that will strip out the HDR encoding on playback so that you can still access the 4K resolution portion of the disc information.

On the audio side, UDP-203 can perform both pass-through and decoding of most Dolby and DTS formats, and can also pass-through Dolby Atmos and DTS:X formats to a compatible home theater receiver for further decoding.

The UDP-203 also provides extensive connectivity, including two HDMI outputs (one for video/audio and another for audio only), as well as both digital optical/coaxial, and 7.1 channel analog audio outputs for those that prefer using the 203's internal audio processing.

Another unique feature is the inclusion of an HDMI input. What this means is that users can connect an external device that has an HDMI output (cable/satellite box, media streamer, etc...) and takes advantage of both the internal video and audio processing capabilities (including HDMI-to-analog audio conversion) of the 203.

There are even 3 USB ports provided that provide BD-live memory expansion, or access to compatible audio, video, and still image files from USB flash drives.

Both Ethernet and built-in WiFi allow connection to the rest of your home network for access compatible content stored on PCs or media servers.

However, one important thing to point out is that although the UDP-203 is one of most comprehensive Ultra HD players available, it does not incorporate one feature most consumers are used to seeing in a Blu-ray or Ultra HD Blu-ray player - Internet Streaming.

In other words, you cannot use the UDP-203 to access internet streaming services, such as Netflix, Vudu, Pandora, etc... OPPO's decision to not include this capability, was, instead, to emphasize the best audio and video quality possible. Since most TVs now provide access to abundant streaming content, and, with the HDMI input, you can connect a media streamer of your choice, OPPO felt that providing internet streaming capability on the UDP-203 would be redundant.

If you are looking for a high-end Ultra HD Blu-ray player that is also fully compatible with your current Blu-ray, DVD, and CD library, and don't mind a slight inconvenience on the internet streaming end, then definitely consider the OPPO Digital UDP-203.

Sony adds its name to the growing number of available 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc players, and it is in big demand. UBP-X800 has everything you would expect, and more, including playback compatibility with 4K UHD discs (including HDR), as well as 2D/3D Blu-ray, DVD, audio CDs and SACDs. Also, on added bonus is playback compatibility with Hi-Res audio files via USB, or network-connected PCs.

In addition to physical disc and hi-res audio playback, the UX800 is fully capable of streaming 4K content from internet, via ethernet or wifi, including Netflix.

For audio, the UBP-X800 is compatible with most surround sound formats, including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. You can also stream music from the UX800 to compatible wireless speakers via Sony's SongPal App. No speaker system? Listen to your audio via compatible Bluetooth headphones or a portable speaker.

However, as much as the X800 offers, in terms of connectivity it must be pointed that only HDMI and Digital Coaxial outputs are provided. Although you can use this player with non-4K TVs (you just won't get the benefit of its 4K capabilities), your TV must have an HDMI input to accept a video signal.

On the other hand, the X800 does provide two HDMI outputs, one of which dedicated to audio only output. This is very practical for those that own a 4K Ultra HD TV, but a home theater receiver that may not be compatible with 4K/HDR video signals.

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray is here, and Samsung is first out the gate with a compatible player.

Featuring a stylish, thin profile curved design, this player will complement any home theater setup - and looks great next to a curved screen TV.

However, its most important feature is the UBD-K8500 meets Ultra Blu-ray specifications, which means that it is compatible with Ultra HD Blu-ray discs.

In order to get the full benefit of native 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray playback, which includes HDR and Wide Color Gamut information encoded on Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, you need a compatible TV that has HDMI (ver 2.0a) inputs.

Also, in addition to Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, you can still play your current Blu-ray discs, DVDs and CDs as well, so your current collection is not obsolete.

However, there is more. The UBD-K8500 also features access to internet streaming services (including 4K services), provides the ability to stream content direct from compatible smartphones, and even provides CD-to-USB ripping. 

The Philips BDP7501 is a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player that is an extremely compact unit, measuring just 8.7 x 8.7 x 2.4 inches and only weighing 3.5 pounds.

The BDP7501 has the ability to play Ultra HD Blu-ray discs (which includes enhancements such as HDR and Wide Color Gamut - but it can also play standard Blu-ray discs (both 2D and 3D), as well as DVDs and audio CDs - and, yes, 4K upscaling is provided for both Blu-ray discs and DVDs.

Physical connectivity is limited, with 2 HDMI outputs provided (one audio/video, and the other audio only). There are no other audio outputs provided (either analog or digital).

On the other hand, a USB port for access to digital photo, video, music content via flash drives or other compatible USB storage devices is provided.

The BDP7501 also comes equipped with both Ethernet and Wifi for direct access to Netflix and YouTube (up to 4K) as well as the ability to access digital media files from compatible network-connected devices, such as PCs and media servers.

However, the BDP7501 does not provide access to other popular streaming services, such as Amazon Video, Hulu, Vudu, or Pandora. For access to more services, you need a recent model Smart TV or an external media streamer connected to your TV to access a decent number of internet streaming services.

The streaming offerings provided with the BDP7501 are definitely a weak point. However, if you what to upgrade to Ultra HD Blu-ray, this player is definitely an option to consider.

The OPPO Digital BDP-103 Blu-ray Player plays 2D and 3D Blu-ray discs as well as internet streaming from services such as Netflix, Vudu,  Pandora, and Rhapsody. The BDP-103 also continues OPPO's tradition of providing both SACD and DVD-Audio disc playback as well as compatibility with a host of other formats, including, but not limited to, HDCD, MKV, and standard audio CDs. The BDP-103 can also play back media files from connected USB flash drives, or from a network-connected PC.

For convenience, the BDP-103 provides Dual HDMI outputs that enable the connection of one HDMI output directly to a 3D-TV, while using the second HDMI output for connecting to another 2D or 3D compatible display or to supply a separate audio feed to a pre-3D HDMI home theater receiver. An added bonus is the inclusion of the two HDMI inputs, as well as a total of three USB ports.

You get all of the above, plus 4K upscaling if you need it.
Review  - Buy From Amazon

Also Available: OPPO Digital 103D Blu-ray Disc Player with Built-in  Darbee Visual Presence Video Processing.
Review -

The Sony Playstation 4 is not only a hot video game console, but it is a great media streamer and Blu-ray disc player. You not only get a game console that can be connected to your home theater or home network but also provides 1080p upscaled DVD and Blu-ray disc playback via HDMI outputs (you may have to install a firmware update to activate the Blu-ray and DVD playback features). The Playstation 4 will give you your money's worth, even if you never play a video game. If you are a movie fan that has been put off buying a Blu-ray disc player due to cost or fear of obsolescence, check out the Playstation 4 option.

Although a 2015 model, the BD-J7500 has not been directly replaced by Samsung and is still available going into 2017.

The BD-J7500 is a Blu-ray disc player that is also complete media playback device for physical, network, and internet-based content. On the physical playback front, the BD-J7500 provides 2D and 3D playback of Blu-ray discs, DVDs, CDs (it can also rip CDs to USB flash drives), and also provides both 1080p and 4K upscaling.

For additional media playback sources, the BD-J7500 has both and Ethernet connection and built-in Wi-Fi for easy connection to the internet for accessing audio/video streaming content, such as Cinema Now, Netflix, Pandora, Vudu, and more.

Also, Wifi Direct/Miracast provides wireless streaming directly from compatible smartphones and tablets, and compatibility with Samsung's Wireless Multiroom Audio Link system allows content being played on the BD-J7500 (that includes physical discs) to be wirelessly streamed to compatible wireless playback devices around the house.

However, it is also important to point out that only HDMI and Digital Optical Outputs are provided for connection to a TV and home theater receiver.

Pioneer's Blu-ray disc player entries tend to be a little more expensive that most of their competitors, but their Elite BDP-80FD carries a more competitive suggested price.

First up, the BDP-80FD plays both 2D and 3D Blu-ray discs, DVDs, CDs, and even SACDs. Also included is DIVX+ HD MKV file playback capability, internet streaming from Netflix, Pandora, and YouTube, as well as DLNA functionality which allows access to media files stored on your PC or media server.

Also, for better playback quality from internet video content, Pioneer also incorporates Stream Smoother technology, which helps to eliminate streaming and compression artifacts.

Miracast is also included, providing wireless streaming capability directly from compatible smartphones and tablets.

In addition, if your player is inconveniently located too far from your internet router, the built-in Wi-Fi makes connecting to your home network and the internet a lot more convenient.

An HDMI output is provided for both audio and video, as well as digital coaxial and two-channel analog stereo outputs for audio-only needs.

The BDP-S6700 is a full-featured player from Sony that incorporates 2D and 3D Blu-ray disc playback, as well as the ability to play DVDs, CDs, and SACDs. In addition, both 1080p and 4K upscaling are included. 2D-to-3D conversion is also included.

Also, to further optimize the quality of what you see on the screen (independent from your TV's controls), the BDP-S6700 incorporates Sony's Triluminos color processing.

In addition to disc playback, still images, video, and music stored on USB flash drives or other compatible devices can be played back via the front-mounted USB port. The BP-S6700 provides internet streaming content access from over 200 services (including Hulu, YouTube, Vudu, Netflix, and Pandora). An added bonus is the incorporation of Playstation Now, which allows users to play PS3 games directly on the player, with the additional purchase of a Dualshock 4 game controller (Buy from Amazon).

Also, if you install the SongPal App (ver 3.0) for iOS or Android devices, you can use the BDP-S6700 to stream music from the player to other compatible network-connected devices. In addition, Bluetooth is also included which allows direct streaming from compatible devices to the player.

The BP-S6700 can also access compatible media content (photos, video, as well as standard and hi-res music) stored on USB other network connected devices.

For connection to your network and the internet, the BDP-S6700 provides both wired ethernet and Wi-Fi connection options.

However, as much as the BDP-S6700 has, it is also important to point out what it doesn't have. For example, complying with the current Blu-ray Disc standard, HDMI is the only video output option provided - there are component or composite video outputs. Also, there is no digital optical, and no analog audio outputs provided on the BDP-S6700, but there is a digital coaxial audio output available, should an audio-only connected be needed.

If you are looking for a great Blu-ray disc player for a really inexpensive price, check out Panasonic's DMP-BD93. This player packs in a lot, including Blu-ray disc, DVD (including 1080p DVD upscaling), CD and CD-R/RW playback.

The DMP-BD93 provides built-in Wi-Fi connectivity but does not provide a physical ethernet connection. However, if you have a stable Wi-Fi signal to your router, the player can access both BD-Live internet content related to some Blu-ray Disc releases, as well as the content streamed from Netflix, CinemaNow, and Vudu, as well as content stored on network-connected PCs.

Also, Miracast is included to provide wireless streaming or sharing capability directly from compatible smartphones and tablets.

In addition, a front mounted USB port allows access to content stored

However, it is important to point out that the DMP-BD93 only provides the HDMI output option for both audio and video. There are no other video or audio connection options provided. This means that both your TV and Home Theater Receiver must have HDMI connections in order to access both audio and video from the DMP-BD93.

NOTE: The Panasonic DMP-BD93 is not 3D-compatible.

The Sony BDP-S3700 is a slim-styled, fast loading Blu-ray disc player that features Blu-ray disc playback, DVD, and CD playback. 1080p upscaling is also provided DVD playback when connected to a 1080p TV.

Additional capabilities include playback of still images, video, and music stored on USB flash drives or other compatible devices. These can be accessed via the front mounted USB port (you can also use the USB port to plug an external windows mouse or keyboard). The Sony BDP-S3700 also has internet streaming capability (including Hulu, YouTube, Vudu, and Netflix and a lot more), via either wired or wireless network connectivity. The BDP-3700 incorporates screen mirroring (Miracast), which allows you to share content from your smartphone.

In additon, the BDP-S3700 provides access to media content stored on other network-connected devices, such as PCs and media servers.

The standard remote control is included in the box, if you download Sony's TV Sideview App, to your smartphone, you can use it to not only organize your content, but control the player's transport controls.

NOTE: It is important to point out that the BDP-S3700 only provides HDMI and digital coaxial output connections. No analog audio or video connections are included.

The Yamaha BD-S681 can be higher-priced than many Blu-ray disc players, but if you are looking for a player that provides options that ups the quality for audio-only playback, the BD-S681 may be a good choice.

The Yamaha BD-S681 provides 2D/3D Blu-ray disc playback and 4K upscaling for Blu-ray and DVD playback. In addition to Blu-ray discs and DVDs, the BD-S681 also plays Audio CDs and SACDs.

In fact, for audio CD (and two-channel SACD) playback, the BD-S681 provides analog stereo output connections. There is also CD-mode shuts off the HDMI output and all video processing functions for a purer CD audio output.

Ethernet and built-in Wi-Fi are provided for easy connection to the internet for accessing audio/video streaming content from Vudu, but, unfortunately, does not provide streaming from Netflix. The BD-S681 can also play content stored on DLNA-compatible devices on a home network, and from USB flash drives (two USB ports are provided). Miracast/ Wifi Direct are also included, which provide direct wireless sharing or streaming from compatible smartphones and tablets.

The BD-S681 can be controlled by the provided remote, from the Yamaha AV Controller App for iOS and Android devices.

NOTE: Amazon may have this product mislabeled as an Audio Component Equalizer - but it is, in fact, a Blu-ray disc player.


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