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Christmas Gift Guide
Gadgets

Price Watch: Sharp Blu-ray player, $179.99

Finally, a late-model Blu-ray player for a reasonable price, and no rebates required!

Take the Blu-ray plunge for a reasonable $179.99 Sharp
If you're planning to put a Blu-ray player under the tree, menorah, or Festivus pole this year, Sears has a solid deal: The Sharp Aquos BD-HP21U for $179.99. That's plus shipping (a very reasonable $7.50), but you can bypass that cost by picking it up in-store.

This is a new model, not a refurb. It's also new to Sharp's Aquos line of Blu-ray players, following the previous BD-HP20U (which I own, and like for its reasonably speedy start-up time). CNET hasn't reviewed it yet, but notes that it shares its predecessor's quick-start capabilities (discs load in about 10 seconds) and can decode both Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD audio. Alas, it's Profile 1.1, which doesn't bother me but will undoubtedly discourage some.

The BD-HP21U sells for upwards of $299.99 at many stores, so $179.99 is an unequivocally good deal. If you're in the market for a Blu-ray player, that is. I gotta admit, my BD-HP20U sits idle much of the time. Of course, I'm more into TV than movies anyway. 30 Rock, woo!

Update: Eagle-eyed reader fbny71 just reported that Woot.com has a new Memorex player for just $139.99, plus $5 shipping. Woot, indeed! (Today only, though.)