Holy Moly Blu-Ray Disc Players below $300

I was in a major electronics chain store last weekend and they had the entry-level Samsung player at about $300. But what really got my attention is that the membership warehouse stores have the Sony 301 (that's a 300 plus HDMI cable included) for under $280.

Makes me wonder if I should have just sprung for that Oppo DV-980H. I *did* get it partly for its SACD/DVD-A capabilities, though.
Wait. had been in or around this biz, in on form or another, for over a decade. And,Unless they're dumping a product from production in favor of superior units, are selling of referb units with blems and no warranty, there's NO WAY these prices can be right! - could they!?!
Weird. I'd like to know more on this story. I mean, prices have then fallen by like 80% in a year and a half time!
Is this all true?
Yes its true. Its a market share fight for the future. HD-DVDs production/distribution costs are lower and they are pressing Blu Ray hard by forcing big losses on them just like Blu Ray came out swinging with their marketing and stuck it to HD-DVD big time, initially grabbing 70% of disc sales ( its since evened up quite a bit if you look at the past months Amazon sales rank data for top 100 Blu Ray vs HD-DVD)
From the future shop site...

Toshiba HD DVD Player (HD-D3)

Released 15 Dec/07. With the HD-D3, Toshiba delivers the excellent picture, sound, and... More Info

Price: $99.99
You save: $300.00 after instant savings.....

I have no dog in this fight, yet. Blue-ray currently has greater storage capacity than HD DVD, although that may be changing (see wikipedia posts below). Looks like audio formats for movies on disk are being held back by studio decisions rather than technology at this point. Perhaps when standard DVDs are in decline, studios will be motivated to increase audio specs for all movies on disk. From a video perspective - looks like full 1080p performance is more dependent on the choice of video processor and implementation of circuitry by the manufacturer than the format used (HD DVD vs Blue-ray).

Wikipedia discussion of HD DVD and Blue-ray:




For what its worth, the $99 Toshiba described in this thread is not a full 1080p player. Newer HD DVD and Blue-ray players are 1080p native, including PS3.

From Amazon.com:

Toshiba HD-D3 HD DVD Player
Technical Details

* HD Output: 720p/1080i - SD Upconversion with HDMI: 480p/720p/1080i
* Playback Media: HD DVD Video, DVD Video, DVD VR, DVD-R (Video), DVD-R DL (Video), DVD-RW (Video/VR CPRM), CD, CD-R/-RW (CD-DA)
* OSD Language: English/French/Spanish/Others - Advanced Navigation
I'd be careful what you listen to in this thread. I own the PS3 and use it for Blu-Ray and it looks and works phenomenally. None of the stuttering or "strange" playback issues mentioned. I also have the XBox 360 HD-DVD add-on and have had no overwhelming issues with that either. Sure the HD-DVD add-on isn't as great overall compared to the PS3, but that is only because of the slight differences between 1080i and 1080p, i.e. there is a slight loss of overall smoothness.

I wouldn't listen to anyone saying that "all" players from one camp or the others aren't good, or are garbage, or "insert blatantly prejudiced statement here." Those people are just looking to get people to buy the format they chose to buy.

Underneath all the bologna there is one major technological difference in the long term between these two formats. One has more storage potential than the other one when all things are equal (since they both can add multiple layers...). That format is Blu-Ray.