Do You Blu-ray?

Last Friday, CompUSA.com ran a one-day special on the Sylvania NB501SL9 Blu-ray DVD player, selling it for just under $180. This is about a 10% discount over the $200 price that you can find from lots of sources. My question is this; is this price low enough to entice you to switch to Blu-ray? Keep in mind that this is about four times the price of a decent upscaling DVD player (and you don’t need upscaling if your HDTV has a decent scaler in it).

Note that this Sylvania player is something less than top-of-the-line. Yes, it conforms to the Blu-ray Profile 1.1 standard, which is unfortunately named “Final Standard“. The fact is that there also is the Profile 2.0 — BD-Live — that requires a network connection so that the player can get content from the Internet. Perhaps even more limiting is the detail that the NB501SL9 apparently does not have upgradeable firmware. That is a Stone Age design by today’s standards. Yes, you’ll find plenty of glowing reviews from users on the Internet (but you should know my opinion about those by now).

So are you willing to pay four times as much as a good DVD player to get a cheap Blu-ray player? Or is it simply that when the price drops below $200 (or some other level), that you can justify going for it? Or is any price too much for Blu-ray these days, when your existing DVD player still works just fine? I remain unconvinced that Blu-ray has reached the point that it has mass appeal, but then I’ve been wrong before. Let me know how you see it; write me at alfred@hdtvprofessor.com.