written by: Daniel Barros•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 6/30/2011
This time we'll be taking a look at your top 3 cheap solutions to playing Blu-Ray. The price, as well as the player specs will surprise you - this and more, inside.
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Searching High and Low
Blu-Ray is a rich man’s game. Or is it? What if I were to tell you that out there in the wild, there were blu-ray players that cost you just a little over $100? Think it’s lunacy? Think again. I present you the official Bright Hub list of the cheapest Blu-Ray players ever conceived by man. These magnificent machines will play your Blu-Ray Discs without breaking the bank, but are they worth it?
The Memorex MVBD5210 won’t be winning any prizes for best looking disc player anytime soon. This bulky, ugly little piece of tech isn’t exactly what you want underneath your shiny, new HDTV, but it does get the job done in a great way. It up-converts to 1080p, displays at 1080p, and includes HDMI connection. The reliability of the disc reading though, might be a problem.
You see, Blu-ray discs require expensive hardware because the internal processor has to be much faster than that of a conventional DVD, therefore the price goes up. This Memorex unit doesn’t have too much processing ability underneath its shell. This could cause some hiccups in film viewing among other things, not to mention problems when using the BD-Live Feature.
The BD-P1500 is more up my alley. Unlike the Memorex above, for about $25 more, you’re getting an elegant Blu-Ray player that is packing much more in its processor.
The BD-P1500 is an excellent budget Blu-ray player because of its great features in a single package. Not only is the BD-P1500 sleek, it also comes equipped ready to handle BD 2.0 features as well as support legacy features in older discs.
For $25 more than the Memorex, it’s worth it for a device that might be sitting under your television for the foreseeable future. Until the technology advances significantly, it looks like Blu-Ray is going to be the go-to technology for high-definition film viewing and the BD-P1500 is your ticket in.
For $20 more than the BD-P1500 will cost you, you could upgrade to the HP21U. This player has all the exact same features that the P1500 has, but it also includes the ability to wire your surround sound directly to the player, by-passing a costly high-definition receiver.
This is a bit odd, because if you have a home theater setup you’re looking to upgrade, this will be worth absolutely nothing. However, if you haven’t jumped into the home theater game, then this would be a great way to already get everything in one package.
The Sharp is a little less, if you’ll pardon the pun, “sharp" than the Samsung. Both players look nice, but the BD-P1500 has the next-gen look to it, whereas the Memorex and Sharp models still look like DVD players that are trying too hard.
If you’re strapped for cash, the P1500 is clearly the best option out of these three, but don’t take my word for it – get out there and continue researching the players. There are more budget players out there that may be more suitable to your needs than either of these three.