HolidayBuyer's Guide

Blu-ray Player Reviews

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Panasonic DMP-BD55

The Panasonic DMP-BD55 is the best standalone Blu-ray we've tested and it's a good choice for those with older receivers, but most people will get the same performance out of the cheaper DMP-BD35.

Winegard RCDT09A

The Winegard RCDT09A is the first DTV converter box that can be powered by batteries, and it's a great choice for those who want to use their analog portable TVs after the DTV transition.

Sling Media Slingbox Pro-HD

The Sling Media Pro-HD streams live TV to your PC or smartphone--but for most users, its excellent HD-capable picture quality will be diminished when accessed outside of the home network.

RCA DTA800B1

Good reception, respectable video quality, and a basic EPG make the RCA DTA800 an excellent DTV converter box, and its included remote is the best we've seen.

Magnavox TB100MW9

The Magnavox TV100MW9 DTV converter box competently handles the basics, but doesn't offer a standout reason to choose it over its competitors.

Toshiba XD-E500

The Toshiba XD-E500's XDE picture enhancements don't live up to the hype. While it's a solid upscaling DVD player, its high price makes it a hard sell.

Dish Network TR-40 CRA

The Dish Network TR-40 CRA is a great DTV converter box with a best-in-class electronic program guide and should be your top choice, unless you value the simplicity and superior remote of the RCA DTA800.

Toshiba D-R410

The Toshiba D-R410 handles basic DVD-recorder functions at a budget price, but you can get better features and performance from Panasonic's DMR-EA18K, if you're willing to spend a little more.

Sony BDP-S350

The combination of its small design, solid feature set, and excellent image quality make the Sony BDP-S350 a worthwhile standalone Blu-ray player--especially if you can find it for less than $300.

Panasonic DMR-EA18K

Outstanding recording quality and tons of features, like flexible recording speed and chasing playback, make the Panasonic DMR-EA18K an excellent all-purpose DVD recorder.

Panasonic DMP-BD50

Excellent soundtrack support and Profile 2.0-compliancy make the Panasonic DMP-BD50 the most recommendable standalone Blu-ray player to date, but the PS3 is still better and cheaper.

Philips BDP7200

The BDP7200 has a unique design and is Profile 1.1 compliant, but subpar Blu-ray image quality and the lack of onboard audio decoding options limit its appeal.

Oppo DV-983H

The Oppo DV-983H is pretty much the ultimate standard-def disc player, but its high price means videophiles on a budget can get a better bang for their buck.

GE 22730

The GE 22730 DTV converter box is difficult to use and has subpar video quality, so you're better off going with a different converter box.

RCA DTA800

Good reception, respectable video quality, and a basic EPG make the RCA DTA800 an excellent DTV converter box, despite some slightly tricky setup snags.

Insignia NS-DXA1

The Insignia NS-DXA1 DTV converter box has an easy-to-use design and solid video quality, but buyers should be aware of cheaper--and possibly better--alternatives coming in the future.

Samsung Blu-ray player series 2007

The Samsung HT-BD2T delivers the sort of top-notch video quality you'd expect from the world's first home theater system with built-in Blu-ray--but its high price, average audio quality, and lack of extras make it tough to recommend.

Chumby

Whether you use it as a digital photo frame, Internet radio receiver, an advanced alarm clock, or some Web 2.0 task of your own devising, the Chumby is an extremely fun tech toy for the wired, modern home.

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