Blu-ray player prices set to tumble before Christmas
Blu-ray players are likely to be within the budget of most consumers by Christmas – according to the latest research.
The need for healthy Christmas sales in a bear market, competitive pressure from movie download services, and media speculation about the future success of the Blu-ray format itself has resulted in falling Blu-ray player prices across a range of current and older models.
According to forecasts produced by ABI research, Tier 2 players and older models (six to nine months) are now widely available for under $200 in the US market. Amazon is offering a Samsung model bundled with four discs for that price. Holiday season prices may be in the $150-200 range. All of this runs counter to many of the industry’s original market forecasts and expectations.
“Blu-ray vendors and dealers are starting to realise that, for Blu-ray to become the next DVD, they need to lower player prices in order to generate interest and build volumes,” said ABI Research principal analyst Steve Wilson.
“They are also getting more competition than they expected from download alternatives such as Xbox 360 and the Roku Netflix player, TiVo and Amazon. However, downloads provide an opportunity as well as a threat: both LG and Samsung have concluded agreements with Netflix that allow some of their players to download movies and TV shows straight from Netflix. The more the Blu-ray players adopt these download capabilities, the better they will be able to differentiate themselves from standard DVD players.”