The price is right for high definition discs

As we draw closer to the launch of the high definition video formats, HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, more information begins to surface, like the pricing of the actual discs, for example.

During their press event early last week, Warner Home Video was the first studio to commit to a planned retail price for their high definition releases, making it clear that they will be priced at $29.98. We feel this is a good price point, especially for a brand new format in its inception where production and manufacturing costs are still high. The price point is comparable to that of DVD and clearly, it will drop as time goes by.

Yesterday, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment also laid out their pricing structure for their Blu-Ray titles. The studio will no longer announce a suggested retail price but instead name wholesale prices only, which means retailers will be able to mark up those releases at their own discretion, which has been happening in essence with DVD anyway. The studio takes a two-tier approach to their releases, pri9cing catalog titles at $17.95 and new theatrical releases at $23.95 wholesale. Which will translate to slight premium over comparable DVD releases.

Overall we are pleased to see that studios seem to take a sensible approach to pricing their high def offerings, which is critical in making the formats appealing to consumers.

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