You may be happier in the long run by buying a BD player now, then later on obtaining the AV receiver, speakers & sub you need later on. This also gives you a good chance to do more research, test out specific models and get it all right for your budget/preferences. Why skimp since the audio track for many movies is what truly adds to the 'wow' factor(?) The good part is that the BD player plays all types of discs, so you can enjoy everything now, just temporarily via your HDTV speakers. Since the audio decoding is done by a receiver, it will seem like a huge bump to enjoy the same (quality) BD player later on but also be able to add a huge boost to what you were hearing through your HDTV. Going with separates instead of a HTIB type system with built in BD player also lets you obtain better quality audio/video results IME. Understandably though, some folks' time frame and budget leads them down this avenue.
FWIW, I had a chance the other week to test out some generic equivalents of a popular entry level brand of speakers. Monoprice sells a similar set which truly looks/sounds like the Energy Take Classic 5.1. I learned about them from CNET actually. If your budget is still going to ultimately stay inside the 500-800 figure you've mentioned here, it would be worth a try, since for $500-600 you could obtain the Monoprice equivalent and also an entry level AV receiver. A decent BD player now could keep you at around $100, ballpark.
Here's a link to what CNET had on the Monoprice speakers/sub-
If possible, avoid wireless rears since they sound like crap.
I just purchased a Panasonic 50" GT50, I am now in the market for a Blu-ray player and some kind of audio system. I spent most of my money on the TV so I will likely have to buy these upgrades in stages.
The first will be a blu-ray player. I am considering several Panasonic models including the bdt-500 and bdr-220. I am open to other sugguestions. What is most important to me is video quality and then audio quality, web apps do not matter as my TV has plenty and so does my X-box.
My next dilema is audio. I have considered the sound bar option but I am not sure what my best bet is. I do not want to spend $800 on audio equipment right now. $500 is probably my max, I would really like to be around $350. I have considered all one systems that combine Blu-ray player and receiver packaged with speakers but have heard mixed reviews of these. I would not mine having the multiple units like with a receiver that I can channel all my devices through. I will not however be able to wall mount my speakers in my apartment, if wireless speakers exist I would be very interested in them if they are reasonably priced. I have not found any yet. I am fine running speaker wires under my rug to the back of the room if need be. Any recommendations here would be great I do not know much about receivers or speakers I have limited experience with a Yamaha 7.1 receiver with Klipsch speakers but I think that is out of my price range and 7.1 would be more than I need 5.1 is plenty.
Thanks for the help!