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3D Blu-ray Players by Mel Small

First Published: 02/10/2010 22:19:54

2010 has been very much the year of 3D.  Interest in 3D seemed to be sparked be James Cameron’s Avatar, the highest grossing movie of all time.  It didn’t take long before the leading electronics companies had 3D compatible televisions on the market.  If you have one of these TV’s you might be now realising that you are still doing a lot of your viewing sans one dimension.  Sky has gone some way to rectifying this lack of 3D content by launching it’s Sky3D service on 1st October, however if you want some 3D action to your own timetable then it might be worth investing in a 3D Blu-ray DVD Player.  The good news is you can pick a very good 3D Blu-ray player for under two-hundred quid.  Even better news they will also play your existing 2D Blu-ray collection.

Test Bench in the Sunday Times’ Ingear magazine on 26th September profiled five of the best 3D Blu-ray disk players:

Sony BDP-S570

Ingear’s best for picture performance

The Sony BDP-S570 was described by the Sunday Times and the “pick of the bunch”.  Not great on (although not bad) looks, it packs plenty of punch under the covers and features a built in Wi-Fi and 1GB allowing you to download and store additional content using BD Live, you also get access to Sony’s BRAVIA Internet Video platform, allowing you to access movies, TV shows, and music from YouTube™, and BBC iPlayer. A USB port is provided for direct playback of music, video, and photo files.  If that’s not enough you can use your iPhone or iPod touch as a remote control.

Sony BDP-S570 3D Blu-ray Player

Extra features are all well and good but if you are in the market for a 3D Blu-ray DVD Player it’s the picture, and perhaps the sound, that should concern you.  The Sunday Times gives a big thumbs up in both respects.  The picture is described as “immensely detailed and sharp, totally free of video noise, and made up of sumptuously rich but natural colours”, the sound is described quite simply as “superb”.

Ingear Verdict: A fine set of features and outstanding performance make this a terrific all-rounder

Buy the Sony BDP-S570 from Amazon for £167.71

LG BX580

Ingear’s best for ease of use

The first thing that strikes you about the LG BX580 is the elegant simplicity of it’s design and it’s slim, featureless front facia. The BX580 allows to go online and stream video content, however there’s no hard disk for when your connection is playing up.  In those instances however, you can fall back on the USB port which allows you playback video, photos and music files.

The Sunday Times describes it as menu system as “easy-to-follow” and suggesting it is a good choice for the less technical among us, however it also points out that LG’s NetCast online content platform is low on content in comparison with rival platforms.

 LG BX580 3D Blu-ray Player

The LG 3D Blu-ray player doesn’t fair much better when it comes to picture and sound either, with the Sunday times describing it’s picture as “grainier” than its rivals and its sound as “average”.

Ingear Verdict: East to use, but you have to trade this against performance and feature compromises.

Buy the LG BX580 from Laskys for £227.64

Panasonic DMP-BDT300

Ingear’s best for cinema sound fans

Sound-wise the BDT300 has an advantage over many of its rivals that use the latest version of HDMI.  This can have a problem it that its audio won’t work with all existing home cinema sound systems. The consequence of this is that you need to revert to the an analogue audio connection. The BDT300 gets around this by providing a second old type HDMI-out port.

 Panasonic DMP BDT300 3D Blu-ray Player

When it comes to picture quality, The Sunday Times describes the BDT300 as a “terrific performer”, especially when viewing 3D Blu-ray, however it isn’t to enamoured by it  looks.  I would concur.

A USB port is also provided for play back of music, video, and photo files.

Ingear Verdict:  An all-round performer with unique audio features, but it’s expensive and ugly.

Buy the Panasonic DMP-BDT300 from Pixmania for £299.99

Philips BDP7500S2

Ingear’s best for movie buffs

The BDP7500S2 is praised by the Sunday Times for having a unique trick up its sleeve, in that it can lift subtitles out of the black bar below a wide aspect-ration film.  Apparently this means you don’t lose the subtitles when watching subtitled discs on Philips ultra-wide 21:9 TVs.  To be honest I’m not that arsed about subtitles, so as a USP goes I think this is pretty lame.  However, if you are a bit hard of hearing, or like those European “art” movies, and happen to have one of these ultra-wide tellys, or a projector with an anamorphic lens (what ever that it) then bingo!

More importantly, the  BDP7500S2 features superb picture quality in both 2 and 3D and a multitude of features including full internet access, USB playback and online content from Philips’ Net TV.

Philips BDP7500S2 3D Blu-ray Player

Ingear Verdict:  A very affordable Blu-ray player with added appeal for internet addicts and serious film fans.

Buy the Philips BDP7500S2 from Pixmania for £164.00

Samsung BD-C6900

Ingear’s best for design

When it come to design Samsung’s products are amongst the best.  The BD-C6900 keeps instep with other products with its slim minimalist design and glossy finish. Inside the box you get wi-fi connectivity that gives you access to Samsung’s excellent Internet@TV online service.   In addition to this you get USB playback of video, music and photographs, as well as the ability to wirelessly sync to your PC and Samsung mobile phone via your home network. This allows you to stream content and monitor calls and texts on your TV screen. 

Picture-wise the C6900 performs well in both 2D and 3D, providing ultra real picture quality.  The Sunday Times also praises the C6900’s touch-sensitive controls. Samsung BD-C6900 3D Blu-ray Player

Ingear Verdict:  It’s not the cheapest, but Samsung’s 3D Blu-ray debut works well and looks great.

Buy the Samsung BD-C6900 from Amazon for £245.95

 

Overview

3D Blu-ray Player

Multi-region

Built-in Wifi

Hard Disk

USB Playback

The Damage

Sony BDP-S570

No

Yes

1GB

Yes

£167.71

LG BX580

No

Yes

No

Yes

£227.64

Panasonic DMP-BDT300

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

£299.99

Philips BDP7500S2

No

Yes

No

Yes

£164.00

Samsung BD-C6900

No

Yes

No

Yes

£245.95

Please note the author of this article is not associated with the Sunday Times or any of its related companies.  Also note all prices were correct at time of writing and may not include packaging and postage.

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The TLog of Mel Small the architect and creator of Tenuous Links. My muses, sometimes aimless and mostly irrelevent, cover a variety of subjects, hoping against hope that at least one TLog entry may be of the slightest interest to some poor soul.
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