HD Disc Formats' Prices Falling Fast

Both HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc players are experiencing price drops a bit faster than expected a few months ago, according to a market analyst, and although prices remain several times higher for players of standard DVDs, the HD players' prices are now falling at about the same overall rate.
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Both HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc players are experiencing price drops a bit faster than expected a few months ago, according to a market analyst, and although prices remain several times higher for players of standard DVDs, the HD players' prices are now falling at about the same overall rate.

HD disc player prices by next fall's holiday season could be down to about 50 percent of what they were last December, according to estimates from researcher Understanding & Solutions. By 2009, when both incompatible formats have been on the market for roughly three years, standalone Blu-ray and HD DVD players (as well as PlayStation 3 and its internal Blu-ray drive) may list "average prices" of $200-$300, according to Understanding & Solutions' projections reported in Video Business.

Standard DVD players, after about three years on the market, had begun to reach as low as $100 for basic units, although those players had started out selling at much lower price points than did either Blu-ray or HD DVD units. And initial sales of standard DVD players were among the most rapid of any new product in consumer electronics history.

That impressive sales record will not be easily duplicated with today's next-gen players because millions of consumers already have disc players (albeit standard ones) that will not be replaced until necessary. Still, prices may continue to fall more rapidly for HD-centric players than envisioned even a few months ago, according to Understanding & Solutions.