Those waiting until Black Friday for the sub-$100 price point do not have to brave the crowds in order to buy a $99 Blu-ray player, though more $99 offerings are expected to be available on Black Friday.
The lower prices this holiday season will help to dramatically increase the number of standalone Blu-ray players sold in the US, according to In-stat analyst Michelle Abraham.
In-Stat?s Residential Technology Survey in March 2009 showed that 45% of consumers who are interested in buying a Blu-ray player were willing to pay between $100 and $199. Now that there are many more models to choose from in this price range, In-Stat expects Blu-ray player shipments to double in 2009 and again in 2010.
At $99 the price of a Blu-ray player comes close to DVD player pricing. Tier 1 brands sell upconverting DVD players for $70 at retail. As the price differential declines over the next few years, In-Stat expects tier 1 brands to stop offering DVD-only players and move to offering Blu-ray players that are advertised as also playing DVDs.
Blu-ray products remain at the top of respondents' holiday wish lists in 2009, according In-Stat.