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Blu-ray disc format may get to mainstream considerably quicker compared to what was anticipated as sub-$100 players have all chances to arrive to the market later this year, at least according to Samsung Electronics’ marketing chief.

“The market for Blu ray is starting to pick up and you can bet with the entry of the Chinese manufacturers into the Blu ray market that we will have a $99 Blu ray player to compete against,” said Mark Leathan, a marketing director at Samsung Electronics, in an interview with Smarthouse web-site.

Earlier this year Panasonic, Philips and Sony, who own the majority patents for Blu-ray disc (BD) technology, started to work with other Blu-ray patent holders to establish a one-stop-shop license for BD products in a bid to lower the price of players and recorders. The fees for the new product licenses are $9.50 for a Blu-ray disc player (down from $30) and $14.00 for a BD recorder. The per disc license fees for Blu-ray disc will be $0.11 for a read only disc, $0.12 for a recordable disc and $0.15 for a rewritable disc.

Stephen Baker, an analyst for NPD Group, is less optimistic about low-cost Blu-ray players: according to him, BD players will sell for about $100 during various sales, but not for all the time.

“Black Friday, maybe. It is entirely possible you could see a few players down at that price level. It is a little early to speculate about holiday prices. The industry will have a better idea of holiday pricing by mid-summer,” said Mr. Baker in an interview with PC World web-site.

Tags: Blu-ray, Samsung

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