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Various bargains on Blu-ray disc (BD) players on Black Friday boosted weekly sales of the devices three times, according to DisplaySearch, a business unit of NPD Group. The number shows that consumers are eager to spend on Blu-ray once the price gets lower. Nevertheless, sales of DVD players also increased three times during the week, which indicates that many end-users are still satisfied with standard-definition video.

According to DisplaySearch, consumers spent over $30 million and acquired $147 thousand Blu-ray players during the Thanksgiving week, which is three times higher than usual weekly sales. The reason for the increase is lowered average selling price per player, which was just a little more than $200, down from about $240 in the previous week. Sales of DVD players also tripled during the week amid average price of $40 per unit.

During Thanksgiving week Sony and Samsung slashed prices on entry-level BD players to $179 and $199, respectively, whereas Wal-Mart offered Magnavox MB500MG9 (built by Funai) player for just $128.

Blu-ray player makers will ship 911 thousand devices in the Q4 2008 and about 2.2 million for the year in the U.S., according to figures from DisplaySearch that were published by Video Business web-site. Next year, Blu-ray player sales will surge 76% to 3.84 million units while DVD player sales will fall 24% to about 14 million units, DisplaySearch forecasts.

“Blu-ray had a pretty good Black Friday. This is primarily due to one factor: sub-$200 pricing,” said Paul Erickson, director of DVD and HD market research at DisplaySearch.

Sales of Sony PlayStation 3 – which is a Blu-ray disc playback capable video game console – were not included into the report by DisplaySearch.

Tags: Blu-ray, Sony, Samsung, Magnavox


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