I said it before, I'll say it again: Blu-ray won't really take off until you can buy a player for $99. We're not quite there yet, but we're close: Best Buy has the Insignia NS-2BRDVD Blu-ray player for $129.99 shipped (plus tax in most states).
That's just about the lowest price I've seen yet on a nonrefurbished, rebate-free player. (Actually, Walmart has a Magnavox model on sale for $128, but it's in-store only. I like stuff that gets brought to me.)
The Insignia (Best Buy's house brand) features the usual features: 1080p output and upconversion, Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD audio, a one-year warranty, and so on. Unsurprisingly, an HDMI cable is not included--but by now you know how to, right?
The player supports Blu-ray Profile 1.1, meaning you won't get to take advantage of BD-Live and other 2.0 features. Interestingly,indicates that a March, 2009, firmware update will add 2.0 support--but the last update was in February. My advice: Don't hold your breath.
You will, however, need to apply that February update, at least according to a smattering of user reviews on the product page. And to do so, you'll have to download the ISO file to your PC, burn it to a CD or DVD, then install on the player. That's because the NS-2BRDVD lacks Ethernet and USB ports, which would make firmware updates a lot easier.
So, yeah, this isn't the world's most advanced Blu-ray player. But it should deliver dazzling images and audio, and that's the most important part, right?
What do you think? Is $129.99 a good enough deal for you to pull the Blu-ray trigger, or are you waiting for that magical $99 price tag?