It looks like Blu-ray disc (BD) players are approaching the psychological sub-$150 and sub-$100 barriers, which will finally make the standard more appealing to mainstream customers. According to various media reports, there will be several BD player models available either on Black Friday or during holiday shopping season at below $150 price-tag.
According to TVPredictions web-site, Wal-Mart stores will sell Magnavox MB500MG9 (built by Funai) Blu-ray player for $128 on Black Friday. The player is BD profile 1.1 compliant, thus supports picture-in-picture functionality and has at least 256MB of built-in storage. Cnet News.com reports that some online stores already sell the Memorex MVBD2510 Blu-ray player for $136.99 (without shipping included). The player is also BD profile 1.1 compliant.
Both devices lack Internet connectivity, hence, end-users should keep in mind that if they need to download new firmware, they will have to find them on the manufacturers’ web-sites and burn it on a DVD. Besides, the players also come without HDMI cables, which are compulsory due to copyright protection technologies implemented on Blu-ray movies.
Customers in Europe, Russia or Asia should remember that players sold in the U.S. will only playback movies purchased in the USA, region “A” titles; whereas European Union belongs to region “B” and Russia with Asia belong to region “C”. Some Blu-ray movies are sold without region restrictions.
While prices on players are falling, the cost of Blu-ray movies remains considerably higher than that of DVDs. As a consequence, some customers may postpone purchase of players before movie titles get more affordable. Nevertheless, the substantial drops on Blu-ray disc players is a good news: at the end, some end-users may buy them to replace malfunction DVD players and eventually start buying movies on the high-definition format.