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Blu-ray Hardware, Software Prices Inch Lower

2 Sep, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Consumer electronics retailers entering the fourth quarter continue to discount Blu-ray players and movies.

Best Buy Co. cut $10 to $249.99 for its proprietary Insignia brand Blu-ray player (NS-BRDVD). The Profile 1.1 player, which originally bowed for $349.99 earlier this year, is available with an additional $100 discount when co-purchased with an Insignia 1080p high-definition television.

The Minneapolis-based CE retailer is offering Warner Home Video Blu-ray movies Shoot ‘Em Up, Troy, 300, Pan’s Labyrinth (New Line), Ocean’s Thirteen, We Are Marshall and 16 Blocks for $19.99 each after a $15 mail-in rebate.

In addition, Warner catalog titles Enter the Dragon (with Bruce Lee), Stanly Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, Swordfish, The Aviator, The Fugitive, March of the Penguins and Alexander Revisited are available for $14.99 each after a $10 mail-in rebate.

Best Buy spokesperson Brian Lucas said the retailer is counting on Blu-ray to be a top holiday seller and has redoubled in-store educational efforts at consumers.

“It is our responsibility now to get people to understand what Blu-ray is, and if it right for them, to show them what the possibilities are,” Lucas said.

He said with Profile 2.0 players hitting the shelves in greater numbers, informing consumers about the differences and advantages between players is key. Lowering the price is just one way for consumers to take note, Lucas said.

“Prices have come down to the point where [Blu-ray] no longer is a huge investment for a family,” he said. “We think it might be the sweet spot for the holidays this year.”

Rival Circuit City Stores is offering the identical Warner catalog titles for $14.99, with the additions of Bullitt (with Steve McQueen) and The Shining. The Richmond, Va.-based retailer offered Lionsgate catalog Blu-ray fare, including Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Stargate, The Punisher and The Devil’s Rejects for $14.99 after mail-in rebate.

The No. 2 CE retailer also took $50 off Samsung’s (BDP-1500) Profile 1.1 player to $349.99.

Locally in Southern California, Howard’s Appliance & Flat Screen Superstores offered Sony’s BDP-S300 Profile 1.1 player for $299.

Rival Ken Cranes Big Screen Headquarters offered the Samsung BDP-1500 Profile 1.1 player for $348 after a $50 rebate.

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