Video and Audio Center Blog



Thursday, April 23, 2015

DON’T BE BLU — GET A BLU-RAY PLAYER



Blu-ray players were once expensive but now are accessible to anyone looking to play high resolution movies. But lost in the obvious HD value of Blu-ray discs are the many other features that a Blu-ray player can have. For those looking to get a player, its important to know about these features since they are built-in and cant be added later on.So lets examine four features that BD players have hidden inside and which can affect their performance in your home.

Internet Connection

Almost all Blu-ray players have wireless Wi-Fi for connecting to the router of your home network. But some also come with an Internet-connecting port in the back for plugging in an Ethernet cable. There are times when a wired connection may be the best, if not only, way to connect to the Internet for example if the Blu-ray players antennas (often found in the back of the chassis) are blocked by the players positioning in a cabinet or proximity to interference causing devices like refrigerators and microwave ovens. So a Blu-ray player having the wired choice can make all the difference between a good WiFi signal and a mediocre one something that can affect the quality of video being seen from a streaming service like Netflix.

4K Upscaling

A Blu-ray player can play on a 4K TV, but the image being sent is that of a Full HD 1080p image. But if the player has 4K upscaling, then the image being presented on the 4K TV will look better because the video being sent matches the native resolution of the TV. This includes streaming services too. Its a way to enjoy your existing Blu-ray library in a superior fashion on the 4K TV through a 4K upscaling-compatible Blu-ray player.

Dual-Core Processing

A Blu-ray player is as much a computer as any other high-end electronic device today (like smartphones, tablets and others). Playing discs isnt all the player does theres menus to choose from and a variety of services to activate on command (from streaming services to ways to enhance the video and audio being played). All this is controlled through a graphical interface that hides the tech so as to make choices simple. But simplicity comes with a price, in that the speed at which the player handles commands can seem slow. This is solved by giving more power to the Blu-ray players computer processor (i.e., dual-core processing). You wont see it if its there, but you will notice a lack of zippiness of the player if its not. And if the player doesnt have it, theres no way to add it later.

Quick-Start Capability

Unlike a CD player, a Blu-ray player doesnt immediately start up when its first turned on there is a certain amount of time required for the player to get its act together (i.e., organize and line up the electronics needed for it to perform). The amount of time varies and so must be put up with unless the Blu-ray player has been designed to start up quickly or, as is the case with some players, has the option to enable a quick start feature. Either way, this will speed up the initial time needed by the player so that the time being spent can be on watching the movie, not waiting for it. As this must be built into the player, checking the specs will tell you right away whether its there or not.

The purpose of a Blu-ray player is to make what youre watching appear as close to the movie theater experience as possible. Making an informed decision as to the Blu-ray player that you get is your first step.

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