We are in the age of, but there are still plenty of good reasons to watch movies on a Blu-ray player. One major concession is that rights constantly change hands and sometimes the show or film you would like to watch is unavailable through a streaming service you have a subscription through. Not only will having a hardware player prevent this problem (assuming you own the title you would like to watch), but the best Blu-ray player options also offer the best image and available, thanks to the enhanced storage capacities of Blu-ray discs.
Currently, there are two types of Blu-ray player available:and . Both are a step up from a traditional DVD player, but getting a 4K model will let you play both kinds of Blu-rays and give you access to , , and HDR10 formats for top-rate image quality. Even better, all Blu-ray players will work with your DVD and , too. Problems you encounter with streaming apps like dropouts, bandwidth caps and buffering are nonexistent. But if you miss those glitches, the vast majority of the best Blu-ray players can accommodate your streaming service of choice, including (some even in 4K), Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.
Current gaming consoles like the Sony BDP-S3700.and the can play both types of Blu-ray in addition to the . Plus, if you don't have a 4K TV and a library of only regular Blu-rays, you can save money by buying a 1080p-only player like the
Are you ready to make the most of your 4K content? Grab an HDMI cable and get ready to enjoy the excellent playback and top-notch viewing experience that Blu-ray players have to offer. This curated list of the best Blu-ray player options should help you find the right setup for your needs.
The Sony UBP-X700 is at the cutting edge of 4K Blu-ray technology, thanks in part to its Dolby Vision compatibility. Throw in a bunch of streaming app services, and this Sony Blu-ray player rewards you with a solid performance at a reasonable price.
If you want to spend the bare minimum on a Blu-ray player, then the Sony BDP-S3700 should be your choice. It offers a lot of features for little money, but as it's only 1080p you'll miss out on advanced features like 4K resolution picture quality and Dolby Vision.
You'll have a hard time getting your hands on the Xbox Series X due to insatiable demand, but keep checking back on restock updates. This is the only current Xbox model that accepts optical discs. It can play DVDs, Blu-rays and 4K Blu-rays, in addition to Xbox game discs. It can also be used with standard IR remotes, unlike the PS5. (The cheaper Xbox Series S does not have a disc slot.)
The high-end PS5 (the $500 model) includes an optical drive that accepts DVDs, Blu-rays and 4K Blu-rays, in addition to PS4 and PS5 game discs. The cheaper PS5 Digital Edition does not have a disc slot. Both models continue to be sold out at various retailers, but keep checking back for restock updates.
Frequently asked questions
Can I play normal DVDs in a Blu-ray player?
All Blu-ray and 4K UHD Blu-ray players are designed to be backward compatible with your existing DVDs. Most will also upscale DVD to 1080p (or 4K), which will mean a boost in image quality when played on a flatscreen TV.
If you have DVDs from other regions -- e.g., you live in the UK and have Japanese DVDs -- you will need to check with the manufacturer to make sure a specific player is compatible.
Does Blu-ray work on all TVs?
Blu-ray will work on virtually any TV made since 2004; and if it's a flatscreen, it's compatible. There are exceptions -- rear projection, for example -- and so what you will need is an HD resolution (720/1080p) and an HDMI port. Sadly, no current Blu-ray players under $1,500 support the analog connections (component and composite) that are used by older TVs.