Microsoft Xbox One ( without Kinect)
The cheaper, no-Kinect version of the Xbox One gives buyers a better deal by eliminating the one part of the console they probably didn't want to begin with -- but the PS4 remains a compelling alternative.
The Sony BDP-S3200 will play your Blu-rays just fine but it doesn't do enough to embrace streaming media like its competitors.
The LG BP530 has built-in Wi-Fi and a good selection of apps, but there are just enough quirks to keep it from being a top Blu-ray player pick.
The Samsung BD-F5900 is an excellent Blu-ray player with the right mix of usability, performance, and speed.
Microsoft Xbox One
Its high price and imperfect voice control and TV integration keep the Xbox One short of must-have territory, but the inclusion of Titanfall for free (for new purchases) helps Microsoft's console hold the line against Sony's compelling PS4.
Sony PlayStation 4
The PlayStation 4's beautiful graphics, blazing interface, near-perfect controller, and lower price give it a slight edge on the Xbox One -- for now.
The Sony BDP-S5100 Blu-ray player offers a wealth of services and very good image quality for the money.
The Panasonic DMP-BDT230 is a mostly solid Blu-ray player, except it serves up obnoxious ads in its onscreen interface.
The Sony BDP-S590 is a great-looking Blu-ray player with built-in Wi-Fi, 3D compatibility, and tons of streaming-media apps, but it's slow to load discs and has some user interface quirks.
The Panasonic DMP-BDT220 is the best Blu-ray value of 2012, with built-in Wi-Fi, tons of streaming-media apps, 3D compatibility, and a simple user interface.
If you want 3D, the LG BP620 has most of the right features, but the absence of Amazon Instant and a dedicated Netflix button hurt its value a bit.
We wouldn't recommend the Philips BDP5506 over competing Blu-ray players.
The Toshiba BDX5200 costs a little less than competing midrange Blu-ray players, but you'll miss out on worthwhile extra features and speedy performance.
The Sony BDP-S580 has built-in Wi-Fi and more streaming services than all competing Blu-ray players, but its user interface is mediocre.
The Panasonic DMP-BDT210's built-in Wi-Fi, simple user interface, Amazon Instant streaming, and blazing fast disc-loading speeds make it our favorite Blu-ray player of 2011 so far.
Despite disc-loading speeds that are just average, the LG BD670's built-in Wi-Fi and excellent streaming-media suite make it one of the best Blu-ray player values.
Pricing not available
The Samsung BD-D6700 is an excellent all-around Blu-ray player with dual HDMI outputs, but for most buyers its upgrades won't justify its high price.
Sony NSZ-GT1 ( Google TV)
The Sony NSZ-GT1 combines Google TV and Blu-ray in a single box, but Sony's frustrating controller, the high price, and Google TV's content issues make it a tough sell.
Quick load times, excellent Blu-ray image quality, and a generous suite of streaming services make the LG BD550 a solid entry-level Blu-ray player.
The BD-C5500's expandable Samsung Apps platform and DLNA compatibility make it stand out from other entry-level players, although it's one of the slower players we've tested.