Where Are the Luxury Blu-ray Players?
Bucking the low-cost trend, Lexicon says it will offer the first THX-certified Blu-ray player, the luxury high-performance BD-30.
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Lexicon’s BD-30 Blu-ray player is scheduled to launch in September with a preliminary price planned at $3,499
July 27, 2009 by Tom LeBlanc

You won’t hear any complaints about the falling prices of Blu-ray players leading up to the holiday season. The flip-side, though, is that there really aren’t a lot of “luxury high-performance” Blu-ray player options for audio/video enthusiasts.

Lexicon, recognizing a void in the Blu-ray market, has developed the BD-30, saying it will be the first THX-certified Blu-ray player. It intends to launch the BD-30 in September.

It’s not cheap with a preliminary price planned at $3,499. The idea, though, says Marc Kellom, VP of marketing for Lexicon parent Harman International, is to provide clients with a high-performance Blu-ray player to complement expensive systems.

Many luxury consumers, Kellom says, are connecting PlayStations or inexpensive components to their high-end systems just to watch Blu-ray. On ElectronicHouse.com, it’s not uncommon to read similar comments made referring to powerful home theaters that may have top projectors, screens and sound systems but “I can’t believe it’s only hooked up to a (insert brand x here) Blu-ray player!”

There is some competition in the step-up Blu-ray player market. Denon recently announced its DVD-A1HDCI, Marantz has several Blu-ray models and Sony just announced a Blu-ray 400-disc changer. Then, of course, there’s Goldmund’s over-the-top $17K Eidos 20 BD player.

Adding to Lexicon’s BD-30 luxury consumer appeal, Kellom says, is the opportunity to marry it with its forthcoming MC-12 Firmware v2.0, which updates the MC12HD to accept 7.1 PPCM signals over HDMI.

Offering the firmware revision in conjunction with the Lexicon BD-30 creates a Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio compliant theater system, according to Lexicon. It adds:

By performing the Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio decoding in the Blu-ray player, the listener benefits from having all mixing functionality done within the player.  For instance; commentary tracks can be lost if a native bitstream is sent to the A/V processor.  By sending the mixed 7.1 LPCM signal to the A/V processor the listener can always be assured that all content is being transmitted.

The MC-12 is also targeted for a September release.

Some additional details about the Lexicon BD-30 Blu-ray player:

  • Supports Blu-ray, DVD, SACD, DVD Audio, CD and video & audio over USB
  • Load time is reported to be under 5 seconds
  • Uses Anchor Bay’s VRS technology
  • BonusVIEW
  • BD-Live
  • RS232 for use with external control systems
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