You know those cheaper-than-a-DVD players (pictured) that hit England recently? Well, we're waiting for the HD disc equivalent, and you know Sony, LG and Toshiba aren't about to deliver such base "budget friendly" action. Obviously we're a long ways away from anything near that $18 price point, but a tiny little step was just taken in that direction with the announcement that Funai is going to be building a new Blu-ray player for OEM rebadge action. Analysts are pegging the initial offering at around $500, and it should be available before the end of 2007. Funai isn't ruling out an HD DVD player either, but the Blu-ray player will come first, and most likely will hit a near bottom pricepoint for its category, at least if Funai's LCD methods are any indication.

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Funai getting into the Blu-ray player game, courting the budget set