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Blu-ray player matches HD DVD pricetag

The Samsung BD-P1400 is the cheapest Blu-ray player to date. Following in the foot steps of Toshiba’s pricing strategy that sees HD DVD players hit new rock bottom prices with sudden, unannounced sales, Blu-ray hardware is at a never before seen level of affordability.

Retailers such as Amazon, Circuit City and Best Buy - as reported by High-Def Digest - are all listing the Samsung BD-P1400 at prices below $300 – between $270 and $299 – representing a $200 break from the original list price of $499.

As the Samsung player supports full 1080p, it is in the same price bracket as the 1080p HD DVD players that typically sell for $299, which means HD DVD no longer has its price advantage when it comes to 1080p-capable players. While HD DVD players are available for starting at the $199 mark, these players offer only the 1080p capability.

Besides the sale price temporarily bringing down the cost of Blu-ray Disc hardware for the holiday season, the Samsung BD-P1400 is also the first player to support DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, according to High-Def Digest.

Like Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio is a lossless compression scheme that is able to provide audio quality on par with PCM tracks, but at the expense of less storage. Players without DTS-HD Master Audio support are able to extract a lower-quality 1.5 Mbps core stream.

Despite the drop to $299, HD DVD still hangs on to its reputation for being the more affordable technology. Even with the prices back up from $99, the entry level Toshiba HD-A3 is still $100 less on Amazon than the Samsung BD-P1400, according to Daily Tech.

Story filed 17.12.07

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