Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Samsung Bundles Blu-ray with HTiB

Samsung Canada says that, in March 2008, the company will offer a Blu-ray player bundled with a home theatre in-a-box (HTiB) system for an MSRP of $1,499.99. Samsung's latest BD-P1400 Blu-ray disc player currently sells for about $500 in Canada.

This offering will add fuel to the fire of a high-definition DVD format war that doesn’t seem to have an end in sight. Research company DisplaySearch says that we'll likely see a lot of bundles and add-ons in the consumer electronics sector in 2008, and it looks like the high-def DVD arena won't be a stranger to this trend. The HD DVD camp has already been offering bundled deals fore some time, with things like five bonus HD DVDs with the purchase of a Toshiba HD DVD player, and even with select notebook PCs that have an HD DVD drive. This new Blu-ray HTiB offer from Samsung will add another notch in the belt of the Blu-ray camp, and create even more competition on the value side of the fence.

When it comes to which format is actually "winning" the war, various reports state different figures. The latest information from the U.S. National Retail Federation claims that, during the first week of the holiday shopping season (Black Friday), HD DVD players led in unit sales, but Blu-ray led in revenue.

I’m not sure which business model will work: you can sell all the units you like, but if you’re losing money on each, what’s the point? Conversely, you can sell fewer, but more expensive units, which might create a healthy niche market, but could it lead to mass market adoption of your product?

Samsung’s move to bundle a Blu-ray player with an HTiB might just be the answer to the latter question. The 7.1-channel HT-BD2T system will include four tower speakers, three satellites, and a sub, and offer 1,100 watts of power, combined with Dolby Digital +, TrueHD, and DTS-HD. And, of course, a built-in Blu-ray player. A more affordable system, named the HT-AS720ST, will also be available for $599.99. Although it will not come with a Blu-ray player built-in, it will be promoted as being “fully compatible” with a standalone Blu-ray player. This system, available in late March 2008, will offer a 7.1-channel AV receiver with HDMI v1.3 switching, 5.1 speaker package, and a 150 watt sub.

For those who thought a clear winner (regardless of which side) would be in place by 2008, it looks like the battle might just be getting started.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dont buy blueray , Sony the format developer has been ripping off consumers for decades .
Remember betamax , el cassette , minidisc , sacd . All dead formats . Not to mention anything that uses memory stick , the portable flash memory that fits only sony products . Sony ads say it all . Sony the one and only . Companies like this deserve to go bankrupt .

Been there... said...

If bundling a higher capability drive in HTIBs was at all useful as a tool to decide a format war, then Sony would have triumphed with SACD. Every tacky "Dream System" played SACD... so what?
What is needed here is some regulatory body with bollocks (or ovaries) to mandate that no new format can be sprung on the public unless a manufacturer will make a commitment of at least ten years support. That means support for parts and software that mirrors the support for all current technologies. That means significant penalties for non-performance.
I've been in this business for over 15 years. I am disgusted by yet another greed-fueled fishing expedition for market share that will leave tens of thousands of consumers with expensive doorstops. With the pace of change accelerating, we are liable to see this fiasco repeated over and over and caveat emptor should not be the first requirement when purchasing new technology for your home.

Piper said...

But, but... But... I'm not done with DVD...

On any TV less than 42 inches, HD means nothing if you are sitting at a reasonable distance... And for the bigger TVs, it means even less... The quality of the screen for any TV above 42 inch drops off dramatically... And its worse for projectors...

There is no point in moving into either HD DVD or Blue Ray for the next 5 years, and then, only after one system is dead and the other system rules the market... I think the public is tired of being told to run out and buy that new product (because you gotta have it to keep up with the Jones) that really isn't that special.

They are trying to steer us towards one product or the other, with fear mongering that the other will become the next Batemax... And the truth is, they could both be the next Batemax... There is nothing to stop both camps loosing... We could all be left owning hardware and disks that are "Has been technology"...

Anonymous said...

Dont buy blu-ray?Hey Stupid learn how to spell it. I remember bata, ya it lost but still a better format then VHS. And what about there memory its better then the rest faster and more reliable. So do your research idiot. All hail Blu-ray the better choice of the two and going to be the champ.