x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Technophile: Upgrade your home entertainment with Blu-ray

Felicity Glover reviews three of the latest Blu-ray players.

Philips BDB3100 Blu-ray high definition player.
Philips BDB3100 Blu-ray high definition player.

Philips BDB3100 Blu-ray high-definition player

Play it again Home entertainment has come a long way since the days of the clunky video-cassette recorder. While many of us are still hanging on to our DVDs because we are reluctant to master a new player, technology, as they say, stops for no man (or woman). And that's where the Philips BDB3100 comes in. Simple to use, it is the perfect entry-level player for any Blu-ray novice.

Pause for effect Yes, the Philips BDB3100 is one of the more basic Blu-ray players on the market today. But that doesn't mean it is lacking in features. It can handle a range of formats, such as DivX Ultra, as well as support MP3s, JPEGs and Windows Media Video via card readers and USB sticks. It also comes with Dolby TrueHD, has two USB ports and an Ethernet port for those who can't live without the internet.

Applause factor The Philips BDB3100 may lack the hi-tech bells and whistles of its more expensive counterparts, but in return it offers users the full high-definition (HD), 3D experience. And for that reason alone, you can't beat the price.



LG 3D Blu-ray player with media centre

Play it again LG's 3D player takes the Blue-ray experience up a couple of notches and is aimed at the more tech-savvy user looking for a host of extras - not to mention one of the clearest pictures around thanks to its 1080 pixel resolution. Even regular DVDs look better.

Pause for effect The media centre is the wow factor in this player. From wireless internet access to video, music and picture streaming through the player to your TV, there's not much that will leave you wanting. And if music's your thing, you can turn on Gracenotes and search the database for a song's title, artist and album while watching a film.

Applause factor Because it supports 3D Blu-ray discs, normal Blu-ray movies and "old-fashioned" DVDs, you won't have to upgrade that blockbuster film library you've spent years building up. Which should be a relief for many.



Samsung BDC6900 High-Definition player

Play it again If you're an app fan, then Samsung's HD player could be what you are looking for. But be warned: although it has 3D capability, you will only see the full effects through your 3D TV, which can add to the costs of setting up your home theatre system.

Pause for effect The player gives you access to Samsung Apps, where you can download the likes of Blockbuster, Netflix and Facebook. Wireless internet access seems to be the norm with Blu-ray players these days and the BDC6900 is no different. But it is the handy AllShare feature that is the stand out, allowing you to sync your PC, camera and other devices for music, pictures or other downloads.

Applause factor The player boots up in about 15 seconds, perfect for those who are impatient to get the movie started before the popcorn cools down. But if it's a true 3D experience you are looking for (without the 3D TV), then perhaps this is not the option for you.