Despite the various streaming services available, Blu-ray discs are a staple for people who want the best audio and video quality possible. It's perfect for watching dynamic, high-resolution movies and shows. However, choosing the best Blu-ray player can be tricky, especially if you don't know what to look for. Whether you want something basic or something premium with support for high-resolution videos, there's an option out there for you.
This Panasonic 4K Streaming Blu-ray Player With Voice Controls is as good as it gets. It has extra helpful features, including 4K resolutions and voice commands.
If you're looking for a Blu-ray player, many people choose to buy a player with 4K video because it has higher resolution playback. However, you must own a 4K TV for it to display correctly. It’s also worth noting that 4K streaming and 4K Blu-ray are different than regular Blu-ray. Not every Blu-ray player supports 4K Blu-ray discs. Additionally, 4K streaming is commonly offered on services like Hulu and Netflix.
Many Blu-ray players also include support for high-resolution video formats (HDR), such as Dolby Vision. Dolby Vision is one of many examples of video-enhancing tools that come with a high-dynamic range. While Dolby Vision support isn’t featured on every device, most new TVs, Blu-ray players and other media devices include some form of HDR.
Many people prefer to watch their Blu-rays with high-resolution audio to get the most out of their experience. Many Blu-ray players support high-resolution audio formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, making them perfect for surround sound systems. You’ll also need to make sure that your Blu-ray player features the necessary audio outputs for your speakers, even if it only requires an HDMI audio port.
Depending on your preferences, many users prefer 4K Blu-ray players to get the highest-quality experience possible for their favorite movies and shows. However, it’s worth noting you need a 4K TV to enjoy this kind of Blu-ray player. This extra expense may not be in your budget. In addition, most high-end media players now have software to help enhance lower-resolution videos, sometimes bringing low-quality videos up to 1080p.
As with any media device, it’s important to buy a Blu-ray player that features the correct video outputs for your TV or projector. If you hope to use your player with multiple different screens or devices, you’ll want to purchase a Blu-ray player featuring multiple HDMI outputs.
You’ll also want to make sure your Blu-ray connects to the internet easily. Many players have an ethernet port for wired internet connections, and many higher-quality versions also include Wi-Fi connectivity. If you want minimal cables in and around your TV, you may want to purchase a player with Wi-Fi support.
You can buy some Blu-ray players in bundle packs that include other accessories such as remote controls and HDMI cables. These accessories are important if you are starting out with a brand new setup.
Some premium Blu-ray players have voice control support through Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant or other voice assistants. Choosing a model that features voice commands can make navigation simple and easy to use.
Cheap Blu-ray players can cost as little as $80, while midrange models cost between $100-$200. Other players with features like 4K video, Wi-Fi and voice commands may cost $200-$500.
A. Yes, as long as they include a disc drive. Newer consoles from Sony, Microsoft, Playstation and Xbox all include Blu-ray support. However, the Nintendo Switch doesn’t include a disc drive, so Blu-ray discs can’t be played on the console.
A. Some do; however, this is relatively uncommon. If you’re hoping to connect your Blu-ray player to a Bluetooth device, make sure to double-check the product description.
Panasonic 4K Streaming Blu-ray Player with Voice Controls
What you need to know: This Blu-ray player supports voice controls with Alexa and Google Assistant and features 4K video streaming.
What you’ll love: This powerful Blu-ray player can connect to streaming services via Wi-Fi or an ethernet cable. It also supports Dolby Vision and high-resolution audio formats. It also has upscaling technology for optimal color, textures and detail.
What you should consider: This media player doesn’t let users download unsupported streaming apps.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sony 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray Player with HDMI Cable
What you need to know: This media player can play Blu-ray, 4K and other high-resolution media formats. The bundle comes with an HDMI cable, too.
What you’ll love: This Blu-ray player can connect to the internet using either Wi-Fi or an ethernet cable. It also includes support for Dolby Vision and easily connects to Hulu, Netflix and other apps for 4K streaming.
What you should consider: This model doesn’t include voice controls, and some buyers had issues with certain streaming services.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
LG UBK90 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray Player
What you need to know: This Blu-ray player is an excellent deal, offering video playback in resolutions up to 4K.
What you’ll love: This media player connects to the internet using an ethernet cable, and it features 4K streaming on Netflix, YouTube and other services. It includes a handy USB port and supports Dolby Vision and other video-enhancing features.
What you should consider: This model can't connect to the internet via Wi-Fi.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Peter McGuthrie writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.