Blu-ray hardware still hanging on to higher prices at DVinfo.net

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Old December 1st, 2008, 08:07 AM   #1
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Blu-ray hardware still hanging on to higher prices

I was watching the retail sales over the past week to pick up a Blu-ray player and a burner and I am a bit dissapointed.

I guess they do not want this technology to penetrate yet as prices amid a horrible retail environment did not move much.

Sam's Club has had a Blu-ray player for $183 for over 6 months on their shelf and the black Friday prices were $179.

The burners have not moved at all.

Just wondering if Sony has put this on the back burner because at this rate, a new technology or flash memory is going to pass it up.

Frustrating...
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Old December 1st, 2008, 09:56 AM   #2
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Blu-Ray burner prices are coming down. For Black Friday (And CYber Monday) we are running the Pioneer BDR-202 at $299.95

http://www.videoguys.com/

We're working with Pioneer to extend this pricing through Xmas.

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Old December 1st, 2008, 10:31 AM   #3
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For a format or media to gain wide adoption it has to reach a critical mass so that when you produce something on it, you know people can play it. It happened about 5 years ago with DVD. It may never happen with Blu-ray.

As someone who produces video for niche audiences. I don't see how Blu-Ray will ever make a lot of sense as a distribution media. I figure it will take about 3-5 years after prices drop below $100 to ensure that when you send out a disc, someone will actually be able to play it. In the meantime, online delivery will continually improve and become the obvious choice for distribution - no physical media required. I think Blu-ray can still find a niche for backing up data and Hollywood movie delivery. I don't see it being widely used in corporate, advocacy, institutional or personal use. I'd like to be proven wrong

If they were smart they would have used the news of HD DVD dropping out to spur people to buy Blu-rays. They should have had massive price cuts immediately after. They may have lost some money in the short run, but they would have had a chance to reach critical mass on the number of units out there. Now they'll have a much harder time of it.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 10:42 AM   #4
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I agree about the Blu-Ray camp being asleep at the wheel. They should have bombarded the Electronics stores with low price players and titles immediately after HD DVD caved.

I go to Black Friday sales every year with my brother, dad, uncles and friends. We hit Best Buy 1st this year. I could not believe how many folks were buying Blu-Ray players. I was also glad to see some of the movie archives coming out on Blu-Ray as well. Matrix, Godfather etc.

I think that many videographers in the event / corporate space have an opportunity to charge an HD premium and deliver on Blu-Ray. The penetration is not there (although you can't forget the millions of PS3s sold) to generate volume, but it can generate increased revenues.

To collect the premium you have to demonstrate the superiority of delivering HD to your client. That takes an up front investment by you, and in this economy, it's not easy to do. That said, someone is going to be doing it.

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Old December 1st, 2008, 11:09 AM   #5
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Good points.

I too think they need to or should have dropped the prices for the hardware.

People won't buy the movies unless they have the player.

I have decided to offer a Blu-ray option along with DVD next year.

It will be specialty offering above DVD.

I will be interested to see how much actually gets delivered in HD.

I wonder if there is a way for smaller operators to use a form a online delivery for events?
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Old December 1st, 2008, 01:03 PM   #6
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I think the wedding/event videographers will have an easier time with delivering in Blu-ray since your primary delivery audience is a known small number of people. So if the bride and groom have a Blu-ray player, they'll want a Blu-ray disc and may be pay a premium for that. For organizations or companies, they don't know who will be viewing their disc so to be safe they'll just release on DVD and web for awhile. I know I don't want to deal with people who try to put the Blu-ray disc in their DVD player and complain when it won't play.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 01:42 PM   #7
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While I welcome any price advantage I can get on a BluRay player, I hope we don't end up in the situation we are in with DVD players where one can't seem to find a $200 player that may ACTUALLY still work in two years... I can buy a $49 player but everyone I've bought for the past number of years starts skipping or just fails to play discs anymore probably about 3 weeks after the warranty is up.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 02:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
I can buy a $49 player but everyone I've bought for the past number of years starts skipping or just fails to play discs anymore probably about 3 weeks after the warranty is up.
Funny Shaun... just got back from lunch with a couple friends, and one of them was saying the exact same thing about his last three cheap DVD players. I have two DVD players - both Sony - with one about 8 years old and the other about 5 years old. Still going strong (or at least they were the last time I actually USED them). My friend is thinking about getting a BluRay player now in the hopes it will last a little longer, even though he doesn't have an HDTV yet.

Regarding price, yeah it would be nice to see them get cheaper, but we've come a LONG way in the last few weeks. Today, WalMart has an online special Memorex BD player for $150 and Sylvania for $238, with a $248 Samsung in stores. BestBuy is listing one Insignia for $170 and another for $250. Meanwhile, they are currently listing the Sony BDP-S350 for $300... I bought the same model at BestBuy for $400 less than 3 months ago. A 25% price cut is pretty significant IMO.

The selection of disks still leaves a lot to be desired though. So far my entire library is less than 10 disks. If they would release a few more of my favorite classics I would certainly buy them.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 02:39 PM   #9
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The selection of disks still leaves a lot to be desired though. So far my entire library is less than 10 disks. If they would release a few more of my favorite classics I would certainly buy them.
Agreed. Do you notice that most of the classics on BluRay don't look very HD? These movies weren't that sharp to begin with, and BluRay probably just offers a higher fidelity reproduction of grain noise.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 03:10 PM   #10
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I find that anything created digitally -- everything by Pixar, for example, or the opening titles to Casino Royale -- are stunning in Blu-Ray and hugely different from standard DVD. Stuff created on film, especially 35mm or 16mm, not so much.

Godfather Restoration on BD? LOTS of film grain. Great if you like that look.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 04:04 PM   #11
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Does there exist a listing of BD Players that will work with home burned BluRay disks? I am going to buy one in January, and I'd like to make sure the thing actually works with my disks.

(On topic)

I can see the pricing of these units coming down. I was in Best Buy a couple times over the past week, and the prices are becoming fairly tempting. I also somewhat disagree with others, I think the amount of titles being released is quite good. It's no small feat for a studio to remaster the older releases. Especially, when we are as picky as we are about the transfers and the audio.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 05:25 PM   #12
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Meanwhile, they are currently listing the Sony BDP-S350 for $300... I bought the same model at BestBuy for $400 less than 3 months ago. A 25% price cut is pretty significant IMO.
I'm at the SonyStyle store right now and they have the S350 for $200 but they said i'll go back up to $300 tomorrow.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 06:38 PM   #13
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Does there exist a listing of BD Players that will work with home burned BluRay disks? I am going to buy one in January, and I'd like to make sure the thing actually works with my disks.
While I know that my BD player (early Sony) doesn't work with BD-Rs, an excellent buy is the Sony Playstation 3 as its firmware is updated often. I updated the firmware on my Sony and it still doesn't play new titles such as Scorpion King. Sony's are just messed up. If you push the Play button on either the remote or the unit from the main menu, guess what? Your disk doesn't play. You need to push Select. Select is the new Play. The startup time for my unit is about two minutes and ejecting a disk takes twenty seconds. This thing locks up on so many BluRay titles, and you have to wait minutes for the BD menu to load. It jams up so often on Fast Forward and Rewind. What a loser product from a usability standpoint. I just want a box that I can start up, push play, and start the movie from the point at which I left off.

On the other hand, the Sony PS3 is an overpowered computer in a game box. It triples as a photo viewer and media file player. You can put your BluRay or DVD image on a flash card, stick it in the USB slot and play. It will save you time and money on burned test BD-Rs. I'll be getting a PS3 very soon for this purpose.

There is another thread about using the $100 (watch for sale) Western Digital Media Player and USB Flash Key for HD distribution with higher bitrate MP4s. You need an HDMI cable, although the composite outputs will also work. I have this box, and it's small and fast. Skipping the BluRay step will save you a lot of time and money.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 07:57 PM   #14
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I'm at the SonyStyle store right now and they have the S350 for $200 but they said i'll go back up to $300 tomorrow.
I bought this unit on Black Friday for $199, and returned it the same day. The unit would play for a few minutes, then go through intermittent episodes of stuttering. Not recommended.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 08:07 PM   #15
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I bought this unit on Black Friday for $199, and returned it the same day. The unit would play for a few minutes, then go through intermittent episodes of stuttering. Not recommended.
My Sony BluRay player is very sensitive to smudges on the BluRay disc, more so than regular DVD players. A thorough cleanse of the disc usually restores normal operation. I know you understand this, but I just wanted to point out that light smudges considered passable on DVDs are less so on BluRay.
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