Best blu-ray player for an elderly person who doesn't have internet?
January 1, 2011 12:19 PM   Subscribe

My mother-in-law's old DVD player bit the dust recently and we would like to get her a blu ray player. She does not have internet and has a Magnovox 27 inch analog TV. She just wants to be able to view DVD and Blu ray movies. Any recommendations on a good, basic player?
posted by I'm Brian and so's my wife! to Technology (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've just picked up the Samsung BD-C5500 and I'm very pleased with it so far. It's got upgradable firmware (a must for Blu-Ray players), can be set as a multi-region DVD player, a USB port, and has an ethernet jack (which allows it to play YouTube, DLNA-exported files, and suchlike).

Sound is awesome, picture is decent, reasonably quick boot times, and a good-ish UI. Supported by Logitech Harmony remotes, too.
posted by rodgerd at 12:43 PM on January 1, 2011

Is she planning to get a new TV within the next five years? If not, can I ask why you don't just stick with DVD? Faster load times and obviously no difference in quality on a non-HDTV. DVDs will obviously play on both, but there's similarly no reason buy more expensive BRDs playing them on an older TV.

If she upgrades TVs in the future, the players will be better (i.e. faster) and cheaper. Movies will be cheaper too.
posted by supercres at 1:02 PM on January 1, 2011

Best answer: Noting the "does not have internet" blu ray might not be the best idea. Seems like every two days my player is downloading a new firmware upgrade and I have run into 5 discs now that just won't play until I upgrade. They have all been Disney blu ray.

That being said, I have a Sony BDP-S370 that does everything it's supposed to do without much trouble.

I also have a Sony DVPSR500H DVD player that works great.
posted by M Edward at 1:14 PM on January 1, 2011

If you're really going to do this, you ought to get her a new TV, too. Then you can buy a player and a screen which work together well.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:28 PM on January 1, 2011

Best answer: If not, can I ask why you don't just stick with DVD?

There are now films being flat-out deleted from the DVD catalogues and only available on Blu-Ray, for starters; I can't buy The Adventures of Baron von Munchuasen in Region 4 any more. Blu-Rays also tend to offer more goodies. And why waste money on a $50 DVD player now and buy a $200 dollar Blu-Ray player in a year rather than buying a $200 Blu-Ray player now?
posted by rodgerd at 8:08 PM on January 1, 2011

Best answer: If she's currently rocking a 27 inch Magnavox, I'm rather certain that Adventures of Baron Munchuasen's absence on region 4 DVD won't be a big deal to her, and for the scant few cases where something is available on blu-ray but not on DVD, there are literally thousands of movies that're available on DVD but not blu-ray. "Chinatown," people! My vote is to stick with DVD, which, for all the hulabaloo about streaming and such, will continue to be supported by the studios for a long time. DVDs account for about 80% market share. Next year, that'll probably decline by another 10 or 15 percentage points, but there is so much inventory and DVDs are so ubiquitous that a $50 DVD player won't be irrelevant for a long long time.

The fact that she doesn't have internet has the potential to cause frustrations with blu-ray, as others have pointed out that blu-ray often requires updating firmware. While I love blu-ray's picture quality, when my mother gets a 'loading' bar on her television it makes her think something's broken, and then she calls me, and then after I pick up the menu screen or whatever comes on, and then we have to talk about why I haven't come by lately, and we all know how well that conversation goes.
posted by incessant at 11:46 PM on January 1, 2011

Response by poster: Thank you all for the advice.

We initially wanted to get her a blu ray player to expand her movie options (as rodgerd said above, some movies just are not/no longer available on DVD, only blu ray). However, since it looks like not having internet service is going to be an issue with blu ray players & firmware updates, we elected to go with a new DVD player -- got the Sony DVPSR500H that M Edward mentions above (looks like a good one, lots of positive reviews).

Again, many thanks!
posted by I'm Brian and so's my wife! at 9:18 AM on January 2, 2011

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