Price Watch: Memorex Blu-ray, $146.98 shipped

It's official: Blu-ray players are no longer grossly overpriced.

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
The first Blu-ray player to qualify as "affordable." Buy.com

If you missed this player on Woot the other day, here's your chance to get it for just a couple bucks more. TheNerds.net has the Memorex MVBD2510 Blu-ray player for $136.99, plus $10 for ground shipping. (Buy.com has the same player for $149.99 shipped if you'd rather go with a bigger, better-known store.) Best of all: no rebates!

The MVBD2510 is a new model (and new-in-box, not a refurb). CNET has a brief overview of it, but, alas, no hands-on review. Hardcore home-theater types will bemoan its lack of Profile 2.0 support, but on the audio front it's all good: Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD. Also: analog 5.1-channel audio output. (I won't pretend to understand any of this audio jargon. At this point I'm just regurgitating specs.)

Anyway, now we're getting somewhere! At $150, a Blu-ray player is worth buying, if for no other reason than to make your current DVDs look a helluva lot better on your HDTV than your old, non-upscaling DVD player ever could. And let's not forget: The Dark Knight is coming soon to Blu-ray (and Wall-E is out now). What do you think? Is this the magic price point for Blu-ray to finally take off? Or do the players need to dip below $100?

One last note: You'll need an HDMI cable. For heaven's sake, don't pay 50 bucks for one at your local big-box store. Or 40 bucks or even 30. Meritline has a six-foot HDMI cable for $5.99 shipped.