Wow. Proving that competition always benefits the consumer, HD format players are getting cheaper by the day. Today, one of Samsung’s flagship Blu-ray players hit the sub $300 price zone as the HD format war heats up this holiday season.
The Samsung BD-P1400 as it’s known, is currently available at Amazon for $297.95 reports Engadget. We’ve checked Amazon and it’s legit, although it’s unknown how long supplies will last at this price. The player retailed at over $1000 when it first hit stores. At some stores, it retailed for over $2000.
Amazon also has Sony’s BDP-S300 for $400, but that’s a weak bargain even though it also started out at over $1000. The Playstation 3 at $400 is a great Blu-ray player and it’s also an awesome gaming console, and it’s currently retailing everywhere for $400 or $500 depending on the model.
HD-DVD players are still the route to take if you’re looking for a cheap (in price) high def experience, but the format is struggling. Despite that Toshiba’s HD-A2 is currently at $217.88 on Amazon, overall the major studios are leaning towards Blu-ray as opposed to HD-DVD. And Hd-DVD’s biggest ally, Microsoft, is being forced to cash out large checks in order to keep companies at the HD-DVD camp.
Michael Bay, a huge Blu-ray supporter despite that his movies and his studio, Paramount Pictures, back HD-DVD, believes Microsoft is keeping HD-DVD alive in order to ultimately kill both formats in favor of direct downloads.
As Warner Brothers tries to figure out what it’ll ultimately favor, the biggest losers and winners here are the consumers. Competition means lower prices, but a competing format means some of us will have bought a player with nothing new to play on it once a winning format emerges. With the total number of stand alone players sold coming out to about the same for each format, the PS3 is giving Blu-ray a huge boost.
About 700,000 to 750,000 HD-DVD players are in people’s homes right now, and Blu-ray can claim the same. But Blu-ray also has about 2 million Playstation 3 units sold. Many will claim that PS3 owners don’t buy Blu-ray discs, but Blu-ray outsold HD-DVD in discs sold for Black Friday week and I (have a PS3 and) buy Blu-ray discs. I have friends with Playstation 3 units and they buy Blu-ray discs. PS3 owners buy or will buy Blu-ray discs and it’s foolish to think they don’t.
Knowing those numbers, is it wise to buy HD-DVD player? Since they’re not that expensive, if you really like HD-DVD, you’re not losing much anyway.