The main knock against Blu-ray is that it's still too expensive, but lately we've seen a steady flow of basic, lower-priced players. Memorex is right in line with this trend with the recent of announcement of the MVBD-2510 Blu-ray player, which will have a relatively low list price of $270. Let's take a look at the specs released so far:
Key features of the Memorex MVBD-2510:
- Supports Blu-ray Profile 1.1
- Onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD High Resolution
- Bitstream output for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio
- 5.1 multichannel analog output
- Available in November, with a list price of $270
From the spec sheet, the MVBD-2510 seems most comparable to Insignia's NS-BRDVD, which is currently selling at Best Buy for $230. The specs are essentially the same, with the Memorex adding 5.1 multichannel analog output for those with older, non-HDMI receivers. It seems like paying extra for multichannel outputs will only appeal to a niche audience, but we did have issues with the Insignia's Blu-ray image quality, so there is room for Memorex to improve. On the other hand, it may have more competition when its released, as we expect to see the prices of better, name-brand players dropping as the holidays approach.
With Blu-ray players getting closer to the $200 mark, we finally seem to be approaching the point at which it makes sense to go for standalone Blu-ray player over the multitalented PS3. While the PS3 is still a superior playback device--with Profile 2.0 support, excellent image quality, and superfast load times--these relatively inexpensive players mostly do a fine job of playing back Blu-ray movies at half the cost. That being said, with the price of Blu-ray movies still high and most cheap players still lacking Profile 2.0 support, we wouldn't be surprised of consumers continued to wait it out even longer.