A Blu-ray Disc player remains the single best way of getting a crisp 1080p image onto a large-screen, high-definition display.
Before you shop for a Blu-ray player, you need a crash course in new Blu-ray terminology. The Blu-ray Disc format has gone through some awkward growing pains, which has resulted in the messy situation we have now of different players supporting (or not supporting) different Blu-ray features. Two new features you'll want to look for are BonusView and BD-Live.
Of the models we tested, three--the Panasonic, the Philips, and the Sony PlayStation 3--offered BonusView. Only one, the PlayStation 3, could handle BD-Live as well. Under the Blu-ray Disc spec, all players should be equipped to handle movie titles packed with fancy, complex menus (authored in BD-Java). One player, the Samsung, failed our BD-Java playback test: It refused to load Disney's Cars, so we could not watch the movie (let alone see the Java-intensive extra features).
Click on for PC World's reviews of the best Blu-ray players.