Blu-ray & DVD Player Guide
Blu-ray & DVD Players 101
Types of players
Burners and Drives
Blu-ray & DVD Player Buying Tips:
- Check consumer electronics websites for current Blu-ray player reviews
- Consider a 4k Blu-ray player if you’ve purchased an Ultra HDTV
- Blu-ray players are "backwards compatible" with DVDs and CDs
- Blu-ray discs are compatible only with Blu-ray players
- Some Blu-ray players are 3D-capable for playing 3D movies on a 3D TV
- A Blu-ray player can replace a dedicated streaming device for accessing web-based content
Most Blu-ray players are equipped to connect to the Internet via either your home Wi-Fi network or an Ethernet cable connection to your modem or router. Some models may require an additional USB device called a dongle to pick up the wireless signal. Newer smart Wi-Fi modems and routers feature apps that allow you to easily control things like access to the network and which media gets priority for bandwidth. Super Wi-Fi is a low frequency signal that provides greater range and penetration than regular Wi-Fi, and bolsters the strength of your local network. Super Wi-Fi compatibility is a feature you can consider when buying a Blu-ray player.
Smartphone Control +
Your smartphone or tablet can double as a handy controller for your HDTV and the appliances you use for recording and playback. As long as you have internet service and a smart wireless modem/router, you can link your smartphone or tablet to your home network via an assortment of smart Wi-Fi apps. HipPlay, Netproofer, Block the Bad Stuff, Device Monitr and Qnext are just some of the apps you can purchase and download to your device. Once that’s done, your smartphone becomes a master remote control that connects to your Blu-ray player software and any other Wi-Fi enabled appliance in your network.
Screen Mirroring +
A Blu-ray player equipped with screen mirroring provides a wireless option for projecting smartphone content onto your HDTV. As long as your smartphone is compatible with your Blu-ray device, that brilliant video you shot of your cat doing a somersault can be shared with friends and family in all of its widescreen glory. Screen mirroring is common to all of the major smartphone platforms, including Android, iPhone and Windows Phones.
Region-free Blu-ray player +
When the film studios release their movies on Blu-ray and DVD, they often insert region codes to restrict playback to specific areas of the world. At the same time, Blu-ray and DVD players sold in the different regions are designed to play only discs with the appropriate region code. The upshot is you can't buy a restricted disc in one region and play it on a Blue-ray or DVD player restricted for use in another region. These restrictions have been put in place to allow the studios to stagger the release dates of their movies according to their internal schedules. However, you can get around the region restriction by purchasing a region-free player or, in some cases, disabling the region-restriction function built into your player. This allows you the flexibility of shopping for movies online without concern that the disc won't play in your machine. If you’re buying Blu-ray or DVD discs online and don't have a region-free player, make sure the vendor is located in the same region or confirm that the region code on the disc is compatible with your player.
Content Options +
Past seasons of popular TV shows are widely available via subscription streaming services such as Netflix Canada and shomi, a new Canadian service offered by major cable companies. You can use your Blu-ray player's streaming function to watch this programming. You can also pay to stream live games from the major professional sports leagues if they aren’t already part of your cable package. The library of Blu-ray movies available for purchase is constantly expanding as older films are transferred to the new format, often with a dramatic upgrade in picture quality and many extra features for cinema buffs. Search the web for more content options for your Blu-ray and DVD player; there are new ones coming out every day.
Shop Related Products:
- Use a CD/DVD cleaning disc to brush dust and debris from your laser lens
- Use compressed air to clean out the drive openings and disc tray
- If playback performance degrades, inspect discs for scratches and wipe carefully
- Check for and install firmware updates supplied by the manufacturer
- Troubleshoot cable connections to resolve connectivity issues
- Maintain warranty information in case of hardware failure
- Don’t bother repairing older hardware because it's probably already out of date; just replace it with newer technology
- Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for care and cleaning