Blu-ray Disc Players officially start now at about $99 (check dealers for lower prices) and can go up to $1,000 or more for the highest-end models. However, most Blu-ray Disc players are priced in the $199 - $299 range.
Despite all the benefits and capabilities of Blu-ray Disc, the decision as to whether to jump in is up to you, as Blu-ray is now the format that has won the Blu-ray/HD-DVD War.
Questions, such as software availability and format viability over the long term, are not as much of a concern any more as the studios are releasing both recent and catalog titles at a faster rate each month. However, keep in mind that Blu-ray Disc movie titles are usually priced at $5 to $10 more than their DVD counterparts.
One marketing strategy that is taking hold is that some studios are releasing an increasing number of their Blu-ray Disc titles in a bundle package that includes both a Blu-ray Disc version and a DVD version and/or a digital copy of the movie that can be transfered to a PC, Laptop, or mobile video playback device. This approach is actually very practical as you can play the Blu-ray version on your Blu-ray Disc player and play the DVD copy on any other DVD players you might have in the house. Also, the digital copy version allows you to take your movie with you when you are traveling.
Also, Blu-ray Disc players are totally compatible with the standard DVD format, and most are compatible with CDs. However, those consumers that invested heavily into the HD-DVD format are somewhat out of luck now as HD-DVDs cannot be played on a Blu-ray Disc player...Unless you own one of the three Blu-ray/HD-DVD combo players (LG BH100, LG BH200, and Samsung BD-UP5000) that were released before the discontinuation of HD-DVD.
The Choice is Yours
New tech toys are hard to resist, and if you are willing to take the plunge into high definition Blu-ray to complement the high definition programs you see on your HDTV, Blu-ray is not only a great choice to consider, it is becoming an increasingly affordable choice, with basic players now running at $99 or Less.
On the other hand, if you are on a limited budget or do not wish to take the Blu-ray plunge at this time, for about $69 or less there are still some good DVD players with 720p/1080i/1080p upscaling capability that can narrow the gap between standard DVD and Blu-ray, and you don't have worry about your current DVD library becoming obsolete - standard DVDs, and players to play them, will be around for some time. However, it is important to note that as more Blu-ray Disc players become available, and prices continue to fall, manufacturers are making fewer upscaling DVD players as Blu-ray Disc players can also fulfill that role.
My Suggestion: If you are replacing an aging or broken DVD player and are using an HDTV to view your DVDs, it is probably time to upgrade to a Blu-ray Disc player. Even if you are not interested in purchasing Blu-ray Discs immediately, or building a collection, as prices of discs go down and the number of titles increase, you will find that the visual benefits of Blu-ray are worth taking advantage of, even if it is only occasionally.
For a look at my current Blu-ray Disc player suggestions, check out my Best Blu-ray Disc Players.