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looking for RELIABLE inexpensive blu-ray player

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Briton, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. Briton

    Briton Auditioning

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    Hi all. I'm at the end of my rope here. I've been through so many blu-ray players in the past few years and my current one has just started acting up. Sony BDP-S3700 less than 6 months old which replaced a BDP-S1700 which lasted less than a year. In the 2 years before that I went through a Panasonic and 2 Samsungs, one of which didn't even last 90 days.
    I'm really depressed about the Sonys, because historically Sony DVD and CD players I've owned have put up with years and years of use and abuse.

    Don't need anything fancy, just basic blu-ray, no 4k or HDR. I don't feel like I use it that heavily. Probably 1 or 2 discs a week plus about 10-20 hours a week of Netflix, Amazon, Hulu... It seems to be the streaming that konks out. My current player still plays discs fine, but randomly freezes up when streaming and constantly forgets my logins to my streaming services. Can anyone recommend a basic model that will at least last a few years? Thanks.
     
  2. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    I just think you must have been unlucky especially because I have a Panasonic that has lasted for many years and never given a second of trouble. I have newer Sony and Samsung machines (Blu-ray models that upscale to 4K) that replaced other machines and haven't had a chance to stand the test of time yet, but Panasonic has always been my first choice of players (I have one on the shelf now waiting to fill in for the next machine that poops out).
     
  3. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Similar to Matt, I've had very good luck with both Panasonic and Sony models. I still have the very first BD player I bought -- a 2nd generation Sony -- and the Panasonic player I bought a couple of years later as an upgrade (the Sony is slow when initially loading a disc). The Sony is now in our master bedroom and doesn't get used much, but the Panny is still in my main HT and still gets used (it has a BD of The Rockford Files currently loaded). We also have a "cheap" Sony that we bought for our South Carolina condo a couple of years ago, and it works fine, too.

    If your issues are mostly with the streaming, I would suggest buying a separate device for that purpose -- I do not use the streaming function on any of my players (UHD or BD). If you only need 1080p streaming, the Roku Express is a very good product for $30. We have two of them -- used mainly to run the Comcast Xfinity app on a couple of TV's instead of paying $10 per month each to rent a cable convertor box.

    A dedicated streaming box will inherently be more stable than the streaming apps built into a player, as the apps get updated more often and for a longer period of time. Also, you will have a lot more apps available to select from than the limited number available on a player.
     
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  4. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    I don't even use my Oppo BR player for streaming any more. Just to add on to what Scott said, for a much better budget solution, go Roku. If you want the premium, especially if you want integration with other Apple products, go AppleTV. However, if you go AppleTV, I suggest going for the 4K model, even if you don't have 4K equipment. The 4K model is a significant upgrade in hardware from the Gen 4 model, for not that much more $. It's just a better investment in the long run.
     
  5. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    With five failed units under your belt, it should be obvious that “reliable” isn’t going to happen in a disc player at the price point you’ve been shopping at.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
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  6. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    I don't think I've ever had any issues with players in the 20+ years I've had DVD/blu players. I've replaced them as upgrades, but they all still worked fine when I replaced them. I've had Panasonic, Sony, and Samsung. Known brand names but nothing really high-end. I also don't generally stream through my players, I only play discs.
     
  7. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Seriously. Consider how much you've spent saving money on cheap players.
     
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  8. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Every BD player I've purchased, from the expensive Oppo to a middle-of-the-line Sony to a cheap LG have continued to work since their purchase date, in terms of playing physical media. But the app usage has never been reliable on any of them.

    I would join with what John Rice is saying and strongly advise that you purchase a stand-alone streaming box like a Roku or AppleTV. They'll work better (and for longer) at what they're designed to do, than disc players that aren't really meant to do any of it. It also turns out that in many cases, stand-alone streaming boxes are cheaper to operate as they tend to use less electricity when streaming than a BD player would to do the same thing.
     
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  9. Message #9 of 27 Jun 5, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
    DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Do you happen to have the player in a small, tight cabinet? Or stacked with other electronics? Or in a dusty room?

    Moving parts die from use. Integrated circuits die from thermal stress: too many on/off cycles or too much heat for too long. Typically, it’s the mechanical stuff that dies first. But you’re saying your electronics are konking out. And repeatedly, five units now. That might indicate that they’re getting too hot, maybe from being clogged by dust, or in a too-tight cabinet that gets hot, or being surrounded by too many other electronics.

    I’d give a thought to that, before buying another player, cheap or expensive.
     
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  10. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    That’s good advice and absolutely worth mentioning to eliminate as a potential cause of the issue.

    I thought the OP’s issue was that the players continued to work for playing discs, but that the built-in apps for streaming services became unreliable after short periods of time. And that’s certainly been my experience with built-in apps, that they don’t work nearly as well as a standalone box does for steaming.
     
  11. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    Excess heat can be really nasty.

    I keep a small fan blowing on the dvd/bluray drive, especially if it is spinning at full speed for long periods of time.
     
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  12. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I’m not sure. I took it as: five blu-ray devices have died in short order. They worked fine to start, and then didn’t work right a couple years or a couple months later.

    If it’s: the streaming features of my blu-ray players the last five years have all been crap, then the answer is to buy a good streaming box for streaming, not a blu-ray player with a crap streaming system.

    Maybe the OP can expound on the problems and desired solution.
     
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  13. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    (More generally).

    I'm guessing some of the apps were added to a standalone dvd/bluray player as an afterthought.

    If there's future problems and the original manufacturer doesn't bother updating the firmware anymore, then such players become "frozen in time" and may have problems with apps which can't be updated?
     
  14. Briton

    Briton Auditioning

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    Thanks everyone for the advice. Yes the problem is with the streaming apps, not disc playback. It's a big deal to me because my agreement with my roommate gives her access to my streaming accounts, Netflix, Hulu, HBO etc. Right now she seems to be happy with Chromecast, but I may pick up a Roku soon just to have a proper remote.
     
  15. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Unpopular opinion: What you should consider is an Xbox 1S or PS4.

    Media Apps are guaranteed to always be current. If you get the 1S you even get UHD playback as a bonus.
     
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  16. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Or keep the inexpensive BD player for discs, and pick up and AppleTV or Roku for streaming.
     
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  17. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Yep. Don’t buy a disc player for streaming. Buy a good streaming box for streaming.
     
  18. John Dirk

    John Dirk Screenwriter
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    I do all of my streaming on my HTPC which is, of course, rock solid. I know they're not for everyone but this is yet another example of how they can be invaluable.
     
  19. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I wouldn’t recommend a PC for streaming in general. The major services tend to have crippled apps, blocking better surround sound, on the PC compared to dedicated devices.

    Practically: I never use my HTPC for streaming; the AppleTV and Tivo do a better job.
     
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  20. John Dirk

    John Dirk Screenwriter
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    True but the vast majority of my streaming is currently Netflix which generally looks and sounds excellent. If [or more likely, when] I diversify my content sources I would probably opt for a Roku.
     

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