Best Blu-ray Player For Netflix Streaming?

Dave Zatz —  May 6, 2011 — 10 Comments

netflix-bluray-player

Tech of the Hub got their hands on a trio of 2011 Blu-ray players and set about determining what model provides the best Netflix experience. Which works out well, as I’m in the market for a new, connected Blu-ray player. On the Netflix front, the 802.11n-capable Panasonic DMP-BDT210, LG BD670, and Samsung BD-D5700 seem to provide similar levels of performance. Although, the LG is notable for launching Netflix the quickest while the Panasonic provides Dolby Digital Surround.

Of course, like most of you, I’m interested in more than just Netflix streaming. So I checked in to learn more regarding device boot time, disc loading and connected services UI. First, all these mid-range players boot in under 30 seconds – which is more than sufficient and generally shows improvement over prior generation models featuring sluggish startup. In terms of online content, both the UI and selection vary pretty widely — there’s no clear standout and I haven’t yet thought about which services I’d prioritize. Having said that, CNET prefers the Panasonic - anointing it with an Editors’ Choice award.

Any other experiences or suggestions?

10 responses to Best Blu-ray Player For Netflix Streaming?

  1. Sound & Vision mag liked the Panny as well, so I got the DMP-65 a couple Christmases ago. It didn’t have Netflix in the model I got, but the BR performance is excellent and I really like the Amazon On Demand and Picasa features as well.

  2. The Panasonic has Netflix, VUDU, CinemaNow and Amazon. It’s a pretty healthy selection.

    Also, the Panasonic has this nifty feature where you can open the disc tray by just waving your hand. It’s not necessary but it’s cool!

  3. Chris Heinonen May 6, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    I’ve had a few player go by recently (recent models from Sony, Pioneer, Oppo, Samsung, Vizio, and McIntosh) and found the Pioneer to have the best Netflix image quality of any of them. It also has the updated interface with Search and Browse features, which last I checked LG and Vizio were still lacking (Sony updated to it recently). Horizontal and vertical pans really can trip up many of the Netflix players I have found.

    The Panasonic would be the only one I know of that has surround sound and isn’t a game console. I know their previous version of Blu-ray players had chroma bugs with Netflix playback, but I haven’t used a recent model to test. The Pioneer is sparse in content after you get past Netflix, with only Pandora to go along with it, but it was the best Netflix player I used.

  4. I have the LG at the country home (:-) ) and it works very well, nice quality, easy setup, does VUDU too.

  5. Netflix will not work on all Panasonic DMP-BDT210, check out user reviews at Cnet on this player. I received my DMP-BDT210 today from amazon and it’s going back tomorrow. I tried wifi & ran dedicated Ethernet line and it made no difference, try to stream any video from netflix and I like others receive “”We’re having trouble playing this title right now. Please try again later or select a different title”. Different title or different time doesnt help. Definitely a defect in this player, not all get it but why roll the dice?

  6. Got mine from Amazon yesterday. Same error when trying to view netflix instant.

  7. The “We’re having trouble playing this title right now. Please try again later or select a different title.” message seems to affect more than one brand of device. It may be a common flaw in the streaming player software that NetFlix is providing for these various BD player and TV devices. If it’s an LG TV (or maybe their blu-ray player also) that is giving you trouble, this might help.

    http://whirlysworld.blogspot.com/2011/12/lg-tv-quirks.html

    The idea is probably the same on other hardware too though. Deactivate and reactivate the NetFlix account and try to play a title after doing that.

  8. I can’t believe you mentioned the Samsung 5700. My netflix on it stopped working recently and i read that this happens to a lot of people. I have to go out and get a new player now.

  9. I agree that the 210 is great for Netflix streaming. However, I recently learned that it cannot deliver 5.1 sound with an Amazon HD stream, even though Amazon insists it’s sending it out that way. Neither Panasonic nor Amazon can tell me why.

  10. Great article Dave. For those who live outside US like me, you can access Netflix and similar media stations on your LG BR Player by using UnoTelly or similar tools.

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