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 Post subject: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:45 pm 
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Okay, I think I might be about ready to buy a Blu-Ray player.

I'd have done it a couple years ago when I bought an Xbox 360, but I realized that if I bought a PS3, as I was originally going to do, I'd have to buy a receiver as well in order to get surround sound. The DVD player I've got is one of those home-theater-in-a-box deals, and there isn't a way to connect an external source to it and use it just as an amplifier. If I replace it, I've got to replace the sound system as well. Since I could've convinced myself to spend the extra $100 to get the PS3 instead of the Xbox but not the extra money on top of that that I'd have had to spend on an amp and speakers, I didn't go that way.

So I'm probably in the market for one of those home-theater-in-a-box deals again, but Blu-Ray this time. I'm assuming this will be the cheapest way to go. I know Pender recommended that Sony BDV-E570. That still stand? Amazon has it for $375, shipped. Or is there some other direction to go?

I don't need state-of-the-art, but I don't want crap. My TV is a few years old, HD-ready, but I'm sure without even looking at the manual that we're talking 720p. $500 is probably the upper limit, and I'd be fine to come in a good deal under that. I'm not wedded to the idea of a one-box solution if the same thing can be done better, cheaper, or both by doing it piecemeal.

Recommendations?


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:46 pm 
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$78 WAL MART PLAYER, YO.

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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:48 pm 
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1st, I want that surround-sound shit for the three hours out of the day when my kid is awake and I can shake the house.

2nd, I'd probably be kicked out of my union for shopping at Wal-Mart. Fuck Wal-Mart.


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:32 pm 
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I don't ever recommend all-in-ones (for the simple fact that your existing one has no way to allow for an upgrade, and whatever one you buy now will have the same problem within 5 years).
However, I was having a bunch of fun with a couple of Panasonic units at Best Buy last month. They're all pretty similar, but make sure you get a quick-load model (ask to test the load times on the unit, if you're unsure). There is a massive difference between a $100 blu-ray player (which you would find in an entry-level all-in-one unit) and a $200 blu-ray player(which you would find in a slightly more expensive version).

As for Wal-Mart, their cheapie models are exactly the same as the house-brand models at Best Buy. The only difference is the badge the stores put on them (they are all made by Funai).

And if you want to stretch your wallet, the Panasonic DMP-BD85K is an excellent player (around $200 online, $250 at Best Buy). It has 5.1 analog outputs, which means you could hook PC speakers up to each output and get true surround sound at a dirt cheap price (I did this for a few months when I bought my first DVD player in early 1999).

Also, PS3 is $260 at Dell. No brainer. Sell the X-Box, and it'll almost be free.

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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 10:24 pm 
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If you have Netflix I highly recommend you get a player with this built in. I got a refurb'ed Samsung that I found via Bensbargains.net. Works like a charm......

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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 4:58 am 
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Chris Knight wrote:
And if you want to stretch your wallet, the Panasonic DMP-BD85K is an excellent player (around $200 online, $250 at Best Buy). It has 5.1 analog outputs, which means you could hook PC speakers up to each output and get true surround sound at a dirt cheap price (I did this for a few months when I bought my first DVD player in early 1999).

Also, PS3 is $260 at Dell. No brainer. Sell the X-Box, and it'll almost be free.


But I like the Xbox. Want to keep it.

Say I went with that player. Could you (or anybody else) recommend a home theater amp so that I could do things a bit classier than the computer-speaker route? I figure so long as it's got the old-school bare wire connections for the speakers instead of RCA jacks, I can use the speakers I've got and upgrade those later. Or, if there's a good, inexpensive package deal that includes a receiver and speakers, I might be interested in that instead.

Kryten wrote:
If you have Netflix I highly recommend you get a player with this built in. I got a refurb'ed Samsung that I found via Bensbargains.net. Works like a charm......


Not a major selling point for me. Usually, I'll either buy stuff (which I've been avoiding lately because I've figured I'll upgrade to Blu-Ray soon) or, if it's something I know I won't be re-watching, download a torrent and stream it to my Xbox. Which is not to say that's not a functionality I'll use in the future, only that it doesn't fit how I do things now.


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:32 am 
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You have to decide if you want the convenience of a single device (all-in-one), or the expandability of separate components.

I would check with Pender on a single concern. The Panasonic all-in-one units don't have HDMI inputs, which means your xbox would have to be hooked up to the TV (you can still hook up audio to the unit, but that means flipping two buttons on a remote). I think the Sony units add the HDMI input feature, but I'm not positive. If they do (which Pender could confirm), then I would opt for one of those models.

As for separate components, if you can live with your existing speakers, you can get a decent receiver and blu-ray player for around $500 ($200 for the Panasonic BD-85, and $300ish for a Yamaha, Denon, or Pioneer receiver - whatever you fancy more, as they're all pretty much the same at that price point).

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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 8:01 am 
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When you're speaking of Panasonic all-in-one units, are you talking about the "home theater in a box" systems or a receiver that comes with speakers, with the Blu-Ray player separate? I'm likely to take your advice and buy separate components, both so that I can upgrade piecemeal in the future and so that I can (hopefully) plug the Xbox audio into the receiver.


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 8:08 am 
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In this topic, when I'm referring to all-in-one units, I'm assuming the Blu-Ray player is included in the device (as well as the speakers). Panasonic sells these in price points ranging from $350 to $600, and Sony sells them around $550-650. In my opinion, if you can afford the higher range of that spectrum, just go with separate components and get a universal remote.

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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 8:12 am 
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Just came across this one

http://reviews.cnet.com/best-home-theater-systems/

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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 8:47 am 
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I know it's a little high, but Marantz just dropped the price on their slim-line receiver:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/ ... htgears-20

It was $600 last week, and worth that price. OneCall (via Amazon) has an open-box model for $350.

The price drop is due to its replacement about to ship (which adds 3D capabilities). I doubt you'd be able to find any receiver in this price range that sounds as good.

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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 9:21 am 
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$399, plus $200 for a player, that's do-able. But we'll see if they sell out, since there's no way I'm ordering this until after the trip I'm taking to Connecticut this week.

If other ideas occur to you two (or anybody else who'd like to chime in), don't think that the fact that I've heard recommendations I kind of like means I'm not open to other ideas.


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 9:22 am 
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Just saw this one at the top of bensbargains.net

http://bensbargains.net/deal/149202/

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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:40 pm 
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Hey Video, my PS3 is messing up and freezing during all my blu rays. Random times, almost like its a heating issue, the longer its off the longer my blu ray will play until freezing again. It needs to be fixed, but since I only use it for blu rays...

Am I better off sending in that piece of shit PS3 for 150 bucks and getting it fixed or buying a new blu ray player? Are any blu ray players equivalent to the PS3 at 150 bucks or do I just bite the bullet and give Sony a 150 bucks?


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:04 pm 
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Depends what features you're looking for in a Blu-Ray player...Panasonic has a great player out there (the BD85), as does Sony (the S570). Both rival the PS3 in capabilities (the 570 even can even do 3D). The only downside is that they're both more than $150.

Also, how did you overheat your PS3? Was it in an entertainment center, or out in the open? I'm genuinely curious.

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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:35 pm 
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It might not be overheating, it's on a stand, out in the open. I have no clue why all my blu ray movies are freezing randomly after a short time now. Makes me sad though.


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 4:53 am 
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Al, I was talking to a friend of mine who said his PS3 stopped playing Blu-Ray discs completely. He thought the drive went bad, but discovered a utility to fix everything. This happened six months ago, and after he ran the utility, the PS3 hasn't had an issue since. Essentially, you have to restore the system files, which may have become corrupt. Doing this does not erase anything. I'm not sure if this works with the slim models, but with a fat PS3, you turn the PS3 on and off 3 times (until you hear 3 beeps). A hidden menu comes up, and you select Option 3 (restore system files). Takes a few minutes, and doesn't affect any saved or installed games, etc.

Google this trick if you have a slim model. Now, because your player does play discs intermittently, this trick may or not fix the problem - but it certainly wouldn't hurt to try.

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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:41 pm 
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My first release PS3 died, but the new "slim" model has been working like a champ. No complaints at all. I'd highly recommend it as a Blu alternative, even if you have an X-Box. It has a lot more going for it than just BRD and gaming,

Chris/Pender: is there a Pioneer that you favor in the (roughly) $300 dollar price space? My crappy Onkyo has reached its limit. I need more inputs and I'd like to rout my TV, PS3 and whatever streamer box (Roku, BoxeeBox or Apple TV) I settle on through it via HDMI to streamline the whole system. Gotta have one that has at least four Toslink connections too, unless I can rout audio to the receiver and video to the set via a single HDMI connection. I'm unclear if you can do that or if I need to send the audio to the receiver separately via Toslink since I don't want the TV to handle the audio output.

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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:23 pm 
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Generally speaking, all HDMI inputs feed into a receiver, and a single HDMI output is sent to the TV. The alternative is to take a TOS output from a TV (some units have this), and feed that into a receiver - so whatever input you have going into the TV is amplified by the receiver. This latter example limits you to lossy audio (no DTS-HDMA, for instance).

Now, if you're limiting your selection of receivers to Pioneer, and under $300, then you're pretty much limited to the 820K. It's a decent, if not spectacular, receiver. 4 HDMI inputs, 2 TOS inputs, an iPod/iPhone dock, and optional bluetooth adapter.

For $100 more, you can get the 1020k, which offers 6 HDMI inputs, and the excellent ability to remote control the device with your iPhone/iPod Touch. There's an Elite version of this receiver for the same price (VSX-30), but reduces the HDMI inputs back to 4 (and the internal guts are identical, so this is just a rebadged unit, gaining you only a longer warranty).

If you want more than 2 TOS inputs, you're looking at an extra $200 or so (and only the flagship Pioneer receiver has 4 inputs, which will set you back $4500).

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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:26 pm 
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Surf Monkey wrote:
Chris/Pender: is there a Pioneer that you favor in the (roughly) $300 dollar price space?

Not really.

I would defer to Chris' wisdom on this specific subject.

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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:30 pm 
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Chris Knight wrote:
Generally speaking, all HDMI inputs feed into a receiver, and a single HDMI output is sent to the TV. The alternative is to take a TOS output from a TV (some units have this), and feed that into a receiver - so whatever input you have going into the TV is amplified by the receiver. This latter example limits you to lossy audio (no DTS-HDMA, for instance).


What I'm doing right now is sending HDMI from whatever source I'm using (satellite box, PS3 etc.) to the TV and TOS from the remote source to the receiver so that I get full lossless data. That way the audio routs through my HT speakers and the video through the TV. It seems pointless to run the HDMI connection through a receiver if it can't take the audio for amplification and pass the video to the TV for display. As it stands, I have more than two sources spitting out digital audio (three right now, all of which are handled by the three TOS connections on my Onkyo) so a receiver with less than three would cause issues for me.

Chris Knight wrote:
Now, if you're limiting your selection of receivers to Pioneer, and under $300, then you're pretty much limited to the 820K. It's a decent, if not spectacular, receiver. 4 HDMI inputs, 2 TOS inputs, an iPod/iPhone dock, and optional bluetooth adapter.

For $100 more, you can get the 1020k, which offers 6 HDMI inputs, and the excellent ability to remote control the device with your iPhone/iPod Touch. There's an Elite version of this receiver for the same price (VSX-30), but reduces the HDMI inputs back to 4 (and the internal guts are identical, so this is just a rebadged unit, gaining you only a longer warranty).

If you want more than 2 TOS inputs, you're looking at an extra $200 or so (and only the flagship Pioneer receiver has 4 inputs, which will set you back $4500).


I'm willing to go over $300 if I have to in order to get the connections I need. No way I'm springing for over $500, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 7:06 pm 
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If you are not sending HDMI to the receiver, you're missing out on lossless audio (which sounds FAR better than any audio you would hear via TOS). If your media playback device/game console/whatever has an HDMI output, and your TV has an HDMI input - the only scenario you should be using is DEVICE -> RECEIVER -> TV. There will be no loss in video quality using this method, because the receiver does not fuck with the image, only the sound.

So, given that, I'm not sure you still require 4 TOS inputs. Or am I missing something?

Also, in this price range, the Marantz 1501 is the best sounding receiver out there ($399 at Amazon). It all depends on whether you want bells and whistles (iPhone remote, for instance), or better components.

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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 12:53 am 
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So, Device > Receiver > TV allows the receiver to handle the audio and the TV to handle the video? That 's where my confusion comes in. I was under the impression that the receiver just passed the whole HDMI signal through and that you needed a second connection to handle audio directly to the receiver. If not, then I only need HDMI and no TOS whatsoever, because all my sources are feeding through HDMI connections.

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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 6:56 am 
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Indeed, you do not need separate TOS connections for HDMI-equipped devices. You must unlearn the concept of sending audio and video via separate cables.

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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:23 am 
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Chris Knight wrote:
Indeed, you do not need separate TOS connections for HDMI-equipped devices. You must unlearn the concept of sending audio and video via separate cables.


Okay, that's exactly what I needed to hear. I think I must have gotten that impression back in the audio less DVI days or back when HDMI was in the 1.0 spec. If it can perform as you describe, then I'm all set.

So, if you weren't limited to Pioneer, what would be your sub-$500 receiver of choice.

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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 10:23 am 
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Surf Monkey wrote:
So, if you weren't limited to Pioneer, what would be your sub-$500 receiver of choice.

Chris Knight wrote:
Also, in this price range, the Marantz 1501 is the best sounding receiver out there ($399 at Amazon). It all depends on whether you want bells and whistles (iPhone remote, for instance), or better components.

Senile Monkey.


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 10:31 am 
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Under $500, most receivers are pretty much the same. And by that, I mean you get decent sound, and a power supply that might crap out in a month or 10 years. It becomes more about the bells and whistles, and brand bias.

The Pioneer 1020K is really the one to beat (and it's down to $440 at Amazon). Be aware, the iPod remote function (which you don't need, but is so cool) requires an ethernet cable plugged into the receiver, as it uses WiFi to send/receive remote functions; this has nothing to do with playing music from the iPod, which uses a physical cable, or the optional bluetooth adapter.

Yamaha and Sony have comparable models, but I would only consider their sub-$500 models if you have a brand bias. Yamah's 667 model (around $500) has some great pro reviews, but customer reviews are always bitching about HDMI video issues. Ergo, I would avoid it.

If you want the best sound for under $500, I still say the Marantz 1501 (or it's slightly more expensive sibling, the 1601) can't be beat.

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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:44 am 
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Given that I'm getting an Apple TV, I don't see iPhone integration as a particularly attractive feature. Even without an Apple TV I can use my Airport Express for that. I'm more interested in the quality of sound and the ability to rout stuff through it via HDMI, so the Marantz if leading my race at the moment.

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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:36 am 
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Good stuff on the second half of this page, as I will be looking for Santa to upgrade my receiver to HDMI connections this year as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:09 pm 
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Chris Knight wrote:
Al, I was talking to a friend of mine who said his PS3 stopped playing Blu-Ray discs completely. He thought the drive went bad, but discovered a utility to fix everything. This happened six months ago, and after he ran the utility, the PS3 hasn't had an issue since. Essentially, you have to restore the system files, which may have become corrupt. Doing this does not erase anything. I'm not sure if this works with the slim models, but with a fat PS3, you turn the PS3 on and off 3 times (until you hear 3 beeps). A hidden menu comes up, and you select Option 3 (restore system files). Takes a few minutes, and doesn't affect any saved or installed games, etc.

Google this trick if you have a slim model. Now, because your player does play discs intermittently, this trick may or not fix the problem - but it certainly wouldn't hurt to try.


funny, just saw this message. i'll try it tonight, i have the fat model and it plays regular dvd's just fine. so it seems to be just blu ray.


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:51 am 
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Eric wrote:
...I'd have to buy a receiver as well in order to get surround sound...
You still looking for a receiver, Eric? I just got a new one, and would be willing to part with my Pioneer VSX-D409 for cost of shipping, handling is free. I also have some speakers that go with it, not the greatest, but you could easily upgrade later.

It works perfectly, sounds great, and I have the manual, remote, AM antenna.

One of the major drawbacks will be HDMI, it doesn't have any, but does have 2 optical and 1 digital coax connection. That is one of the major reasons I got a new one, I wanted the video switching and upscaling.

P.S. I got the Pioneer VSX-1120-K, which if you look hard enough, can be had for just over $500, but no speakers.

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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:20 am 
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Sorry. Bought the Marantz receiver Video recommended.


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:30 am 
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Glad to hear it.

P.S. Dr. Strangelove is on sale for $12.99 at Amazon.

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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:04 pm 
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I could use a receiver and a set of speakers. How much are you looking to get for it, Ericubus?

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 Post subject: Re: Blu-Ray Player
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:37 pm 
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Red wrote:
I could use a receiver and a set of speakers. How much are you looking to get for it, Ericubus?
I'll offer you the same deal, shipping cost only. Or if you're planning another trip out here, they'd be free.

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