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Possible downside of the end of the video format war: expensive players?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
As we're all celebrating Blu-rays victory of HD-DVD, and that things can finally move forward, it seems Blu-ray manufacturers are trying to protect higher player prices. See here. [NYTimes]

Quote:
Mr. Glasgow [Sony] expressed hope that price levels wouldn’t collapse the way they did for DVD players. To protect against this, he said the Blu-ray Association, the group that controls the Blu-ray standard, has not licensed it to any manufacturers in China. (Cheap players from China were a large part of the collapse of the DVD player market.)

“Will there be Chinese players? Yes,” he said. “We don’t need to drive that and hand the technology over” any time soon, he said.

...

He talked of a slow steady decline in the prices of Blu-ray players, which Sony now sells for $399 and up. He said that prices will fall to $299 for this Christmas and may be under $200 by the end of 2009.
post #2 of 24
This scheme isn't going to work. All the major consumer electronics manufacturers do their manufacturing in China, regardless of where their head offices are located. There are multiple vendors. Competition will drive prices down.

We're in a consumer recession anyway. The days of cash sloshing around for fancy electronics are behind us. If prices don't hit $200 by this Christmas sales will never take off.
post #3 of 24
Of course, it's a downside for future BD buyers who want a deal. For current owners, makers, retailers, wholesalers. I see that as a positive. Keep, increase the margins and maintain a desirable, upscale image for the new hardware and media. If I were Sony, I would do the exact same thing, operating under the assumption that BD will gain mass adoption. This appears to be the case for them.
post #4 of 24
Won't work. They tried to keep prices up on CD and DVD players, too. There won't be any serious uptake of Blu Ray until players get around $200.
post #5 of 24
They also need to lower the prices of Blu-Ray discs. People are accustomed to paying less than $19.99 for standard DVDs.
post #6 of 24
No offense but to me maintaining an upscale image is for hand made automobiles and nice restaurants.
In the mass consumer game the margins are in the add-ons - in this case the movies. For example: The shaver handle is free, the blades cost $20.
How happy will the studios be if they can only sell the product to some exclusive club?? The only way the movies can become cheaper is through increased production.
If the player costs $300 and each movie costs $30 there will be no mass adoption and lower profits for all.
post #7 of 24
This is definitely the downside of HD-DVD and is the main reason its death is not good news for those of use that like HD content.
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by GZeus View Post
No offense but to me maintaining an upscale image is for hand made automobiles and nice restaurants.
No offense taken! That's why it's called discussion. I do think it's important to a company like Sony, who I think is branded very well, similar to Apple. Compare Sony to say RCA on a retail floor. My guess would be more would desire Sony for reasons other than feature set or performance such as emotional response or perceived value. Slash prices too quickly and perceived value along with perceived satisfaction diminishes.

Only an idiot would believe BD's would never be cheap (relative term). Heck, even Sony estimates $200 players in 09. And I think the above guys are right. Talk is one thing. Bottling up the snake is another. However, Sony should try. They would be foolish not to.
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by GZeus View Post
No offense but to me maintaining an upscale image is for hand made automobiles and nice restaurants.
In the mass consumer game the margins are in the add-ons - in this case the movies. For example: The shaver handle is free, the blades cost $20.
How happy will the studios be if they can only sell the product to some exclusive club?? The only way the movies can become cheaper is through increased production.
If the player costs $300 and each movie costs $30 there will be no mass adoption and lower profits for all.
Agreed, this is just going to slow uptake, which will translate to less money for Sony and less content on Bluray. The only way this could help Sony is to cause people to purchase a PS3 because it's the lowest priced Bluray player on the market.
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiGHFLYiN9 View Post
The only way this could help Sony is to cause people to purchase a PS3 because it's the lowest priced Bluray player on the market.
That is not true. The dedicated player BDP-S300 lists for $399, same as the 80GB PS3. Even guessing a holiday $100 PS3 price drop, the dedicated players will still be in line, perhaps cheaper than the PS3 throughout 08 according to Mr. Glasgow.

/Oops, don't mean to hog the thread. I'll back off.
post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
Only somewhat related - but I wonder if even the threat of a new HD VMD format [NYTimes] could play a part in lowering Blu-ray prices? Probably wishful thinking. Maybe a new format war could be fun.
post #12 of 24
VMD will never catch on in europe and the US without studio licensing, personaly, since most independent film makers are turning to the "independent" subbrands of major studios to try to sell their movies, the VMD might pick up in places with major film industries like the bollywood circle in india or the hong kong movie market, aswell as the rising chinese cinema market, the same way VCD and SVCD picked up in asia, it provided a cheap alternative at a time where DVD was too expencive for that market, plus VCD and SVCD didnt require much modification to manufacturing lines as they were based on the compact disc data standart,

theres also probobly going to be a VCD equivalent for high definition video, basicly using HD-Divx, HD-Xvid and HD-WMV to fit movies in 720p and 1080 in to single and dual layer DVD´s, compressed HD movies might fit in to 2-4-8gb, i have seen a HD-DVD rip of stardust that fits in 2gb at 720p, the problem was that it was english only and all the extras have been removed, but depending on the market, it might be better off,

now, theres another point of view on the issue, as presented at slashdot a few days ago, that with the price slashing of HD-DVD equipment, they might not be any good as a next generation format, but they are excelent quality upscaling DVD players, aswell as having a selection of allready published HD-DVD movies on the market at a heavy discount, meaning that if you have to buy a a new DVD player, you might aswell pick up a HD-DVD thats on sale for more or less the same price both are around 100-150 bucks now considering a good upscaling DVD player and a toshiba HD-DVD thats on sale,

as for blue-ray, the clock is ticking, fibre to the home and cable means an increase in bandwidth, which will lead to movie rentals and TV on demand trough sling, AppleTV, Hulu and such, meaning that the physical format market will drop and become a niche market for people who like to have hard printed copies of movies, but as most of the market is rentals, being able to remove the part where you actually have to go somewhere, get the disc, watch it and 2 days later you have to go and return the disk might be positive for the rental market,

my opinion, if they dont have wallmart branded chinese players for $99,95 on the shelf for xmas, blue-ray will be heading in the direction of HD-DVD,
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aevum View Post
VMD will never catch on in europe and the US without studio licensing
I doubt the studios are interested in being embroiled in another format war so soon after the last one.
post #14 of 24
the thing is, that VMD has nothing for the studios, the DRM is too weak and they are a bit late in the game for studio support, but it might still stand a good chance in asia if the mastering costs are low and they can produce the players at a cheap cost, who gives a rats behind about the american and european market when you can dominate the indian and chinese market, 600 million people vs 2.1 billion,
post #15 of 24
All formats as far back as i could remember started high and as more
were bought production stepped up and costs came down along with
the software,sd-dvd was a prime example 25.00 movies under a glass
counter and 600.00 players now look how cheap both are.
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