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Blu-ray player prices up with end of format competition

In a true Economics 101 textbook illustration, Blu-ray Disc players from Samsung, Sony and Sharp are now the most expensive they have been all year, reports TG Daily, as HD DVD's exit from the high-def disc arena has removed pricing pressure.

In a move to expedite HD DVD's downfall, TG Daily notes that Blu-ray manufacturers and retailers aggressively cut prices earlier this year, to the point where it was possible to buy a standalone BD player for less than $300.

Now, however, according to's most recent information, the average price for Blu-ray hardware is around $400. Every stand-alone Blu-ray player in the chart below is now more expensive than it was at the beginning of the year. The only Blu-ray-capable player to drop in price was LG’s BH200, which also plays the now obsolete HD DVDs.

Among the other standalone players Sony’s BDP-S300 rose 31% ($307 to $403), Panasonic’s DMP-BD30K rose 20% ($401 to $480), Samsung’s BD-P1400 rose 18% ($318 to $374), and Sharp’s BD-HP20U rose 14% ($386 to $440).

“The only good news of any of this is that it makes it very easy for Blu-ray player shoppers to pick a player. At $399, there is simply no reason to buy anything other than a Sony PS3. It’s only $25 more than the least expensive standalone player,” says CNET industry analysts Josh Taylor. “It’s also the only player on the market that will be Blu-ray Profile 2.0 Ethernet-compatible.”

Indeed, Sony just announced that the next PlayStation3 firmware updated – v2.2 or BD-Live – will add the new interactive features to the console. PS3 owners should expect downloadable video content, ringtones, interactive movie-based games. The update will also allow users to copy photos and music playlists over USB from the PS3 to the handheld PSP.

Story filed 20.03.08

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