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Update on Blu-ray Players

Bravestime
07-15-2009, 12:57 AM
Many months ago, we predicted that Blu-ray players would almost certainly reach - or even break - the $100 price point in time for the holidays this year. That has now, in fact, happened. CNet and others are reporting that Wal-Mart has recently dropped the price of the Magnavox NB530MGX to just $98, down from an original $168 and recent sale prices of $128. It's only a profile 1.1 (BonusView) player, but that's still a helluva price and we expect the unit will sell fast, if it hasn't already sold out.

Given the long-awaited arrival of such low-priced Blu-ray players, we thought it might be good to offer you a little round-up of the different low-priced BD player options, and whether they're profile 1.1 (which means they can access advanced BD-Java special features, usually called "BonusView") or profile 2.0 (they can access BonusView features plus additional online content via a built-in Ethernet connection to the Internet, usually called "BD-Live" - these players can often also update their own firmware via this connection to provide upgrades and other performance quality improvements). Here's a list of the BD players now available on Amazon.com for $200 or under, ranked by price starting with the lowest (please note that all prices listed below are current as of the date of this post, but are obviously subject to change without notice)...

Insignia NS-BRDVD (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002C8DSR0?tag=thedigitalbit-20&link_code=as3&creativeASIN=B002C8DSR0&creative=373489&camp=211189) ($99 - profile 1.1)
Curtis Mathes CMMBX72 (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001COGXMC?tag=thedigitalbit-20&link_code=as3&creativeASIN=B001COGXMC&creative=373489&camp=211189) ($169.99 - profile 1.1)
Sharp Aquos BDHP21U (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001G0NSD4?tag=thedigitalbit-20&link_code=as3&creativeASIN=B001G0NSD4&creative=373489&camp=211189) ($179.99 - profile 1.1)
Sylvania NB500SL9 (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0015313Q6?tag=thedigitalbit-20&link_code=as3&creativeASIN=B0015313Q6&creative=373489&camp=211189) ($179.99 - profile 1.1)
Sherwood BDP-5003 (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001FBAI7I?tag=thedigitalbit-20&link_code=as3&creativeASIN=B001FBAI7I&creative=373489&camp=211189) ($182.70 - profile 1.1)
Sylvania NB530SLX (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001S0I1M0?tag=thedigitalbit-20&link_code=as3&creativeASIN=B001S0I1M0&creative=373489&camp=211189) ($184.99 - profile 1.1)
Sylvania NB501SL9 (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001BQOZFS?tag=thedigitalbit-20&link_code=as3&creativeASIN=B001BQOZFS&creative=373489&camp=211189) ($198.72 - profile 1.1)
Panasonic DMP-BD60 (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001V9LA44?tag=thedigitalbit-20&link_code=as3&creativeASIN=B001V9LA44&creative=373489&camp=211189) ($197.95 - profile 2.0 - streams additional online video content)
Samsung BD-P1500 (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0014H16V0?tag=thedigitalbit-20&link_code=as3&creativeASIN=B0014H16V0&creative=373489&camp=211189) ($199.99 - profile 1.1 but firmware upgradable to 2.0)
Philips BDP5010/F7 (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001VICOM2?tag=thedigitalbit-20&link_code=as3&creativeASIN=B001VICOM2&creative=373489&camp=211189) ($199.99 - profile 2.0)

One other model is intriguing, though it isn't listed above because it's set to be a Wal-Mart exclusive - Vizio's profile 2.0 VBR100. You might recall that we mentioned this player in our CES report back in January. Word is it will arrive exclusively at Wal-Mart stores sometime this month for just $188.

For those of you who wish to jump into Blu-ray fully profile 2.0 ready, there are some good additional options priced at under $300...

Pioneer BDP-120 (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001U3Y5T8?tag=thedigitalbit-20&link_code=as3&creativeASIN=B001U3Y5T8&creative=373489&camp=211189) ($213.54 - profile 2.0)
Sharp Aquos BD-HP16U (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0021YZ6AM?tag=thedigitalbit-20&link_code=as3&creativeASIN=B0021YZ6AM&creative=373489&camp=211189) ($212.85 - profile 2.0)
Sharp Aquos BD-HP22U (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001TUYTWA?tag=thedigitalbit-20&link_code=as3&creativeASIN=B001TUYTWA&creative=373489&camp=211189) ($219.99 - profile 2.0)
Sony BDP-S360 (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001URWAYG?tag=thedigitalbit-20&link_code=as3&creativeASIN=B001URWAYG&creative=373489&camp=211189) ($234.99 - profile 2.0 plus "6-second access")
LG BD-370 (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001UQ6F4S?tag=thedigitalbit-20&link_code=as3&creativeASIN=B001UQ6F4S&creative=373489&camp=211189) ($239.39 - profile 2.0 - streams additional online video content)
Panasonic DMP-BD80 (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001V9LA4E?tag=thedigitalbit-20&link_code=as3&creativeASIN=B001V9LA4E&creative=373489&camp=211189) ($264.95 - profile 2.0 - streams additional online video content)
Sony BDP-S350 (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001A4LVYY?tag=thedigitalbit-20&link_code=as3&creativeASIN=B001A4LVYY&creative=373489&camp=211189) ($269.99 - profile 2.0)
Panasonic DMP-BD70V (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001VZ1W5U?tag=thedigitalbit-20&link_code=as3&creativeASIN=B001VZ1W5U&creative=373489&camp=211189) ($284.95 - profile 2.0 plus VHS - streams additional online video content)
Samsung BD-P1600 (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001TK3D4A?tag=thedigitalbit-20&link_code=as3&creativeASIN=B001TK3D4A&creative=373489&camp=211189) ($299.00 - profile 2.0 - streams additional online video content)
Samsung BD-P2500 (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001HBHLEY?tag=thedigitalbit-20&link_code=as3&creativeASIN=B001HBHLEY&creative=373489&camp=211189) ($299.98 - profile 2.0 - streams additional online video content)

We're not endorsing any particular model - we just provide the above for your reference, as a way of seeing what's available and affordable. Of the above models, we only have personal experience with the Panasonic DMP-BD60, which we've found to be an excellent and reliable profile 2.0 player (at $197.95). Note that several of the above models stream additional free and rental video content from YouTube, Pacasa, Amazon VOD, NetFlix and other online services. Samsung in particular has just signed a deal to stream Blockbuster OnDemand content to their HDTVs and BD players. (Note that different manufacturers have deals with different online video services.) As a general rule of thumb, the more established the brand, the better quality, performance and tech/customer support are likely to be, though there are certainly ALWAYS exceptions. We encourage each of you to search out the reviews of fellow enthusiasts on any model you're interested in before you purchase.

For enthusiasts who demand more features of their Blu-ray hardware, and can afford a somewhat higher price point, we'd suggest a look at one of these models (among others)...

Sony BDP-S560 (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0021AESA0?tag=thedigitalbit-20&link_code=as3&creativeASIN=B0021AESA0&creative=373489&camp=211189) ($349.99 - profile 2.0 plus built-in wireless & "6-sec access")
Sony PlayStation 3 80GB (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001COU9I6?tag=thedigitalbit-20&link_code=as3&creativeASIN=B001COU9I6&creative=373489&camp=211189) ($399.99 - also a next-gen game console, streams additional online video content)
Oppo BDP-83 (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002EEP3MK?tag=thedigitalbit-20&link_code=as3&creativeASIN=B002EEP3MK&creative=373489&camp=211189) ($499.99 - profile 2.0 plus DVD-A/SACD)

We've been playing with the Oppo over the last week or so here at The Bits, and we're completely blown away by it. We'll post a full review soon. The Sony S560 isn't available until August, but we've seen it in action. Both the S560 and Sony's S360 (available now above for $234.99) both have a "6-second access" feature that allows you to jump right into the content on your favorite discs without the extended load times of other players. The S560 also has a built-in wireless modem - a feature so obviously beneficial that we're surprised more manufacturers haven't adopted it already. Sony's PS3 is obviously a capable next-generation videogame system, and has long been one of the best BD players available. Unconfirmed reports suggest that the price is likely to drop to $299.99 in the next few months.

So as you can see, there are a LOT of good options available if you're looking to jump into Blu-ray for the first time and at a reasonable price. Looking ahead, we strongly suspect that you'll see dramatic sales and deals for Blu-ray players as we get closer to football season, Black Friday and the holiday shopping season. We'd be very surprised if there weren't at least a few more models discounted closer to $100, and you can likely expect a number of great HDTV/BD player combo deals as well, especially as football season begins.

Link (http://www.thedigitalbits.com/#mytwocents)

Nikopol
07-15-2009, 01:54 AM
Great to see such a diversified range of players at these different price points. They even ommited the high end above the OPPO, which has also a nice range of players for those who want that kind of performance.

HD Goofnut
07-15-2009, 07:42 AM
Great to see such a diversified range of players at these different price points. They even ommited the high end above the OPPO, which has also a nice range of players for those who want that kind of performance.

If Oppo made a BD player exactly as the BDP-83 without analog outs, DVD-A, and SACD playback for around $300 I would have bought it, but I honestly have no use for those two dying formats.

Kosty
07-15-2009, 07:45 AM
If Oppo made a BD player exactly as the BDP-83 without DVD-A and SACD playback for around $300 I would have bought it, but I honestly have no use for those two dying formats.


Well it did not cost them much to include it and it helps its positioning and allows them to justify the price point and keep their margins.

Pays for their lights.

Knowing them, don't expect another lower priced player this year from them, so if you want it pony up the cash, because thats their 2009 2010 price point, and you won't find it any cheaper than at Amazon.

HD Goofnut
07-15-2009, 07:58 AM
Well it did not cost them much to include it and it helps its positioning and allows them to justify the price point and keep their margins.

Pays for their lights.

Knowing them, don't expect another lower priced player this year from them, so if you want it pony up the cash, because thats their 2009 2010 price point, and you won't find it any cheaper than at Amazon.

I want one for $60 like I paid for the Sherwood player.:lol:

Kosty
07-15-2009, 08:02 AM
Also that if there are 10 different manufacturers making sub $199 players when its just not a going out of business firesale or loss leader below cost strategy in play.

Its clear that the costs are going down and there is an across the board effort to sell these units to the general consumer and that those prices are profitable or else everyone would not be doing it.

Kosty
07-15-2009, 08:03 AM
I want one for $60 like I paid for the Sherwood player.:lol:

Might as well ask for 5-10 free Blu-ray movies while you are at it you greedy bastard. :lol:


j/k ;)

HD Goofnut
07-15-2009, 09:00 AM
Might as well ask for 5-10 free Blu-ray movies while you are at it you greedy bastard. :lol:


j/k ;)

Why not? I was one of the lucky ones that got a $98 A2 in 2007 and five free moves with it, although I only got three that I wanted out of the five.

mytime
07-15-2009, 09:18 AM
Why not? I was one of the lucky ones that got a $98 A2 in 2007 and five free moves with it, although I only got three that I wanted out of the five.

Got a BD-35 and 4 BDs for $210 through an amazing deal at Amazon last Christmas. I should have bought 2.

HD Goofnut
07-15-2009, 09:23 AM
Got a BD-35 and 4 BDs for $210 through an amazing deal at Amazon last Christmas. I should have bought 2.

I'd rather have two more LG BH200 combo players. When I first bought mine a couple months ago ($149 open box) it was terribly slow, but once I loaded the latest FW it is nearly as fast my PS3. On top of that it can play my HD DVDs. I know that Bruce has been thoroughly impressed with his as well.

kamspy
07-15-2009, 02:53 PM
Might as well ask for 5-10 free Blu-ray movies while you are at it

:roflmao:

The_Omega_Man
07-16-2009, 05:31 PM
And what is the top Denon BD player selling for these days? :rolleyes:

bmore
07-16-2009, 06:55 PM
And what is the top Denon BD player selling for these days? :rolleyes:

Don't know. As much as you paid for your XA2's??:rolleyes:

It's lame to pick the extreme outlier when there are literally a dozen or more affordable players on the market.

Get over it already.

Nikopol
07-17-2009, 03:09 AM
And what is the top Denon BD player selling for these days? :rolleyes:

It's expensive. The high end HT guys are all over it (and the Pioneer). Blu-ray is offering and selling players at many price points, which is great. :thumbsup:

HD Goofnut
07-17-2009, 08:00 AM
Don't know. As much as you paid for your XA2's??:rolleyes:

It's lame to pick the extreme outlier when there are literally a dozen or more affordable players on the market.

Get over it already.

YOU get over it, it isn't our fault that you're on your rag this week.

The_Omega_Man
07-17-2009, 06:24 PM
It's expensive. The high end HT guys are all over it (and the Pioneer). Blu-ray is offering and selling players at many price points, which is great. :thumbsup:
I just wonder why it is still so expensive, with BD rapidly becoming a commodity:rolleyes: ($$) product. :what: