First Sub-£100 Blu Ray Disc Player Available At Argos

Somehow we missed this one. High Street Store Survivor Argos has slashed the cost of its entry level Blu Ray Disc Player, the Bush BD01, from £146.80 to a mere £97.86, making it in effect, the cheapest Blu Ray disc player in UK.

The device sports Dolby sound system, has two stereo channels and supports a bewildering array of formats including DVD+/-R, BDROM, CD-R/RW and much more. There's also an HDMI output socket and the 1080p can scale up to 1080p and 1080i.

You can buy it at Argos for only £97.86. Stock, we've been told, are very limited. Should you miss out on this one, you can buy the Sharp Aquos BD-HP20H at Argos for £146.80, less than half the suggested retail price of £300.

The lack of cheap players is one of the reasons why Blu-Ray has yet to succeed. Sales of the most popular Blu-ray title of all times, The Dark Knight, topped 1.7 million units, which represents only a fraction of the near 12 million DVD's that were sold. Films on Blu-ray media have yet to reach parity with the ones available on DVDs. Once this will have been reached (together with more sub £100 Blu-ray players and even more 40+ inchers 1080p/i television), then Blu Ray will certainly surpass DVD.

In related news, a recent survey showed that VHS is still the most popular format in Japan - the most technically advanced country in the world - with nearly seven out of ten households queried saying they still have one VHS player. That's more than 10 times more than the number of respondents saying that they have adopted a Blu Ray player.

Hard disk recorders accounted for 45 percent of the votes which means that many Japanese households - like in the UK - still record television programmes for future viewing.

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Our Comments

Sales of Blu-ray Discs in the UK reached a mere 462,500 in November according to research firm Futuresource, a 165% increase over October 2008 but still far, far less than DVD over the same period. Sales of Blu-ray disc players are expected to tripled across Europe and this exclude Sony PS3 consoles. But these figures hide a nasty truth. People are yet to be educated as to the advantages of Blu-ray over DVD. And there's an even nastier boogie man on the horizon : video downloads/streaming.

Related Links

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Blu-ray still dwarfed by VHS in Japan


How can we expect Blu-ray to succeed?


BD sales in Britain grew by 165% in one month


The Dark Knight may yet save Blu-ray from the lair of the PS3