Blu-ray to Be Less Expensive Soon

Blu-ray might have won the high-definition (HD) disc format wars, but it still has a long way to go before it wins a place in our living rooms... If it ever does. In fact, physical media is seeing increasing competition for our eyeballs from Internet streaming and download sources, such as Netflix and Vudu. Further complicating matters is that Blu-ray equipment and media are perceived as being too expensive for most folks, especially when compared against the cost of DVD equipment and media--the very format that Blu-ray is supposed to supplant. In a move that should bring down the price of Blu-ray equipment and media, three of the nine founding members of the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA), are proposing the establishment of "a one-stop-shop license for Blu-ray Disc products."

Presently, manufacturers and content owners have to license the relevant Blu-ray rights from each of the Blu-ray technology patent owners. A joint licensing agreement would make it much easier for companies to secure Blu-ray technology licenses. This joint license agreement would cover the necessary and relevant patents for not just Blu-ray, but also for DVD and CD technologies as well. "As a result of the efficiencies obtained with the combined license offering, the royalty rates for Blu-ray Disc products are expected to be at least 40% lower than the current cumulative royalty rates for individual Blu-ray Disc, DVD and CD format licenses."

The three companies advocating this new licensing paradigm are Panasonic, Philips, and Sony, and they claim to be "working with other Blu-ray Disc patent holders" to try to get the system in place as soon as "the middle of this year." An independent licensing company will be set up with the "former head of IP at IBM and more recently CEO of Open Invention Network," Gerald Rosenthal, as its CEO. Offices will be located in the U.S, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. This new company will also act as a policeman of sorts, identifying Blu-ray products that have not properly secured Blu-ray licenses.

"The fees for the new product licenses are US$9.50 for a Blu-ray Disc player and US$14.00 for a Blu-ray Disc recorder. The per disc license fees for Blu-ray Disc will be US$0.11 for a read only disc, US$0.12 for a recordable disc and US$0.15 for a rewritable disc."

As a comparison, the DVD license fee for manufacturers for a DVD player starts at $3, and the fee for a DVD recorder starts at $6. License fees for DVD-ROM, DVD-Audio, and DVD-Video discs are $0.04 per disc; DVD-R and DVD+R licenses are $0.045 per disc; and licenses for DVD-RW and DVD+RW discs are $0.065 per disc.

It's too early to tell for sure, but this should quickly bring down the cost of Blu-ray players and discs, potentially making the technology more affordable and therefore more appealing to more people. But with increasing HD content available from other sources, the future of Blu-ray is anything but certain.
Via:  Sony
Tags:  Blu-ray
Super Dave 5 years ago

The prices are going to have to be A LOT lower before I buy Blu-ray, and it's not just because I am a cheap guy! Take a look HERE.

3vi1 5 years ago

I wonder: Is adoption slow because of price, or does it have more to do with the average household television negating any improvement over the DVD players people already own?

I would imagine that the people who can afford large 1920x1080p TVs probably aren't complaining about $220 for a player at this point. Especially when those same toy-junkies already have it in the form of one of the 22 million PS3s out there.

bob_on_the_cob 5 years ago

I know a lot of people with HDTVs. Most of them get them from rent to own places or some apartments offer them mounted on the wall around here. I only know one person with a BluRay player. And thats a PS3. I do know 3 people with HDDVD players though.Confused

acarzt 5 years ago

I have a PS3 and a DVD upconverter connected to my 32" Sharp 1080P TV. It's really hard to tell the difference between some of the movies. SOME of my DVDs actually look even better than some of my Blu ray discs because their is a lot of noise. There are some movies tho, that are clearly better than the DVDs. Of course this is Apples to oranges comparison... but I still think the production value on some of these Blu Ray movies needs to be better.

imAcpufan 5 years ago

I've got a Blu-ray drive in my computer. Since I already had an HDCP enabled monitor (1920 x 1200 24")I figured I'd try it out. You do notice a sharper picture in most cases, although it definitely depends on how the movies are re-encoded. has been selling a 2x Sony Blu-ray drive for $99.99 on sale and I've bought several blu-rays for 19.99, so prices can be somewhat DVDs used to be that price not too long ago, though. Still it depends on your personal taste I guess.

Der Meister 5 years ago

I love B-ray it would be great if it were competiave with DVD

ice91785 5 years ago

My HTPC (mITX) that I built a little while back has a BD-ROM installed. I can't say that I am bothered too much by pricing at the moment as I just rent my BDs from netflix anyway. (They add $1 a month if you want to rent blu-rays)

So its not breaking me either way :)

Super Dave 5 years ago

The jobless numbers for California were recently released and the state's unemployment rate is 10.1%. LA County is at 10.5%. So just how soon are those Blu-ray price cuts expected to hit?

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