The time for Blu-Ray is now. A recent study by Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) states 62 percent of American households own a HDTV and 12 percent are planning on purchasing one within the next couple of years. This trend is not confined to the US, many households around the world are opting for High Definition Television. This makes the Blu-Ray Player an interracial part of your High Definition experience, because to take advantage and get the most out of your HDTV, a Blu-Ray Player is required.
While many believe that Blu-Ray’s time has already past, and Online Streaming is the new favorite option of many consumers. The simple fact is, the quality of streaming online movies and TV shows can not compare to the quality you get from a Blu-Ray disc. Maybe once internet connections become faster and internet providers do not keep putting bandwidth caps on consumers, we will see an improvement in quality. And lets not forget, players are not just for playing discs anymore, most offer online streaming services, so you get the best of both worlds.
To reap the full benefits of a player, whether it be a budget player or a high-end model, it needs to be connected to a HDTV. Players are capable of 1080p video resolution and a compatible HDTV is required. If you do not own a 1080p capable HDTV or not planning on getting one, then a standard DVD player is fine. But for those wanting to enjoy 1080p resolution a Blu-Ray Player is a must. The good news is that most experts agree that all players, no matter what they cost, are capable of producing excellent quality images when playing back a disc recorded at 1080p. (Be careful when purchasing discs, while the vast majority of discs are at 1080p, there are few discs that are converted to a lower resolution; 1080i,720p.)
The players are not limited to just Blu-Ray disc playback, it can handle DVDs as well. Here you will find the level of performance differs between the various players. Most players are capable of up-converting standard DVDs to near HD resolution. However, the high-end players tend to have superior video processing and therefore produce better DVD images. But regardless of what kind of Blu-Ray Player you have, it will take your old DVD collection new levels. (This is also the case for other types of discs such as CDs, DVD-Rs, BD-R ect.)
Although it is still the main and best function, playing back Blu-Ray discs is just one of the things a player is capable of doing. Manufactures are aware of the growing impact online streaming services has on the Home Entertainment market. It is the reason why most manufactures pack their players full of extra features, transforming them into the ultimate Home Entertainment accessory. Access to internet streaming from Netflix, Vudu, Amazon on Demand, Pandora, Slacker, Blockbuster, YouTube and many others have become common place in most players. Other features include such things as DLNA Certification (Play back of videos, music, photos from your computer), built-in Wi-Fi, USB support and internal hard drives.
Some players, starting in 2010, have 3D capability. Allowing you to enjoy 3D images in your living room. It is still unclear if this new trend in Home Entertainment will take off, but manufacturers like Sony, Samsung, LG and Panasonic have all come out with 3D players to accompany their 3D HDTVs. Along with a 3D HDTV you will need 3D Glasses and 3D Blu-Ray discs. Those that do not have a 3D HDTV, purchasing a 3D player will not interfere with the playback of other discs.
Aside from adding new features, manufactures have continued to improved the overall performance of their players. Making them easier to use, with better user interfaces and faster loading times. And prices have been dropping at a steady pace over the past few years for both players and discs. The average price for a mid-range player today is between $150 to $250, some have gone as low as $100 or even cheaper. The decrease in prices is nice considering manufacturers are constantly improving and adding new features to their players. Making sure Blu-Ray becomes an important part of your Home Entertainment right now and in the future.