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The head of Blu-Ray disc association (BDA), the organization that coordinates development of Blu-ray format, said at a news-conference that he would not expect affordable BD players to emerge shortly since the market for them still had to be created.

“There’s continuously a pressure to bring prices down. What people overlook is that you have to have a market for it first,” said Andy Parsons, an executive from Pioneer who is also the chairman of BDA, at DisplaySearch/NPD HDTV conference, reports TVPredictions web-site.

It is logical that Blu-ray disc association, which consists mostly of consumer electronics (CE) makers as well as content creators, is interested in keeping the prices on hardware and content high enough so to make additional profit. For example, Pioneer recently launched a premium class BD player with $2000 price-tag, whereas an average Blu-ray player costs roughly $300 - $400. Both price-points cannot be imagined for typical DVD players.

But ability to sell the new technology at a premium does not mean that consumer electronics companies have no plans for driving Blu-ray into the mainstream market. The chairman of BDA insists that prices will go down eventually, but only after the volumes will increase and CE makers will be able to afford a substantial price-drop on the devices which are pretty expensive to make.

“Prices will go down. But what people overlook is that you need a marketplace first before you start cutting prices. If there’s not enough awareness about [the technology] than low prices are besides the point,” added Mr. Parsons.

There are a lot of high-definition televisions already installed, hence, the market for Blu-ray does exist. However, since movies on Blu-ray discs are more expensive than the same movies on regular DVDs and BD players are times more expensive compared to DVD equipment, consumers are reluctant to invest into the new technology, especially in current condition of the world economics. As a result, CE makers who have won the battle against HD DVD will have to start a price-war against each other to win the war against DVD.

Tags: Blu-ray

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