Get The Right Set: Check These Features Before Buying That Blu-Ray Set

Finding your favorite TV series on Blu-Ray is exciting, but it can quickly fall flat if you find you've gotten the wrong type of box set. Blu-Ray discs, like DVDs, are not all alike, and you have to be sure the set you get has the features you need. This is about more than just having extras or noting region codes -- these features can make it easier or harder for you to finally watch the show.

Access Features

Always check the package to see what access features are included, even if you yourself don't need them. If you have friends one day who do need them, those friends are going to be very happy to find you have discs that have those features. Captioning is available on most discs (and if there are no captions through a closed-caption feature, you can substitute English subtitles), and many now have audio description features for the visually impaired. Note that box sets for TV series, specifically, may be less likely to have audio description, though the service is becoming more common.

DVD Combo Pack

If you still have a DVD player in addition to your Blu-Ray player, look for combo packs that provide both the Blu-Ray and the DVD versions. That way you can leave the Blu-Ray with your Blu-Ray player but move the DVD to the rooms that have DVD players. Many minivans, for example, have DVD players as part of their entertainment system, so a Blu-Ray disc wouldn't work there. But that extra DVD would.

"D" Capability

With the increasing number of 3D movies coming out, and the introduction of 3D TVs, you have to be sure that your TV box set -- likely in 2D -- will play on your equipment if you've moved on to owning a 3D TV. Some are actually hybrids; even if the show was just 2D (as most would be), a hybrid disc ensures you can still watch it on your 3D TV. And if you're also looking at movie Blu-Ray discs, the opposite is necessary as well -- if you have a 2D TV, don't pick up the 3D DVD by mistake. Ensure it's at least a hybrid.

Blu-Ray is increasingly popular, with disc releases heralded by fans. The quality is fantastic, too. But you need to be able to watch the disc without being thwarted by versions, accessibility, or machine type. Checking the package carefully to ensure you get the right version is essential.