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Wal-Mart sells Profile 2.0 Blu-ray for $349
Are sub-$300 Blu players too far off?
Many analysts think that in order for HD to really catch fire the cost of HD players has to fall to a level that will interest more people. While it can be argued that Toshiba tried to play the price card with HD DVD players, we still think that HD DVD’s failure was caused more by poor marketing and a lack of additional studio support than anything else.
Imagine our surprise today when we learned that Wal-Mart, of all places, is now offering the Samsung BD-P1500 Profile 2.0 BD-Live player for a surprising price of US$349. This makes the Samsung BD-P1500 the lowest priced Profile 2.0 BD-Live player being sold right now.
According to various sources, Wal-Mart will rock the Blu-ray landscape again after Memorial Day weekend with a $289-priced Magnavox NB500MG9 Profile 1.1 Blu-ray player. While the player will be labeled Magnavox, it will be manufactured by Funai of Japan.
Even with all of the plays by Wal-Mart to gain the upper hand in player sales, it seems that consumers are still not very excited about Blu-ray yet. Sales figures continue to be quite low, and it will take additional advertising and informed communication of the advantages of Blu-ray in order to get consumers excited.
Customers have to see a difference that makes them want Blu-ray and until that happens, along with more reasonable prices on Blu-ray stand-alone players, we don’t see sales increasing to where they need to be. While many believed that the end of the format war would boost sales among early HD adopters, it seems that most sales have been restricted to home theater enthusiasts; and that just isn’t enough to really get things moving in the right direction for Blu-ray.