10 Blu-ray players that stand out from the crowd

6. LG HB954 Blu-ray 5.1 home cinema, iPod dock & YouTube - £556

It had to happen soon. Not happy with providing pin-sharp hi-def, LG has bundled its first Blu-ray home cinema with both internet video streaming and an iPod/iPhone dock.

As well as Full HD playback of Blu-ray discs, 5.1 surround sound using satellite speakers and 1000W of audio power, the nicely priced HB954 is something of an all-in-one solution.

LG hb954

An iPod dock in the centre of the Blu-ray player is sensible, while YouTube video streaming is also a decent idea that could be expanded upon by future firmware upgrades. If YouTube's 2.5 billion+ videos aren't enough, the HB954 can also access BD Live.

7. Denon DBP1610 High-end Blu-ray player with DivX - £399.95

Denon comes back down to Earth with a sensibly priced Blu-ray machine for the masses.

If you're after a decent Blu-ray player for a fair price, there are tonnes to choose from, but the brand-conscious should check out this deck from Denon.

The up-market Japanese brand has delivered some £2k+ Blu-ray machines in 2009, so the more sensibly priced DBP1610 is a welcome addition to the melee.

Denon dbp1610

With features and quality in spades, the DBP1610 is certainly a step-up option; its ability to play both DivX video files and AVC-HD files from hi-def camcorders is a plus, though its core duties revolve around 1080p video and high-grade DVD upscaling.

Blu-ray's lossless audio formats, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, are handled and, unlike some of Denon's 2009 decks, so is BD-Live.

8. Philips BDP3000 Blu-ray player & digital media player - £99.99

A catch-all Blu-ray deck that should suit every budget.

Given the outstandingly low price, the sleek, gloss black fascia and a hood that hides the disc tray, there's little to detract from some excellent value high-definition pictures from Philips' budget deck.

The BDP3000 can stream content from all the major BD Live portals, but it doesn't have any onboard space for storing trailers, director's commentaries and suchlike. So the USB 2.0 port on the rear is crucial; it must be fitted with a memory stick of at least 2GB for the BD Live functions to work.

Philips bdp3000

It can also play digital media files stored on disc, including MP3, JPEG and DivX, AVC-HD and WMV video files.

We've seen better DVD upscalers, but the BDP3000 does a good enough job to be hailed as a great value option.

9. Sony BDP-S760 Blu-ray player & wireless BD-Live - £311.03

A reference machine for the budget conscious.

Never one to follow the herd, Sony has yet again attempted something different with the release of the BDP-S760 into a market where plagiarism is positively encouraged.

It has avoided adopting the gadgetry and gimmicks of its competitors and included the same picture processing found in Sony's top-of-the range BDP-S5000ES – as well as a nifty in-built wireless 802.11n modem.

It means that you can plonk the Sony player anywhere you like – you're not regimented by the availability of an Ethernet hub.


You'll need a USB memory stick for BD-Live downloads, as there's no internal storage, but it's the BDP-S760's picture quality that makes it standout.

Panasonic DMP-BD80 Blu-ray player & Viera Cast - £216

The DMP-BD80 is wired to the web, but offers a lot, lot more than mere widgets.

This player, and its cheaper DMP-BD60 sibling, is not simply connected for access to BD-Live content and a Profile 2.0 badge; it features a fully functioning YouTube portal via the company's proprietary VieraCast network.

As with the new widget TVs from Samsung, it's a gimmick you'll probably find yourself losing several hours to.


As with many current stand-alone decks, it can take around a minute just to play a conventional BD movie, and that is bound to put off those with little patience.

The rest of us, though, can simply bow down to the awesome, near-perfect images, cracking feature-set and amusing and relevant gimmickry. A huge advance from £99 decks.

Read TechRadar's Panasonic DMP-BD80 review


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Jamie Carter

Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and Space.com. He also edits two of his own websites, TravGear.com and WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),