Selected Wal-Mart stores may now carry Magnavox and Sylvania branded Blu-ray players for under the magic $300 mark.
These players, reportedly manufacturered by Japanese firm Funai, are also Profile 1.1 compliant meaning they will be able to play all the latest interactive special features found on Blu-ray discs, such as Picture-in-Picture video commentary. Only the Internet based features on BDs, dubbed BD-Live (Profile 2.0), will not be compatible.
If true, this signals the emergence of the first "budget" Blu-ray players and this can only help Blu-ray adoption to occur more quickly. Blu-ray sales have been sluggish compared to that of DVDs at the same stage of development, and one of the key factors is relatively high hardware prices.
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