LAS VEGAS — More and more new Blu-ray Disc
players slated for 2011 will offer 3D TV support and
Internet streaming services and apps as disc-based
system continues it rapid penetration into U.S. households.
The following is a snapshot of new models planned
for the year ahead by some of the industry’s top
LG Electronics has expanded its assortment of
3D-capable Blu-ray models from one to five in 2011,
all of which will include its newest streaming video
Models this year include the NetCast 2.0 platform
with access to an expanded list of service partners,
including MLB TV, as well as the company’s new Apps
Store, which will offer more than 200 apps when the
first models ship in late February.
Models featuring built-in Wi-Fi can connect to
smartphones using a special app that transforms the
handheld device into a system keyboard.
LG will again have a built-in 250GB hard-drive model,
this year adding a special music ID feature that allows
song information searches. This adds the ability
to transfer content stored on the disc to a connected
external device such as a USB drive. The
USB slot can also be used to expand the
unit’s storage capability.
For those who may already have a Blu-ray
player, LG said it will also introduce a Smart
Box (due to ship in April). The box is based
on the NetCast 2.0 platform, is DLNA compliant,
offers FullHD 1080p capability, has a
full Internet browser, and includes the ability
to link into the LG Apps Store.
P&F USA will introduce six Philipsbranded
players, four of which have 3D capability
and all offering the company’s NetApps platform
for streaming media access.
Highlighting the lineup is the BDP7506 ($220) 3Dcapable
Blu-ray player featuring touchpanel controls,
a DLNA-compliant Wi-Fi connection, Media Connect
compatibility and NetApps with access to more
than 100 apps, including Internet radio, Vudu, Netflix,
Blockbuster on Demand and FlimFresh streaming.
The BDP5506 ($200) also supports 3D playback
with most of the features of the 7506, minus DLNA
The BDP3606 features 3D, NetApps, wireless connectivity
and fast startup.
The BDP3506 ($170) is a 3D model with
NetApps, but it omits out of the box wireless
The BDP3306 ($150) Blu-ray player is a
2D model with wireless connectivity and NetApps.
The BDP3006 ($130) is a basic 2D model with
NetApps but without included Wi-Fi connectivity.
Samsung will show some of its Blu-ray Disc players
planned for the first half, highlighted by the wallmountable
BD-D7500, billed as “the world’s slimmest”
at 0.9 inches thin.
Key features include 3D 1080p support, 2D-to-3D
up-conversion capabilities, Samsung’s Smart Blu-ray
platform with Samsung Apps and streaming service
partner access, ultra-fast play, built-in Wi-Fi touchsensor
control and slot loading.
Also slated is the BD-D7000 3D Blu-ray player featuring
compact styling FullHD 3D and 2D viewing with
2D-to-3D up-conversion, and Samsung’s Smart Bluray
with Samsung Apps streaming.
Other features are built-in Wi-Fi; touch-sensor
control, a cube-style slot-loading design,
and advanced Smart Blu-ray features, including
AllShare, Smart Hub and Samsung Apps.
Sharp will present three models, all with
3D FullHD 1080p capability; support for
CineamNow, Netflix, Vudu, Pandora and You-
Tube streaming; Super Picture enhancement
for streaming media; and DLNA compliance.
Models include the entry BD-HP25U, and
step-up BD-HP75U and BD-HP35U units.
Both step-up models add Wi-Fi connections
in the box, and iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch control
applications. The BD-HP75U also adds
an anti-vibration chassis with upgraded audio
circuitry and RS232c control.
Sony is presenting five stand-alone Blu-ray
players for 2011 with step-up models featuring
Wi-Fi Internet connectivity, Blu-ray 3D
playback, and compatibility with Sony’s new
network speakers for wireless multi-room audio
streaming throughout the home.
The models include the BDP-S780 ($250
suggested retail), BDP-S580 ($200 suggested
retail), BDP-S480 ($180), BDP-S380 ($150)
and BDP-S280 ($140). The company also plans
three Blu-ray integrated home-theater systems
and a Blu-ray integrated 5.1 audio system.
All of the dedicated players support DVD, CD
and SACD discs in addition to Blu-ray Discs,
and will stream online entertainment from a
long list of service providers including: Netflix,
Pandora, HuluPlus, Amazon Video on Demand,
YouTube, Slacker Internet Radio, NPR, the Sony
Bravia Internet Video platform and Sony’s Video
On Demand powered by Qriocity.
The BDP-S780 will ship in April with 3D
playback, built-in Wi-Fi, DLNA compatibility,
quick startup, front USB input, Entertainment
Database Browser support from Gracenote,
available app for iPhone/iPod Touch/Android
smartphones to act as a remote control, 2Dto-
3D up-conversion, Sony’s IP Content Noise
Reduction technology and Precision Cinema
HD up-scaling technologies.
Other features include Super Bit Mapping
for smoother color gradation for 14-bit color
quality from 8-bit sources over HDMI.
The BDP-S580 ships in March featuring
3D, IP Content Noise Reduction, built-in Wi-
Fi, Gracenote support, DLNA compliance,
front USB, Network Speaker compatibility,
control app for smartphones and quick start.
The BDP-S480 ships in March supporting
3D, and is “Wi-Fi ready” requiring an optional
USB wireless adapter, DNLA, front USB, Network
speaker support, control app for smartphones
and quick start.
The BDP-S380 omits 3D capability, but
adds Gracenote support, and the basic
BDP-S280 2D Blu-ray model is Wi-Fi ready
and ships in February.
Toshiba will introduce three models, including
the BDX5200, BDX4200 and BDX2200.
The BDX5200 supports 3D playback, has
built-in Wi-Fi, Yahoo! Widgets support, and
access to a host of streaming content service
providers, including Netflix.