Market Scan - It has been about four months since Toshiba decided to shut down its HD DVD format and so far, consumers have seen Blu-ray player prices on the rise. However, June is the very first month in which we observed a decrease in average retail prices of Blu-ray player prices. As stores are clearing out their inventory for BonusView and BD-Live players, this may be the very first time we could describe Blu-ray as becoming affordable.
Amazon.com made headlines earlier today with a $300 Blu-ray player. The Samsung BD-P1400 is offered by the online store for $298, which represents a $101 discount over the suggested retail price of $399 and another $100 discount of the $499 price tag when the player entered U.S. retail in September of last year. According to Pricegrabber.com, the BD-P1400 is currently selling for an average retail price of about $335, with at least one store offering the player for less than $280.
A closer look at price trends of other Blu-ray players (without BonusView and BD-Live features), reveals that the BD-P1400 is not a fluke. Over the 20 days, most mainstream Blu-ray players have come down in average retail prices and left the $400 territory, which was pretty much the target area since the departure of HD DVD. We have compiled the price trends of four mainstream Blu-ray players below. At least according to current retail pricing, the Samsung player may be the best deal out there right now. If you are shopping for a Blu-ray player and watch how much you spend, then keep your eyes on this one, while we do expect especially Sony’s and Sharp’s players to come down sharply as well.
According to average retail prices provided by Pricegrabber.com, Blu-ray players saw a sharp climb in prices when Toshiba pulled out of the market in mid-February. Prices somewhat stabilized and appear to finally come under pressure and begin playing with the $350 mark.
As a side note and just in case you are stuck with HD DVD movies, there is good news for LG’s BH200 combo Blu-ray/HD DVD player as well. Average retail prices for the device have come down dramatically and currently hover around the $450 mark, down from $1000 last December. According to Pricegrabber, there is still plenty of supply in the market left.