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Finally, a Blu-ray player that costs less than a PS3: The $350 Philips BDP7200

The newly announced Philips BDP7200 has a low list price of $350, making it the first Blu-ray player that costs less than a PS3.

Now you can buy a standalone Blu-ray player without feeling ripped off. Philips

Since the beginning of Blu-ray, standalone, dedicated Blu-ray players have been a tough sell. The Sony PlayStation 3's built-in Blu-ray drive delivers excellent video quality, loads discs superfast, and it costs less than or the same as standalones. And it's also an HD gaming system with media streaming functionality. Sure, some people refused to use a game console in their home theater, but for everyone else, the PS3 has been a no-brainer buy for those who want to go Blu.

Finally, Philips has broken the PS3 barrier with the $350 BDP7200, which is the first Blu-ray player we've seen with a list price lower than a PS3. Like all other Blu-ray players at CES, the BDP7200 is a Profile 1.1 player, which means it will be able to play "picture-in-picture" commentary tracks available on some new Blu-ray discs in 2008. The rest of the specs are pretty standard, offering 1080p output at 24 frames per second and Deep Color support--the latter is basically useless as there are no Deep Color Blu-ray discs released or announced.

The BDP7200 is scheduled to come out in April.

Philips BDP7200