When will the price of Blu-Ray hardware start to drop?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Ronald Epstein, Jul 2, 2006.

  1. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Quick little sidebar that you will either find funny or scary:

    While shopping at a major retailer (I won't name, but it's well known) tonight I wondered over to where the HD-DVD display was set up and asked if they had a Blu-Ray set up. The salesman said no, he wasn't sure if players would be available for purchase because the technology hadn't been approved by THX yet.

    You can't make this stuff up.
     
  2. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    I decided to take a look at the BD players now that they have hit the Canadian market at my local FS. They had it hooked upto a Samsung 32" 51D series LCD via component, running the demo disk. Now I have the 40" version off the LCD so I know how the set. Right off the bat I knew something was wrong, so I played around in the BD players menu only to notice they had it set at 720p. Changed it too 1080i and watched the demo disk again. Sorry too say it still didn't look HD too me. Very soft PQ. So I set the player back to 720p and left the store.
     
  3. TicoTVA

    TicoTVA Stunt Coordinator

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    We have ours in the store in Los Angeles. But no media yet !? go figure
    But we expecting great results!

     
  4. jim.vaccaro

    jim.vaccaro Second Unit

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    I'll buy when prices for decent players hit $300-$350. Actually, I'd probably buy the HD-A1 today at the $480 pricetag if it wasn't a hackjob of cobbled-together PC parts. Something about that just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    Edit: and frankly, there's only about 2 or 3 titles out in HD that are worth (re)buying.....
     
  5. PeterTHX

    PeterTHX Cinematographer

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    BD is more of a revolution (a whole new disc form factor) than an evolution like HD DVD..which is based off DVD itself. R&D and startup costs are naturally higher for such a thing.

    $1k players, not much software...and the software there was wasn't much better than another format and had artifacts, months before a dual layer disc arrived...sound familiar?

    Yet now DVD is the king of the hill and is everywhere.

    Those who are declaring the format war over in favor of HD DVD aren't looking farther down the line...say 6 months. Ever read "The Hare and The Tortise"?
     
  6. Pete T C

    Pete T C Second Unit

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    The main difference is the average joe actually gave a crap about DVD. DVD was to VHS what CDs were to casettes. That will not be the case this time as average joe likely thinks DVD is "good enough" especially when you need an expensive HDTV to see a difference at all

    No, unlike DVD the hidef disc wars will be decided by the home theater enthusiasts. And right now it seems the majority are backing HD-DVD. Could Blu-Ray catch up? Sure. But then what? "Wow, Blu-Ray looks as good as HD-DVD... For only double the price." And by the time Blu-Ray does catch up, could HD-DVD have other tricks up its sleeve? While it is wise to wait if you want to definitely buy the format that wins, I think the adoption of SD-DVD is a poor choice of an analogy to make here.

    It is going to be hard to win the format war when the core audience is the enthusiast market and the benchmark reference has become the competitior's format.
     
  7. PeterTHX

    PeterTHX Cinematographer

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    (edited out needless reply)

    it will be interesting to see how the PS3 acts as a standalone Blu-ray player anyways.
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Please, spare us the tit for tat argument as we've been down that road enough already. This thread is asking the question of when the cost of Blu-ray hardware is going to come down, not which format is going to win this format war. There are other threads you can utilized to revisit that old argument.




    Crawdaddy
     
  9. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    If sales of the Samsung player are weak at the $1000 level then the BD camp will have to start rethinking its pricing strategy. They will have to drop the price on their hardware a lot sooner than they were anticipating, even if it means subsidizing the players. They had better get price competitive fast, because the high price tag is a big reason why a lot of people are considering going the HD DVD route. The weak PQ reviews on the initial BD releases isn't helping much either, especially considering the asking price for the players.
     
  10. Pete T C

    Pete T C Second Unit

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    I agree. I think it is a mistake for Blu-Ray going into the XMAS season without a $500 standalone. I mean a real standalone, not the PS3 (or 360 with the HD addon).
     
  11. Austan

    Austan Second Unit

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    I really dont know what all the argument is about. It was well known from the beginning that Blu-Ray was working from behind and HD-DVD was building from SD DVD technology. The fact that Blu-Ray launched approx 2 months after HD-DVD is a testament to the manufactures that are backing the BD technology.

    Is Blu-Ray ready for prime time? not with single layer movies
    When will it be ready for prime time? another 6-8 months when it was suppose to be ready.
    Why did they launch early? to put pressure in HD-DVD and take away some thunder.

    Now the question of the day:
    When will the price of Blu-Ray hardware start to drop? IMHO 8-12 months
     
  12. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    Its just not going to happen, which is bad for Blu-Ray and good for HD-DVD
     
  13. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    If Samsung start subsidizing their player sooner rather than later, what's that going to do to players coming out from Panasonic and Pioneer. Do you really think they want to take heavy loses right off the bat?
     
  14. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Screenwriter

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    Back to the "pricing" of these players, something that this thread is supposed to be about...

    ...my question is, how long do you think Toshiba can subsidize the pricing of their players? Could the limited number of units available from Toshiba be because Toshiba can't handle selling any more units under cost at the moment? I forsee these players becoming discontinued very soon (with all back orders not fufilled) and a new model introduced with cheaper parts so their losses aren't as large.

    The problem with Toshiba and subsidized pricing is that consumers won't expect these players to go up in price. Any player Toshiba releases in the future will be expected to be at the $500-$600 price or lower. Given their current losses, they can't let the price go down any further.

    This also creates another problem: what other manufacturer will be insane enough to make an HD-DVD deck and compete with Toshiba's price point? Manufacturers are in this to make money, not lose it, so it seems Toshiba is going to really be the only one making HD-DVD players in the long while while the rest make Blu-Ray players at profit. Can you blame them for wanting to make a buck? Would you as a company go through so much work and not make a dollar off it or lose money? I find it strange that people find it so appalling that Blu-Ray manufacturers want to make money. Helloooo...they need to to survive as a company! I don't think $1000 for a brand new player is gauging. Think of everything you have to pay for for Blu-Ray: from parts, to man hours, to assembly line and maintenence costs, advertising costs, marketers, sales reps, etc etc...all employed by the company...people like you and me that need to be paid for a living. I wouldn't want to be working for a company that I knew was losing money...

    The Toshiba SD-3006, that I own, one of the very first DVD players to hit the market, was about CDN$1000.

    Some of the best SD-DVD players on the market today are still over $1000 (eg. the Denon DVD-3910). No one complains about this. People save their money just to get a hold of a player of this calibre. So why all the fuss over a $1000-$1200 Blu-Ray player? I see 100% logical pricing and I expect $$$ to be made off me. It's business. ...I just don't get you guys. These players shouldn't have street price at $500 and under. You are just too used to DVD players being priced that low.

    Mike
     
  15. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    Simple: People can legitimately ask "why should I shell out 1000 to 1300 bucks for a BD player when the HDDVD player sells for only 500, and most everyone agrees that HDVD titles look BETTER than BD titles right now, with MORE capacity?" If you're being asked to spend 2-2 1/2 times as much, you expect something BETTER. Instead, you're getting something WORSE. It isn't the buyer's responsibility to worry about the manufacturer's costs, or what calculations he made about his business risks and potential benefits that led him to his pricing decisions. All people need ask is "what's the better buy?". Right now, it's HDDVD. Could that change? Sure, but people are perfectly justified in saying to the BD people "hey! You'd better work your ASSES off to make BD better and more valuable, because what you've shown us so far isn't!".
     
  16. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    There is no mystery here.

    No one complains about $1000 DVD players because myriad alternatives--many of them less than $100--are available for anyone who doesn't believe that a DVD player is worth $1000.

    There is, on the other hand, a fuss over the $1000 Blu-ray player is because there is no cheaper alternative.
     
  17. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    Why are you so sure that Toshiba is losing so much money on these players? The entire HD DVD architecture is more similar to DVD than Blu-ray, so I would expect HD DVD players to be a lot cheaper than Blu-ray at this time. The HD-A1 is basically a PC. If Toshiba can make $500 computers and make profits, why can't they from this HD player? There was a recent article that stated Toshiba is losing a lot of money on these; however, I believe the article incorrectly assumed Toshiba was paying a higher price for the parts (something like you or I would pay); Toshiba is most certainly buying the internal parts dirt cheap....cheaper than what the article stated. Some people at AVS work within the PC parts industry posted some very good analyses on costs of internal components and I don't believe Toshiba is losing money on this player. I think What Toshiba did was underestimate demand and the particular Intel chip they were using getting discontinued didn't help matters with supply.

    I agree the second generation Toshiba models will be even cheaper to make (and of lesser build quality) as they will be built in China and of much higher supplies. There will be other manufacturers jumping in around this time (LG).
     
  18. Terry-A

    Terry-A Agent

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    i cant wait till the pioneer elite blu ray comes out so i can spend 1800 on it...WAIT....its only gonna be 1500 dollars.....see i just saved 300 dollars.....hahahaaaaaaa price drop already....
     
  19. Aaron Cooke

    Aaron Cooke Second Unit

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    I realize the developers have a ton of money invested in this technology but I think you also have to look at the very real possibility that both formats will either die or become niche (laserdisc type) markets without the mass market pricing structures that followed DVD's very successful launch. ie. high priced players for the forseeable future.

    Whether you like the idea of a game system as Blu-Ray player or not, as far as I see it that's about the only hope of getting HD formats accepted by the public in the near future. And if you follow current opinion of the PS3 in general and Sony very specifically in gaming circles you'd see that Blu-ray is in big big trouble.
     
  20. Rob_Walton

    Rob_Walton Second Unit

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    The company (isupply) who carried out the BOM on the HD-A1 have been costing products for a while now, so it's highly unlikely they used consumer prices as the basis of their cost estimate. Other than the HD DVD drive is anything in the box exclusive to Toshiba, such that it's cost wouldn't be known by a wide variety of companies? BTW this player is not just a low end computer like those $500 computers you mention it's also a highend DVD player with various other assorted goodies, and the components are rarer and hence more expensive. It is also the case that BD and HD DVD carry far more similarities in terms of hardware than do HD DVD and DVD. DVD discs might be comparable to HD DVD discs in terms of manufacture and basic structure, but the hardware to read them is very different.

    It's only after Toshiba can produce an SoC design player and have it in production for a while before they can reasonably expect to see savings in the manufacturing process. The savings have to be "paid for" through experience, and as yet there is no experience being garnered. Those 2nd gen units really can't come fast enough for Toshiba and HD DVD!

    Of course it's wrong to imagine Toshiba failed to produce enough players after underestimating demand for their player, since from the off they've been confidently predicting 500,000+ sales this year. The most likely explanation is that this is just a stop-gap player until the real deal comes later this year or early next. Tosh probably didn't expect BD to launch this early in their own cycle, and thought they had time to seed the market with a small number of A1s until they'd completed work on the genuine players.
     

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