Is it time to buy Blu-ray?

Prices of Blu-ray players are dropping, but when is the best time to buy? You can currently get a generic brand BD player for around $230 from big box retailers like Circuit City, Walmart, and Target. And, discounted BD players like the Samsung BD-P1500(pictured right) are sometimes available. But if that isn’t cheap enough for you, some industry experts predict $150 BD players the day after Thanksgiving.

Blu-ray Disc prices have also been going down, although not as consistently and dramatically as Blu-ray hardware. The average price of a Blu-ray Disc on Amazon.com is $23. That isn’t too far away from the average cost of a new release DVD. Blu-ray disc prices generally range from about $14.99 to $34.99 depending on the movie.

So when is the right time to buy?
Some experts say Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) is when you will see $150 Blu-ray players. I would expect those players will not be top brand names like Sony and Samsung. But with any luck an entry level Sony Blu-ray player will break $200. Industry analysts also say there will be deep discounts in LCD and plasma flat-screens this holiday. The best advice may be to wait until Thanksgiving, or wait until after the holiday when retailers will be looking to move out some stock from 2008.

How popular is Blu-ray?
Although widely embraced already by home theater enthusiasts and those of us who live for new technology, Blu-ray still hasn’t been embraced by the mainstream. According to Nielsen VideoScan, only 4% of U.S. movie disc sales are Blu-ray Disc.

Many DVD collectors seem to be satisfied with the quality of their DVDs. And, new up-scaling DVD players (which can convert a standard-definition DVD to high-definition 720p, 1080i, or 1080p) are getting better and better in performance. I once calculated what it would cost to replace my DVD collection with Blu-ray and it was around $5k. Needless to say, many of those films will just never be upgraded to 1080p.

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Jeff Chabot

Jeff Chabot

Jeff Chabot writes about technology, broadcasting, and digital entertainment. You can also find him on Gameverse, Gadget Review, and Google+.

8 Replies to “Is it time to buy Blu-ray?”

  1. the matador says:

    “This imply a media that doesn’t call home when I want to play it.” Huh?

  2. xeorex says:

    ‘And you must be one of those people that thinks better audio just means turning up the volume.’
    Sorrry, I am not one of those.

    I like quality. This imply a media that doesn’t call home when I want to play it.

  3. the matador says:

    And you must be one of those people that thinks better audio just means turning up the volume.

  4. xeorex says:

    ‘Crappy artifact ridden DiVX rips, I guess. ‘
    Sorrry, I am not one of those.

    ‘DRM? Like DVDs and downloads have? Huh?’
    No, DRM like music had and people didn’t buy so now you get music without DRM.

  5. xeorex says:

    I guess you are gifted, you are one of the few that can hear ultra-sounds.
    What is DVD with DTS need to be upgraded for that would make a difference?

    If sound is that important and price is not, you must have had Marantz since a long long time already then, even before Blu-Ray existed.

  6. the matador says:

    xeorex, 8.5 GB is not enough space to put a full 1080p movie on, unless you don’t care about having an audio track to accompany it. Since HD audio is also common on a blu-ray movie, that also has to be accounted for in how much space is needed to put an entire movie on a disc. There are a few websites that will give blu-ray stats that show how much memory each blu-ray movie takes up. I personally care more about the upgrade in the audio than the video, and the audio on a standard definition DVD CANNOT be upgraded on any upconverting dvd player. whether or not blu-ray is right for you, only you can decide, but the fact is if you want a high definition movie experience blu-ray is the olny wat to get it.

  7. Stop yer dribbling says:

    What the hell is that guy wibbling on about? DRM? Like DVDs and downloads have? Huh? And what HD has he been watching on 8.5GB DVDs? Crappy artifact ridden DiVX rips, I guess.

    Upscale DVD looks ok, HD downloads look ok (when you can get ’em) but a good Blu Ray looks fucking fantastic. End of.

    Oh, and 4K is next. Good luck buying a 4K TV any time in the next 5 years, or getting a 4K movie on DL DVD or download. Might just fit on those 25-50GB Blu Rays though eh?

  8. xeorex says:

    Even given for 1p a title, this would not remove DRMs on them, this would not stop genuine owner of this media being outlawed when placing the content on their own home network or playing them on Linux system.

    And let’s face it, we don’t need Blu-Ray (and it’s Blu-Ray player) for High Definition.
    DVD’s could hold up to 8.5Gb with layers, more than enough for 1080p movies.
    It’s PS3 games that needs 25Gb-50Gb, not movies.
    In fact, is 1080p truly High Definition? I don’t think so.

    What’s next?

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