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Black Friday 2009 – Blu Ray Player or Sony PS3 …

Basically, I think the decision comes down to that there are four tiers of Blu Ray players in terms of their quality, upgradability, functions, and quality (both in the build and what you see) – and of course, the compromises you are willing to make in price tradeoff.

The Black Friday DOOR BUSTERS.

These are rock bottom pricing but you get what you pay for. If you have a small HDTV (under 32″), these will be fine – you are compromising on quality, resolution and probably build quality but hey, it’s under $100 – what do you expect and again if your TV is not huge, you’re not going to notice. You do pretty much have to get there early as most of these stores won’t have more than 20 on hand. If you never really watch any of the extras on a disc or care about accessing extra features on the internet – then these will minimally do the trick. AND not to be an alarmist but with each Blu Ray upgrade, some new discs do not play correctly in older machines and unlike the TIER 2 machines which can be upgraded relatively easily … to upgrade some of these requires you to download the firmware onto a DVD and then run it and even then, it may not be possible so again, not trying to be an alarmist but this TIER only promises it will work fine in the short term, beyond that?

Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES)
Sharp Aquos Blu-ray Player – $99.00

Best Buy
Insignia Blu-ray Disc Player NS-BRDVD3
w/Superman Returns or Beetlejuice Blu Ray – $99.99

Fred Meyer
Sylvania NB531SLX Blu-ray Disc Player* – $79.99 (10 per store)

Toshiba BDX2000 – $79.99 AFTER $20 mail in rebate.

Sylvania NB531SLX Blu-ray Disc Player* – $89.99 (20 per store)

Magnavox Blu-ray Disc Player NB500 – $78.88

* Going by the picture and the price, I’m taking a guess it’s this Sylvania model.

The Solid Middle Ground (Tier 2)

There are basically TWO main models everyone is selling except for one Panasonic. The main difference is these are all major brands and they are all Blu Ray Profile 2.0 or BD Live which means they can access the internet for interactive features AND you can upgrade the firmware via ethernet or a WiFi add-on. The main CONS of this tier is that you probably need your player to also be close to your internet connection or router as it’s not worth paying for a WiFi dongle and you need a USB or SD card to for the BD features to work (as the process copies files to your machine and requires some storage). So to get all the features, you’ll need to shell out a minimal additional $10-$20 dollars presuming you are near your router.

The Samsung’s are nicer as it has built in Netflix (and Pandora) streaming that this Sony model and the Panasonic do NOT offer.

But also note, the Samsung and the Sony are priced the same today on AMAZON or slightly cheaper so there’s no really no need to doorbust on Friday when you can click and if you order it today with 2-day shipping, get it shipped FREE to you Friday.

Best Buy
Samsung BD-P1600 Blu-Ray Disc Player – $149.99 (Amazon BUY IT TODAY at $149)
Sony BDP-S360 Blu-ray Disc Player – $149.99 (Amazon BUY IT TODAY at $123)

Sony BDP-S360 Blu-ray Disc Player – $146.99 (Amazon BUY IT TODAY at $123)

Sony BDP-S360 Blu-ray Disc Player – $149.99 (Amazon BUY IT TODAY at $123)

Fred Meyer
Panasonic DMP-BD60 Blu-ray Disc Player – $124.99 (Amazon BUT IY TODAT at $129)
Samsung BD-P1600 Blu-Ray Disc Player – $149.99 (Amazon BUY IT TODAY at $149)

Kmart (Thanksgiving DAY)
Sony BDP-S360 Blu-ray Disc Player – $149.99 (Amazon BUY IT TODAY at $123)

Radio Shack

Samsung BD-P1600 Blu-Ray Disc Player – $149.99 (Amazon BUY IT TODAY at $149)Sears
Samsung BD-P1600 Blu-Ray Disc Player – $149.99 (Amazon BUY IT TODAY at $149)
Sony BDP-S360 Blu-ray Disc Player – $149.99 (Amazon BUY IT TODAY at $123)

Sony BDP-S360 Blu-ray Disc Player – $129.99 Final Price with $20 Target Gift Card (Amazon BUY IT TODAY at $123)

Sony BDP-S360 Blu-ray Disc Player – $149.99 (Amazon BUY IT TODAY at $123)
Samsung BD-P1590 Blu-Ray Disc Player – $149.99 (Amazon LINK)

The Solid Middle Ground (Tier 3)

The next step is the $200-$300 range which buys you a Profile 2.0 Blu Ray player usually with built-in WiFi (no ethernet cable necessary) though for the most part, you will need to shell out $10-$20 for a USB stick or SD card. Of course, the quality will be better and most now offer some movie streaming add-on – Netflix, Blockbuster or Amazon … however, if you are ready and willing to commit to this amount – the obvious purchase is a Playstation3. Not only do you get Profile 2, WiFi, Netflix AND a giant hard drive, it’s also the easiest to upgrade so basically you are buying a $200 Blu Ray player anyway and getting a PS3 game feature for less than $100 dollars (you can skip buying a USB stick). Though you will probably want to shell out $20 for the remote but it’s not absolutely necessary, you can use your controller to toggle up and down and hit ENTER.

And the deals for this BLACK FRIDAY? Well, here’s no price break but there are bundles in which you get free games and movies. Most of these are doorbusters so there are only 21 or fewer in each store – so whether you were going to buy the games anyway but if not, then you might not choose or need to be there at 5-6 AM. But for instance, the Best Buy deal includes two pretty new games you could probably turn around and sell for about $70-80 so that might be worth your while. Apparently if you’re a Reward Zone Silver Member, you can actually phone in your order starting today. If you live near a Meijer, you can go check it out and see exactly what two games & 2 movies you get to choose from – so that might be an okay deal to a great deal depending on what you get to choose from.

But if that’s all too much of a hassle and you don’t want to get up early – it’s $299.99 at Amazon (free shipping & sales tax free for most). There is also a version of the PS3 with a 250GB hard drive for $50 more. You can sign up for the Amazon credit card and get $30 back.

AMAZON UPDATE – PS3 Black Friday Bundle with Infamous and Killzone 2 + $10 Amazon “Credit” for next purchase.

The Solid Middle Ground (Tier 4)

You can obviously spend more than $300 to a few thousand dollars for a Blu Ray player but if you are ready for the end high end, you know what you’re doing like this great Oppo Blu Ray player.


What about the Xbox 360 or Wii?

Both are fine gaming machines and while the Xbox 360 does offer Neflix streaming, you need to be a member of XBox Live (about $5 a month extra). The Xbox 360 does NOT play Blu Ray DVD’s – it does play regular DVD’s. The Wii offers neither and no Netflix streaming.

If you are thinking of adding an XBox 360 anyway – there are two versions, the Xbox 360 Arcade (white) and the XBox 360 Elite (black). While the $199 price for the Arcade version is tempting, without a hard drive, there are lots of things you cannot do with it so skip that one – the Elite is $299 with a 120 GB hard drive, controller and a headset (no WiFi though). Best Buy is offering one for $299 with 6 older-casual games but the two best deals seem to be either Radio Shack with a Lego Batman & Pure PLUS $60 in “cash.” I’m not sure if it’s actual cash or a Radio Shack Gift Card but if it intrigues you, you can investigate further. The other pretty good deal is Target offering a couple different bundles but all offering you a $50 Target gift card – a nice thing to pass along and it’s not like you can’t find $50 of stuff to buy at Target next time. GameStop, Meijer & Kmart are all offering bundles with games at $299.

But again, if you don’t want the hassle of actual Black Friday, just the prices, check out Amazon:Amazon is offering a XBox 360 bundle with Lego Batman & Pure for $299 (free shipping)

But for serious gamers and if you have not picked up Modern Warfare2 already, you get a special limited edition Xbox 360 with TWO controllers, a headset and a 250 GB HDD also for $299. (just click on the links)

If you’re thinking of adding a Wii, the best deal is Meijer offering you a $50 gift card with Wii purchase. Other than that obvious one, there are some other decent bundles being offered by others but nothing that remotely resembles a “doorbuster” deal.

Not all the Black Fridays have been “leaked” yet so if there’s anything new to add, otherwise, have fun!

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24 November 2009 Retail 13 Comments


  • jmularczyk says:

    what ever Blu-ray player you buy be careful with the free blu-ray disks some of the deals come with. Best Buy was running a deal a couple weeks back where you get $50 in FREE Blu-ray disks. I got a dud player the first time around and was taking it back to swap it out with another identical player. They will not return the FREE blu-ray disks if they are opened. So essential if I decided to return the unit the full cost of the FREE disks ($50) would be deducted from my refund amount. What scam. So you decide to get a Blu-ray player and of course your going to take the free disks but you can’t watch them or you can’t return them. And Best Buy wonders why everyone is trying thier best to rip them off legally. They do the same thing back to the consumer.

  • Nascarfan says:

    I am going to hold out on this bluray as long as possible.

    I have changed music formats 5 times…

    8 tracks

    Vynil Lp




    And with several hundred movies….

    no thanks.

  • L33t0nG says:

    PS3 All day long!! You get teh best of both worlds! Console and Blu Ray/DVD player.. mp3. Plug your ipod in what ever. BEst buys with it though is a HDMI cable (Only compatable with HD ready tv’s) And an optical cable for super awesome sound (provided you got a good home cinema system)

  • 5oclockshadow says:

    from a tech standpoint … I would steer away from the Magnavox and Insignia. I never worked on any Sylvania’s. The rest look pretty solid. The PS3 seems to be the way to go though.

  • Rebecca says:

    We love our PS3..

  • Mike H says:

    I KNEW The S-360 model of Sony Blu-Ray would drop to these prices.

    However, I couldn’t stand waiting to get Coraline on BR until fall, and had to get my player in late summer. Now, the upppertiered S-560 model is the $250 model…and that one has wi-fi to connect and get BD-live content (btw, is any of that stuff even worth hooking up to the net for?)

    I don’t care how cheap other models are. I go by brandname such as Sony. Kind of something instilled on me by my Dad. Whenever we’d bought TV’s or video/DVD players, they’ve always been Sony.

  • iamspeed says:

    The Magnavox at Walmart is $78.00, not $89.99


    We’ve got one of these in an extra room, works fine. Our Sony is great, but not worth the extra cost for spare rooms, etc.

  • maryann says:

    PS3, you get easier firmware updates (they ARE needed), and you have to have a certain amount of storage to use the BDLive features… on a ALMOST ALL Standalone players you have a limited amount (there are a FEW that have the ability to plug in a USB Drive for extra content storage…) the PS3, how big is your HardDrive… oh and you CAN EASILY expand the HD on your PS3 and it DOES NOT void your warranty. We have 2 PS3s (living room and bedroom) both have 320gb drives (they came with 80s) took all of 10 minutes to do the upgrade.

  • L8rM8r says:

    Yeah I need a blu Ray player so I am on the fence if I should get the combo gaming machine with the PS3, but I already have an Xbox 360 so do I really need another gaming platform.

    Then comes in the Wii which my 4yo son can already beat me in bowling. Not sure, but some decent package deals going on for this stuff now just to find that second job to pay for it all and keep up with collecting Cars.

    • Aaron & Jeanne Scriven says:

      LOL thats where we are at too we have a 360 and a wii.. LOL but if your going to go blue ray why not pay the extra and encompass all gaming possibilities hah 😀 !

  • swb says:

    yea i figure ps3 at target and get $30 gift card for spending 300

  • Aaron & Jeanne Scriven says:

    thanks met!! i’ve been watching for you to post this all day! we are thinking ps3.. hmmmm

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