Get a refurbished Sony Blu-ray player for $49.99
This network-friendly player includes support for Netflix and Pandora. A Wi-Fi adapter costs extra, though, so you'll need an Ethernet connection nearby.
Need an inexpensive set-top box that can sling Netflix movies and TV shows, play tunes from Pandora and Slacker, and stream the latest YouTube videos? The Sony BDP-S270 can do all that for just $49.99 (after applying coupon code OUTLETBDPS270 at checkout).
Oh, it's also a Blu-ray player.
Funny how priorities change, right? Think about it: if I showed you a Roku box for $50, you'd probably snap it up. Well, the BDP-S270 streams a lot of the same services (Amazon Video on Demand, Hulu Plus, Vudu). And unlike a Roku box, it can play those quaint Blu-ray discs as well.
This player originally sold for $179.99, but it's currently on sale for $99.99--and the aforementioned coupon code cuts it in half. (You'll also have to pay around $10 for shipping and sales tax.) That's an amazingly good deal for a player like this.
Because it's a refurb, it comes with a 90-day warranty. Blu-ray players can fail, sure, but I think at this price point you have to be willing to roll the dice. Fifty bucks, people!
Also, the BDP-S270 doesn't do Wi-Fi out of the box; you need Sony's UWA-BR100 adapter, which sells for around $80. (Come on, Sony--seriously?) My advice: skip it and run a cheap Ethernet cable from your router to the player. You'll get much better streaming performance.
And speaking of cables, you'll need one to connect the BDP-S270 to your TV. Here's a 6-foot HDMI cable for $3.59 shipped.
As always, I don't know how long Sony's stock or coupon code will last, so I'd grab one of these fast. I did.
Bonus deal: ANTOnline via Amazon has the
Ceton InfiniTV 4 tuner card for $265.16, plus around $7 for shipping. Update: sold out! I see one other merchant offering it for $273, but that may sell out as well. That's by far the lowest price I've ever seen for this CableCard adapter, which drops in a PCI slot and adds four digital tuners to your Windows Media Center PC. I've used one for about a year; it's singularly awesome.