BluRay's Biggest Issue (imho): High Movie Prices

Lee Scoggins

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I have a couple of thoughts on BluRay adoption in terms of hardware and software...

1. I think $25-$40 per movie is waaaay too high for BluRay to go wide. I assume that increasing volumes will drive down costs but outside of some terrific Amazon and Fry's sales prices remain ridiculously high. I don't mind giving some profits to them as an early adopter but now with the format war over.

2. The real enemy eventually is downloadable movies. Lowering prices and really encouraging people to get on the bandwagon early is the only winning strategy. iTunes movies may prove a very difficult competitor. Remember what people said to disparage Apple when it was just music? I think they might be able to do it again. OTOH, many of us like to own a physical asset (a disc!) with no rights issues...

I think this video format adoption will be better than the hirez formats since everyone can own and many do an hidef TV set. Also, the quality improvement is very dramatic.
 

John Garcia

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Yes, but the deals have been rather frequent and have allowed me to average a much lower per disc price than HD DVDs. The reality is, I don't see too much of a difference in price between the two in store for new release movies, with some of the HD DVD releases actually being higher. For all the comments they've made about HD DVD being easier and less costly to produce, that hasn't seemed to translate into significantly lower prices for the consumer...

Reliable, fast downloads are at least 5 or more years away IMHO, though I do think that is the eventual way of the future. There are still significant roadblocks to this, not the least of which is the consumer who will generally want something in their hand for that hard earned cash. Unless downloads are also significantly less expensive, they won't catch on either.
 

Kevin C Brown

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I have plenty of BD's where I've paid less than $15, which has always been my limit for new DVD releases.

I see 2 competitors to BD (and neither one is HD DVD
):

a) "HD" downloads. HD Lite, IOW. Called HD, but it's downres'ed. Not 5 years away. In some cases, it's already here.

b) DVD. For right or wrong, I just don't think the average person is going to be willing to pay what it really takes to take advantage of BD's better audio and video. Some of that goes back to cost, but a lot of it is the receiver (pre/pro), the player, dealing with firmware upgrade hassles, HDMI handshake issues, DTS-HD MA, etc.
 

Derek_J

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How many people can take advantage of that at present? I've got broadband, but downloads of that size bring back memories of large downloads via 14400 modem.
 

Kevin C Brown

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I have never bought a BD disc for more than $15 (well, only the 5 disc Blade Runner
). There are plenty of BOGO (buy one get one) free sales. It seems like Frys, BB, or Amazon have these every other week. In fact:

New Amazon Sale on Warner Blu-ray, HD DVD Titles | High-Def Digest

Players: I got my Sharp for $300 ... almost 2 months ago. The sales are out there if you look for them.

I say, cost in general is an excuse, not a reason. BD is *still* a new format. The costs *will* be higher early on simply because the studios and hardware manufacturers have to recoup development costs. But if you'vre been watching, the costs have been dropping as well.

I saw some new this week release where Frys had the DVD for $16, and the BD disc for $20. That's rare, but it's another positive sign. The difference between DVD and BD is decreasing over time as well.
 

Clinton McClure

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I agree the prices are too high for most consumers (especially since the country is staring down the barrel of a possible recession). I already own a HD-DVD player and about 30 titles, but I am apprehensive about sinking any money into a BluRay player until they get their stuff together. However, if higher prices on hardware and software cause BD and HD-DVD to creep into the niche market in which LD flourished, this could be a good thing. There will be less chance of HD being dumbed down for J6P.
 

Ron-P

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How long did it take SD-DVD to drop to the $15 price range?

I don't think $399 (PS3) is too much at all, in fact I bet you can still find SD-DVD players for more.
 

RickER

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Hell, i cant find many DVDs i would want until March, much less Blu-ray. Most of what i have on my Amazon wish list is TV shows. And i only have 6 or 7 items at that...for the next 3 months!
 

PaulDA

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I think we're a bit spoiled about prices (myself included). I have two SD DVD players in my HT. One cost me 800$ (I use it only for hi-res audio) and the other 450$. And this was in 2003--not the pricey 1st generation models. Prior to that, I had another player, bought in 2001, that cost me 700$ (it was subsequently stolen and replaced, inadequately features-wise, by my insurance company so I gave it to my brother in law). If we factor in inflation, in today's dollars you need to add 10%.

My HD DVD player, on the other hand, cost me 170$. If I factor in some 2 for 1 sales, Christmas gifts and the five freebies, my average disc cost (of about 30) has been about 15$. Even in 2003, a 15$ SD DVD was the exception, not the rule.

I'm all for lower prices but I also think we have to have realistic expectations. And, frankly, I think the downward price pressure will decrease, not increase, with the "end of the format war" (I'm not convinced it will end as quickly as some think--inertia is a powerful force).
 

Lee Scoggins

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"I'm all for lower prices but I also think we have to have realistic expectations. "

Don't misunderstand me Paul. I am happy to buy select movies at higher dollars but I do believe for a new physical based format to be adopted more widely we need to see prices at $20 or less.

If prices remain high then I think we will see it stay a niche audience or early adopters like many of us here on HTF.
 

Caleb Penner

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I don't think that's a fair comparison. In the early days of DVD, VHS was not available as a new release sale but went for rental first. Consumers were not used to being able to own a movie when it came out to the home market.

So a $25+ DVD had a different value back then, because it was the only way to own a new movie at the time.
 

PaulDA

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I'm a veteran of the hi-res audio "war" (now truce as I have a universal player) and I know that price can inhibit adoption. My concern about expectations of "cheap" HDM is that studios will cut corners--few high quality extras, less careful transfers (this could be especially counterproductive)--in an effort to meet such price points. I think price will come down as a function of volume and I think for that to happen, price reductions have to come from the player side as well. But, frankly, I've given up trying to guess who will be the "winner". I have two MiniDisc players, two DVD-A players (one of them also plays SACD), an HD DVD player, a Mac laptop, a PC laptop, SD TVs, an HD front PJ, a cassette deck, an S-VHS deck, etc. If I can afford it and it gives me what I want, I buy it. But then again, I don't mind the clutter in my HT room (can't see it with the lights out anyway)--that's not the case for everyone. But I'll happily pick up a Blu-ray player (at this point, it seems likely to be a PS3) sometime in the next few months to add to the collection. I'm even looking to add a turntable and haul out my old vinyl. Guess all I need is a reel to reel and a laserdisc player to complete the setup (I'll skip the DCC, at least).
 

Lee Scoggins

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"My concern about expectations of "cheap" HDM is that studios will cut corners--few high quality extras, less careful transfers (this could be especially counterproductive)--in an effort to meet such price points."

Maybe but then again perhaps they offer up new features to entice people away from DVD.
 

bigluigi

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Lee,
Educate me. Why would the studios try so hard to entice people away from DVD. For them (studios) isn't it just like taking money from their left pocket and putting it in their right pocket?
 

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