Best Buy's house-brand Insignia player offers a couple high-end features at a low-end price. It can not only tap BD-Live features, but also stream movies from Netflix.
The holidays must be drawing near, because suddenly the Blu-ray deals are heating up.
For example, what's better: a refurbished low-end Blu-ray player for $79.99 (sold out, I'm afraid) or a new Blu-ray player with BD-Live and Netflix support for $99.99?
The latter deal is happening now at Best Buy, which charges a reasonable $7 for shipping--a charge you can avoid by opting for in-store pickup. (Either way, you'll have to pay sales tax.)
The Insignia (Best Buy's house brand) NS-BRDVD3 offers the usual 1080p output goodness, including upconversion of regular DVDs, along with Dolby TrueHD decoding, Blu-ray Profile 2.0 (which allows for BD-Live features, among other things), and support for Netflix streaming (for subscribers only, natch).
You'll need a wired Ethernet connection to take advantage of the Internet features (and get a required firmware update), so plan your "deployment" of the player accordingly.
I haven't found any reviews of this particular model, other than the handful of user reviews on Best Buy's site--most of which are very positive.
I will say that between this and the $80 refurb from the other day, I'd definitely drop an extra $20 on this. Netflix streaming is just plain awesome, and a one-year warranty is always preferable to 90 days.
This does get me wondering what kind of Blu-ray deals we'll see as we get closer to the holidays, and particularly on Black Friday. Could a player get as low as $50? Food for thought. In the meantime, this is about as good as it gets, price and performance-wise.