October 27, 2008
Blu-ray Disc™ Player Pricing Promotions

By Gary Reber

In previous blogs, I covered a bit on the down pricing of Blu-ray Disc™ players.

Apparently, Best Buy has further discounted its proprietary Insignia brand Profile 1.1 player to $199 (after a $30 in-store discount). If you don’t think that will be enough to entice DVD owners to upgrade to Blu-ray, Best Buy is also throwing a coupon book into the player’s box, worth $100 off select Blu-ray movies.

There is no doubt that the new low price and value-added Blu-ray movie coupon is designed to spark consumer interest in high-definition packaged media.  And, no doubt, you will agree that this is one heck of an offer! While the player is not built to high-end standards, if it meets the minimum Blu-ray format standard, I think that people will be very satisfied. After all, the NS-BRDVD is equipped with a built-in SD card slot and support for Dolby® Digital Plus, and lossless DTS®-HD Master Audio, and Dolby TrueHD, and will upconvert standard-definition DVDs to 1080p resolution.

Prior to the Best Buy price reduction, Target announced an Olevia-brand Profile 1.1 player for $229. This is Olevia’s first Blu-ray Disc player.

As previously noted, Sony has announced that the price of its BDP-S350 Blu-ray Disc player will be reduced by $100, to $299.

The new Memorex MVBD-2510 Profile 1.1 player is retailing for $278.

Circuit City is offering a Bonus View™ (Profile 1.1) BDP-1500 for $299, after an instant $100 discount.

Samsung’s BDP-1500 is selling for $298 at Ken Crane’s Big Screen Headquarters, and Sony’s BDP-S300 is $287 at Video & Audio Center. Both retailers are based in Southern California.

Amazon is offering the Sony BDP-S300 for $229 new and previously owned for $199.

Industry observers have long considered a sub-$200 price point key to creating mainstream consumer demand for Blu-ray. And with the Best Buy move, the race is now on to below-$200 pricing with rebates and free Blu-ray Discs thrown in.

With the focus on expanded Blu-ray Disc players sales, it was only a matter of time until Netflix, the online DVD rental pioneer, would set its sights on renting Blu-ray Discs to its nearly 9 million subscibers.

Netflix said it expects about 500,000 of its nearly 8.7 million subscribers to become Blu-ray Disc subscribers by the end of the year, even with an announced $1 monthly subscription surcharge. Certainly, the combination of an inexpensive Blu-ray Disc player and low-cost Netflix rentals is a winner. Of course, if the studios really want the market to explode, they should significantly drop their sell-through Blu-ray title pricing.

Gary Reber
Editor-In-Chief & Publisher
Widescreen Review

Tags: - editor's couch - - Blu-ray - - Sony - - Samsung - - DTS - - Dolby - - Bonus View -