With so many thrilling movies being released to Blu-ray every week, it’s quite hard to keep track of each one of them even for the avid loves of film and cinema. But you can’t look away. In fact, there is nothing worse than a blind buy that ends up being a disappointment.
So, you’ve finally decked out your home theatre with a Blu-Ray DVD player, and you’re ready to stock up on a collection of stunning Blu-Ray films. But who are we kidding? For every blockbuster or Hollywood classic that we’ll be watching, we’ll have to sit through countless replays of the same kids’ movies first. So we’d better make sure they’re good.
Sony's first 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player supports HDR and virtually everything else you can ask for, but it's focused on pricey custom AV installations.
Optical discs like Blu-ray are losing favor, but Sony and Panasonic don't seem to care. The companies have cranked up the storage capacity on optical media to a stunning 3.3TB.
Oppo Digital is a slightly confusing company. It’s actually the American arm of the Guangdong-based Oppo Electronics, and while the Chinese brand focuses on consumer electronics like low-priced smartphones and portable media players, the Californian spin-off is responsible for some of the highest-quality Blu-ray players available today.
High-end electronics manufacturer Oppo Digital has announced an update to its line of reference quality Blu-ray players, replacing the existing BDP-93 with a new BDP-103.
LG has made a name for itself in the past few years offering products that are competitively priced against bigger names like Samsung and Sony, with similar features and the occasional impressive innovation.
The Panasonic DMP-BDT320 is the company’s best Blu-ray player -- with built-in Wi-Fi, 3D Blu-ray support, a touchpad remote control and some power-saving smarts, it’s superior to the cheaper DMP-BDT220 and DMP-BD77. Its slim, futuristic design sets it apart from the more conventional DMP-PWT520 Blu-ray PVR and DMR-HW220 set top box.
The Sony BDP-S790 replaces the BDP-S780 in Sony’s Blu-ray player line-up. It’s the top model in a series of four players, and carries a $200 premium over the lesser BDP-S590.
Samsung’s range of Blu-ray players echoes its LED and plasma TV line-up, with its Series 5 and Series 8 naming divided between DVD, Blu-ray and PVR devices. The Samsung BD-E5900 is top of the Series 5 range, and is the company’s most fully-featured Blu-ray player.
Televisions, home theatre systems and Blu-ray players these days are usually crammed full with the latest whiz-bang technology -- if you buy a player from one of the half-dozen ‘big brands’, it’ll likely have the ability to decode 3D video, connect to the Internet, stream video on demand, Skype your friends and family... One way to avoid these not-always-necessary features is to buy a low-end Blu-ray player that still does everything basic -- and thus we have the Panasonic DMP-BD75.
On paper, the Sony BDP-S780 looks like a great Blu-ray player. It comes with a large and well-chosen selection of Internet apps, including a Web browser. You can convert 2D to 3D and adjust the 3D settings. It's the fastest Blu-ray player I've tested yet. But the gotchas are big ones: The browser won't play video, converted 3D video still looks like 2D, and the price tag hurts.
Panasonic’s 2011 update of its Blu-ray players meant three new models were released, including the basic DMP-BDT75 and the top-spec DMP-BDT310. The DMP-BDT110 we tested sits comfortably in the middle of these two, with the premium player’s 3D playback and 2D-to-3D conversion but without its built-in Wi-Fi. You can also use your iPhone or iPod touch over Wi-Fi to control the player, useful if you can’t find the remote.
The Panasonic DMR-PWT500 fits a Blu-ray and DVD player into a personal video recorder with a HD tuner -- it’s like the Samsung BD-C8900, except with twin tuners. Like the BD-C8900 it’s quite stylish and has some nifty extra features, but you’re paying a premium for the convenience of having several functions in the one device.
The Yamaha BD-S671 is a very well built Blu-ray player with a basic feature-set. It doesn't have the diverse range of Internet and video-on-demand gubbins that you can find in Blu-ray players from LG, Sony or Samsung (and Panasonic, to an extent), but it has some network capabilities and we can't fault its Blu-ray or DVD picture quality as well as its interface or design.
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PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
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