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Wal-Mart Breaks the $100 Blu-ray Player Barrier

Posted July 10, 2009 04:04 AM by Juan Calonge

Blu-ray DiscBarely a month after lowering the price of a Blu-ray player to $128, Wal-Mart has gone further and rolled back the price of the Magnavox NB530MGX (initially $168) to $98. For reference, this is a BonusView (Profile 1.1) player, which supports 1080p (60p and 24p) video, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio bitstreaming and DVD upconversion. It is manufactured by Funai.

This is a very interesting option for those who are looking for an inexpensive Blu-ray player and for whom the lack of BD-Live support isn't a deal breaker.

Nevertheless, the historical honor of first offering a BD player for under $100 belongs to hypermarket chain Meijer, which in June briefly offered a Curtis Mathes player for $99.99 (which sold out within hours).

Update: some forum members who have been to their local Wal-Marts to check this offer are reporting that there is no price drop and that actually the price has increased. Many others have found the new price. So it seems a matter of some stores applying the price change faster than others.


Source: Format War Central | Permalink | United States [Country settings]

News comments (56 comments)


RobertSprenger
 - Jul 10, 2009

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The mother-in-law gets this and it'll make me a hero & I can finally bring some blu's her way

esko1
 - Jul 10, 2009

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iam jumping on this 1 for my bedroom, great deal if you tell me.

Bullseye
 - Jul 10, 2009

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Great deal. This might be the ticket for the bedroom player.

monkyman
 - Jul 10, 2009

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I'm trying to find any kind of review on this player, does anyone own one?? I'm also wondering about firmware updates, how often they are available and how soon after a problem is discovered. I'm thinking of a second player for the bedroom also.

Tamalan
 - Jul 10, 2009

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Should I expect these machines to last more than a year ?

dobyblue
 - Jul 10, 2009

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Depends on if you're dropping them constantly I guess! ;-)

Great deal from Wal*Mart - absolutely a J6P purchase.

Blu Titan
 - Jul 10, 2009

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Awesome...perfect for the "mass consumer"!

SapGoblin
 - Jul 10, 2009

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hmmmm....not finding this model even listed at the Wal-Mart site. Is it only available in-store???

tlimof
 - Jul 10, 2009

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Guess it's only "In Stores", saw it a couple of days ago, looks good if you want a second blu-ray or for a gift.

cherno
 - Jul 10, 2009

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A nice price, but I've read the reviews on this at avs and other various forums. It seems to have a trend of erroring reading discs and have to download updates and transfer via USB. Sometimes you really get what you pay for. Worst thing to happen to bluray right now would be to put out a value priced blu-ray player for new adopters and have it not perform well. It will hurt the format, not the manufacturer.

prerich
 - Jul 10, 2009

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Cherno: The issue would then be the availability of High Speed internet to all BD owners (since downloading the updates and transfering them via USB is such a tedious task for some - but everyone doesn't have HS yet ). I truly believe that if a person sees that first disc - they will fall in love with the format. I did, and I started with a HTPC - and its still my main BD player. Did I have any problems with my initial Disney BD - yes I did, but I didn't let that stop me (momentarily discouraged - yes, but I'm pretty persistant and I didn't go out an buy a PS3 or a standalone at that time). I solved the problems (switched from PDVD to TMT - problems solved) and I've been with BD ever since. I saw one BD - Flyboys and that's all it took. A person that buys one of these and runs into a problem - thats where this site comes in. We need to be there to help people wade through this - thats why I'm glad I started with a PC, now I can help others - I do the same with standalones that I'm experienced with.
P.S. I got one of these for a friend at work during Black Friday - and it has played every BD he has thrown at it. He's BD hooked now !!!!

Guydowood
 - Jul 10, 2009

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Monkyman, Cherno.

I have this player and have to say it is a reliable "first into blu ray" product to purchase. My wife got this for me this past Christmas when Wally-World sold it for $128. I've have no problems with it thus far and honestly have not looked into firnware updates for it. Load time for blu discs is less then 60 seconds and play without error. DVD's look good with the 1080p upgrade, but nothing to fancy. Now I'm no big eletronics guru when it comes to the best of the best, but initially when I decided it was time for me to stop collecting DVD's and go Blu, I reserched for a few months trying to decide which player to go with first and with a limited budget. This won in the end because it was "cheaper" and an eaiser way to segway into the new format without busting the wallet. So I say for $98 go for it. Hell I may as well pick another one up for my kids or for my in-laws so they can experience the glory of bluray. Besides even the best hi-end brands that are 1.1 profile have faults, and the lesser brands serve the same purpose. Hope this helps.........Happy Hunting...........

DonRSD
 - Jul 10, 2009

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any link on walmart.com???

car2nst
 - Jul 10, 2009

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i work for walmart in elec and they just rose the price from 128 to 168. lol thier loss not mine. i just wrk their....untill the economy gets better so i can get back into my chosen profession.

neos_peace
 - Jul 10, 2009

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to bad they keep cutting there Blu-ray movie stock. Other then the price cuts what keeps them in the loop for Blu-ray. rediculous if you ask me.

bfellow
 - Jul 10, 2009

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Hmm someone should add YMMV to the title. I'm not seeing this alleged deal.

Hi-Def-Splatter
 - Jul 10, 2009

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I've seen it there for the 128.00 price. It angers me after paying 400.00 for my Sony.

Grubert
 - Jul 10, 2009

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At the moment the price has been confirmed by an AVS member in central Illinois and another in Fresno, CA. And Tyler @ Format War Central lives in the state of Washington.

BD4Life
 - Jul 10, 2009

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Now all thats left is lower prices for movies

SkillzthatKillz
 - Jul 10, 2009

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mass market penetration has arrived :-)

cherno
 - Jul 10, 2009

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Hi-Def-Splatter, don't suffer buyer's remorse. I am positive that the quality of this budget player isn't as good as what you bought. There is always a cost to be an early or pre-boom adopter. That's just the nature. It is a good sign that the prices are coming down. Just think of your $400 investment as pitching-in for the early fight to get manufacturers to realize that it was worth making cheaper players because you were willing to invest in the format.

Thanks for the input Guydowood. It's good to see someone with the actual unit providing feedback. All I could go on was what I read. While I agree that people who are hooked on Blu in general could become very easily discouraged and misplace blame when running into issues of discs not playing. I know my mom wouldn't ever think to go get firmware or dig any further than to just say "This bluray stuff doesn't work!". I've not had a single problem playing any discs on my PS3 so I would rather pay a bit more for a more robust player than go cheap for cheap's sake.

Yeha-Noha
 - Jul 10, 2009

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At those prices Blu-ray will be more appealing to the average buyer. Other mass market stores and electronics discount outlets will probably follow suit. That'll be a boost for Blu-ray. Perhaps BD prices will begin falling by year's end holiday season and during 2010.

Freekman
 - Jul 10, 2009

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Its a tempting price, but no BD-Live means no buy for me.

Lucy Diamond
 - Jul 10, 2009

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Next stop for the BluWorldOrder...WORLD DOMINATION!!!

arc trooper
 - Jul 10, 2009

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i work in a wally world and can say these players DO stand up to the test of time, we have one playing movies 24/7 and so far no glitches whatsoever

apollo92178
 - Jul 10, 2009

Show comment

gentrycoach
 - Jul 10, 2009

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Wal-Marts in Northwest Arkansas (of course it is home to Wal-Mart) have them for $98.00.

thunderchild
 - Jul 10, 2009

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I was at my local Walmart last night and they had about 15 and they were already at $98. It is possible that not all stores had completed the price change on the same day.

tez69
 - Jul 10, 2009

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Alot of you are forgetting that even though Walmart has lowered the price of this bottom of the barrel player, 1. It's slower than molasses, which albeit fine for most of us, won't be enough for those lacking of patience and don't understand why their $98 brick isn't nearly as fast or feature filled as our $200+ brand named players(most people don't rationalize cost vs. what you get vs. performance, they want theirs to be like yours, cost irrelevant) 2. Very few of these people will spend over $15 on a new release dvd, nevermind paying $24+ for a new release Bluray(and no, most folks don't have the patience to shop for best prices online and most won't even use a credit card online yet).In the end it doesn't matter how low the players go, until the new release Blurays come down in price(which isn't going to happen anytime soon), penetration is going to be limited to the techies,home theater enthusiasts, and those with the expendable cash and the will to pay for the new flicks to go along with their new player, regardless of what kind of player that may be, Walmart $98 special or the latest and greatest that likely costs a few hundred+.

4Dblu
 - Jul 10, 2009

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well, thats good for $98 but i just brought my blu player for $79 at BB its a insignia. flawless so far i don't understand ALL the complaints about load times this thing is just maybe a few seconds from my dvd player. and i've been playing blu's and dvd's. but i'll be getting another cheap player for the bedrooms. but will be spending MORE cash for the living room and basement.

now it they can just work on getting those prices to DROP for the movies. $15 is my limit!!!!
maybe $20 but i better REALLY want that movie......

bikeman42
 - Jul 10, 2009

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i have this player.have had it for about a year .played 120 blu-ray has worked flawless very happy so far.

LordCrumb
 - Jul 10, 2009

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man, in New Zealand we either have Panasonic or Sony, thats it.

SapGoblin
 - Jul 10, 2009

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Just got one for the basement...$98 plus tax in Cleveland!!!

billyboy
 - Jul 10, 2009

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It's no mistake - I just called a local store (suburban Minneapolis) and they've got several in stock at that price. The sales associate even corrected me. I said, "The $99 one."

"It's actually $98."

lobo81865
 - Jul 10, 2009

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I recently saw the Insignia brand player at my local Best Buy for an in-store price of $98.00. Another reader said he bought one at that price for his mom.

indianajmb
 - Jul 10, 2009

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Just picked one up in Columbus, Ohio.

I tested it on Dark Knight, Wrath of Kahn and a few dvd-r's and it played and sounded perfect.

I have been having issues with my ps3's loud and annoying fan noise and I couldn't take it anymore.

andyn1080
 - Jul 10, 2009

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NicE!!! now maybe more of my friends will get a bluray player!!! lol most of them said its not the price of the player, its the price of the movies. wallyworld has alot of blus under 20 is my reply lol.

evanznotdead
 - Jul 11, 2009

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You can pay higher prices for a TV....the prices for Blu-rays themselves....but spending a little on the player is too much? I don't know why anyone would WAIT for prices in the player to happen...I don't see how that is the only thing preventing people from jumping to Blu-ray...however for a second one in the bedroom or something...makes sense

Robert Siegel
 - Jul 11, 2009

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It seems to me to be a strange situation. You can buy a player for $99, but on average can only buy 4 movies (max) for the same price. While this may sell alot of players, I don't expect alot to happen in huge numbers until software comes down a bit. I've been seeing many movies now at Walmart, Best Buy, Target and other stores for 15.00-20.00, that is a great start! But for someone like Disney to release movies at $39.95 and force you to buy the DVD and a digital copy, neither of which you may want, instead of offering a single-disc edition for less is not making sense to me. Same goes for Warner's Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind. I already own a ton of extras for those 2 films, give me the movie in high-def without the expensive set thank you very much. How do they expect to kick-start classic fans jumping onto the Blu-wagon with $60-80.00 exclusive releases?

WARHOG15
 - Jul 11, 2009

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Great deal

PanasonicPlasmaMan
 - Jul 11, 2009

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I want to buy it for my father's birthday, went to Walmart no such deal

jw
 - Jul 11, 2009

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I checked both Wal-Marts here, They are within 2 miles of each other and one has 128.00 and the other has it for 168.00 They new have some new $10.00 Blu-rays though(Robocop and pale Rider are among some I noticed)
http://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=106321
I know some stores are slow to execute sales while others are on the ball so Ill check back

Copywriter
 - Jul 11, 2009

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Nice. For sub-$100, it doesn't have to be a "great" player, just a decent one. Hopefully, lots more people buy them and start picking up BLUs.

I mean come on. Let's leave the DVD movies and DVD games behind.

For just under $100, I'd pick one up for the office.

blu-ray_girl_fan
 - Jul 11, 2009

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I saw several stacks of these for $98. It seems like the sale is supposed to start sometime this weekend, with some stores making the change faster than others.

detector19
 - Jul 11, 2009

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Wait till christmas this mite be down to $79...

LaMp-PoSt-MaFiA
 - Jul 11, 2009

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i agree with robertsprenger im gunna get one of those for the inlaws!!!

Minimejer05
 - Jul 11, 2009

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Awesome news! Cheap blu ray players!

fettastic
 - Jul 11, 2009

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All you people complaining about software prices must not have gotten into DVD until around 5 years ago. DVD were the EXACT SAME PRICE at this stage in it's lifespan. $35 for Fox DVDs and $50 for Criterion DVDs! Remember, with inflation that was a LOT more money! And most DVDs were bare-bones! Some were even "flippers" where the movie would stop halfway through and you'd have to eject the disc and turn it over!

And don't even get me started on laserdisc. I paid $150 on laserdisc for T2 which you can pick up on Blu-ray for $15.99 with 6X the resolution and lossless sound!

So excuse me while I roll my eyes at the complains over Blu-ray's price point.

marine87
 - Jul 11, 2009

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Got one this morning for $98!

ZXcanon
 - Jul 11, 2009

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wow!!!

hijeff1
 - Jul 12, 2009

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Its funny, I remember waiting outside of walmart at 3, on a VERY COLD, morning on black friday to get this player for 129.00 I believe. My wife was not to happy about the line, the cold, and the fact that "I dragged her out of bed for what?" When we finally got inside I remember they had a hugh stack on a pallet of the players and people where snagging them up like everything else.

We went to Wal-mart yesterday and I wanted to see if the players where going for 99 like I had read and indeed they are. My wife was pissed, and re-iterated to me that she will never do black friday shopping with me again.

Kevin85220
 - Jul 12, 2009

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I just bought this player about 4 days ago and my model number is actually NB500MGX. Ive been really skeptical about buying a blu ray player since i know that new technology is coming right around the corner. I mainly bought this player so i can have the upconversion on my HDTV. I am mainly waiting for blu ray movies to drop a little. This was a price that i couldn't hardly pass up though. I bought the replacement service plan for 5.88 so i know that i at least have 2 years of coverage. All of my exsisting dvd's look so much better with this player. For anyone wondering Biglots sells HDMI cables cheap. A 6ft for $12 and a 12ft for $18. Mine works great. I didn't see spending $30 on a 6ft cable. So for anyone skeptical about this player, I would at least buy it and see if it is right for you. You have a 90 day return policy at Walmart so really there isn't much to loose.

HDPlasma
 - Jul 13, 2009

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As noted, the player on sale is the 500MGX or 530MGX, not the older 500MG9 model sold last year.
The 500MGX appears to be comparable to the new 530MGX. They both have the same updated front panel and rear connections. The 500MGX also doesn't exist on the Magnavox website speculating that the 500MGX may be an exclusive part number for Walmart(not a surprise.).
Those who are speculating on that consumers won't buy blu-ray titles until prices drop, Best Buy and Target regularly have catalog titles for $14.99 or less and Walmart has them for $10.
If you have a Frys near you, they have frequent sales of newer titles for less than $15. Don't forget that people can rent blu-ray discs as well.

JB2K
 - Jul 13, 2009

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I have seen the $98 Blu-ray players in the St. Louis area.

On this same trip, I also saw Walmart selling the last gen Sony players (BDP-S350) for $288, which is the full price/same price for the current generation of Sonys (BDP-S550).

Although it would seem WM has some serious price disparities going-on, they are going to be the ones to make wider availablity of Blu a reality.

Dr Praetorious
 - Jul 15, 2009

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Went to two central Florida stores and did not see this price at all. Price was still $168.00

fandr78
 - Jul 22, 2009

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Does this player,play BD-5,BD-9 or AVCHD disc's?Thanks in advance.


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