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Recommend a budget blu-ray player (non-Sony)?
Posted by: BobC
Date: May 28, 2020 10:21PM
I want to replace our current Sony BDP-S3700 blu-ray player. We use it for watching some DVDs, but mostly for streaming. It's got a bad habit of randomly disconnecting from the TV & network, which is only solvable by unplugging it and then powering it back on. I'd like to get another player that's under $100.

I'd also like to avoid Sony players, since they don't let you add any services & apps that aren't part of the player's original set. When we bought our S3700 last year, the box showed that you could add more apps as you wanted, but soon after that, Sony cut ties with the app provider, so we're stuck with the basic ones. We're likely to want to add or try some newer services, like Apple TV, Disney+, HBO Max, CBS All Access, but we won't be able to with a Sony player. I suppose I could wait for a sale on a Roku device and use that instead for streaming, but a person I share this with has a learned helplessness about tech, and it's enough of a pain to talk her through using one device.

If there's a currently-available budget player that you like, I'd be glad to hear about it. Thanks.
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Re: Recommend a budget blu-ray player (non-Sony)?
Posted by: space-time
Date: May 28, 2020 10:25PM
don't have any advice, but my TV has only 3 HDMI ports; Xbox, AppleTV, Tivo. When wife asked me to connect the Bluway player a few days ago, i discovered it was easier to install a blu-ray player App on Xbox that find the HDMI cables and plug in the old Panasonic player.
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Re: Recommend a budget blu-ray player (non-Sony)?
Posted by: Cary
Date: May 29, 2020 05:26AM
I would be suspect of any budget DVD player having a robust, future-proof app sandbox with upgradeable apps for any significant timeframe. The economics (IMHO) don't make sense.

How about a Roku or Apple tv or Fire Stick for streaming, Nd a Logitech remote that allows you to program activities?

This way you only have one remote to use, and buttons to push to "watch TV" or "watch Apple TV", etc.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/29/2020 05:30AM by Cary.
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Re: Recommend a budget blu-ray player (non-Sony)?
Posted by: d4
Date: May 29, 2020 06:48AM
Quote
BobC
It's got a bad habit of randomly disconnecting from the TV & network, which is only solvable by unplugging it and then powering it back on.

Does this happen while playing DVDs? Only when streaming? Or both? Because if the DVD capabilities are perfectly fine, keep the DVD player and just get a dedicated streaming device. A standalone streaming device is much better at,,, well,,, streaming. The streaming interface via my cablebox or bluray player is painfully slow versus streaming via an AppleTV.



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Re: Recommend a budget blu-ray player (non-Sony)?
Posted by: Rolando
Date: May 29, 2020 07:21AM
Quote
d4
Quote
BobC
It's got a bad habit of randomly disconnecting from the TV & network, which is only solvable by unplugging it and then powering it back on.

Does this happen while playing DVDs? Only when streaming? Or both? Because if the DVD capabilities are perfectly fine, keep the DVD player and just get a dedicated streaming device. A standalone streaming device is much better at,,, well,,, streaming. The streaming interface via my cablebox or bluray player is painfully slow versus streaming via an AppleTV.

He would need to add an HDMI switch for that since all his ports are full. But if you don't used Physical discs very often, it might not be that bad...



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Re: Recommend a budget blu-ray player (non-Sony)?
Posted by: d4
Date: May 29, 2020 07:48AM
Quote
Rolando
Quote
d4
Quote
BobC
It's got a bad habit of randomly disconnecting from the TV & network, which is only solvable by unplugging it and then powering it back on.

Does this happen while playing DVDs? Only when streaming? Or both? Because if the DVD capabilities are perfectly fine, keep the DVD player and just get a dedicated streaming device. A standalone streaming device is much better at,,, well,,, streaming. The streaming interface via my cablebox or bluray player is painfully slow versus streaming via an AppleTV.

He would need to add an HDMI switch for that since all his ports are full.

The OP didn't mention this.



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Re: Recommend a budget blu-ray player (non-Sony)?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: May 29, 2020 09:55AM
Rolando,

The OP didn't say how many devices he has connected to the TV. Space-time is the one who mentioned a TV with three HDMI ports. For the OP, how many HDMI ports are on the TV and how many are actually in use? That'll dictate the next steps.

FWIW, the issue you're having with apps (or lack of) can be a problem regardless of manufacturer. All will be fine and dandy and then, all of a sudden, updated and/or new apps are no longer available for X reason. This is why for streaming, it's always better to stick with a dedicated streaming device like a Roku, Amazon Fire TV or Apple TV. They're more likely to have the best selection of apps, more likely to support new and updated apps and support older devices for a good amount of time. And, depending on the box, they are inexpensive enough that replacing them for X reason isn't too costly.

You can still get the cheap blu-ray player but I wouldn't use it for streaming. Use it just for discs. Get a streaming box for streaming. Or, see if your cable provider supports streaming apps directly in the cable box.

Robert
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Re: Recommend a budget blu-ray player (non-Sony)?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: May 29, 2020 10:12AM
Either Roku or AppleTV 4k for streaming.
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Re: Recommend a budget blu-ray player (non-Sony)?
Posted by: BobC
Date: May 29, 2020 11:21AM
Thanks, everyone, for some good ideas and questions. The TV has 2 HDMI ports, and only one is in use - by the current blu-ray player. I'm not sure whether the disconnects happen when playing DVDs. I only use the player for streaming, which is where it's failed for me. I'll ask the DVD user about that. (The setup is in a serially-shared apartment. Loooong story.) There's no cable TV service, so cable provider streaming isn't on the table. Good point, Robert & Cary, about other DVD players' app menu reliability.

I'm inclined toward adding a Roku stick, and letting the tech-phobic person learn to adjust to it. That would reduce the Sony player's glitches to those related to DVD playing, if any.
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Re: Recommend a budget blu-ray player (non-Sony)?
Posted by: d4
Date: May 29, 2020 11:43AM
Quote
BobC
I'm inclined toward adding a Roku stick, and letting the tech-phobic person learn to adjust to it.

Yeah, I wouldn't worry about it. When there's a will, there's a way. It's amazing how fast a tech-phobic person will learn a new device when the season finale of Killing Eve is on in 10 minutes.



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Re: Recommend a budget blu-ray player (non-Sony)?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: May 29, 2020 12:16PM
Bob,

Food for thought. Does the TV have other options for connecting audio and video? If the other user is just watching DVDs, then you can grab a cheap DVD player and connect it using older-style connections and buy a streaming media box for yourself. Or, purchase a game console and use it for all of the tasks.

Robert
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Re: Recommend a budget blu-ray player (non-Sony)?
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: May 29, 2020 03:23PM
Quote
d4
…if the DVD capabilities are perfectly fine, keep the DVD player and just get a dedicated streaming device. A standalone streaming device is much better at,,, well,,, streaming. The streaming interface via my cablebox or bluray player is painfully slow versus streaming via an AppleTV.

Great advice.
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Re: Recommend a budget blu-ray player (non-Sony)?
Posted by: Carm
Date: May 29, 2020 05:24PM
PlayStation has best compatibility from users here and other places. We had a Sony from Bestbuy for the longest time. It was updated often but the buttons finally broke off the front of it (we bought a warranty). They ended up giving us a refund and we got a pair of Samsungs.
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Re: Recommend a budget blu-ray player (non-Sony)?
Posted by: Will Collier
Date: May 29, 2020 05:37PM
I'd start at a local Goodwill store (assuming any near you are open). For ~$20 a pop, you can go through several before finding the one that fits your needs before you hit the price of a new one. Return the ones you don't like as donations and write them off.
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Re: Recommend a budget blu-ray player (non-Sony)?
Posted by: BobC
Date: May 30, 2020 07:08PM
Robert, yes, the TV does have component inputs, so a cheaper/older DVD player might be an option. I think I'll jump on the next good Roku deal that I see in any case, just to have that as a known-good choice. We're not gamers, so PlayStation would be overkill. Thanks very much, for all the suggestions.
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Re: Recommend a budget blu-ray player (non-Sony)?
Posted by: digby
Date: June 04, 2020 07:58PM
After months of disconnects, I gave up on using the Blu-Ray player for anything besides playing disks. Got a cheap FireTV stick, and feels like I upgraded my whole life. Netflix loads faster, a Hulu search is quick, and now I'm only frustrated when I play a disk. And have to unplug/replug the player for the remote to work...
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