Best Blu-ray Player: Sony BDP-S550 (RRP: $649)
The Sony BDP-S550 is a fully featured Blu-ray player with a wide array of connectivity. Its main selling point is probably its 7.1-channel analog outputs — a must for old-school audiophiles. It also acquits itself well when it comes to Blu-ray playback and DVD upscaling; both of which look absolutely superb.
The device comes with plenty of ports, including an HDMI 1.3 output, a digital optical audio connection, a coaxial audio output, S-Video out and separate composite and component video out ports. Audio formats supported include DTS bitstream, DTS-HD, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby True HD.
If you haven’t made the leap to Blu-ray, consider the stimulus cheque as your one-way ticket to a high-def lifestyle. (With an RRP of $649, you’ll also have plenty of your tax bonus left over to spend on Blu-ray movies.)