$200 Blu-ray players this year expected says Sigma Designs VP of Strategic Marketing - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 166 Old 02-28-2008, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
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http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/...4_FORTUNE5.htm

Long article about semi-conductor and SoC manufacturers who were winners and losers in the format war had this little gem:
Quote:


Sigma Designs' success was partly accidental. The company tried to win Toshiba's HD DVD business, said Ken Lowe, vice president of strategic marketing, but Toshiba went with Broadcom and, later, NEC.

"We went out there trying to capture as much high-definition player business as possible," he said. "Mainly it was Blu-ray business that was available."

Now, the company is the incumbent in a business that is about to blast ahead. Consumers bought 2.9 million blue laser DVD players last year but are expected to snap up 7.6 million this year and 13.6 million in 2009, Gartner estimates....

Quote:


...An increase in the number of chip building for Blu-ray seems destined to speed up chip commoditization and price declines. And consumers will be the winners.

Sigma Design's Lowe said it's widely expected that new Blu-ray players from China and Taiwan will be in stores at prices near $200 in time for Christmas.


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post #2 of 166 Old 02-28-2008, 03:59 PM
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Nice.

Even the cheapest of HD DVD supporters should be able to cough up $200 for a Blu-ray player.

Or maybe not.........


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post #3 of 166 Old 02-28-2008, 04:03 PM
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as long as they're profile 2.0 ready, or 2.0 complete.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Tomlin View Post

Nice.

Even the cheapest of HD DVD supporters should be able to cough up $200 for a Blu-ray player.

Or maybe not.........

HEY!!! I'm the cheapest guy I know AND an HD DVD supporter and I just coughed up four hundred bones for a BD player.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Tomlin View Post

Nice.

Even the cheapest of HD DVD supporters should be able to cough up $200 for a Blu-ray player.

Or maybe not.........

Some will always have an excuse.
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post #6 of 166 Old 02-28-2008, 04:34 PM
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Not to be purposely argumentative, but I actually think it's best if the cheapest players stay at a $300 minimum for a while. Right now they're flying off the shelves at pretty much any price, so clearly there's no shortage of consumer demand (i.e., no worry of high prices alienating buyers).

Look at what no-holds-barred price-slashing did for HD-DVD: nothing. Partially it's because Toshiba was too little, too late, and too many people were on Blu-Ray's side to make a difference. But the other part is that people really do value things that are more expensive. They get more excited about buying them, they learn more about them before and after buying, and in Blu-Ray's case they're more likely to invest in the software.

Sure, you can argue that if a player costs $200 instead of $300, then that's 4-5 more discs the person can buy with the remaining money. But it also increases the likelihood that the player will sit on the shelf collecting dust or only get used for upconverting DVDs, whereas a player that costs more is more likely to inspire its buyer to invest in a library of titles so it doesn't go to waste.

And while we're on the subject of titles, let's remember that there still ain't that many out there. I, along with most others who read this forum, got into Blu-Ray as a (relatively) early adopter, knowing full well that the availability of movies was severely limited. But once you kick the players down to average-consumer-friendly prices, those average consumers are going to assume that all their favorite movies are ready to be bought on Blu-Ray. So if there isn't a significant -- and I mean HUGE -- spate of BD releases around the holiday season to go along with the player price cut, then the consumer backlash that results could really harm the future of the format. Right now, Blu-Ray releases are still coming in at a trickle. I own pretty much all the Blu-Ray discs that I think are worth having at the moment, and that number is less than ten. Believe me, I'm very much looking forward to seeing a change in this landscape, but it seems hard to believe that it could happen completely in the next several months.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NMJack View Post

HEY!!! I'm the cheapest guy I know AND an HD DVD supporter and I just coughed up four hundred bones for a BD player.



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post #8 of 166 Old 02-28-2008, 05:34 PM
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i'll be on the sidelines until i can get a 2.0 br for $200.

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post #9 of 166 Old 02-28-2008, 06:19 PM
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Until Sony coughs up Lawrence on Blu-Ray it's NO SALE for me.

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post #10 of 166 Old 02-28-2008, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Tomlin View Post

Nice.

Even the cheapest of HD DVD supporters should be able to cough up $200 for a Blu-ray player.

Or maybe not.........

I'm not looking for the cheapest BD player, I want:
- Finalized 2.0 BD player specs with full audio bitstreaming and/or decoding
- BD Players with built quality and cost comparable to HD DVD's XA2
- "Perfect" tranfers, no HD-MPEG2 encodes currently BDM has 30% of it
- Quick and bug free BD-J
- BDM with Web Enabled Features and Interactive Menus
- Market share growth over DVD

Get me these requests and I'm in.

...Angelo

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post #11 of 166 Old 02-28-2008, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. wally View Post

i'll be on the sidelines until i can get a 2.0 br for $200.

I made the outstanding decision to buy the Venturer HD DVD player for <$200. 3 months later and HD DVD is in death-spazm mode. Hell... I may wait for some new 5640PX (ficticious resolution) solid-state 900GB pin-drive in 10 years and screw the whole High Definition movie revolution

Built on a tight budget:
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post #12 of 166 Old 02-28-2008, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angelo913 View Post

I'm not looking for the cheapest BD player, I want:
- Finalized 2.0 BD player specs with full audio bitstreaming and/or decoding
- BD Players with built quality and cost comparable to HD DVD's XA2
- "Perfect" tranfers, no HD-MPEG2 encodes currently BDM has 30% of it
- Quick and bug free BD-J
- BDM with Web Enabled Features and Interactive Menus
- Market share growth over DVD

Get me these requests and I'm in.

...Angelo

With your final item (market share growth over DVD) it will surely be at least 5 years (probably longer) before yearly BD movie sales exceed DVD. DVDs took about that long to take the sales lead away from VHS and DVDs were the most successful product in consumer electronic history. Therefore, I guess you will not being coming back to this forum, as an actual BD owner, until at least 2013.

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post #13 of 166 Old 02-28-2008, 08:01 PM
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Man, there are a lot of whiners. You knew there was a war that would ultimately have a winner and loser with the consumer always being the loser. Then when it actually happens people are surprised. The funniest thing is the people that actually went out and purchased hundreds of movies...didn't see that coming.

Hey eventually they will be $39, why not wait until then.

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post #14 of 166 Old 02-28-2008, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_rh View Post

Not to be purposely argumentative, but I actually think it's best if the cheapest players stay at a $300 minimum for a while. Right now they're flying off the shelves at pretty much any price, so clearly there's no shortage of consumer demand (i.e., no worry of high prices alienating buyers).

I am glad that I am not the only one who keeps making this point.

At this stage of the adoption cycle, there is nothing wrong at all with the prices we have seen for Blu-ray. Compare to the pricing for DVD, plasma TV's, even VHS/Beta if you like.

Of course, for mass adoption, the prices will need to be a lot less. But for the rest of this year, we are near the sweet spot of pricing.

Our perspective has been clouded by the format war, in which Toshiba's strategy was low pricing. It helped them, certainly, but it didn't work. [Frys Electronics has the HD-A3 for $79 right now, help yourselves.]

Right now, you can buy a Sony or Samsung for $299 street if you look. [Frys Electronics for example.] Prices will fall throughout this year, with entry-level at under $200 by Christmas, just as this article says.

We need to calm down on this pricing issue, it is not going to be a problem.
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post #15 of 166 Old 02-28-2008, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angelo913 View Post

I'm not looking for the cheapest BD player, I want:
- Finalized 2.0 BD player specs with full audio bitstreaming and/or decoding
- BD Players with built quality and cost comparable to HD DVD's XA2
- "Perfect" tranfers, no HD-MPEG2 encodes currently BDM has 30% of it
- Quick and bug free BD-J
- BDM with Web Enabled Features and Interactive Menus
- Market share growth over DVD

Get me these requests and I'm in.

...Angelo

I notice you got into HD DVD, and it did not meet some of your requirements.

-- no HD DVD player has onboard DTS HD MA decoding
-- there are im"perfect" HD DVD transfers and also MPEG2 transfers (as well as some great Blu-ray MPEG2 transfers)
-- HD DVD players are not "quick" and many bugs have been reported
-- Market share growth over DVD???

I suggest that you might cut Blu-ray some of the same slack you have given the format you chose. They aren't really very different.
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post #16 of 166 Old 02-28-2008, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angelo913 View Post

I'm not looking for the cheapest BD player, I want:
- Finalized 2.0 BD player specs with full audio bitstreaming and/or decoding
- BD Players with built quality and cost comparable to HD DVD's XA2
- "Perfect" tranfers, no HD-MPEG2 encodes currently BDM has 30% of it
- Quick and bug free BD-J
- BDM with Web Enabled Features and Interactive Menus
- Market share growth over DVD

Get me these requests and I'm in.

...Angelo

At least you are reasonable about your demands. And not hypocritical either!


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post #17 of 166 Old 02-28-2008, 09:15 PM
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I doubt you'll see sub $200 prices this year on any Blu-Ray player, except maybe your sporadic sale on Audiovox or Emerson toybox players. Sony has to make back some of that money that its paid to turn these movie studios to Blu-Ray. Just because the hardware gets cheaper, does not mean that the end user will see that savings.

With no competition and Blu-Ray being the only game in town, there is no incentive to lower prices. HD is now a 'luxury' in the movie watching world, and if you don't want to pay to see it, then you just won't be luxurious.
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post #18 of 166 Old 02-28-2008, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlsmith View Post

I notice you got into HD DVD, and it did not meet some of your requirements.

-- no HD DVD player has onboard DTS HD MA decoding
-- there are im"perfect" HD DVD transfers and also MPEG2 transfers (as well as some great Blu-ray MPEG2 transfers)
-- HD DVD players are not "quick" and many bugs have been reported
-- Market share growth over DVD???

I suggest that you might cut Blu-ray some of the same slack you have given the format you chose. They aren't really very different.

-- Full Audio Bitstreaming will be fine the XA2 does it fine. The A1 was released before DTS-HD MA but decodes TrueHD via analog 5.1 and HDMI 1.3 wasn't released at the time when the A1 was built.
-- I have over 100 HD DVD with no MPEG2 transfers, HD DVD only has 3% that are MPEG2 Transfers. No There have been many HD-MPEG2 comparisons to AVC and VC1; MPEG2 just isn't going to cut it with HD, sorry.
-- I have an A1 almost 2-years old and plays every HD DVD I have to date with more to get. When I say quick I mean during movie playback with menu controls and interactive features. I have no bugs to report.
-- Market growth, meaning a steady increase over DVD, I don't need another Betamax.

I'll cut some slack. For a BD player I would like an XA2 equivalent with Reon VX processor with at least full audio bitstreaming with BD Profile 2.0 for under $700. No sluggish menu, feature or remote controls during playback that effects the "movie" experience; boot times are not a problem since it has nothing to do with playback, so if the BD players needs time to load up the BD-J this is fine with me, just don't effect the playback.

I hope this isn't a tall order?

...Angelo

2x HD-XA2 firmware 3.0
1x HD-A1 firmware 3.0
HD DVD movies: 141
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post #19 of 166 Old 02-28-2008, 10:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarBowl View Post

as long as they're profile 2.0 ready, or 2.0 complete.

Bonus View players by the end of the year for $199 and BD-Live players for $299 would be a good mix,

$199 is always a threshold for consumer mass adoption.

HD DVD failed for a number of reasons, including retailer support, but by itself standalone volumes sales increased at each price point it met. Blu-ray just did better. Blu-ray ray ao did much better in HDTV promotional tie ins.

Blu-ray volumes would also increase as prices drop. and retailers and manufacturers are well aware of what price points will do. No BD manufacturer was ready for mass market production for last fall, they will be this year.

The end of any format war uncertainty and retailer and studio promotional spending will also make any price drops on Blu-ray hardware much more effective than they were in the case of HD DVD.

.
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post #20 of 166 Old 02-28-2008, 10:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_rh View Post

Not to be purposely argumentative, but I actually think it's best if the cheapest players stay at a $300 minimum for a while. Right now they're flying off the shelves at pretty much any price, so clearly there's no shortage of consumer demand (i.e., no worry of high prices alienating buyers).

Look at what no-holds-barred price-slashing did for HD-DVD: nothing. Partially it's because Toshiba was too little, too late, and too many people were on Blu-Ray's side to make a difference. But the other part is that people really do value things that are more expensive. They get more excited about buying them, they learn more about them before and after buying, and in Blu-Ray's case they're more likely to invest in the software.

Sure, you can argue that if a player costs $200 instead of $300, then that's 4-5 more discs the person can buy with the remaining money. But it also increases the likelihood that the player will sit on the shelf collecting dust or only get used for upconverting DVDs, whereas a player that costs more is more likely to inspire its buyer to invest in a library of titles so it doesn't go to waste.

And while we're on the subject of titles, let's remember that there still ain't that many out there. I, along with most others who read this forum, got into Blu-Ray as a (relatively) early adopter, knowing full well that the availability of movies was severely limited. But once you kick the players down to average-consumer-friendly prices, those average consumers are going to assume that all their favorite movies are ready to be bought on Blu-Ray. So if there isn't a significant -- and I mean HUGE -- spate of BD releases around the holiday season to go along with the player price cut, then the consumer backlash that results could really harm the future of the format. Right now, Blu-Ray releases are still coming in at a trickle. I own pretty much all the Blu-Ray discs that I think are worth having at the moment, and that number is less than ten. Believe me, I'm very much looking forward to seeing a change in this landscape, but it seems hard to believe that it could happen completely in the next several months.

A lot of things may happen quickly now.

Netflix CEO just said to investors they plan for 1500 Blu-ray titles in a year.

If retailers start displaying the over 400 BD titles in release now and the HD DVD exclusives get blu cases and DVD day and date get Blu-ray releases that can be 500-750 titles by the end of the year. Thats more than enough to support a purchase decision for a $199 player.

Replication capacity is still an issue, but what's more important is retailers putting what is already released on retail display so consumer can see some options.

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post #21 of 166 Old 02-28-2008, 10:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlsmith View Post

I am glad that I am not the only one who keeps making this point.

At this stage of the adoption cycle, there is nothing wrong at all with the prices we have seen for Blu-ray. Compare to the pricing for DVD, plasma TV's, even VHS/Beta if you like.

Of course, for mass adoption, the prices will need to be a lot less. But for the rest of this year, we are near the sweet spot of pricing.

Our perspective has been clouded by the format war, in which Toshiba's strategy was low pricing. It helped them, certainly, but it didn't work. [Frys Electronics has the HD-A3 for $79 right now, help yourselves.]

Right now, you can buy a Sony or Samsung for $299 street if you look. [Frys Electronics for example.] Prices will fall throughout this year, with entry-level at under $200 by Christmas, just as this article says.

We need to calm down on this pricing issue, it is not going to be a problem.

With the new Sony BD-Live upgradable player coming in by the summer at $399 MSRP that will be probably $349 street pricing, thats on a glide path for $299 by the end of the year. $199-$249 1.1 Bonus View Funai players are a good complement to that.

$349-$399 is good enthusiast first adopter pricing levels and $149-$199 is mass market. As BOM costs drop for BD components like the optical unit and SoC, those should be profitable price points for CE manufacturers and retailers.

Now there will be competition between manufacturers and retailers that will drive prices down and that will benefit consumers.

The Feb end to the format war gives plenty of time this year for things to develop and new BD hardware models and BD titles to be released before the fall and holiday sales seasons.
Quote:


Prices will fall throughout this year, with entry-level at under $200 by Christmas, just as this article says.

We need to calm down on this pricing issue, it is not going to be a problem.

I agree completely.

Most consumers will be able to find the prices they are comfortable with by the end of the year.

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post #22 of 166 Old 02-28-2008, 10:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. wally View Post

i'll be on the sidelines until i can get a 2.0 br for $200.

You will see 1.1 at that point by the end of the year.

Probably not 2.0.

So you will have a choice, wait until 2009 for BD-Live players to reach that $199 threshold, buy a Bonus View player for that money this year or spend more for that BD-Live player.

Your choice, it depends on how much you want to watch Blu-ry content and how much its worth to you.

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post #23 of 166 Old 02-29-2008, 01:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angelo913 View Post

-- Full Audio Bitstreaming will be fine the XA2 does it fine. The A1 was released before DTS-HD MA but decodes TrueHD via analog 5.1 and HDMI 1.3 wasn't released at the time when the A1 was built.
-- I have over 100 HD DVD with no MPEG2 transfers, HD DVD only has 3% that are MPEG2 Transfers. No There have been many HD-MPEG2 comparisons to AVC and VC1; MPEG2 just isn't going to cut it with HD, sorry.
-- I have an A1 almost 2-years old and plays every HD DVD I have to date with more to get. When I say quick I mean during movie playback with menu controls and interactive features. I have no bugs to report.
-- Market growth, meaning a steady increase over DVD, I don't need another Betamax.

I'll cut some slack. For a BD player I would like an XA2 equivalent with Reon VX processor with at least full audio bitstreaming with BD Profile 2.0 for under $700. No sluggish menu, feature or remote controls during playback that effects the "movie" experience; boot times are not a problem since it has nothing to do with playback, so if the BD players needs time to load up the BD-J this is fine with me, just don't effect the playback.

I hope this isn't a tall order?

...Angelo

It is not a tall order, just a question of how long you want to wait. Since you say you bought an A1, I would assume you are an adventerous soul willing to put with up a few things as long as the picture looks great.

Do you like watching movies in HD? My guess is that neither one of us can tell the difference between the Warner titles on HD DVD and Blu-ray that have the same encodes. If you liked it on HD DVD, you will like it on Blu-ray.

Think about it.
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post #24 of 166 Old 02-29-2008, 02:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angelo913 View Post

-- Full Audio Bitstreaming will be fine the XA2 does it fine. The A1 was released before DTS-HD MA but decodes TrueHD via analog 5.1 and HDMI 1.3 wasn't released at the time when the A1 was built.
-- I have over 100 HD DVD with no MPEG2 transfers, HD DVD only has 3% that are MPEG2 Transfers. No There have been many HD-MPEG2 comparisons to AVC and VC1; MPEG2 just isn't going to cut it with HD, sorry.
-- I have an A1 almost 2-years old and plays every HD DVD I have to date with more to get. When I say quick I mean during movie playback with menu controls and interactive features. I have no bugs to report.
-- Market growth, meaning a steady increase over DVD, I don't need another Betamax.

I'll cut some slack. For a BD player I would like an XA2 equivalent with Reon VX processor with at least full audio bitstreaming with BD Profile 2.0 for under $700. No sluggish menu, feature or remote controls during playback that effects the "movie" experience; boot times are not a problem since it has nothing to do with playback, so if the BD players needs time to load up the BD-J this is fine with me, just don't effect the playback.

I hope this isn't a tall order?

...Angelo

It shouldn't be a tall order, but as an HD DVD supporter that is trying to go Blu I can say it's a tall order at this point. I have always kept up with developments on both sides of the format war because I intended to go neutral at some point. I read the complaints that people on both sides had about software, hardware and firmware issues, but as an HD DVD owner I spent more time focusing on HD DVD issues. I just assumed that the complaints from BD owners were like those from HD DVD owners; the vocal complaints of a small minority.

I was honestly shocked when I decided to see if I could go Blu sooner than I expected in light of the Warner announcement. I've been shopping for a Blu player with money to spend for almost two months now and it is depressing if you have experience with HD DVD. No final profile players out there with only the PS3 and LG BH200 even possessing the capacity for 2.0 compliance. Sony has just announced their first SAs beyond profile 1.0 and with the bad luck I've had with Sony optical drives I'm not looking to buy one of their BD Players. The Samsungs are so buggy they provoke lawsuits.

I consider build quality to consist of not only good materials and construction, but also good after-sale (firmware, customer service, et al) support. The only BD Players that have the stability and build quality that even bottom rung HD DVD Players have either lack IR (PS3), have LFE issues (Panny) or cost close to $1000 (Pio and other high-ends) and lack even 1.1 compatibility.

Toshiba is not the greatest company on Earth, but they did deliver a finished solid product, with good firmware support. I'm not expecting the perfect product because I'm a LONG time early adopter. I just want a stable 2.0 player for less than $500 backed by a company that will update firmware promptly and answer email/phone calls. I'm hoping the Panny BD50 will be stable and not suffer from the LFE bug that many of their products (BD Players, Receivers) exhibit. If that's the case I'll be able to go Blu pretty soon.

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." - Benjamin Franklin
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post #25 of 166 Old 02-29-2008, 06:11 AM
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A 2.0 Blu-ray player at $200 and I'm in.

John
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post #26 of 166 Old 02-29-2008, 06:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fistofsouth View Post

have LFE issues (Panny)

Just to mention this but that has already been fixed on the Panasonic DMP-BD30 and here is the thread on it.
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post #27 of 166 Old 02-29-2008, 06:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fistofsouth View Post

It shouldn't be a tall order, but as an HD DVD supporter that is trying to go Blu I can say it's a tall order at this point. I have always kept up with developments on both sides of the format war because I intended to go neutral at some point. I read the complaints that people on both sides had about software, hardware and firmware issues, but as an HD DVD owner I spent more time focusing on HD DVD issues. I just assumed that the complaints from BD owners were like those from HD DVD owners; the vocal complaints of a small minority.

I was honestly shocked when I decided to see if I could go Blu sooner than I expected in light of the Warner announcement. I've been shopping for a Blu player with money to spend for almost two months now and it is depressing if you have experience with HD DVD. No final profile players out there with only the PS3 and LG BH200 even possessing the capacity for 2.0 compliance. Sony has just announced their first SAs beyond profile 1.0 and with the bad luck I've had with Sony optical drives I'm not looking to buy one of their BD Players. The Samsungs are so buggy they provoke lawsuits.

I consider build quality to consist of not only good materials and construction, but also good after-sale (firmware, customer service, et al) support. The only BD Players that have the stability and build quality that even bottom rung HD DVD Players have either lack IR (PS3), have LFE issues (Panny) or cost close to $1000 (Pio and other high-ends) and lack even 1.1 compatibility.

Toshiba is not the greatest company on Earth, but they did deliver a finished solid product, with good firmware support. I'm not expecting the perfect product because I'm a LONG time early adopter. I just want a stable 2.0 player for less than $500 backed by a company that will update firmware promptly and answer email/phone calls. I'm hoping the Panny BD50 will be stable and not suffer from the LFE bug that many of their products (BD Players, Receivers) exhibit. If that's the case I'll be able to go Blu pretty soon.

The LFE bug on the Panny has been solved. And for the $399 that some people are getting this player for its a steal. Also, the BD50 will not have the issue either.
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post #28 of 166 Old 02-29-2008, 06:46 AM
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I doubt you'll see sub $200 prices this year on any Blu-Ray player, except maybe your sporadic sale on Audiovox or Emerson toybox players. Sony has to make back some of that money that its paid to turn these movie studios to Blu-Ray. Just because the hardware gets cheaper, does not mean that the end user will see that savings.

The HDM market shouldn't be any different than the computer market. Software sales is the best way to make up money vs hardware.

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With no competition and Blu-Ray being the only game in town, there is no incentive to lower prices. HD is now a 'luxury' in the movie watching world, and if you don't want to pay to see it, then you just won't be luxurious.

Yes they do have incentive...mass adoption. Do you think Blu-Ray wants to be considered a luxury item? I don't. FWIW I do think they should keep prices where they currently are. They need to take advantage of those who were on the sidelines waiting for a winner and who don't really care to wait for prices to fall. Once that subsides they need to drop prices. Christmas THIS year should be enough time to allow for the next wave of blu-ray adopters AND to then ramp up for mass adoption with the Christmas boom.

In any case make no mistake...blu-ray is NOT in it to be a luxury item.
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post #29 of 166 Old 02-29-2008, 08:31 AM
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At least you are reasonable about your demands. And not hypocritical either!

You should see my list of demands for buying into digital downloads

Brandon

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post #30 of 166 Old 02-29-2008, 08:34 AM
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You should see my list of demands for buying into digital downloads

Brandon



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