Blu-ray Wes Novack on 31 May 2008

Insignia NS-BRDVD Blu-ray player at Bestbuy

Insignia NS-BRDVD Blu-ray player at Bestbuy

We recently covered the release of the Magnavox NB500MG9, which is a Blu-ray Bonus View player made by the budget electronics manufacturer, Funai. This player is now available at Walmart for a bottom of the barrel price of $298.

Similar Blu-ray players are now starting to appear at other retailers, including the Insignia NS-BRDVD at Bestbuy (pictured below) and the Sylvania NB500SL9 at Amazon. All reports indicate that these are the same Funai manufactured players as the one available at Walmart, sans the Magnavox brand name and carrying a slightly higher price tag, at approximately $350.

Insignia.NS-BRDVD

Other retailers should also start carrying Funai manufactured Blu-ray players soon, possibly under additional brand names.

So why is the Walmart Magnavox player $298 versus the $350 price tag on the Insignia and Sylvania players? No one knows for sure, but it is most likely due to volume. Walmart is the number one retailer in the United States, which allows them to cut special deals with manufacturers & suppliers and obtain lower purchase pricing. This can lead to lower priced products at Walmart stores.

Either way, whether a consumer is shopping at Walmart or another store, they will now have the option of purchasing a BD Profile 1.1 Blu-ray player for near $300. This should eventually lead to higher Blu-ray adoption rates and help the format grow. Heck, these budget players will probably hit record lows ($200?) this coming holiday season, during Black Friday and Christmas season sales. I welcome the competition and hope that these new budget players will help to drive down the pricing of other Blu-ray hardware.

For more information and discussion, post a comment below or see this AVS Forum thread.

UPDATE: Bestbuy is now bundling a $100 coupon book with this player.

FREE $100 COUPON BOOK
with this Insignia® Blu-ray Disc player
When you buy our Insignia® NS-BRDVD Blu-ray Disc player, you’ll receive this special book of valuable coupons inside the box. Redeem the coupons at your local Best Buy store for $100 in instant savings on a great collection of Blu-ray Disc movies from Disney, Touchstone and Miramax.
Coupons valid in store only. Not redeemable online.


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