Optical disc drive (ODD) manufacturers from Taiwan expect production cost of a Blu-ray disc (BD) player to drop to $50 next year. This is likely to lead to emergence of inexpensive BD players and accelerated transition to the new format by the mainstream consumers.
At present production cost of one Blu-ray player is about $100, according to unnamed ODD makers quoted by DigiTimes web-site. The blue laser pick-up head is still the most expensive part of the player and represents about $50 of the cost. Chipset accounts for about 25%. In addition to acquiring other components to make a BD player, manufacturers have to pay $9.50 for technology license to patent holders.
Manufacturers hope that improving production yields of pick up heads and chipsets will allow to trim bill of materials (BOM) of a BD player to about $50. In fact, the expectations may well turn to be feasible. Three years ago manufacturing cost of a Blu-ray or HD DVD player were as high as $400, according to some estimates.
At present certain online stores in the U.S. sell refurbished Magnavox RNB500MG9 Blu-ray players for $99.