Blu-ray receives another price cut

Blu-ray supporters will sit on pins and needles this holiday season, hoping consumers finally begin to adopt the high-definition format that has struggled in recent months. 

Older Blu-ray models can finally be found for less than $200, but many consumers, especially due to global economic problems, have been reluctant to spend hard-earned cash on a rather unneeded technology.

Amazon plans to have a Samsung Blu-ray player and four movies available for a price around $200.  Other retailers are expected to announce what kind of deals they’ll have on Blu-ray, HDTVs, and other products in the next few weeks — if not, deal sites will publish leaked Black Friday deals.

A common criticism is that even with declining Blu-ray player prices, the cost of HDTVs has remained too high.  This may have been true just six months ago, but the cost of HDTVs able to support Blu-ray also have declined, and deal savvy consumers could have a Blu-ray player, TV, and a few movies for under $900.

To get a jump on the competition, Wal-Mart again is hosting a Saturday sale in which it will offer a Sanyo 46" LCD 1080p HDTV for $798, but does not have any Blu-ray player deals ready for tomorrow.  The popular American retailer is expected to have both Blu-ray players and movies available for lower prices on Black Friday.

"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," said ABI Research principal analyst Steve Wilson.  "They are also getting more competition than they expected from download alternatives such as Xbox 360 and the Roku Netflix player, TiVo and Amazon."

Even though streaming content poses a serious threat to Blu-ray, Wilson points out why it will  help Blu-ray in the continued effort to overtake DVDs.  "The more the Blu-ray players adopt these download capabilities, the better they will be able to differentiate themselves from standard DVD players."

If you’ve been thinking about purchasing a Blu-ray player but have sat on the fence, this holiday season could finally be the time to splurge.  Declining prices due to lack of interest, increased competition from streaming services, and economic troubles have helped make Blu-ray more affordable than ever.

I’m not ready to say Blu-ray will be dead if it doesn’t succeed this holiday season, but most of you should agree that it needs a strong showing if it hopes to survive in the future.  I’m going to