Report: Blu-ray Player Prices Tumbling for Christmas7 Nov, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Faced with dire economic forecasts, competitive pressure from movie downloads, and even scuttlebutt about the viability of high-definition packaged media, Blu-ray player prices continue to fall, according to a new report.
New York-based ABI Research said numerous Profile 1.1 players and older models (six to nine months old) are now available at less than $200, including the Samsung BD-P1500 1080p player on Amazon.
Some models include promotions offering free Blu-ray movies.
The ABI report, “Consumer Video Technologies Forecasts,” says holiday prices could fall as low as $150, which is about half of the original market forecasts and predictions.
Online reports recently leaked that post-Thanksgiving Day (also known as Black Friday) pricing of Samsung and Sony Blu-ray players at Sears will be $179 and $199, respectively.
“Blu-ray vendors and dealers are starting to realize that for [the format] to become the next DVD, they need to lower player prices in order to generate interest and build volumes,” said Steve Wilson, principal analyst with ABI.
Wilson said he applauded efforts by LG and Samsung to incorporate streamed movies from Netflix into their Blu-ray players to help differentiate the hardware from streaming hardware alliances between Netflix and Roku, Microsoft’s Xbox 360, and TiVo and Amazon.
“The more Blu-ray players adopt these download capabilities, the better they will be able to differentiate themselves from standard DVD players,” Wilson said.