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Target Sells Connected Blu-ray Player for $79.99

17 Jan, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Target Corp. is selling the RCA Blu-ray Disc player (BRC11082) with BD-Live for $79.99 — the apparent floor price for connected BD players.

Target showcased the player on the cover of its weekly Sunday newspaper circular.

The retailer joins Walmart, Best Buy, Amazon and Ralphs as national and regional chains selling connected Blu-ray players for less than $80 and capable of accessing Netflix streaming, YouTube videos or Pandora music, depending on enclosed apps.

The price drop is notable in that Home Media Magazine June 1, 2008, reported that Walmart would sell a non-connected Magnavox BD player for $297. Less than 18 months later, the retail behemoth would sell that same player for $80 on Black Friday.

As oft mentioned, Blu-ray players emerged a big CE seller during the winter holidays, with units sales up 75% from the same period in 2009, according to IHC Screen Digest.

Stephen Baker, VP of industry analysis with Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD, said the Blu-ray player was a relatively under-penetrated category during the winter holidays, with pricing (less than $100), bundling with HDTV purchases and updated features (Netflix, YouTube, Blockbuster, et cetera) as key drivers for consumers.

“We’ll see if that trend continues in 2011,” Baker said. “It gets harder to grow as more competing devices enter the market with the same features such as Pandora and Netflix. As more and more connected TVs get these services, I wouldn’t be un-confident regarding Blu-ray player growth this year. But I don’t think success is guaranteed.”

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