Blu-Ray prices sky rocket

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Consider this a lesson in why a monopoly is a bad thing. Now that everyone has finished cheering the Blu-Ray victory and the dust has settled the analysts have had some time to do some investigating.

At the peak of the HD-DVD and Blu-Ray battle the Sony BDP-S300 stand alone Blu-ray player was selling for $307… Now? Well now it is going for $403, that would be a $96 increase…

Sony isn’t the only one profiteering though,

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LG seems to be the only guys who are being semi-logical with the pricing. What is even worse though is that every single one of these players will be obsolete later this year as they cannot connect to the Internet and according to the upcoming Blu-Ray specs, they are going to have to.

So what does this all mean? Monopoly = BAD

If you really need a Blu-Ray player then get the PS3, however only the most optimistic fanboy can expect Blu-Ray to become mass market this year, why would you buy something that you know is going to be obsolete in less than a year?

My crystal ball is telling me that Blu-Ray is just another UMD, it just won’t get into the mass market.

Source: Tomshardware.com

Last Updated: March 14, 2008

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

  • Naudran

    Won’t be surprised if your UMD statement turns out correct. The only reason one would want Blu-Ray is for HD… that means you first need to buy a HD TV.

    So:
    HD TV = roughly R 13000-ish.
    Blu-Ray player = R 3500-ish

    I sorry, but I’m not prepared to pay round R 16500 just to get HD quality movies. That’s off course the best case scenario.

  • Fox1

    “My crystal ball is telling me that Blu-Ray is just another UMD, it just wonÒ€ℒt get into the mass market.”
    @Lazy- My crystal ball says the same- we must be using the same brand… lol πŸ˜‰

  • abe

    I dunno hey, HD tv’s are being snapped up like hot cakes!
    The next logical step in HD media, I think it will take a while for it to become really succesful but I definately dont see it being a failure like UMD!

  • Banana hammock

    It won’t be another UMD, but it will take another 2 years at least. Remember, UMD was Sony only and even then it was just for the PSP.

    Where BD is being pushed by over 100 companies. The prices are way too high at the moment, but these things always change. Clearly these guys were selling players at a loss to combat the HD-DVD prices, but now they can make something back. The prices will come down.

  • Fox1

    @Abe- R29999 for a Full HD Bravia! Thats insane… you can buy a decent car for that money!

    Sony has to hike the BD Players price in-order to full-fill the contract agreements of the high kick backs it promised to the major movie studios.

    Sony is really going a bit overboard with their pricing. I will reserve my other comments for another certain posting… πŸ˜‰

  • Fox1

    Well you never know where BD may go. Some other group of manufacturers may just com out with a simpler, cheaper and may not necessarily be better but a more convenient standard to oppose BD.

    We all know about Betamax vs. VHS, but what about Hi8 vs. DV, Memory Stick Pro vs. SD, DMPort vs. USB… just to name a few examples.

    Yes, so there is a chance that BD will become another UMD.

  • boredhousewife

    Its not just the TV that you need to drop the cash on you also need the high end sound system to appreciate the hi fidelity uncompressed audio.

    I made a side by side comparison on a mate’s system once watching Casino Royale and switching between DVD & BD playing simultaneously and though I readily acknowledge the superiority of Blu Ray – it was not to the extent that I wanted to rush out and spend 20k on upgrading my set up the next day.

    Another deterrent is the fact that I have in excess of 200 movies and TV boxsets in my DVD collection which has taken me years to accumulate , to now change to BD sounds like hard work to me.

  • NoMaD

    @Fox1: Where the heck do you buy your cars from?

  • Banana hammock

    You don’t have to replace your DVD’s, the PS3 can upscale them. As for the quality difference between DVD and BD, some movies are done better than others, Casino Royale is a bit better but not much.

    @Fox1, yip tech moves all the time and a new format might come out. But you can only deal with what you know is out now. And BD is pretty good (but not WOW right now). If i didn’t have a PS3 i would not buy a BD player. But because i have a PS3 i have bought a couple of BD titles.

  • Fox1

    So thats R14999 for a cheapy Full HD TV, R3499 for a home theater system that supports BD and *drum roll* R399 for an HDMI cable. Oh and add the price of a BD Player to that πŸ˜‰
    Maybe in two or three years time it will be more affordable.

    What will do a good job in the interim is a HDMI DVD Player. They are also cheap. I think it’s R599.It upscales the picture of your DVD’s for HD viewing if you have an HD TV but no BD Player. Does anybody here own a HDMI Player? Some feedback will be appreciated.

    By the way, The 360 also upscales DVD’s πŸ˜‰

  • Fox1

    @Banana hammock- DION has a decent range of BD titles.

  • kay

    @Fox1 – I doubt any sound system at R3499 will do justice to the lossless soundtracks available on BD. Off the top of my head, you’ll have to spend twice that just on an amp that is capable of decoding the audio stream. Call me a snob if you like but the audio side of things will cost as much as an HDTV to do properly πŸ˜‰

    I’ve compared the Samsung sub-R1k HDMI DVD player (forget its name) and the PS3 upscaling to my many-years-old Pioneer DVD-585A. The PS3 is the only one where you can actually notice the scaling – fewer jaggies and such. On newer DVD releases I don’t see a difference between the PS3 (running off HDMI) and my DVD player (running over component video). The Samsung player and the PS3 had better blacks, where the Pioneer had macroblocking in the dark areas. This is dependent on TV calibration and you shouldn’t typically see it unless you look for it. The Samsung player had some issues with panning, while the PS3 and Pioneer handled movement more smoothly.

    I haven’t compared Xbox 360 DVD playback yet – I find it too noisy for this job anyway.

    Some TVs have noticeably better performance if you run them over VGA compared to the component video input. This bypasses the internal scaler and lets the player do this job. I have heard about vast improvements in DVD playback using Xbox 360 over VGA. I suspect this just means that the internal TV scaler is not quite up to the task – could be a worthwhile upgrade if the Xbox noise doesn’t bother you.

    I should maybe do a proper review with some screenshots one of these days… Sounds like a nice weekend project.

    kay’s last blog post..No Blu-ray for the Xbox 360

  • abe

    Something that we all need to remember is that we are living in sa, im sure the tech is a fair distance further along in america, we sometimes forget that we are tech concious people, the normal public still needs to wise up to these products. while we think BD has already been around for ages in terms of the general market it is still extremly new!

  • Fox1

    @Kay- Thanks for the info. A review would really be awesome.

    This Home Theater here I was talking about from Sony with BD support:
    http://www.sony.co.za/product/ht-ddw885/sku/ht-ddw885%252F%252Fmsp1?site=hp_en_ZA_i

  • Banana hammock

    I think that unless you already have a HD player or are a HD nut then there is no reason to upgrade at all right now (including upscalers). Rather just wait until things get cheaper.

    But for us, we either have a 360 or a PS3 which basically means we also have HDTVs, so for it’s different.

    I think a big turning point for SA will be HD DSTV. That will get many people into the HD scene.

  • abe

    “I think a big turning point for SA will be HD DSTV. That will get many people into the HD scene.”

    This doesnt even have to be necessary.
    People have started buying HD sets without even knowing what HD is. Go to your local Makro and see all the LCD’s and Plasma’s lined up. People are aware that those are the next gen whether they know they are HD or not!
    They get the set as a size upgrade and then find out about HD and start getting the necessary inputs, ie Bluray etc.

  • kay

    @Fox1 – that receiver does not support high resolution audio. According to the specs on that page it only does Dolby Digital and DTS, both of which are compressed formats, and supposedly much inferior to DD+, DTS HD. It probably does linear PCM even though it doesn’t mention it but chances are that you won’t hear the difference with the supplied speakers anyway πŸ™

    kay’s last blog post..No Blu-ray for the Xbox 360

  • Fox1

    @Kay- Check the local 360 and PS3 community forums. Many people are choosing that as their sound setup. Uncompressed audio couldn’t fit on a Transformers BD so I doubt we will be seeing it on the current BD’s that are being used.

  • abe

    Um no, Uncompressed audio couldnt fit on an HD DVD, transformers isnt on BD yet!

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