Vizio's VBR100 Blu-ray Player: $188 in Walmart

While HDTV growth is still strong during the global recession, Blu-ray adoption remains sluggish. We obviously can't pinpoint the exact reasons, but we have our guesses. The primary reason we figure the format still hasn't taken off the way BD backers would like is price. Even years after BD hit the mainstream, the price of admission is still too high. Most players are still hovering around the $200+ mark, while most consumers aren't yet willing to fork over that kind of dough to see only "incremental" boosts in audio/visual quality.

Now, however, Vizio is hoping to turn the tables with a $188 Profile 2.0 player that should mimic higher-end units costing far more. If all goes well, it will debut exclusively in WalMart next month, bringing with it YouTube/Netflix/Amazon Video streaming, 7.1-channel audio outputs, HDMI and support for Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD Master Audio.

So, is a $188 Vizio VBR100 just what it'll take you to jump into the Blu-ray game? If so, do you really plan on taking advantage of BD-Live interactivity?