Cheaper Blu-ray Disc players grasp for consumer attention

Consumers on a budget that still want a standalone Blu-ray player or other consumer electronics should be able to find appropriate deals this Christmas. There are a number of different choices with pricing starting at less than $80 towards $150 for entry-level models that also have a host of different features.

Customers have shown a willingness to wait for tech prices to drop before embracing some gadgets, but Blu-ray is expected to have a solid 2010 holiday shopping season.

Cheaper Blu-ray Disc players grasp for consumer attention

Best Buy will sell the Insignia Blu-ray player (NS-BRDVD4) for only $84.99, which is an extremely cheap Internet-enabled standalone player. The Blu-ray player includes Web-connected content, 1 HDMI port, ethernet port, and can also upscale DVDs. Customers who pick up the Insignia player will also receive a $5 CinemaNow gift card.

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A cheaper Magnavox Blu-ray player is available for less than $80 at Walmart, but it doesn’t include Web-connectivity. When Blu-ray players first launched, adding Internet support was a costly move in an uncertain time in the home entertainment industry. The industry has since matured, but it’s still difficult to find quality players for less than $99.

Analysts are quick to point out, however, that there still won’t be many feature-rich, lower-cost models for less than $100.

The Phillips BDP5005 Blu-ray player can be found for less than $95 in a refurbished edition, with new models available for about $110. The BD-Live player includes DVD upscaling, 1080p video support, and could be one of the more popular lower-cost Blu-ray players this holiday season.

For customers looking to spend up to $150 for a Blu-ray player, there are even more possible options ranging around $110, with the Samsung BD-C5500 Blu-ray Disc player being one possible choice. Samsung’s offering includes good Blu-ray playback, YouTube, Pandora and other connected features, and is DLNA-compliant. The player unfortuantely doesn’t have Wi-Fi and sometimes struggles to load videos quickly.

Customers looking to spend up to $150 can find players like the Sony BDP-N460 and similar models in the same price range. The Sony player offers full 1080p, streaming, BD-Live, Dolby TrueHD, an ethernet port, and Wi-Fi capabilities.

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Standalone Blu-ray players continue to decline in price as Blu-ray movies also receive price cuts to help woo consumers. Many customers are fine with their aging DVD collections, but manufacturers and retailers will continue to heavily promote Blu-ray, 3D, and other trending technologies.

During Black Friday throughout Christmas, Blu-ray players and high-definition TVs are expected to be extremely popular. Blu-ray shoppers looking for BD-Live, streaming content and other additional features will likely want to look beyond a player that costs less than ~$100.

Newegg and other e-tailers have “Black November” sales aimed at helping loosen up shopper pocketbooks, so good deals will be available through the end of the year. If you take your time and look around closely, you should be able to find the Blu-ray player you’re looking for, on sale, at some point in time before Christmas.

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