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Fireworks, Parades and Blu-ray

5 Jul, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel

In addition to requisite Fourth of July weekend parades, fireworks and barbeques, consumer electronics retailers aggressively marketed Blu-ray Disc players separately and in home theater systems with price cuts not seen since Black Friday.

No. 1 CE retailer Best Buy Co. offered its proprietary Chinese-made Insignia BD player with BD Live functionality for $169.99 — $30 off the SRP, according to a weekly newspaper circular.

The Minneapolis-based retailer cut $50 from Panasonic’s DMP-BD80K with software links to YouTube and Picasa music downloads for $399.99, and the DMP-BD60K with Netflix streaming (separate subscription required) for $299.99. The Samsung BDP-1600 with BD Live, Netflix and Pandora music streams retailed for $249.99 after a $50 reduction.

Best Buy also offered 30% discounts online on more than 2,200 Paramount Home Entertainment DVD titles (


In Southern California, Fry’s Electronics offered two free Sony Pictures Home Entertainment BD movies with the purchase of a Sony Blu-ray player for $199.99. Titles included 21, Dr. Strangelove, The Da Vinci Code and You Don’t Mess with the Zohan. The retailer also offered a LG player with BD Live for $187.

Ken Cranes sold the Panasonic DMP-BD60K for $248.99 and no sales tax. Indeed, the retailer eliminated sales tax on all Blu-ray home theater systems and HDTV units, in addition to terms that included no deposit, interest or payments for 12 months.

Howard’s Appliance and Flat Screen Superstores eliminated interest charges on all HDTV and Blu-ray hardware sales through December, including BD players from Samsung, LG and Pansonic.

Arman Ozdere, sales representative with Paul’s TV in Irvine, Calif., said Blu-ray sales remain steady (“not spectacular”) with consumer awareness of the high-definition format strong.

Ozdere said he wouldn't be surprised to see BD players around $100 this coming Black Friday.

“If you’re buying a disc player, it’s going to be a Blu-ray player,” he said. “Nobody is buying a DVD player anymore.”


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