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Best Blu Ray Players 2012:

Feature: Why 2012 has been a great year for Blu Ray players

According to a profoundly stupid misunderstanding of the ancient Mayan calendar, (one that has been corrected hundreds of times by modern historians) Human civilisation only has a couple of months to live. Therefore, even though it is mid-June at the time of writing, we decided to hedge our bets and talk about the best Blu Ray player of the year so far...We lured our reviewer out of his emergency bunker (by dropping a wasp’s nest into it) and asked him politely for the list.

WHAT MAKES A BLU RAY PLAYER?

Nominally, the ability to play Blu Ray discs. A basic, bog-standard player will do nothing more than improve the quality of your DVDs (this is called ‘up scaling’) and play Blu Ray content. Blu Ray discs have much more memory than DVDs and, as such, can reproduce up to six times as much quality. Buy cheaply and don’t be talked into overpaying for this.

WHAT MAKES A GOOD BLU RAY PLAYER?

Though improved quality is assured with Blu Ray (as long as you use a decent sound system and an HD TV with 1080p resolution), the quality does vary from model to model. High-end players will produce higher resolution images and superior sound to their cheaper counterparts. A good Blu Ray player reproduces high quality images and sound, whilst at the same time cutting down on painful loading times and general noise of operation. They may also come Internet enabled, bundled with apps and some extra features. A good Blu Ray player ought to be available at a mid-level price.

WHAT MAKES A GREAT BLU RAY PLAYER?

A great Blu Ray player will offer optimum quality playback at all times, will up scale DVDs to incredible levels and will load discs quickly and quietly. In addition, a great player will come fully Internet enabled (via WiFi as opposed to Ethernet cable), allowing you to surf the net, download apps and view streamed content (the quality of which should also be to a generally high standard). A great player will also offer good quality 3D as a selectable option. A truly great Blu Ray will offer value for money into the bargain, being as affordable as possible. In addition, extra features and gadgets are very welcome.

OUR CRITERIA

Of course, it’s not just those points. A truly great Blu Ray needs to be able to impress your mates at any self-respecting ‘End of the World’ party. Slap on the ‘2012’ (or, if you like, Dara Obriain’s pitch perfect pastiche of said film (featured on the Blu Ray edition of ‘This Is The Show’) and make sure you’ve got shit tons of non-perishable food at the ready.

As well as your usual motley assortment of friends, colleagues and well-wishers seeking free plonk, your guest list ought to be a sort of ‘Noah’s Ark’ of society’s best and brightest, so it’s worth inviting Stephen Hawking, Tenzin Gyatso and that pretty redhead from the greengrocers you always reckoned you had a chance with (you never know, you might have to re-populate the Earth).

Some rules then:

1. The Blu Ray must not take ages to load, because you may find yourself with only twenty minutes to live and fancy bowing to out an episode of ‘Men Behaving Badly’ which will piss everybody off if you are obliterated right before the ending (doubly so if you invited Martin Clunes or Caroline Quentin as the ‘best and brightest’ of your bash).

2. The Blu Ray player must make neither a loud, whining sound, nor a low, clunking sound at any point (or at least not for very long) such sounds are known to attract zombies and, with hordes of irradiated undead shambling across the streets you’ll want to keep a low profile.

3. The player must be cheap, not so cheap that you’ll have to take it back to the smoking, zombie-filled crater that used to be your local Comet, but affordable enough for you to be able to buy canned food, shotgun shells and assorted nibbles.

Top 3 Blu Ray Players 2012

At a lightweight, almost dainty 1.6 kg, the ...

one of the most versatile Blu Ray ...

For a Blu Ray player, the PS3 is big and ...

Our Verdict

(Drum roll please) The winner is the Samsung BD-E5500. A sleek, sexy player that offers multiple format playback (all at high quality) as well as terrific WiFi and a karaoke player thrown in for laughs (no joke – it really does have one), the Samsung BD-E5500 is a beast.

Whilst not being the cheapest player on Earth, it won’t bankrupt you and it will provide you with years of entertainment (which might be handy if the world is suffering from the impact of an airborne alien virus and you don’t fancy going outside as a result). This is a fine Blu Ray player and, although there are higher spec players out there, this one wins out in terms of sheer performance and versatility.

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Tags: blu ray player, cheap blu ray players, blu ray 2012 guide, best blu ray player

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