I was all set to get the Pioneer Blu-Ray BDP-51 but then a friend told me that I should get the Playstation 3 because it is the best blu-ray player. I know nothing about blu-ray players. Any advice?
If you are also a "gamer", then get the Sony PS3. The main advantage of the PS3 is the gaming ability and its quick load time.
If you are not a gamer and want excellent quality at a reasonable price you should get the Panasonic DMP-BD35 @ ~$300 and the Panasonic DMP-BD55 @ ~$400. These players are also very good at upconversion of standard dvd's.
OPPO is coming out (probably in June 2009) with a new Universal Blu Ray player (BDP-83 @ ~$500-$600) that can play just about every conceivable format. It will be a great all disc solution for many people that want quality playback in all formats. The current specs are as follows:
Preliminary Features (Subject to Change)
Complete Media Support:
Blu-ray Disc - The high definition Blu-ray Disc format provides pristine video and audio quality for your home entertainment.
BonusVIEW - BD "Profile 1.1" enables "picture-in-picture" and secondary audio features for viewing director or actor commentary while the main movie is playing.
BD-LiveÂ - The BDP-83 support BD "Profile 2.0" and contains all necessary hardware - audio/video decoder, Ethernet port, and 1GB of internal storage - for BD-Live.
DVD Up-Conversion - The BDP-83 uses the same VRSÂ by Anchor Bay (DVDO) de-interlacing and scaling technology as in our award-winning DV-983H DVD player. The up-converted picture quality bridges the visual gap from your current DVD library to Blu-ray discs.
SACD - The BDP-83 plays Super Audio CD (SACD) and supports both stereo and multi-channel high resolution audio programs. Users can select whether to output the DSD (Direct Stream Digital) signal in its native format or convert it into PCM.
Additional Media Formats - Additional disc and file formats, such as audio CD, HDCD, Kodak Picture CD, AVCHD, MKV, and other audio/video/picture files on recorded discs or USB drives can be played back on the BDP-83.
Unparalleled Video Quality:
VRSÂ by Anchor Bay - The BDP-83 incorporates Anchor Bay's award-winning Video Reference Series (VRS) technology, and delivers a picture that is cleaner, smoother, true-to-life and free of artifacts.
Full HD 1080p Output - The BDP-83 features user selectable video output resolutions, including 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, and up to 1080p 50 or 60Hz.
True 24pÂ Video - Many Blu-ray Discs are recorded at 24 frames per second, the same frame rate as the original movie's theatrical release. The BDP-83 can faithfully redeliver the original frames using 1080p 24Hz output (compatible display required) for smoother motion and a flicker-free, film-like home theater experience. It can also restore the original 24 frames per second progressive-scan video from well-authored DVDs and output as 1080p 24Hz.
Source Direct Mode - For users who wish to use an external video processor, high-end audio/video receiver or display, the BDP-83 offers a "Source Direct" mode. The original audio/video content on the discs is sent out with no additional processing or alternation.
Multiple Zoom Modes - The BDP-83 supports multiple levels of aspect ratio control and image zooming, including a vertical stretch mode for customers with a 2.35:1 CIH (Constant Image Height) display system.
HDMI - HDMI is an all digital interface for the cleanest possible connection. It delivers high-quality digital video and audio through a single cable. The BDP-83 features an HDMI v1.3 output with 30-bit and 36-bit Deep Color support.
High Fidelity Audio:
DolbyÂ® TrueHD - Dolby TrueHD delivers lossless studio master quality audio designed specifically for high definition entertainment. The BDP-83 supports bit-stream output of Dolby TrueHD via its HDMI 1.3 output. It can also internally decode Dolby TrueHD into LPCM and output via HDMI or the 7.1ch analog audio output terminals. Other varieties of Dolby Digital audio formats are also supported.
DTSÂ®-HD - DTS-HD delivers up to 7.1 channels of surround sound and audio that is indistinguishable from (DTS-HD High Resolution) or identical to (DTS-HD Master Audio) the original studio master. The BDP-83 supports bit-stream output and internal decoding of DTS-HD High Resolution and DTS-HD Master Audio. Other varieties of DTS audio formats are also supported.
7.1-Channel Analog Output - Individual analog 7.1-channel surround outputs are ideal to connect to a 7.1-channel or 5.1-channel surround sound system. The BDP-83 delivers an incredible sound stage and an immersive surround experience.
Dedicated Stereo Output - The BDP-83 features a dedicated 2-channel analog output with specially optimized Digital-to-Analog Converters and output driving stage.
Digital Optical and Coaxial Outputs - For simple and easy connection to more traditional A/V receivers, the BDP-83 features both optical and coaxial outputs for digital audio.
Dual USB Ports - Two USB 2.0 high speed ports are provided, one on the front panel and one on the back. Users can enjoy high definition video, high resolution photos and music directly from their USB drives.
PAL/NTSC Conversion - The BDP-83 supports NTSC and PAL systems for both disc playback and video output. It can also convert content of one system for output in another. (Subject to DVD and BD region restrictions)
Back-lit Remote Control - The BDP-83 comes with a fully back-lit remote control for ease of use in dark home theaters. With its ergonomic button layout and clear labeling, operating the Blu-ray Disc player is easier than ever.
Universal Power Supply - The BDP-83 features a wide range world power supply that is compatible with the AC power of all regions. No worries about damaging the player due to incorrect power voltage.
External IR - For integration into home theater control systems, the BDP-83 provides external IR remote IN and OUT ports.
RS232 Control (optional) - For custom installation, the RS232 control option can be special ordered at an additional cost.
HDMI CEC - HDMI Consumer Electronics Control simplifies the home theater by allowing a single remote control to operate multiple devices.
Preliminary Specifications (Subject to Change)
Designs and specifications are subject to change without notice. Disc Types* BD-Video, DVD-Video, AVCHD, SACD, CD, HDCD, Kodak Picture CD
CD-R/RW, DVDÂ±R/RW, DVDÂ±R DL, BD-R/RE
BD Profile BD-ROM Version 2 Profile 2 (also compatible with Profile 1 Version 1.0 and 1.1)
Internal Storage 1GB (Actual available storage varies due to system usage)
Output Analog Audio: 7.1ch or 5.1ch, stereo
Digital Audio: Coaxial, Optical
HDMI Audio: Stereo, up to 7.1ch high-resolution PCM, up to 5.1ch DSD, bitstream or LPCM conversion of Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, and DTS-HD Master Audio.
Analog Video: Composite, Component Video (Y/Pb/Pr, 480i/480p, 720p/1080i available for non-restricted content only)
Digital Video: HDMI with HDCP (NTSC: 480i/480p/720p/1080i/1080p/1080p24, PAL 576i/576p/720p/1080i/1080p/1080p24)
Video Characteristics Composite Video Amplitude: 1.0Vp-p (75Ã)
Component Video: Y: 1.0Vp-p (75Ã), Pb/Pr: 0.7Vp-p (75Ã)
Audio Characteristics** Frequency: 20Hz - 20kHz (Â±0.4dB)
Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >110dB
Total Harmonic Distortion: General Specification Power Supply: ~ 100V - 240V, 50/60Hz AC
Power Consumption: 35W (0.5W Standby)
Dimensions: 430mm x 336mm x 77mm, 16-7/8 x 13-1/4 x 3 inches
Mass: 5.1kg / 11.2 lbs
Operating Temperature 5Â°C - 35Â°C
41Â°F - 95Â°F
Operating Humidity 15% - 75%
Get the PS3. I don't even have any games for mine. In addition to the Bluray, it'll hold your MP3s, photographs, videos, let you browse the internet, play pay-per-view without satellite or cable (need high speed internet, though)...handy if you have enough digital stations to watch off air but want the option of movies on demand...might save you the cable or sat bill....Oh..and play games.