Blu-ray players have been around for a few years, but their prices and lack of content have not made them so popular in India. Still we could be on the verge of a Blu-ray wave, thanks to cheaper video players, availability of more titles as well as the popularity of high-definition players. With more people switching over to larger and smarter televisions, the chances are they will look at Blu-ray players to sustain their content needs. Here is a look at the best bargain in the Blu-ray market.
Price: Rs 5,900
Specs: 1080p; DivX HD, MPEG, MKV, WMV and JPEG files; AllShare, DVD playback, Dolby TRUE HD Digital Plus.
If affordability is the only factor, then this player from Samsung wins hands down. But then the rest of the features are pretty basic-also no Internet connectivity here. The only connectivity is the Wi-Fi which lets you share content seamlessly between DLNA certified devices. The pictures in Full HD resolution. This is complemented by Dolby TRUE HD Digital Plus sound. It also comes with Anynet+, an AV network system to automatically control Samsung audio-video (AV) devices with a single remote. However, the device struggles to play some of the video formats.
Price: Rs 8,990
Specs: 1080p; DivX, MPEG, WMV, MP3, WMA, WAV, AAC and JPEG files; Internet Video and Wireless LAN; Dolby DTS-HD.
Along with Full HD playback, the S380 comes with BRAVIA Internet Video streaming and is Wireless LAN ready. It has Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD Master Audio internal decoding and bitstream output via HDMI. If you have BD-LIVE compatible discs, the player will connect to the Net to access information from movieIQ. The Quick Network Update feature will periodically notify you of available firmware downloads so you can keep your player updated. You cn use a "Media Remote" Mobile App which works on iOS and Android devices.
Price: Rs 7,990
Specs: 21:9, 16:9, 4:3 aspect ratios; 1080p with video upscaling; DivX Plus HD, MKV, MPEG2, WMV, XviD, AVCHD; DTS-HD Master Audio; Wi-Fi ready.
In our books this Blu-ray player has the best VFM. This Philips provides Full HD playback at 24 fps reproducing cinema-like images. It upscales DVD video to 1080p via HDMI for near-HD images and comes with subtitle shift for widescreen playback so that the text doesn't go out of the screen. The player can be connected to the Net to play YouTube videos on a big-screen TV. It has Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA surround sound and plays files from a USB flash/hard disk drive and features BD-Live.
THE THIRD DIMENSION