Christmas Gift Guide: Entry Level Blu-ray
Several folks have been asking the Hub for some holiday gift recommendations and the most popular request has been for entry-level blu-ray players. Here we go:
Not a ton of features but it does the most important things right at $70!
- Great blu-ray and DVD playback
- Supports Dolby True-HD and DTS-master audio
- Fast load times
- Profile 2.0 player but needs USB storage
For $99, adds lots of streaming features such as NetFlix (not as nice as playstation’s or AppleTV) and Amazon video on demand. It also adds an digital audio output which the entry level LG does not have. It also adds the ability to play SACD music discs and has some basic DLNA client ability.
If you are looking to spend a little more at $230, you can have all the goodies. If you have an older receiver, this player has 7.1 analog audio outputs which will may start to be phased out of blu-ray players. It also has built in wireless as well as a huge 250 GB hard drive. For the price you are getting a lot more than a blu-ray player, you’re getting a device that can stream almost everything (NetFlix, Pandora, Vudu, Youtube ) and can store lots of photos, music and video.
Most expensive in our line up at $299 but still one of the best blu-ray players on the market and it’s a great game console. It’s only drawback is that it does not have surround sound analog output for older receivers. It’s on my Christmas wish list!
In response to reader mail: What’s the best entry level player that has good NetFlix support (some browsing capability; not just the instant queue) and also has built in wireless?
In the low cost category, the LG 570 fits the bill for about $160. It has built in wireless N and can browse the netflix catalog.