“No thousand dollar machines”, says Panasonic. The new Ultra HD Blu-ray players are expected to be two to three times more expensive than HD players. The UHD movie discs will cost approximately the same, according to What Hi-Fi.
Less expensive than feared
The new Ultra HD Blu-ray logo was announced yesterday and the industry is now ready to comment on the matter. Panasonic has shared some details regarding launch plans.
- "Certainly for Panasonic, and most manufacturers, by IFA time in September we want to have players showing content. By holiday season, we want these to be available," said Ron Martin, VP of Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory to What Hi-Fi.
Martin also commented on the pricing of the new Ultra HD Blu-ray players.
- "But it won't be as severe as some launches in the past, we won't be seeing thousand dollar machines. Maybe two to three times the cost of equivalent HD players. But that will drop over time."
That is good news since all previous first-generation CD, DVD, HD-DVD, and Blu-ray players have been very expensive. The cheapest HD Blu-ray players are selling for less than $100, but it is unlikely that they would qualify as “equivalent HD players”. Martin is likely referring to $200-300 machines.
Lastly, Martin commented on the price of UHD Blu-ray movies that he expects will have “prices comparable to existing Blu-rays”.
Many studios are already working on a range of Ultra HD movies, but a list of launch titles has yet to be released. We know the names of some Dolby Vision titles, and we can probably expect to hear more in the coming months as the industry is trying to build momentum for Ultra HD Blu-ray.
IFA 2015 kicks off in Berlin on September 4th. We will be there.