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Get an Insignia Blu-ray player for $129.99

Best Buy's house-brand player is strictly no frills, and it requires a firmware update right out of the box. But if you want a home-theater upgrade on the cheap, look no further.

This Blu-ray player doesn't have any bells or whistles, but it does have a dirt-cheap price. Best Buy

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 get one for just a few bucks, 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, CNET's review of the NS-2BRDVD 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?