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Blu-ray Prices Staying High
March 13, 2008 | by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
According to a recent peek at, high-def players are still selling at last year’s prices.
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Posted by BluRayFreak  on  03/13  at  07:06 AM

So, what exactly is the problem? I remember paying $799 for my first Panasonic DVD player back in 1997….and an average of $24.99 for the first DVDs that come out.

Sounds like somebody’s been “stomping poo” outside of your office :-p

Posted by Joe T.  on  03/13  at  07:30 AM

Yeah, but how many people outside of fellow A/V geeks do you know who’d done the same?  In my neighborhood (middle to upper-middle class suburban Chicago), I know one family who has a PS3 (not even connected to an HD set); they don’t use it for movies.  All who have HDTVs are using upconverting players and seem perfectly happy.

Except when they see an HD DVD or Blu Ray on my projector.

Posted by e-musicman  on  03/13  at  08:24 AM

Exactly, Joe T.  If BluRay is going to even have a remote shot at stealing the limelight from DVD, the HAVE to lower prices.  Only the select enthusiasts are willing to pay premium. 
I’d say a good 75 percent of America is just as happy digging through their local Walmart’s $5 bargain bin and watching it on their ‘less-than-$100’ upconverting DVD player.

Posted by jverhey  on  03/13  at  08:31 AM

Oh no this must be a mistake as soon as blu finally wins and we have only 1 format then prices will finally start dropping   NOT

Time will tell…........................

Posted by anun  on  03/13  at  01:22 PM

@BlueRayFreak: going from VHS to DVD was a huge step and a big technology change, thus the price contrast vs what we have now. now we are going from discs to… discs.  it’s not like we are going from discs to thumb drives or holographic storage.  there is no significant change in the technology besides holding more data. it’s even the same disc size… I didn’t pay $800 on a dvd player back then and I won’t be spending anywhere near that on a hi-def player. dvd’s are just fine. what’s the deal with no 5-disc changers for hi-def?!?! this is old technology!!

Posted by Mike  on  03/13  at  01:36 PM

As I have tried in vain to explain to Blu supporters, the death of HD DVD is a very bad thing.  It was the only format that at least had a chance at displacing DVD.  Now that Sony has a virtual monopoly, we are seeing exactly what I expected:  monopolistic behavior.  I’m not blaming Sony, mind you, any company would do the same in a similar situation.

Those who should be blamed, however, are the short-sighted studios, Warner in particular, who sold out and then ridiculously claimed that the consumer had spoken.  What a joke!

HD DVD was a natural evolution from the DVD standard.  Blu-ray exists only because Sony wanted a monopoly.  Plain and simple.  I hope everyone on the Blu side is happy now that we have put that nasty format war behind us.  Now rather than a war, the result will be two failed formats.  Blu-ray is not based on a model which will allow it to price itself at mass-acceptance levels any time soon, plus it has the Achille’s heel of being incompatible with the millions of portable or car-based DVD players that are perfectly served by lower-resolution content.  At least HD DVD had the combo and twin-disc formats.

Posted by Dave C  on  03/13  at  01:55 PM

SO, it seems Blurayfreak is the only person making any sense so far.
How soon people forget how much DVD players and discs cost in the first 2 years it was out. Thats not even considering inflation.
Blu ray has gone up? Hmmm, the best STAND ALONE PLAYER is still just $400. Yes, the PS3 can easily be seen as an amazing blu ray player. Yes, it plays games but it never has to. Mine never does. Just use it for movies and storing all my music.
All the left over, bitter HD-DUD people call it a video game console. ” I dont want a stupid video game console”.Use it first, then see what you call it!! :-)
SO, regardless of the heading, I believe Blu-ray are doing well with pricing. Its still early days, when compared to the uptake of DVD from day one.
Once the average person buys a new flat screen HD-TV fro $1500 and sees 1080p resolution all over the box, they will want something that matches, rather than something that mimics 1080p.
It will happen folks. Be patient and by bluray movies online!

Posted by Tom  on  03/13  at  02:03 PM

This is a shock! This is exactly why I have two HDDVD players and am scooping up HDDVD’s left and right. $100-$150 is a fair price for an HD player…HD or Blu. And $10-$15 is correct for a movie price. I mean new DVD’s are that much sometimes newly released…and if not they drop to that shortly afterwards.
And I am one of those guys who digs through the local Circuit City DVD “dump bins” as I like to call them for $4.99 DVD’s. You’d be amazed at what I can find in there to play on my 1080p upconverting Toshiba A30 and 1080p Sony Bravia XBRII.
HDDVD got beat by Blu…and now Blu will get beat by their greed…niche market all the way unless massive price drops occur…AND…DVD players are PHASED OUT OF PRODUCTION!
Now excuse me I have some $9.99 HDVDV’s and $4.99 DVD’s to go buy.
P.S. I have a PS3 too! :)

Posted by C not K  on  03/13  at  02:07 PM

I don’t see this as a Sony monopoly - Denon, Sharp, Pioneer, Panasonic and others also make players. And let’s not forget Toshiba gets royalties on DVD’s. Also, I think Toshiba lowered the price of the hardware below what was sustainable. I don’t think any other CE manufacturer saw that they could make money selling HD DVD hardware. (IIRC, Onkyo had a badge-engineered XA2.) HD-DVD software wasn’t cheap enough (especially combo discs) to replace SD DVD, either. I don’t think either format would have, when you can get SD DVD’s for $5.50.

BTW - I have a Sony 300 and a Toshiba A3. I just like my stuff in HD.

Posted by Mike  on  03/13  at  02:15 PM

To C not K:

You’re right, Sony is not the only manufacturer.  Maybe I should have used the term “oligopoly”, rather than “monopoly.”  The behavior is still the same.  If there was real competition, we should see falling prices.  The fact that we are not means that either these companies are engaging in price-fixing, or the underlying technology is so expensive to manufacture they can’t reduce prices any further at this point.  Either way, not a good model for the consumer, and not a good model for mass acceptance.

Posted by Dave C  on  03/13  at  02:28 PM

WOW, how impatient are people these days? Maybe its because I was not watching any forums back in 1998 to see a bunch of impatient people complaining how slow the DVD uptake is, how few titles they have and how , in 1998 a player was a good $500 or so and discs were $30-$40 each, versus cheap VHS players and tapes. SOme people NEVER learn from history. Very sad!
Get a grip people. Rome was not built in a day. When Bluray is 10 years old, do your think there will be $6 blurays to grab in the bargan bin. You betcha!
(of course, I will be buying $100 Hologram solid state cards for my Toshiba hologram projector by then! hehehe)

Posted by anun  on  03/13  at  02:53 PM

@Dave C: VHS to DVD was a significant technology change - tape vs disc. VHS sucked and everybody hated - snapping tapes, players eating tape, constant rewinding, etc etc. now it’s the same - still a disc, still the same size. no tangeable changes the consumer can readily see. same instant fast forward.  the big companies kept DVD prices high because they knew people wanted to get rid of their VHS tapes.

fast forward to now - the only change with hi-def vs DVD is how the data is encoded - a laser. and most people don’t even have an hdtv to see the difference, unlike how a DVD looked better than a VHS on even a standard TV set.

there is no good reason to spend the extra money for a hi-def movie, except for people with large HDTVs that care about image resolution and have loads of cash burning a hole in their pocket.

Posted by anun  on  03/13  at  03:11 PM

let’s not forget most people still listen through their crappy 2-channel stereo speakers integrated in the TV - loseless is a loss for most, making another reason to not upgrade

at least there are people willing to dump loads of cash so the rest of the common folk will eventually [not] see the difference in quality at reasonable price :)

Posted by Si  on  03/13  at  03:45 PM

The prices are a bit high, but compared to recent history, they’re not so bad. I jumped into DVD at about $350 with bargain DVDs in the low $20s and new titles in the $40s.

I go waaay back to 12” laserdiscs which were -far- more expensive. I used to think those were pretty good. I recently fired one up—doesn’t look so hot, and to think that I paid $50-$100 for those…

Posted by Dave C  on  03/13  at  03:56 PM

Thanks Si. Most people seem to have VERY bad memories so Im outta here….

Posted by Soundzilla  on  03/13  at  07:47 PM


I paid $1200 for an S-VHS deck in 1987. That was in 1987 dollars! I’m no upper-class consumer either. I am middle-class earner.

If $400 is too much for you, stick with DVD and let those of us who are serious about home theater and collecting and/or renting high-definition content be on our way.

I don’t really care if the masses get HD on the cheap. I was happy with Laserdiscs when the masses where happy with VHS. My picture was better then, and it’s going to be better now with a $400 Blu-ray than all those $39 DVD players. Most people think DVD is “good enough” so if the price to play in the HD world is too much…suck it up or enjoy your DVDs.

Prices will come down eventually so giving it more than a month or two after HD-DVD’s demise might also be in order before the moaning begins about Blu-ray prices.

Posted by NBG  on  03/14  at  02:08 AM

DVD was indeed a quantum leap in quality, convenience, and usability over tape. Therefore I had a large incentive to retire our tape machines and was willing to pay to do so. I felt the cost/benefit ratio justified the expense. H.D. DVD’s are only an incremental improvement of standard DVD’s and I am simply not willing to pay very much for a compatible player.

Sure I would like to have a Blu-Ray player and it is certainly not a matter of being able to afford one. I just do not think they are even close to being worth $400 or so and I do not like feeling I am being taken advantage of.

Posted by blake  on  03/14  at  07:05 AM

Raise prices? Wow, brilliant. Looks like they never plan on replacing DVDs. Good move Blu-Ray makers - f**kin retards. That’s the way to get to get people to adopt the format that are already not likely to, raise prices!

Posted by blake  on  03/14  at  07:11 AM

A lot of people are forgetting that the jump from VHS to DVD was far FAR bigger then the jump from DVD to Blu-Ray. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE HD movies - but raising prices with the way the market is with optical formats is just stupid, in every sense of the word.

Posted by David  on  03/14  at  07:38 AM

Blu-Ray just like HD DVD will be history sooner than most think. Hi definition DVD will never take root because of price and the fact it is not that much better than Standard DVD.

The elite personalities should remember their limited purchases do not support a technology, only the masses can do that, and people are staying away in droves.

The studios are not going to pour more money into a hopeless cause, no more than one more year would be my guess.

What will current owners do?

Put their HD DVDs and/or Blu-ray Discs next to their Laser Discs I suppose.

Sad but funny at the same time.

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