October 28, 2008
Blu-ray Player Delays Due To Diminishing Prices

By Danny Richelieu

While the huge price erosion of Bonus View™ (Profile 1.1) Blu-ray™ players has been a blessing for those consumers still waiting to buy into the high-definition optical disc format, it may effectively price smaller manufacturers out of the Blu-ray player manufacturing business, in the short term.

We have learned that Sherwood America, who showed the Newcastle-branded BDP-6003 at the CEDIA EXPO in September, is re-evaluating their plans to release the player. Specifically citing the price decreases from their major competitors, Sherwood has put production of the player on hold and is not sure if it will ever come to market.

Similarly, OPPO Digital, who showed the BDP-83 Blu-ray player at CEDIA, may be delaying its release. With Profile 1.1 players now selling for $199 and lower at major retailers, OPPO is debating whether they should release a Profile 1.1 player in time for the holiday season that will be firmware-upgradable to BD-Live™ (Profile 2.0) sometime in January 2009, or simply wait until January to sell it as a BD-Live player out of the box. My guess is they will choose to wait, considering BD-Live players are still selling in the $300 to $400 range on the low end.

It is beginning to look like our weakened economy, combined with the commodity-driven practices of major electronics manufacturers, is having a serious effect on smaller, performance-oriented manufacturers trying to release high-quality equipment for the lowest possible price. Hopefully, they can weather the storm and the performance home theatre segment can survive.

Tags: - equipment - - Blu-ray - - Sherwood - - OPPO - - Bonus View - - BD-Live - - CEDIA -