A look at some of the Blu-ray players currently on the market
Also at a similar price point is Sony's bottom tier-player the BDP-S300. It had comparable performance to the DMP-BD30, outputting a great picture, but it also lacks support for high-definition audio codecs. Our tests also showed it was a little slow at times.
If you really want to blow some cash, you could look to the Pioneer BDP-LX70A. With a price tag approaching $2000 it is far from cheap, but it is an extremely high quality product in all regards. It can even act as a media streamer if you plug in an Ethernet cable.
The big daddy of this category, however, is the Panasonic DMR-BW500. Only just released, this product packs in a 500GB hard drive, duel HD tuners and most importantly Blu-ray writing capabilities, allowing you to record footage (both SD and HD) to either a disc or the hard drive.
Moving up the ranks a little is Sony's flagship model the BDP-S500. This model has full DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD support as well as a sleek design and a streamlined interface, making it an appealing choice for those with a slightly larger budget. It does however still suffer from the occasional bout of slowdown.
Sharp's answer to the DMP-BD30 is their BDHP20X, which has a slightly lower price tag. It suffers from similar issues as the competing Panasonic unit, but does have an extremely slim design making it appeal to users who have space constraints.
Sitting towards the bottom of the price spectrum is the Panasonic DMP-BD30, which is a fairly basic yet still very functional Blu-ray player. It offers good image quality and HDMI connectivity, but the latest high definition audio formats such as DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD are not supported.
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