Blu-ray roundup

A look at some of the Blu-ray players currently on the market

  • Also at a similar price point is Sony's bottom tier-player the BDP-S300. It had comparable performance to the DMP-BD30, outputting a great picture, but it also lacks support for high-definition audio codecs. Our tests also showed it was a little slow at times.

  • If you really want to blow some cash, you could look to the Pioneer BDP-LX70A. With a price tag approaching $2000 it is far from cheap, but it is an extremely high quality product in all regards. It can even act as a media streamer if you plug in an Ethernet cable.

  • The big daddy of this category, however, is the Panasonic DMR-BW500. Only just released, this product packs in a 500GB hard drive, duel HD tuners and most importantly Blu-ray writing capabilities, allowing you to record footage (both SD and HD) to either a disc or the hard drive.

  • Moving up the ranks a little is Sony's flagship model the BDP-S500. This model has full DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD support as well as a sleek design and a streamlined interface, making it an appealing choice for those with a slightly larger budget. It does however still suffer from the occasional bout of slowdown.

  • Sharp's answer to the DMP-BD30 is their BDHP20X, which has a slightly lower price tag. It suffers from similar issues as the competing Panasonic unit, but does have an extremely slim design making it appeal to users who have space constraints.

  • Sitting towards the bottom of the price spectrum is the Panasonic DMP-BD30, which is a fairly basic yet still very functional Blu-ray player. It offers good image quality and HDMI connectivity, but the latest high definition audio formats such as DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD are not supported.

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