Get a BD-Live-ready Blu-ray player for $169.99

You'll have to wait for a firmware update to the refurbished Samsung BD-P1500, but in the meantime, you're still getting a solid deal on a Blu-ray player.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read
Ready for BD-Live? So is this bargain-price Blu-ray Disc player. CNET

CompUSA has refurbished Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray players on sale for $169.99.

That alone isn't huge news--last month, Buy.com had a Sylvania player for $159.99. So what's exciting about this? The BD-P1500 is the first sub-$200 Blu-ray player I've seen that supports BD-Live.

In case you're unfamiliar with it, BD-Live lets you download movie-related Internet content (trailers, extras, etc.), interact with other users, and more. Very few players (and only a handful of movies) support the technology, but it should become more commonplace in 2009.

Now, here's the catch: The BD-P1500 is only BD-Live-ready, meaning Samsung has promised--but not yet released--a firmware update to enable the feature. It could be months before the update (which will also bump the player to Profile 2.0) is available.

Update: Turns out the BD-Live firmware update was released in October! Thanks to the astute readers who corrected my erroneous info.

In the meantime, you'll get to enjoy all the other spoils of Blu-ray, including HDMI 1.3, Dolby TrueHD audio decoding, and, according to CNET's review of the BD-P1500, "very good image quality on most Blu-ray Discs."

Personally, I can't get that excited about BD-Live, but I can appreciate wanting a player that offers support for next-gen features. (Few low-end players can be upgraded to Profile 2.0.) What about you? Is this the Blu-ray spinner you've been waiting for, or will you wait for even lower prices and BD-Live that's already onboard?

This refurb comes with a 90-day warranty. Ground shipping will you run a very reasonable $5.