“cheapism helps you find the cheapest "best buys"” — lifehacker

Cheap Blu-ray Players Buying Guide

The top manufacturers of cheap Blu-ray players are the usual electronics heavyweights, including Sony, LG, Samsung, Panasonic, Pioneer, and Vizio. Our favorite cheap Blu-ray players are the Panasonic DMP-BDT220 (starting at $130) and the LG BP620 (starting at $139), both of which feature 3D playback, stream video well, and load movies quickly.

Related Guides:
3D TVs, Cheap LCD TVs and Home Theater
The Sony BDP-S580 (starting at $131) and Panasonic DMP-BD75 (starting at $80) are two solid, cheap Blu-ray players; the former supports 3D playback and lots of streaming services, and the latter is a no-frills model that dishes up sharp-looking video at a shockingly low price. The Toshiba BDX2200 (starting at $85) and Vizio VBR122 (starting at $120) fall within our price range but don't pass muster because many users report they often freeze up when streaming video. If you're willing to spend big bucks on a high-end player, though, check out Oppo Digital's BDP-93 (starting at $500). It supports DVD-Audio, a format well loved by audiophiles, and experts say the audio and video quality are unmatched by any player costing less than $1,000.

Cheap Blu-ray players are fairly simple devices and don't have many features that distinguish one from another. That said, there are a few things to look for when comparison shopping. For example, many viewers now want a Blu-ray player that can stream video from services such as Netflix, Vudu, YouTube, and/or Amazon. All the models on our list of best cheap Blu-ray players include at least some streaming services, but if you favor a particular service, read the fine print to make sure the one you're targeting streams it. If you have or plan to get a 3D TV, you'll no doubt want a cheap Blu-ray player that supports 3D movies; cheap 3D Blu-ray players aren't terribly expensive, but they do cost more than players without this feature. Additionally, only some cheap Blu-ray players come with built-in Wi-Fi for wireless connections, though all can be hard-wired through an Ethernet port.

Apart from these characteristics, cheap Blu-ray players are more or less the same. They can all play and "upconvert" DVD movies as well as play audio CDs. They all support a variety of surround sound formats, and, according to the expert reviews we've seen, they all consistently play bright and clear video.

Review continues below

An important note to thrifty consumers: Blu-ray players are meant for high-definition TVs. If you don't own an HD set, you might want to hold off buying a Blu-ray player, cheap or otherwise, until you purchase the equipment that can show off content to its best advantage.

by Michael Sweet (Google+ Profile)

Back to top »

email Sign up for our
Free Newsletter
Cheapism.com on Facebook
From our blog
4 Super Bowl-Worthy TVs Under $500

Check out this roundup of recommended TVs under $500.

12 Gadgets That Help You Save Time and Money

These 12 gadgets can help users save time and money in 2015.

What to Buy (and Not Buy) in November

Good deals on electronics, tools, home goods, and leftover Halloween inventory about in November, but hold off on winter clothing and toys.

All Our Blog Posts