It looks like Blu-ray players are here to stay. Based upon that fact, it makes sense to purchase a decent player with lots of great features. The one thing to remember when buying any Blu-ray is that (above all else) a Blu-ray must produce excellent images. Some Blu-rays are 3D capable while others simply play regular Blu-ray discs.
A player that doesn’t come with an overly complex interface is also a bonus. When shopping for Blu-ray players, ask to see a player in action. You’ll quickly get a feel for the complexity of many machines, and you’ll also be able to check out image quality. Extras such as YouTube or Pandora streaming are nice. Built-in Wi-Fi may also place one player above another. All of the Blu-rays listed in this article are under $500 (at the time of this writing).
Sony PlayStation 3 Slim -- $299+
Technically the Sony PlayStation 3 Slim isn’t a blu-ray player. However, this sleek video game console does a heck of a job playing Blu-rays. It also doubles as a way to play all of those games that you love. The PlayStation 3 Slim has a built-in Wi-Fi, HDMI output, and 1080p support. As far as image quality goes, the PlayStation 3 Slim delivers. While there are Blu-rays on the market that simply play Blu-ray discs, this console is well worth the money if you are looking for a two-in-one system.
Sony BDP-S570 -- $300+
The Sony BDP-S570 comes complete with 3D Blu-ray capability, Wi-Fi, Netflix, YouTube, Pandora (and other) streaming abilities, and plenty of storage space. Not only is the image quality coming from the Sony BDP-S570 excellent, but this is also one of the few Blu-rays in the $300 price range that is 3D capable. Sony has included built-in Wi-Fi, and plenty of other features that make this Blu-ray player stand out from the rest. These things alone make the Sony BDP-S570 worth purchasing. In addition to everything that the Sony BDP-S570 is capable of, it also has a sleek exterior and easily accessible controls. When wrapped up in a $300 package, the Sony BDP-S570 is one of the best options available.
LG BD590 -- $240+
The one thing that sets the LG BD590 apart from the crowd is the sheer simplicity of this Blu-ray player. LG put a lot of thought into developing the BD590, and that thought is evident. This player comes with Netflix, Pandora, YouTube, and other streaming abilities. It also comes with a built-in CD burner (stored on a 250GB hard drive). You can also connect this player to a USB drive and play any videos or images. The one drawback (if you can call it a drawback) is that this player does not come with 3D Blu-ray capabilities. 1080p is possible, but you will have to manually switch modes. When all is said and done, the $240 price tag is well worth it for a Blu-ray player that isn’t complicated, comes with everything you need, and includes a way to rip CDs.