Cool! You’ve got a Blu-ray player! Now you can actually watch movies in high-definition on your television. (Sorry, but all those DVDs you watch may look great on your big flat screen TV, but they’re still standard definition, in spite of their digital glory.) With Blu-ray, you can see all the detail the director originally intended.
But is that all you’re going to do?
You can listen to music. Blu-ray players are compatible with CDs, so you can play your entire collection through your home theater sound system (or your HDTV’s speakers). But did you realize that most Blu-ray players also can play MP3 files? If you figure that the average track ripped from a music CD is about 5 MB and runs three minutes, you can squeeze about seven hours of music on a single CD. Burn them onto a DVD instead, and you can fit about two solid days of music on one disc. Fill up a disc with your favorite music, set the playback to Shuffle, and it’s like having your own private radio station without the commercials.
In some cases, you won’t even have to burn a disc. Many Blu-ray players are DLNA compatible, which means that they can reach out across your network to your computer or laptop, and pull down content. Thrill your friends with a slide show of pictures from your latest vacation trip. Show your home movies or other video you have stored on your computer. And of course, access your digitized music collection.
If you want to do even more, consider the fact that many Blu-ray players now include Internet connectivity. You can stream video from Netflix, YouTube, or any one of dozens of other sites. Get the latest news, weather, sports, or financial information right on your big screen. Some players even have an app that lets you check highway traffic conditions before you leave home for your morning commute.
So seriously, are you really only using your Blu-ray player to watch movies? It can bring so much more entertainment and information into your living room.
Image Credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images News/Getty Images