Rounding Up HD News: Wal-Mart Boasts Lowest-Priced Blu-ray Player; Sony Goes Blu in China

Nov 20, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Wal-Mart Boasts Lowest-Priced Blu-ray Player for Black Friday
Wal-Mart is unveiling the Magnavox Profile 1.1 Blu-ray player for $128 on Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving. That’s the lowest retail price ever for the format, Home Media Magazine reports.
The low price was first reported at bargainlist.com, one of several sites that track Black Friday deals. Wal-Mart declined comment on the price.
Sony First to Go Blu in China
While most studios have been hesitant to start supplying Blu-ray discs to China, citing fears of piracy, Sony Pictures will officially introduce the format to the country, Daily Variety reports.
Sony is launching 30 titles for nearly $30 per disc, with films including “Hitch,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and the “Spider-Man” trilogy, the newspaper said. The company is exporting titles to China currently, but said it is looking to have local production running within the year.
Warner Bros. and Disney reportedly are soon to follow with Blu-ray into China.
‘Wall-E,’ ‘Tropic Thunder’ Land in Blu-ray
One of the more hyped Blu-ray releases for the Christmas season, Disney’s “Wall-E,” rolled into stores on Tuesday, touting beautiful visuals and direct-to-digital transfers, High Def Digest reports.
The film contains an additional short entitled “Burn-E,” along with a director’s commentary and deleted scenes. The Blu-ray release contains exclusive content including another commentary about the film’s environmental and political views, as well as 3-D fly-bys of all of the sets.
Also released on Tuesday, DreamWorks’ “Tropic Thunder” includes special features including commentary from Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr., as well as several featurettes on the making of the film.
Despite Price Drops, Blu-ray Not Flying Off Shelves
Even with heavy discounts, Blu-ray players are not moving as fast as retailers would have hoped, but Black Friday could kick-start a sales movement, Video Business reports.
Retailers Gerhard Appliances and Bjorn’s saw no change in sales after Sony and Samsung slashed $100 from the price of Blu-ray players in September.
Retailers are skeptical that sales will hit the 2.5 million installed base that has been projected for the end of this year, the site said.
However, most remain hopeful that sub-$150 pricing for Black Friday will inject enough pep into consumers to boost sales.
Studios Scale Back Blu-ray Sales Predictions
Home video studio chiefs are revising their sales predictions for Blu-ray due to the faltering economy, Video Business reports.
At a press briefing organized by the Digital Entertainment Group, Warner Home Video President Ron Sanders and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment President David Bishop each placed their total Blu-ray software sales in 2008 at around $750 million, scaled back from the $1 billion predicted by most studios earlier in the year.
Despite the sales reconfiguring, Mr. Bishop and Mr. Sanders stressed that Blu-ray’s success is not being threatened by the state of the economy, but wanted to set realistic expectations of consumer spending.

Your Comment

Email (will not be published)