As previously reported, the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) has recently brought the high definition format to China. In order to accomplish this, they had to not only provide the technology to create Blu-ray Discs and players to Chinese manufacturers, but also create a licensing format which would lower costs and streamline the production process. One of the advantages to the rest of the Blu-ray buying world, commented Mark Leathan, Marketing Director at Samsung, was that we will soon see the "entry of the Chinese manufacturers into the Blu ray market that we will have a $99 Blu ray player."
During last year's holiday season, Blu-ray players could be found for as low as $128, though quantities were limited due to the availability of product and the high demand for the high definition players. With sales this year predicted to be at least twice of what they were last year, it is expected that the $99 price point will become the norm for entry-level players, rather than as part of a special sales promotion.
These lower priced entries, however, will likely have little effect on major consumer electronic manufacturers. It is highly unlikely that Sony, Panasonic, and Samung will participate in entry-level game of slim-margins, and will likely leave that to the new Chinese manufactures and new products from Magnavox or Sylvania.
As you can see from the magnitude of the announcements over the past few days, the Blu-ray format is expected to be the hot ticket item this holiday season. The only question is, how many millions of people will wake-up to a new Blu-ray Disc player and Blu-ray copy of 'Lord of the Rings'?
I think that Blu-ray players will eventually fall to the same price as upconverting DVD players.
I'm hoping that manufacturers will stop making these since it causes customer confusion at the Best Buy where I work. Most customers think DVD's won't play on Blu-ray players. That needs to be addressed. Eventually if DVD players are stopped being manufactured, then the customer will eventually just switch out of necessity...and the manufacturers and retailers would reap the benefit of a slightly higher priced product, without hurting the average joe. I still balk at people at Best Buy who state $45 for a DVD player?! That's expensive. Um...they were $1000 back in 1997.
Now they need to lower those insane HD tv prices. Everyone should have a Samsung A750 level of picture at entry level at under a 1K at a 40" size. Am I asking too much? I think not when they are trying to get everyone to get a Blu-Player. Why have a Blu-player when too many people have tubes of old and some can't even see the HD difference or feel it's now worth the price points of things offered now? Now everyone can have say a Pioneer Elite 50-60" & a PS3.
I like it but you know that the players are going to be average at best. Plus, it is a good thing for the nubiles out there to introduce them to the world of Blu-ray. I also think that the big three can and should reduce the price of their players. The next thing to do is to bring the price of the Blu-ray disc down to a reasonable level. No disc should be more than $20 - that includes new releases. By the way, Johnny Neat, the PS3 use to be the top dog, not anymore, the stand alone Panasonics have better PQ and AQ. Even the stand alone Sony players are as good as the PS3.
I think the price point is great to introduce new people to the technology. However, at $99 the player will have issues with playability, firmware updates, etc. This will then cause those people to be severly turned off and disappointed with the technology, and more than likely returning the players with frustration. Unfortunately, you often times get what you pay for. There are plenty of players at the $200 price mark that (as a poster commented) if they were to drop to $100 to $150, would cause more people to buy with much fewer problems. Just my $0.02!
I can finally get the coolest mother-in-law in the world a unit as I don't even buy regular standard discs anymore and I can never bring up anything to watch without bringing my unit. This is great news, I'll start getting her all her Disney and surprising her... although I wouldn't want her having a coronary on Xmas Day with all this stuff
The only thing I worry about with these bargain-priced players is quality and reliability. I haven't had any problems with my PS3 but I've heard about a lot of problems with other players, even name-brand players that cost $250 or more. If someone buys one of these cheap players, will they have problems playing 2 or 3 of the discs they bought with it, and take it all back for a refund and never bother with Blu-ray again?
Johnnie Neat, display prices have come way down, at a rate I think is good for the future of HD. I was just looking at Best Buy's site and they've got name-brand 40"-46" 1080p displays for under a grand.
I agree with Jonnie Neat. I was recently in Best Buy and PC Richards. Those 40"+ displays which are selling for less than $1000 are not 1080p at 120Htz. They may be 1080, but the refresh rate is slow so you will get pixelation when there is fast motion. The refresh rate must be 120Htz to 240Htz which is coming out now. 46" Samsung displays average $1600 and if you want a Samsung LED they average $2600-$5000+ for a 46" - 52" respectively. All of these displays have to come down in price.
This is great news. I think that there will be alot of people buying into Blu-ray at a $99 price point, especially considering today's economy. The only problem I see is that the studios need to price lower some of their catalog titles. To release a film that is over 20 years old, and especially those from the 1950's through the early 1970's at a $39.95 retail price point is not going to help the format. This will slow the process of upgrading films already in people's collection. They have to see a value at spending an additional amount of money on a movie they already own, especially those DVD's with good transfers. Cudos to Warner for taking some of their catalog releases and repricing them at $19.95 suggested retail. I hope the other studios follow suit especially by the holidays when these players come out.
I also hope that these lower-priced players provide good quality and are able to use the new audio codecs and all of the Blu-ray features.
Here in Canada, You CAN get a brand name HDTV for under 1000. I got a LG 37" 1080p TV right after Christmas from Best Buy for 800 (on sale, down from 1000) and I saw others that were Brand name ones for close to 1000.
and to JT_Designer my parents gor a full 1080p HDTV (samsung 46") 120Htz. at Best Buy (again in Canada) last summer. they got a pacage deal for the same price as the TV they were goning to buy. (they were goning to buy the exact same tv but Best Buy didn't have the stand alone TV';s in stock, but ones that came wit a $500 Home Theater) all for the same 1500-1600 price point.
I wonder if these $99 players will be able to decode the HD audio? It's one thing to get the players out in peoples hands but it's another to only have half the experience of Blu. Overall it's great but I agree it would be better if Sony, Panasonic, Samsung had players at this price point.
Presumably, the format is well on its way to widespread adoption. I echo concerns about the quality and features of $99 players, however, when DVD was first released, we went through this, too. Eventually $99 DVD players appeared that were just as good as any other player. I expect the same will happen with BR players at that price point.
Now, if someone, anyone, would only release a stand-alone recorder for the US market, I would be happy.
This is good news and bad news. The good news is is now some people will have NO excuse not to buy a blu ray player. But the bad news is the quality. $99 bucks? Will this turn out sub par blu ray players? I bet it will.
The only problem with flooding the market with these cheap $99 players(none of which are likely to have the features and higher quality of the brand names)will create the Bluray "have's" vs. the BR "have-nots".The "have's" being the owners of higher end/brand name BR players that will expiriece the higher end picture/sound quality,extended feature sets, better physical quality/dependability.The "have-not's" will not expirience most of what the higher end machine owners do(particularly higher quality dvd upscaling,better Blueray picture/sound,player dependability), but will likely expect to expirience the same at a cutrate price.Unfortunately, that could leave those not yet on board with Bluray with a false sense of what they can expect from a new Bluray player(should they decide to buy one and what kind they buy).In the end, you get what you pay for, and even today there's a world of difference in all quality/features across the board with $30 dvds players vs. those that go for little more than over double that price.