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


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#21 of 84 OFFLINE   Ron-P

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Posted July 02 2006 - 06:52 PM

http://www.projector...itialreport.htm

Quote:
Initial Notes on Samsung's Blu-ray DVD Player
Evan Powell, June 23, 2006
ProjectorCentral.com

Sunday, June 25 is the official release date in the United States of the first Blu-ray DVD player to come to market, the Samsung BD-P1000. We intend to perform a comparative test with several projectors and Blu-ray discs over the coming weeks, and assess how this initial Blu-ray release stacks up against the HD-DVD offering. However, if you are thinking of purchasing the Samsung player on release, we can offer some preliminary observations. We have evaluated the BD-P1000 with three discs thus far, playing them on the Canon SX60 and the Optoma HD7100.


1. The House of Flying Daggers. This visually stunning film has suffered a poor transfer to Blu-ray HD format. The image is soft to the point of distraction, and borders on unwatchable when projected to 100" diagonal. However, it is blurry even when displayed on a 40" monitor.

2. The Fifth Element. The Blu-ray edition of this film is much sharper than The House of Flying Daggers, and is pleasant to watch. However, it is not a huge improvement over the already fine transfer of the Superbit standard definition DVD. On the HD7100, the BD version shows a subtle improvement in detail, but most wouldn't notice the difference except in a side by side comparison. On the Canon SX60, the advantage of the BD edition over the Superbit DVD is a bit more pronounced, but still not a revolutionary step forward.

3. Terminator. This disc is also decidedly sharper than The House of Flying Daggers. However it manifests some wide variance in quality from scene to scene. On occasion there are hints of it being more than a standard definition source, but in many scenes there is no discernable difference between this "high-definition" edition, and the video quality we see on many of the better standard definition DVD transfers.

Overall, our initial experience with the Samsung Blu-ray player and the initial Blu-ray discs leaves us underwhelmed. The image quality does not measure up to what we would expect from a high definition source, and it certainly falls short of the hype. Though there is an obvious difference in quality between the three Blu-ray discs we have on hand, even the best of them falls short of the video quality of our HD-DVDs. Some of this is attributable to the fact that these initial Blu-ray discs are encoded in MPEG2, whereas the HD-DVDs are in VC1. Nevertheless, given the high resolution format, we should simply be getting better pictures on screen than those we are seeing.

We cannot yet determine to what degree the limitations may be in the Blu-ray discs versus the player itself. In point of fact, the Samsung BD-P1000 player may turn out to be terrific with higher quality media. We will continue to evaluate this player and more BD releases in the days to come. Those thinking of stepping into the world of high definition DVD may wish to wait until more is known, and more Blu-ray players and higher quality Blu-ray discs have come onto the market.

I don't doubt you (much) from what you are seeing Robert but from what I am reading it sure is going against the majority. This guys reviews are usually pretty good and this one tends to agree with the majority as well.

You're one of the first people that have stated that these two, HD-DVD and BLu-ray, are producing similar results.
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#22 of 84 OFFLINE   Ron-P

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Posted July 02 2006 - 06:54 PM

Quote:
I don't know how to say this without it being view as scornful towards you, but I despise such action as buying/using and then returning merchandise you have no intention of keeping before you bought it. It's a practice by some consumers that I have an ethical problem with and it causes retailers to enforce return merchandise guidelines that affects us all including those with legitimate problems with products that they're trying to return.
There is no other way to find out. If BB would give me a proper demo then I would not have to, but they won't, I asked when I was in last week. How else will I be able to judge for myself? I'm open to suggestions.
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#23 of 84 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted July 02 2006 - 07:00 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron-P
http://www.projector...itialreport.htm



I don't doubt you (much) from what you are seeing Robert but from what I am reading it sure is going against the majority. This guys reviews are usually pretty good and this one tends to agree with the majority as well.

You're one of the first people that have stated that these two, HD-DVD and BLu-ray, are producing similar results.
I think we, especially me have sidetracked this thread enough. So I'm going to close out this sidebar discussion by saying I know what I'm seeing and if other people disagree with my opinion then that's fine with me.





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#24 of 84 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted July 02 2006 - 08:08 PM

Perhaps I am being too naive here....

...but it would make sense to me that Sony and Samsung are
going to see the sales numbers on the Toshiba/RCA units and
compare it to their own units that aren't moving at all, then opt to
reduce the price on these players.

I can't touch these players for more than $700-$800, and that
still is overpriced when there are two formats to consider here.

You know, most of us can no doubt afford this player. The
ultimate problem is the ethical part of the purchase. When
Toshiba has a $500 unit and Sony has a $1K unit, there is
something very wrong here. Obviously Toshiba way underpriced
their gear to sell, and Sony gouged their price to take advantage
of the early adopter.

It's gonna be tough on all of us once, in a few months, studios
like Fox, Disney and Sony start releasing new titles day and date.

 

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#25 of 84 OFFLINE   Stan Rozenfeld

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Posted July 02 2006 - 08:37 PM

There is also the possibility that some of the blu-ray exclusive studios will come over to hd dvd site. I know if Lionsgate, Disney, and Fox went neutral, I could live without Sony for a while.

I think the only way to get the studios to do that sooner rather than later is to send them a message, rather than playing their tune. Right now I own Toshiba and couldn't be happier, so currently I am firmly in hd dvd camp. When/if blu-ray price/performance ratio comes down, I will get that too, but not before.

#26 of 84 OFFLINE   Terry-A

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Posted July 02 2006 - 08:44 PM

I''m not waiting for anything,
i bought the HDXA1 when it first came out and i bought the blu ray the first day it came out...i also buy all the movies in HDDVD and Blu Ray the first day there out...i seen all the movies on both formats and i think they both compare quite equally in picture performance...as for the sound there both the same in the HDMI connection....so for all you people who want to wait and sit back and watch regular dvd's thats your buisness....ya all probably still got a B&W 6 inch tv...you know the tube type.....as for me I LOVE technology at its best and both Blu Ray and HDDVD deliver......

#27 of 84 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted July 02 2006 - 10:44 PM

Quote:
When Toshiba has a $500 unit and Sony has a $1K unit, there is
something very wrong here. Obviously Toshiba way underpriced
their gear to sell, and Sony gouged their price to take advantage
of the early adopter.

The BD camp seems to be following a pricing pattern which is similar to the pricing of DVD when it was first introduced. They have also started with single layer discs which again is similar to DVD when it was introduced. It does not strike me that SONY is "gouging" on price. All of the first gen players from the various BD manufacturers are in a pricing range from 1 to 2K. That range is also very similar to DVD during its introduction. IMO, The BD camp set their price at a level which was intended to ensure cost recovery of some their development costs, plus make a profit. The pricing model is the same one which has been used for the introduction of numerous new formats or even for new features within an existing format. Their price structure seems like "gouging" because Toshiba has chosen to underprice their machines.

Toshiba appears to have decided to pursue a "dumping" strategy. I do not believe for one minute that Toshiba is making a profit on their machines, especially if the comments on build quality (quality and quantity of DACs and DSPs) are accurate. I think (since I cannot definitively prove it) that Toshiba is dumping their machines on the market for a price which is below the cost of production. Toshiba seems to be willing to absorb some initial losses in order to gain market share by positioning themselves as the "affordable" format. If HD DVD became the winning format then I would expect to see the initial pricing of later generations of machines return to a more traditional level, as Toshiba would start trying to recover some of their costs.

Maybe the BD camp should reduce their prices and start subsidizing their machines just like Toshiba. Maybe they would drive HD DVD right off the market because four or five companies could temporarily absorb the losses for a longer period of time than the the main players on the HD DVD side. OTOH, that strategy may not work because Toshiba has the master of subsidization on their side.
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#28 of 84 OFFLINE   Steve Tannehill

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Posted July 02 2006 - 11:47 PM

Actually, DVD players started at $500 on day one, not $1K to $2K.

I consider $1K to $2K lunatic fringe. Apparently, Pioneer did too when they reduced the price of their unit from $1800 to $1500 (although I still think that is an insane price--I am not going to pay $500 more for a networked player, I don't care if it is "Elite").

The players will generally be available for 10-15 percent discounts if you shop around, or wait until a coupon sale from places like Best Buy. If you can get a discount and swing out-of-state mail order, you can also save sales tax. That is my strategy.

As for price drops, each new model introduced will be a little cheaper, but if they take the Sony strategy, the best build quality will be the first unit released.

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#29 of 84 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted July 03 2006 - 12:33 AM

Steve,

Just for clarification....

What player at day one was $500?

The very first DVD player was the Sony 7000 and that was $1k.

 

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#30 of 84 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott

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Posted July 03 2006 - 01:03 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald Epstein
It's gonna be tough on all of us once, in a few months, studios
like Fox, Disney and Sony start releasing new titles day and date.

I wouldn't start packing the family photo albums into the canoe just yet. There isn't likely to be a flood of must have content any time soon. Especially on the Bd side as I expect the available replication lines to be somewhat congested, having to not only do double duty between movies and games, but also having to fill orders from twice as many companies as the other format.

More studio support is generally a very enviable thing, however there is no free lunch- there is a trade off that goes with it.
Thats probably why Fox has announced plans for a whopping two dozen titles in all of 2006.

#31 of 84 OFFLINE   StephenP

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Posted July 03 2006 - 01:14 AM

I'm in your boat Ron E.
I won't pay 1000 or even 800 for a player from any side, but the Toshiba is really tempting me right now. One or two more big titles and I will be an HD DVD supporter.

#32 of 84 OFFLINE   Steve Blair

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Posted July 03 2006 - 01:33 AM

The 1st day of the dvd launch I bought the Toshiba SD2006 which was around $500.00 I believe. The SD3006 was also available that day for around $600.00-$650.00 and added componet video outputs. I don't remember seeing the Sony til' a while later unless I totally ignored it based on the price Posted Image

#33 of 84 OFFLINE   Ron-P

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Posted July 03 2006 - 03:11 AM

I'm looking forward to seeing Sony's machine. If it's as well built as their 7000 it will be quite nice, $1k nice, most likely not but a year or two later it will drop in price or used machines will come available and if it's as good as Toshiba's A1 I'll pick one up.

But I don't see myself getting into BD for at least a year, or longer.

I did read, but cannot find the post, thread, or even remember where I read it but Toshiba's send gen players will be no where near the build quality of their A1. Anyone else read anything like that?
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#34 of 84 OFFLINE   Steve Berger

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Posted July 03 2006 - 04:31 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron-P
I'm looking forward to seeing Sony's machine. If it's as well built as their 7000 it will be quite nice
The 7000 had a lot of bugs and required several firmware changes (physical IC replacement) before it would play dual layer disks correctly and many still would not. It had soldering problems on the decoder board which caused intermittent failures. It had a terrific power supply design and a lot of metal shielding. That's what took up all the space inside. Once you connected it to a receiver with decoding, all that was superfluous.

Second generation machines tend to have the bugs worked out while maintaining decent build quality. If past history is a clue, the build qualty will drop one generation before a price drop is seen.

Prices will drop when there is competition in the market place. I, personally, would never buy anything but disposable products from the current suppliers, given their manufacturing history and reputations.

Quote:
I did read, but cannot find the post, thread, or even remember where I read it but Toshiba's send gen players will be no where near the build quality of their A1. Anyone else read anything like that?
Perhaps a few lines down the page. This one? http://www.hometheat....d.php?t=237338

#35 of 84 OFFLINE   Ron-P

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Posted July 03 2006 - 04:46 AM

I didn't know that the 7000 had that many issues. I never owed one myself just read a lot of good things about it.

Quote:
Perhaps a few lines down the page. This one?
It wasn't on this or anyother HT forum, it was a stand alone article I accidently pulled up one day during a search.
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#36 of 84 OFFLINE   Steve Tannehill

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Posted July 03 2006 - 08:05 AM

The Toshiba 2006 was $500. I got mine from Best Buy in the first couple of weeks of the DVD rollout, April 1997, after ditching the Pioneer combo LD/DVD player that had DVD subtitling glitches on all Warner titles (which was pretty much all of them).

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#37 of 84 OFFLINE   RickER

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Posted July 03 2006 - 09:23 AM

My first DVD player was a Sony. I bought it in 97 for $500. I forget the model number. It was not the 7000. I have a friend who bought the 7000 when it came out. He loved it. A year after i bought my Sony player i wanted DTS, and component hook up, so i bought the Sony 7700. The only issue i ever had with it was a color shift i found out was a loose component cable. A great player that is still my main DVD player.

I wont get into HD until i can buy a player as rock solid as my Sony.

#38 of 84 OFFLINE   Brad HP

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Posted July 03 2006 - 10:11 AM

I bought my Samsung for $775 and I am on the fence about returning it. This price required me to buy 4 BD movies. I have watched 3 movies on it to date (T1, T2 and 50 first dates) and while the picture can be very nice it is just not consistently as sharp, clear and artifact free as I would expect from HD. Close ups are best but medium and long shots can be a crap shoot. I am going to watch Ultraviolet and Hitch tonight/tomorrow.

I don't know how much of the shortfall in perceived value is due to Samsung, the initial releases, the codecs or the single layer, but something here doesn't add up to the selling price. Especially with the awful list of discs lined up over the next few months (Benchwarmers, Basic Instinct 2, Into the Blue, Stealth, Silent Hill, RV, etc...). If I am not wowed by something (anything) in the next few weeks I will take the Samsung back and wait until the next players arrive. Maybe by then they will take some of the criticism seriously and change the codecs or master the dual layer process.

I also have a Toshiba A1 that I am very pleased with. To date I have 26 HD DVD's with about another 12 on order. I will support whichever (possibly both) formats so long as they deliver the quality that I expect. To date HD and Warner/Universal have set the bar. My mind is still open to BD (at least for a few more weeks).

#39 of 84 OFFLINE   Paul Borges

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Posted July 03 2006 - 10:22 AM

I'm not sure if you can blame the player. It seems the main issues (MPEG2 CODEC, single layer disc) are related to the discs. And maybe the movies weren't mastered as well as the ones done by Universal and Warner. And the bugs with the player will probably be updated by firmware updates.

Blame the message not the messager?

#40 of 84 OFFLINE   Steve Schaffer

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Posted July 03 2006 - 02:08 PM

I've seen the BD demo on the 46" Samsung lcd set and it did look pretty nasty--almost certainly because the set was in max-sharpness/max torchmode.--this was Best Buy after all, and my local BB did not set the Tosh demo player to 1080i until I talked them into it 3 weeks after setting up the demo.

I think the BD player prices will drop to 500ish by this time next year, actually. It should be quicker than dvd because consumers now expect quicker price drops and because the price gap between BluRay and HD-DVD is way too wide right now.

There has been some widespread initial disappointment with BD pq. According to the polls over at AVS the BD players are being returned at a much higher rate than HD-DVD models. I strongly believe this is solely due to software issues involving the use of mpeg-2 instead of the more advanced codec used by all of the current HD-DVD releases and the holdup of 50gb discs. People expect a $1000 player to deliver a better picture than a $500 one, not necessarily twice as good but noticeably better. So far they aren't getting it and are not patient enough to wait. The players are being let down by the discs.

Fortunately the initial glitches with HD-DVD were player related and very quickly addressed by Toshiba, the software apart from a very few early Warner releases with low soundtracks, has been well done from the start.
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