The best Blu-ray players for 2024

Streaming is awesome, but a solid Blu-ray player unlocks image and sound quality you've never known in your favorite TV and movies.

Best overall

Panasonic DP-U820 Blu-ray player

Panasonic DP-UB820

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Best budget

Sony BDP-S6700 Blu-ray player

Sony BDP-S6700

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Best gaming console

PlayStation 5 ps5 storage

Sony PS5

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While 4K content-streaming services are more common than ever, there’s still no better way to watch your favorite shows and movies than with a dedicated Blu-ray player. The Blu-ray video format has come a long way since its debut in 2006, with a modern generation of discs capable of playing 4K Ultra HD video with high dynamic range at frame rates of up to 60 frames per second. Unlike streaming services, Blu-ray players allow for continuous playback of high-quality video without bandwidth-related interruptions or drops in quality. Many publishers also use the format to share special features and other extra content that can’t be found anywhere else, making it an ideal format for collectors and cinephiles. There’s even a niche of audio-only Dolby Atmos albums released as Blu-ray discs. Whether you’re looking for reference-class picture quality, a way to upscale your DVDs and other legacy media, or a device that also streams and plays games, the best Blu-ray players can upgrade any home theater.

How we chose the best Blu-ray players

When compiling this list of the best Blu-ray players, we placed heavy emphasis on brand reputation, followed closely by features and connectivity. Panasonic, LG, and Sony are all well-regarded electronics manufacturers with a long and established history in the home theater market; Sony, in particular, had a hand in the actual development of Blu-ray technology. Except for our budget pick, all the players on our list can play 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. Most of our picks also feature WiFi or Ethernet connectivity to enable the use of streaming apps with the exception of our compact pick. Ultimately, we relied on a mix of hands-on testing, spec comparison, editorial reviews, and user feedback to narrow the list.

The best Blu-ray players: Reviews & Recommendations

You’re eager to get a player and start watching the Alien movies for the millionth time. We get it. But take a moment to peruse all of our picks since there’s some overlap between models. You want the necessary features, but you don’t want to pay for things you’ll never use, and our list can help you get the perfect player for that new OLED TV and Dolby Atmos soundbar.

Best overall: Panasonic DP-UB820

Best overall

Panasonic DP-UB820

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Why it made the cut: The Panasonic DP-UB820 features a perfect balance of cutting-edge picture quality and audio connection options at a price that won’t break the bank.

Specs

  • Video: 4K, Dolby Vision, HDR10+, upscaling
  • Audio: 192 kHz/32-bit DAC, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X
  • I/O: 2 x HDMI, USB, Ethernet, optical out, 2-channel and 7.1-channel RCA
  • WiFi: Yes
  • Dimensions: 2.5 x 17 x 10 inches (H x W x D)
  • Weight: 5 pounds

Pros

  • Great HDR image processing and depth of color
  • Ample audio connection options with Dolby Atmos compatibility
  • Streaming apps, voice assistant, and WiFi-ready

Cons

  • Lightweight build quality
  • Mid-level price point

The Panasonic DP-UB820 packs some of the best features currently available on the Ultra HD Blu-ray market in a wallet-friendly form factor. In addition to fully supporting Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, HDR10+, and other essential technologies, the DP-UB820 comes with Panasonic’s proprietary HCX chroma processor, which aims to add an even deeper level of color accuracy and picture definition to content playback. On the audio side of things, the DP-UB820’s built-in 192 kHz/32-bit digital-to-analog converter sends high-resolution audio through the player’s plethora of outputs, including a dedicated HDMI audio port and 7.1-channel RCA component outputs. That kind of flexibility is key if you want to futureproof your setup.

Like many of the best Blu-ray players currently on the market, the Panasonic DP-UB820 is capable of streaming from Netflix, Prime Video, and other app services via WiFi and Ethernet. It also upscales lower-resolution content from DVDs, older Blu-rays, and other sources to 4K quality with impressive clarity, making it a good option for enjoying old home videos or other aging content collections. Because of its mid-range price point, the DP-UB820 does cut a few corners in build quality, opting for a light and flexible outer casing that doesn’t quite match its robust internal features. There are definitely more expensive and more affordable options, but that’s exactly why the well-balanced DP-UB820 is so appealing.

Best premium: Panasonic DP-UB9000

Best premium

Panasonic DP-UB9000

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Why it made the cut: The Panasonic DP-UB9000 offers whisper-quiet performance and reference-class picture quality in a top-of-the-line package.

Specs

  • Video: 4K, Dolby Vision, HDR10+, upscaling
  • Audio: 192 kHz/32-bit DAC, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X
  • I/O: 2 x HDMI, 2 x XLR, USB, Ethernet, optical out, 2-channel and 7.1-channel RCA, Coaxial
  • WiFi: Yes
  • Dimensions: 3.2 x 16.9 x 11.8 inches (H x W x D)
  • Weight: 17.2 pounds

Pros

  • Best-in-class image and audio quality
  • Sturdy and noise-free build quality
  • Dedicated XLR outputs

Cons

  • Expensive

The Panasonic DP-UB9000 builds upon everything that makes the DP-UB820 great, fitting the same high-resolution audio and video playback support into a premium aluminum chassis. The DP-UB9000’s optical drive plays Blu-ray, DVD, and CD media with virtually no vibration noise, making it the best Blu-ray player for immersive home theater experiences and cinema-quality playback. In addition to including the same suite of audio outputs as the DP-UB820, the DP-UB9000 adds professional-grade balanced XLR audio outputs and a digital coaxial output to the mix, allowing users to connect to an even wider range of audiophile systems. If you’re going to have an installer build your system, you’ll need the extra flexibility.

The Panasonic DP-UB9000 is undoubtedly a premium product, with a price tag of around $1,100. If you’re looking for the absolute best media player for your home theater, you’d be hard-pressed to find an option that will perform as consistently, age as well, and connect with as many systems. However, if you’re willing to look past the plasticky finish and fewer connectivity options of the DP-UB820, it offers the exact same audio resolution and HDR image processing at a mere fraction of the price.

Best compact: LG UBK80

Best compact

LG UBK80

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Why it made the cut: The LG UBK80 is a streamlined Blu-ray player that’s small enough to install where space is limited.

Specs

  • Video: 4K, upscaling
  • Audio: Dolby Atmos, DTS:X
  • I/O: 1 x HDMI, USB, Ethernet, optical out
  • WiFi: No
  • Dimensions: 1.8 x 16.9 x 8.1 inches (H x W x D)
  • Weight: 3.6 pounds

Pros

  • Lightweight low-profile design
  • 4K UHD playback, upscales low-resolution media

Cons

  • No streaming apps
  • No WiFi connectivity
  • Limited I/O options

If you’re working with a smaller space in your home theater setup, the LG UBK80 is a great compact Blu-ray player that allows for playback of 4K UHD content in a form factor less than two inches tall. Like our Panasonic picks above, the LG UBK80 features 4K upscaling, making it a great choice for playing DVDs or early-generation Blu-ray discs. It has a much more streamlined I/O setup than our previous picks, limited to a single HDMI output, an optical audio output, and a USB port for playing digital media. The UBK80 does include an Ethernet port for firmware updates, but it lacks WiFi connectivity and streaming apps, making it somewhat of a one-trick pony. If streaming apps and wireless connectivity are important to you, the LG UBK90 is a solid alternative with an extra HDMI output that only costs around $100 more.

Best gaming console: Sony PlayStation 5

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Why it made the cut: Ninth-generation consoles like the Sony PlayStation 5 can play 4K UHD Blu-ray discs, making them a convenient and space-saving option for gamers.

Specs

  • Video: 4K, HDR10
  • Audio: Dolby Atmos, DTS:X
  • I/O: 1 x HDMI, USB, Ethernet
  • WiFi: Yes
  • Dimensions: 15.4 x 4 x 10.2 inches (H x W x D)
  • Weight: 14 pounds

Pros

  • Latest-gen gaming console and UHD Blu-ray player all in one

Cons

  • No Dolby Vision or HDR10+ support, single HDMI
  • Very large compared to other Blu-ray players

If you’re a gamer looking for a console that’s also a 4K Blu-ray player and can stream online video, the Sony PlayStation 5 might just be the best all-in-one deal out there. Like its Microsoft counterpart, the Xbox Series X, the PlayStation 5 features an optical drive that allows it to play all the latest 4K UHD Blu-ray discs with picture quality that does justice to that new flagship gaming TV. Unlike most dedicated Blu-ray players, the PlayStation 5 only has a single HDMI port for passing both audio and video signal, which slightly limits its output bandwidth when compared to a dual-HDMI setup. This won’t be an issue for the vast majority of users, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re an image or audio purist. The PlayStation 5 also lacks support for the latest Dolby Vision and HDR10+ formats, but it’s still fully capable of playing HDR10 and Dolby Atmos metadata. The additional features and, you know, the video games more than make up for any shortcomings it has as a standalone Blu-ray player.

Best budget: Sony BDP-S6700

Best budget

Sony BDP-S6700

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Why it made the cut: The Sony BDP-S6700 offers streaming apps and 4K upscaling of low-resolution content at a wallet-friendly price.

Specs

  • Video: 1080p, upscaling
  • Audio: Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD
  • I/O: 1 x HDMI, Ethernet, coaxial
  • WiFi: Yes
  • Dimensions: 1.5 x 10 x 7.5 inches (H x W x D)
  • Weight: 2 pounds

Pros

  • Upscales DVDs and standard Blu-rays to near-4K quality
  • WiFi and streaming app support

Cons

  • Doesn’t play 4K UHD discs
  • No Dolby Atmos support

For users looking to enjoy Blu-ray media without splurging on the latest tech, the Sony BDP-S6700 is definitely worth a look. Unlike the other Blu-ray players on this list, the BDP-S6700 can’t play the newest generation of 4K UHD Blu-ray discs. While this is its biggest drawback, it’s still extremely capable of upscaling DVDs and standard HD Blu-rays to near-4K quality, making it a cost-effective alternative for pairing with 4K TVs. The Sony BDP-S6700 also features onboard streaming apps along with Ethernet and WiFi connectivity, making it an appealing and affordable option for pairing with non-smart TVs. If you’re looking for a future-proofed Blu-ray player, you may want to consider the 4K UHD-capable Sony UBP-X700M, but for our money, the BDP-S6700 is one of the best deals out there right now.

Things to consider before buying a Blu-ray player

Resolution

Blu-ray media comes in standard HD and 4K Ultra HD versions, but you’ll need a 4K TV to enjoy all the benefits of the higher-resolution format. If you are watching Blu-ray on a 1080p television, you can save some money by limiting yourself to a 1080p Blu-ray player like the Sony BDP-S6700, which also features 4K upscaling should you eventually upgrade your TV. But, in general, we recommend getting a player that supports any disc you want. It will make your whole setup more future-proof.

Are you looking for the best audio and video quality available?

Blu-ray offers some of the best audio and video currently available in home theater settings, with a consistency of color depth and bitrate that outshines what’s currently possible via most streaming services. If you want to enjoy media with the highest fidelity currently possible, opt for a 4K UHD Blu-ray player with separate audio and video outputs like the Panasonic DP-UB9000, which features high-resolution digital-to-analog audio conversion, balanced audio outputs, whisper-quiet construction, and Panasonic’s industry-leading HDR processing. Many Blu-ray players like the Panasonic DP-UB820 also feature 7.1-channel audio outputs, allowing them to easily integrate with home surround sound systems.

FAQs

Q: How much does a Blu-ray player cost?

Blu-ray players cost anywhere from below $100 to over $1000.

Q: Can Blu-ray players play DVDs?

Yes, Blu-ray players can play DVDs with very few exceptions. The best Blu-ray players can even upscale DVDs to 1080p or 4K quality, making them a great way to enjoy home videos and other old media.

Q: Is Blu-ray 4K?

The latest generation of Blu-ray is at 4K UHD resolution, containing around quadruple the pixels found in standard HD Blu-ray. Standard HD Blu-ray discs are still being manufactured for the time being, but more new media is being released in 4K Blu-ray format every day.

Q: Can the PlayStation 5 play 4K Blu-ray?

Yes, the PlayStation 5 can play 4K UHD Blu-ray discs.

Final thoughts on the best Blu-ray players

Our favorite Blu-ray player is the well-rounded Panasonic DP-UB820, which features high-definition processing and support for the latest formats like Dolby Vision and HDR10+ in a relatively affordable package. If you’re looking to splurge, the Panasonic DP-UB9000 performs even better thanks to its pro-grade construction and balanced audio outputs, making it the ideal choice for no-compromise home theater setups. For adding to an existing media center or squeezing into small spaces, the compact LG UBK80 plays Ultra HD Blu-ray and offers 4K upscaling in a form factor less than 2 inches high. If you’re a gamer, the most convenient and obvious choice might be a Sony PlayStation 5, which features a 4K Blu-ray-compatible optical drive. For all other users curious about diving into the world of Blu-ray but aren’t ready to commit to the 4K UHD ecosystem, the Sony BDP-S6700 is a fantastic option that upscales low-resolution content and streams from apps for less than $100.

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.