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Retail Drops Blu-ray Player Prices, Ups Used Selections

13 Apr, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel

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Following a first quarter that saw little or no pricing shift on Blu-ray players, several retailers have slashed unit prices in addition to marketing substantially discounted refurbished models.

Indeed, Forrester Research, in a recent consumer survey, found that nearly 42% of respondents said they would be more inclined to purchase a Blu-ray player if the price fell below $200. Research firm Parks Associates said consumers are willing to purchase a Blu-ray Disc player if priced no more than $50 above a standard-DVD player.

Costco, in a newspaper circular, promoted a $50 price cut from the $249.99 Philips BDP-5010 with BD Live and Bonus View functionality when ordered online. The wholesaler, which is offering $6 discounts on select Disney Blu-ray animated titles, also sells the Sharp Aquos BD player for $199.99.

Fry’s Electronics and Sony Style stores are both marketing refurbished BD players from $149.99. Refurbished players typically included warranties and customer exchanges.

Fry’s is offering the profile 1.1 Samsung BD-1500 with Bonus View for $179 at select locations. It also sells the Samsung BD-1600 with BD Live and Netflix/Pandora streaming for $279. A store spokesperson said interest for Blu-ray remains high and refurbished units offer consumers a more economical entry to high-definition packaged media.

Sony Style is offering online only the BDP-S300 for $149.99 — down $189.96 from a $339.95 SRP.

“Refurbished doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with it,” said a company spokesperson. “If there was something wrong with it, it has been repaired.”

All refurbished units include 90-day warranties, compared to 12 months for new products.

Finally, Best Buy is cutting from $3 to $7 off Blu-ray double features, including Mission: Impossible and MI2; Clear and Present Danger and The Hunt for Red October; Top Gun and Days of Thunder; and Sweeney Todd and Sleepy Hollow.

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