According to ABI Research, prices for older model Blu-ray players should drop to $150 USD for the holiday season, a steep price drop over their current average $200-250 USD price tags.
The analyst group says the price drops will be necessary to fight off pressures from emerging HD movie download services. The group also believes the studios will need strong Blu-ray sales for the holiday following the current economic downturn.
The sales prices will most likely be on older Profile 1.0 and 1.1 players that lack BD-Live Internet capabilities.
“Blu-ray vendors and dealers are starting to realize that for Blu-ray to become the next DVD, they need to lower player prices in order to generate interest and build volumes,” notes ABI Research’s principal analyst Steve Wilson.
HD download services, especially those rolled out recently by Netflix, TiVo and Amazon, will be Blu-ray’s biggest competition for the time being, noted ABI.
Result for: price tags
Originally announced at the CES event in January, Panasonic has finally unveiled its new PZ850-series Viera plasmas including specs, release dates and prices.
The lineup will have 46, 50, 58 and 65-inch models and will most notably have built-in Internet access, allowing TV viewers to watch YouTube clips or Picasa photos without needing a separate media hub. There will be support for other websites coming as well, says Panasonic.
Each HDTV will have four HDMI ports, PC inputs, and a high native contrast ratio of 30,000:1. The maximum dynamic contrast ratio is an also high 1,000,000:1. Each set will also have a built-in SD slot and internal H.264 decoding meaning owners of HD camcorders or those with HD video can watch immediately without having to convert the video.
The two smaller models will be available in mid-June with $3,100 USD and $3500 USD price tags respectively. The larger models will hit stores in September with $4300 USD and $8000 USD price tags respectively.
Result for: price tags
Mitsubishi has introduced a new line of LCD displays, dubbed the 149 Series, that replace the standard stereo speakers of most TVs with “a 16-point audio system, much like speaker bars, that can generate a 5.1-channel surround effect without occupying the physical space.”
The first two TVs to use this new system, called the integrated Sound Projector, are the 46-inch LT46149 and 52-inch LT-52149 and can utilize the system to “optimize the sound field for a certain room size and sweet spot to more convincingly generate audio.”
Beyond the excellent speakers, the full HD 1080p 149 series comes with a 120Hz refresh rate and can also accept one-way CableCARDs for tuning cable-based HDTV without the need for a cable set top box.
Both TVs should begin shipping later this month with price tags of $3,299 USD and $3,699 USD respectively.