Archive for December, 2009

Blu-ray Player Cage Match

Friday, December 18th, 2009

I’ve seen a lot of press about the fact that Wal*Mart is selling a Blu-ray disc player (the Magnavox (Funai) NB500MG1F) for $78. What I’ve not seen is much ink on the player itself.

I believe this is the same player they were selling for $200 last year, and it shows. I wasn’t going to get a pre-BD-live player myself, and hesitate to suggest anyone else does either. My guess is that Wal*Mart is trying to sell them all off and then will mark down a player that’s in the $150 zone now to $120 or $100 for next year. That will be the player to get.

But in the meantime, I was curious: how does this $78 player really compare to my bad-ass Oppo BDP-83? Many people consider the Oppo to be the best disc player out there. But what does $400 more buy you? (Instead of five more of the cheap one.)

Well, I know what it does in terms of features (BD-Live, SACD, DVD-A, Video CD, media files of many types, USB ports, Ethernet, automatic firmware updates, analog outputs, an HDMI cable) and support (no one can touch Oppo on customer service). But you know that at the door. My question is, how much difference is there in the things they both can do?

So are you curious? How does the cheapest compare to the best? Having only used the Oppo, will I tear my copious hair out trying to use the Magnavox?

Stay tuned, True Believers, we’ll find out in the next few weeks!