Blu-ray tech is put to the test

March 2, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Blu-ray is the only choice these days for a high definition DVD player. But, as we found out when we teamed up with Consumer Reports, you can still get a great looking picture with or without Blu-ray.Many people with an HDTV are looking to buy a Blu-ray disc player, which promises the highest quality video available.

Consumer Reports tested Blu-ray players along with standard DVD players.

"Nothing compares to the high-definition image you get from a Blu-ray player. Its picture quality is high in detail, very lifelike, very nice to look at," said Elias Arias, Consumer Reports.

Many standard DVD players offer something called upconversion, but it falls short.

"Upconversion is not the same as a high-def Blu-ray image," said Arias.

An upconverted DVD image is not as detailed or lifelike as a high-definition Blu-ray image.

And today's Blu-ray players come with features like "bonus view," where you can see director's comments right along with the movie. And a few offer BD-Live, which provides access to extra online content such as updated movie trailers.

Another plus, Blu-ray players are coming down in price. While some still cost $1,000, Consumer Reports recommends one for $300. It's the Panasonic model number DMP-BD35. And once you get a Blu-ray player, it can still play all your old DVDs.

Consumer Reports says if you don't have an HDTV, there's no reason to buy a Blu-ray player. Stick with a standard DVD player.

Consumer Reports' top-rated a $100 Pioneer -- model DV-410VK. Another good choice for less is one from LG, model DN-898 for $80.


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