With the proliferation of streaming services and on-demand access to various content, much of the physical media that was previously utilized for watching movies and television shows has been rendered obsolete. Ultra high definition Blu-ray players, however, defy this normal trend, and still provide a number of benefits that even high-quality streaming services like Netflix and Hulu do not. In this article, we offer a number of compelling reasons to make sure you still have access to a Blu-ray player, and discuss some of the best 4K blu-ray players of 2019.
The Advantages of Blu-ray Disc
Despite the common misconception, Blu-ray offers a number of benefits compared to both streaming and traditional physical media. First, most people are familiar with how much better Blu-ray is than DVD in terms of both capacity and quality, making Blu-ray superior to DVD as a format in almost every regard. Few are aware, however, that 4K Blu-ray players also provide a far more immersive and robust auditory and visual experience than the vast majority of streaming services. With an extremely large storage allotment, Blu-ray discs require far less compression than would a streaming service, and are thus able to outperform on visual quality. The same is true for the audio of 4K blu-ray players, which, because it is uncompressed, can allow for 7.1 surround sound and thus allow for an entrancing experience unrivaled by streaming. This advantage is especially important for viewing films, where the sophistication of the cinematography and depth of the score are crucial to fully appreciating the art. In addition to better outputs, Blu-ray players also allow for a much larger selection of movies than would any individual streaming services that prioritize new releases and constantly rotate through content; having access to golden age films, or family favorites during the holidays, is an important and specific benefit that physical media has over streaming services. Further, Blu-ray players are straightforward and simple to use, making them a great alternative to streaming for small children or elderly parents.
Awesome Blu-ray Players
To best realize these advantages, there several excellent 4K Blu-ray players available that are still relatively cheap. The Sony UBP-X700, for example, is an Amazon’s Choice product that is still one of the most affordable 4K Blu-ray players on the market. With both stunning visuals and high-def audio quality, and making use of dual HDMI outputs for each respectively, the UBP-X700 offers a viewing experience unrivaled by online streaming, and is a great product for those looking for function and reliability. If you already have a substantial collection of older DVDs by way of Criterion Collections or other rarities, this LG Blu-ray Player not only offers the same 4K viewing experience for Blu-ray discs, but is also backwards compatible with DVDs and allows for “upconverting,” or scaling, to improve their quality. Additionally, there is the Samsung UBD-M8500, which, although more expensive than both the LG and the Sony Blu-ray players, supports HDR, or High Dynamic Range, content, and pushes the technology forward with awe-inspiring visual displays.
For the highest quality film viewing, there is no replacing the 4K Blu-ray player. Blu-ray is a direct upgrade from the DVD format, and offers substantial increases in bitrate and definition when compared to streaming. Streaming is still extremely convenient, and provides ease of access and a reduction of clutter, but when considering Blu-ray versus streaming in regards to the audio and visual experience, Blu-ray reigns supreme.