Blu-ray Players and Other Sources @ CES 2011
With all the hype around the new TVs, most companies “quietly” announced a bunch of new Blu-ray players.
All the info after the jump.
Sony announced four new BD players. All are 3D, able to use an iPhone/touch and Android devices as an additional remote, and have BRAVIA Internet Video (their Internet streaming interface). The prices announced all had the caveat of “about.” I read this as $250 is really $249.99, but it could be a little different in either direction.
The BDP-S580 (March, $200) also has 802.11n, but doesn’t convert 2D to 3D. The BDP-S480 (March $180) is WiFi-ready. The BDP-S380 (February, $150) is also WiFi ready, but is not a DLNA client like the other three. Instead, it can only play back your music and photos via a USB thumbdrive.
There’s also a portable BD player, the BDP-SX1000 that has a 10-inch 1,024 by 600 screen and five-hour battery life. It will be available this spring for $300.
Three HTIBs with Blu-ray will be available this spring as well, all are 3D and can use an iPhone/touch/Android device as a remote. All also have an iPod dock, are 5.1, can access BRAVIA Internet Video, and have 1,000 watts. The BDV-E780 (May, $600) and BDV-E580 (March, $500) both have built-in WiFi. The BDV-E280 (April, $400) is WiFi-ready. What’s the difference, you ask? The speakers get smaller as the price decreases. Also, the 780 has wireless rear speakers.
LG’s coolest new product is the SmartTV Upgrader. We gave it a CES 2011 Top Pick award. It allows non-Internet connected TVs to stream Internet content from VUDU, Netflix, CinemaNow Hulu Plus, Amazon Video on Demand, and YouTube. It’s like an Apple TV except 1080p, minus iTunes and plus VUDU, Amazon, Hulu and CinemaNow. LG’s App store has additional apps like games and so on available for download. The Upgrader, who’s real model number is ST600, has built-in WiFi, has HDMI and Optical out, and has a USB input. It can be controlled with an iPhone or Android device, if so desired. It even has an Internet browser so you can check your email or look something up on Wikipedia. No word on pricing, but it’s hard to imagine it will be much different than the $99 AppleTV and Roku boxes.
LG also announced a bunch of new Blu-ray players. I’ll tell you up front, there were no pricing or availability dates announced. At the top of the line is the BD690, which interestingly has a 250 GB hard drive so you can store your music directly on the player. It’s also got built-in WiFi, LG’s SmartTV Internet streaming, can be a DLNA server and client, and is 3D. Like all LG’s new Internet streaming-capable BD players, the BD690 can be controlled via a free app on iPhone/touch/Android devices.
The BD670 has WiFi built in, but the BD650 does not. Both are 3D and have SmartTV and DLNA. The BD640 includes the wireless adaptor, but is not 3D. It’s apparently not the full SmartTV interface, but it will stream from Netflix, VUDU, CinemaNow and YouTube. The BD630 is wired only, but is otherwise the same as the 640.
On the HTIB side there are four new models, three are 3D capable. The LHB976 is rated at 1,100 watts, has wireless surround speakers, silk dome tweeters, built-in WiFi, an iPod cradle, and LG’s SmartTV interface for streaming.
The LHB536 shares almost all the same features as the 976, but doesn’t have wireless surrounds or tower front speakers. The LHB336 requires a WiFi adaptor, but is otherwise similar to the 536. The LHB326 includes the WiFi adaptor, but is not 3D, nor does it have SmartTV (though it can stream like the BD640)
All-in-all an impressive array from LG.
Not to be outdone by their neighbors in Seoul, Samsung too had a bunch of new players. The BD-D7500 (image at top of post) is claimed to be the world’s thinnest BD player at 0.9-inches in height. It’s 3D, will convert 2D to 3D, is DLNA-Certified, and will stream Internet video (presumably all the ones the current players can).
The BD-D7000 looks like an Internet streaming box, but in fact is a Blu-ray player. The disc slot is hidden, and pops up from the center. It’s 3D, converts 2D to 3D, DLNA-Certified, and will stream Internet video.
The BD-D6700 is brushed-metal stylish and has all the same features as the 7000, but adds in the ability to be controlled by a free app for iPhone/touch/Android.
The BD-D6500 is 3D, doesn’t convert 2D to 3D, but still has all the streaming features. All the new Blu-ray players have WiFi built in.
On system side, there’s the HT-D7100 which is a oblong cube with two built-in speakers. It’s got all the big features (including 2D to 3D) and has 110 watts of power.
The HT-D6730W is a more traditional HTIB, with thin tower front speakers and wireless rear speakers. A claimed 1,300 watts powers the 7.1 system which also has built-in WiFi. The front height speakers are incorporated into the front towers.
The HW-D7000 is a receiver with a built-in Blu-ray player. It has 120 watts per each of its seven channels, decodes all the latest high-res audio formats, is 3D capable, and can play Samsung Apps (including all the Internet video streaming).
Check out our coverage of Samsung’s TVs from the show here.
Sharp has three new BD players, all 3D. There’s the BD-HP75U (March, $329.99), the BD-HP35U (February, $299.99), and the BD-HP25U (February, $249.99). The 75 and 35 have built-in WiFi (optional dongle on the 25), all are DLNA-Certified, and feature RS-232 (75U) and IP control (35 and 25). Streaming options have expanded, now with Netflix, VUDU, and Pandora.
Check out our coverage of the Sharp TVs from the show here.
The big news from Panasonic is the inclusion of Skype to VIERA CAST on several Blu-ray players. Previously it was only their TVs that could do Skype. You’ll need to buy the Skype camera for it all to work.
Also, it’s not VIERA CAST anymore, it’s VIERA Connect, featuring a new interface and more content.
The DMP-BDT310 and DMP-BDT210 have WiFi built in, while the DMP-BDT110 requires a optional adaptor. All 3D models will also feature 2D to 3D conversion. There’s a free iPhone/touch app that lets you control the player. With the 210, there’s even a proximity sensor, so you can open the tray with a wave of your hand (perfect for those butter-coated fingers).
Philips, a decided also-ran in the US electronics industry these days, announced several new Blu-ray players, though without much info. All have Internet streaming of Netflix, Blockbuster, and VUDU. The BDP7580 (April, $499.99) has wireless HDMI. The BDP7506 (April, $220), BDP5506 (March, $200), are 3D with NetApps Internet streaming. The BDP3306 (February, $150) and BDP3006 (Feb, $130) have NetApps Internet streaming.
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