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Blu-ray Player Prices Hit 2008 Highs 318

Posted by Zonk
from the them's-some-prices-right-there dept.
An anonymous reader writes "HD DVD is almost gone and Blu-ray prices are already on their way up. TG Daily went through average retail prices of some of the popular Blu-ray players and found that you should expect to pay at least $400 for an entry-level Blu-ray player, while you could get a player for less than $330 in February. It really should not be a surprise for all of us, but it is interesting to see how quickly retail adjusted to the new situation and increased prices."
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Blu-ray Player Prices Hit 2008 Highs

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  • by glop (181086) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @06:06PM (#22733256)
    by not buying the now overpriced gear...
    • by calebt3 (1098475)
      ...as all the sheeple swarm past you to get a drive that they know will not be rendered obsolete for a while.
      • by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @06:28PM (#22733504)
        It's a golden age for Blu-Ray - a golden age that will last forever.
      • by squiggleslash (241428) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @06:35PM (#22733562) Homepage Journal

        The joke being that almost all the Blu-ray players on the market right now are obsolete. BD Live has been part of the spec since November, but pretty much nothing supports it, and most Blu-ray players can't even be upgraded to support it. The PS3 is about the only safe bet right now.

        Oh, and the other joke is that BD Live just brings Blu-ray up to (nearly) the same level as HD DVD. Yes, at the time WHV threw its weight behind Blu-ray, Blu-ray was both more expensive than HD DVD, and less powerful (capacity excepting.)

        Great decision Hollywood. You went for the format that's out of most people's price range, that's unlikely to be in people's price range for a while, and which had less features (and thus less clear advantages over DVD) than HD DVD. In practice, I suspect you've doomed HD media to a niche, while the vast majority stick with DVD for movies they want to own, and PPV and the various download services for content they want to see in HD.

        I still find the decision incomprehensible.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Jeremy Erwin (2054)

          Oh, and the other joke is that BD Live just brings Blu-ray up to (nearly) the same level as HD DVD. Yes, at the time WHV threw its weight behind Blu-ray, Blu-ray was both more expensive than HD DVD, and less powerful (capacity excepting.)

          Did you actually use those more "powerful" features?

        • Yeah....what he said!

          Seriously though, you just hit the nail on the head. Where are the Blu-Ray movies with multiple branching plots like House on Haunted Hill 2? Where are the players that are actually to play the $30+ movies I'll be buying? Why should I get anything but a PS3 as my media device?

          • by Admiral Ag (829695) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @07:33PM (#22734098)
            The obvious move is to get a PS3 then. It is a decent media centre as well, and everyone who buys one can have the added pleasure of humiliating me at Warhawk, since I am the worst player on God's green earth.

            Sometimes I wonder if the anti-PS3 crowd are simply those people who publicly predicted its failure and are now desperate not to be proven wrong. e.g. the "I'd rather have trousers full of rabid ferrets than buy a PS3!!!" meme.

            I bought a PS3 out of curiosity with Blu Ray, and after watching 2001 and A Clockwork Orange in HD (would buy Eyes Wide Shut for the nudie bits, but wife objects), I'd say it was well worth it if you're a film buff.
            • by mqduck (232646) <mqduck@mqd[ ].net ['uck' in gap]> on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @11:57PM (#22735850)

              2001 and A Clockwork Orange in HD (would buy Eyes Wide Shut for the nudie bits, but wife objects)
              No Eyes Wide Shut, but your wife doesn't mind a movie where a guy cuts through a womans clothes and rapes her?
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by phoomp (1098855)
            Seems to me a little suspect that the only device fully compatible with Sony's spec is Sony's device.
        • by feepness (543479) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @07:13PM (#22733930) Homepage

          The joke being that almost all the Blu-ray players on the market right now are obsolete.
          Were all your DVD players obsolete when component video came out? What about when Surround Sound came out? Why does having an extra feature that is not required to watch the original movie make a player obsolete? How about DVD+/-R?

          This isn't rocket science. You move the player to the bedroom or the kid's playroom or you give it to your Mom and you get a new one if you want the features so bad. If you don't, well then your player isn't obsolete, is it?.

          I still have and use a DVD player I got in 1999. It still works perfectly fine.

          It is attitudes like this that contribute to our garbage ridden throwaway society.

          Yes, at the time WHV threw its weight behind Blu-ray, Blu-ray was both more expensive than HD DVD, and less powerful (capacity excepting.)
          So at the time, it was less powerful (except where it wasn't) and more expensive (because it wasn't being dumped below cost). Of course, BluRay had the greater capacity to improve, whereas a 3-layer HD-DVD was a tech demo pipe dream.

          You went for the format that's out of most people's price range, that's unlikely to be in people's price range for a while, and which had less features (and thus less clear advantages over DVD) than HD DVD. In practice, I suspect you've doomed HD media to a niche, while the vast majority stick with DVD for movies they want to own, and PPV and the various download services for content they want to see in HD.
          You keep telling yourself that. The price jump is a minor glitch given that there is no longer a war going on and they aren't dumping them below cost. Do you think HD-DVD player prices would have stayed low if BluRay had thrown in the towel? They would have risen more. By Christmas they will be down to $200. Why is this so hard for people to understand? Why is it the same people who were convinced that HD-DVD was going to take off now suddenly think that download media is going to be the thing?

          I still find the decision incomprehensible.
          The capacity of human beings for engaging in self-deception never ceases to amaze me.
          • by cream wobbly (1102689) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @08:30PM (#22734528)

            This isn't rocket science. You move the player to the bedroom or the kid's playroom or you give it to your Mom and you get a new one if you want the features so bad. If you don't, well then your player isn't obsolete, is it?.
            If you no longer use something because it lacks newer features, then it is obsolete. Let's think of some examples of obsolescence together, shall we? The Commodore 64; wax cylinders; violent confrontation; car telephones. Does their obsolescence render them unusable?
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by batkiwi (137781)
            A few points:
            -The DVD player I bought in 1999 had component video output and optical/co-ax surround output
            -Dolby Digital surround was part of the ORIGINAL spec for DVD
            -I bought a reciever too early. It supported DD but not DTS. Saving Private Ryan only had surround for DTS, the DD track was stereo. I was angry.
            -New profile Blu-Ray players will NOT be $200 at christmas. What makes you think this?
          • by pionzypher (886253) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @09:17PM (#22734864)
            Bravo sir, bravo.
            You have, in one posting both lambasted the wastefulness of our society and managed to take a jab at the download model. So which is it? The HD wars left me a bit blase regarding the upgrade. Coincidentally, my old DVD player works as well. Thus, I will most likely avoid purchasing a BD player. I am aware that there is a perfectly viable market for BD, I won't debate it. Your arguments though seem to be based on the presumption that BD is more "futureproof". This, I would argue is irrelevant. It seems plausable that consumers would opt for a disc-less system, given a viable source for HD content and a HT player with a few TB of storage. I may very well be off the rocker on this, but most of the arguments against it also applied to Mp3s not so long ago.
             
                I suppose my point is that yes, DVD still works. The HD content on television isn't overly compelling. If I have a burning desire to watch a movie in HD, I download it. So far, Planet Earth is the sole HD movie that imo was worth watching in HD. I'll wait to buy until they're either far less expensive or the features and content unavailable in DVD, are compelling enough. If at that time, there is no alternative then yes... I will eat my hat and purchase a BD.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ecavalli (1216014)
          But you're forgetting the most important Blu-Ray player of all: the PlayStation 3.

          I'm no PS3 zealot, but the system is not only the most popular BD player (by a huge margin), but it's also what the average person thinks of when they hear the word Blu-Ray. Sony's decision to pin the hopes of their new format on a game machine that just so happens to be very easily updated with whatever future tech Sony invents was a clever move by the firm, and it's going to continue to pay off, regardless of how inferior
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by letxa2000 (215841)

      Look how quickly I adjust too by not buying the now overpriced gear...

      Exactly. I'll adjust by using my normal $70 DVD player, probably for years to come.

  • PS3 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [werdnaredne]> on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @06:07PM (#22733268) Homepage Journal
    Meanwhile, there are rumors that once the PS3's start rolling out with 45nm CPUs and GPUs that they will drop $100 in price.

    $400 for an entry-level player, or $400 for the PS3?
  • by foxalopex (522681) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @06:10PM (#22733304)
    I would have thought the Blu-Ray group would have liked faster adoption after the demise of HD-DVD but it seems by keeping prices high they might end up slowing themselves down. What would be even more ironic is if the Blu-Ray group collapses themselves in a few years due to lack of demand. That would be a good laugh.
    • by aaarrrgggh (9205)
      Sony was selling the equipment at a loss to win the war, at least for pressing the disks (technically leasing the equipment...). Prices have to come up now so they make a profit. Simple business.

      Unfortunately, they didn't realize who their competition really was.
  • by Mogster (459037) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @06:11PM (#22733308)
    Potential competition from HD-DVD helped keep prices low to attract consumers. HD-DVD has lost so there is less incentive to keep the prices low. Once there are more manufacturers producing Blu-ray players then prices will start to drop again.
    Market forces at work
  • by PIPBoy3000 (619296) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @06:11PM (#22733316)
    If people continue to purchase DVD players (which are easily under $100), the Blu-ray player prices may drop after a few months. For many people, the quality of DVDs are just fine and they don't have the massive television displays to support them anyway. The cynic in me thinks we're seeing a price hike so stores get the cash from all the early adopters who bought HD-DVD and now feel obligated to buy a Blu-ray player.
    • by AbsoluteXyro (1048620) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @06:33PM (#22733546)
      I certainly hope those prices do come down. I just bought an OPPO upconverting DVD player to tide me over until prices become palatable. I am not paying more than $200 for a god damn movie player, I don't care how H it's D's are.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Pecisk (688001)
      I am getting kinda tired from this meme and it just gives impression of fox who can't get the grapes (Nah, HD is all way down to be closed, we have hacked our systems to play DVDs without control, so they just fine). Yes, HD-DVD and Blu-ray didn't matter until new line of high definition displays with reasonable price. However, now they kicked in and anyone who has seen results (Samsung K.I.N.O. line is very big example) would be stupid to claim that it isn't better (it is and man, I have seen movies/format
      • by debest (471937) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @07:46PM (#22734206)

        I am getting kinda tired from this meme
        (referring to DVD being "good enough")

        Hey, I agree that HD is tangibly better than standard DVD. But for me (and a whole bunch of other people), it is not nearly enough better to justify switching media formats (and, necessarily, upgrading hardware that is already paid for and working perfectly well).

        And while I have no gripe with Blu-ray peacefully coexisting with DVD, what I fear is that Blu-ray gets enough penetration that the industry can start ignoring the DVD format (VHS started dying off seriously when tapes stopped being distributed for new movies). When a studio is able to justify releasing a "Blu-ray exclusive" title, DVD will be toast quickly. Then I'll be stuck with an unsupported format that will continue to be "good enough" (for me, anyway) for years and years to come. I really, really don't want to deal with new un-rippable, premium-priced discs that will force me to buy a new player at minimum (and a new TV to see any benefit at all).

        Sure, this won't happen for awhile yet (heck, DVD may yet outlast Blu-ray in the market), but the swift end to the HD format war means that Blu-ray has much more of a chance of supplanting DVD.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Miguelito (13307)

          VHS started dying off seriously when tapes stopped being distributed for new movies

          It took several years for that to happen though. There were still tons of movies produced on VHS for a long time, mostly to rental stores. The reality was that those who actually bought movies, vs just renting, overwhelmingly migrated to DVD quickly. I've had a DVD player (first was Creative's first DVD kit for the PC) since late 1997 and since I started buying movies I really liked, I completely stopped getting VHS. But until DVD really took off in rental stores, VHS still had a pretty large market.

      • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @08:08PM (#22734390)
        >So my impression that Blu-ray rises just because people start to see reasonable displays to watch those HD discs with

        I have a reasonably display (37") for HD and really dont have a need to jump to the format. DVDs from my old Sony 480p DVD player look amazing. What looks terrible is my SD directivo. Right now I'm motivated to buy a HD tivo and HD service from directv. The cost of this for 12 months is what a bluray player costs me today. I watch more TV than I do movies. I seriously doubt I'm unique in this regard.

        That said, the first thing people are going to do when they get an HD set is pay for HD cable or satellite. They arent going to spend 600 dollars on some fancy player for movies. They might if it costs 200 dollars or less, but that wont happen for a long time if ever. Think of all the HD content Im going to get for only 10 dollars more than Im paying now.

        That said I doubt the digital download revolution will ever happen but HD via cable and satellite is here. Toss in some on-demand services and theres very little incentive to get a bluray player. For film geeks and videophiles it'll be a must-have, but then again so was the laserdisc.
  • by Gat0r30y (957941) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @06:12PM (#22733334) Homepage Journal
    At 400 bucks, why not just drop an extra 60 for a PS3? [google.com] Perhaps Sony has a good marketing strategy, make all the other BR players so damned expansive that people wont mind dropping the extra dough for a game system even if they don't want/need it.
  • by powerlord (28156) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @06:14PM (#22733344) Journal
    I'm not really surprised but this, but not because HD-DVD is dead.

    Blu-Ray recently add the "Profile 1.1" and "Profile 2.0" specs to their list (and yes, to all you HD-DVD supporters playing at home, Profile 2.0 does FINALLY bring Blu-Ray to feature parity with HD-DVD). Also, as we've been reminded time and again (especially by posters on /.), what percentage of TV owners even OWN an HDTV that could benefit from a next-gen format?

    Once the specs have settled a little, and as HDTV adoption increases, I'd expect to see economies of scale kick in (as opposed to the price war going on between the BD camp and the HD-DVD camp).

    Something else to keep in mind though, is that the PS3 is probably going to be leading the charge in the price war for the next few years.

    If $400 is the average price for a BD player, then the $400 PS3, as a current "Profile 1.1" and guaranteed future "Profile 2.0" player (according to Sony's press release from last years E3), makes it a steal as the best priced (and more "future-proof") unit. On the other hand, so long as the PS3 is competing with the XBox 360, they can not keep the price that much higher than their competitor, and they MUST include the Blu-Ray Drive, since PS3 games are shipped on BDs.

    It'll be interesting to follow the market as a whole as the PS3 ages into its life cycle, the price drops, and HDTV adoption increases.

      (I know at least 5 people in the past week that have finally decided to look into HDTVs that didn't know anything about it. Yes this is anecdotal evidence, but its more people than I have personally seen looking at getting an HDTV at a given time.)
  • This may reflect badly on them in the long run.
    The price has little to do with cost, but more to do with what you can get away with.
    Ultimately making the consumer more pessemistic

    G
  • It should almost be expected. If people are willing to pay more money for it, I honestly have to say that I have no problem with the company charging more for it. If you work in a computer support company, and your client is willing and able to pay you $60 an hour, are you going to offer him $30 out of pure spite towards your wallet?
    • by Zorque (894011)
      If the shop next to you goes out of business, and you charged $60 before, are you going to start charging $80 just because you can? People are going to look for a different shop.
  • hmm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by greywire (78262) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @06:16PM (#22733376) Homepage
    this probably wont happen, but:

    What if by declaring hd-dvd dead it causes hd-dvd to become more popular than blu-ray?

    By this I mean, the prices of drives are dropping because they are getting rid of them. The movies, too. At the same time, blu-ray is going up.

    Will a lot of people even know that hd-dvd is dead? They will just see how cheap it is.

    If this were timed right, hd-dvd could hit a critical mass very quickly. Yes they'd lose a bunch of money on the current supplies, but that's going to happen anyway. If at the right time they could resurect it and keep the prices way below blu-ray they could make a comeback. In the mean time they don't really have to waste money on advertising etc.

    Myself, I would buy an hd-dvd burner and media right now if the prices were really low, just for storage purposes. They should continue to sell them for pcs for storage purposes.

    Just a crazy idea. And what a coup it would be...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dogtanian (588974)

      Will a lot of people even know that hd-dvd is dead? They will just see how cheap it is.

      The majority of people who know enough about it to know why they want it (and why it's better than "ordinary" DVD) will know why it's so cheap.

      If at the right time they could resurect it and keep the prices way below blu-ray they could make a comeback.

      Unlikely- the format has been publicly disowned, and this has been accepted (and even pushed by) the industry across the board (including retailers, hardware manufacturers and film studios). Even if HD-DVD becomes briefly popular because of Lemming-like selling-off, it's not going to come back to life. The studios aren't going to shift back their multi-billion doll

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by greywire (78262)
        Just a little too much wishfull thinking I guess.

        I just despise Sony and their formats...
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by m4cph1sto (1110711)
      I for one am enjoying my growing collection of $13-15 HD-DVDs on my $130 HD-DVD player (which I bought to replace an old broken DVD-upscaler). In a few years there will probably be enough good titles available only on blu-ray that I'll be interested in buying a blu-ray player. Or a PS3. And by then I'll probably get either one for under than $200.

      Am I happy that my format of choice lost the war? No. But I'm not particularly upset about it either. In fact I think I'm getting a pretty good deal out of t
  • by DrXym (126579) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @06:20PM (#22733416)
    With the format war over and uncertainty removed, retailers are starting to sell these things close to their MSRP again. I shouldn't worry though. More and more models are appearing from more and more manufacturers including no-names so the prices are going to head south.
    • More and more models are appearing from more and more manufacturers including no-names so the prices are going to head south.
      So will the quality, after going through more than a few knockoff DVD players.
  • Prices in Euros (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Goonie (8651) <robert DOT merkel AT benambra DOT org> on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @06:21PM (#22733420) Homepage
    How much of this is due to the fact the US dollar has dropped a lot in value recently?

    Not that this is a bad thing - it will help to correct the imbalances in the US economy far more than bleating about NAFTA or whatever other nonsense is coming out of your politicians at the moment...

    • Except actually doing something to kill NAFTA and the like would do something good for the US. We would be able to get back on our own feet, then consider trade.
    • Probably has something to do with it, but I think the main reason was that the prices in the US were just insanely low in order to fight the Format War. No point in keep selling units for a price that doesn't turn in profit. The price-level here (Europe) has not even been near that of the US.

      Price in euro's is here (Netherlands) is 325 euro (500 dollar) if you purchase from a online webshop. A more common price is 350-385 euro (538-590 dollar). Suggested retail-price by Sony is 385 euro (590 dollar).

  • by nobodyman (90587) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @06:22PM (#22733444) Homepage
    This is an utterly foolish move by manufacturers and retailers, because it presumes that HD-DVD was the *only* obstacle to widespread adoption. In fact, Blu-Ray may have won the battle vs. HD-DVD, but it is far from winning the war. Digital download is becoming increasingly popular, and many consumers are just fine with their current DVD's.

    Some advice to the Blu-Ray camp: You still haven't convinced us to buy, and raising prices ain't gonna help things.
    • by rsborg (111459)

      Some advice to the Blu-Ray camp: You still haven't convinced us to buy, and raising prices ain't gonna help things.
      Not to mention competetiveness vs. DVD.

      However, keep in mind, the US Dollar is much lower than, say, even 6 months ago, so this could be a symptom of dollar devaluation.

  • So, blu-ray players are expensive. I guess that is an issue. I've got a media centre (and remote) I built, and I still don't see the benefit of DVDs (except to re-encode them in xvid/mp4). Forget blu-ray, bring on downloadable content.

    And yes, we'll get that eventually. Maybe. one day...
  • by rworne (538610) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @06:23PM (#22733448) Homepage
    I was buying blu-ray right and left in late 2007. Since Feb '08 I have not bought a single title. Why? Prices of media jumped beyond my threshold and I went back to DVD.

    I find it hard to buy titles like "No Country for Old Men" for $26.00-29.99 on Blu-Ray when the same title can be picked up for less than $14 at Target on DVD. Another gripe is high prices on back-catalog titles I already own on DVD. Sorry, I will not buy a $26+ BR title when I have already purchased the same title on DVD two or more years ago.

    When retailers start aggressively pricing media again, I'll go back to buying the format. Otherwise upscaled DVD looks quite good on my PS3.

  • by mkcmkc (197982) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @06:24PM (#22733462)
    ...player and says "Why would I want to buy that?".
    • by Jugalator (259273)
      Salesman walks away with the man from his wife a bit and whisper, "just between you and me, the porn quality is awesome!"

      Deal!
  • isn't it usually when a format-war ends, the sales of the winning format goes up, both the players and the movies, and manufacturers have more incentive to pump out newer versions at lower prices?

    i thought that's what happened when DVD-R and DVD+R finally converged into DVD+/-R.

    hopefully this price increase is only temporary. When DVD players are routinely below $100, it's hard to imagine consumers other than die-hard HD fans will shell out $350-400 for something that similar. This is not VHS vs. DVD. This
  • I have both players, so I've been soaking up HD-DVDs dirt cheap since Toshiba threw in the towel.

    One thing that has been observed since Toshiba's decision is that sales of players and movies have SKYROCKETED, and Toshiba has been reported to be reconsidering their decision.

    This war may not be over just yet...
  • by kindbud (90044) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @07:05PM (#22733860) Homepage
    Make it up in volume. That's the ticket.
  • by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorp@NOsPam.Gmail.com> on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @07:12PM (#22733920) Homepage Journal
    Though declared "Dead", the body is still warm. And you'd think that HD-DVD would be the natural successor to the DVD drives for PC's because they share the same filesystem, and HD-DVD drives are completely backwards compatible with CD and DVD formats. While Blu-Ray players can be made compatible with those formats, not all players are. At least some BR players on the market couldn't read standard CD's, for instance. Since Microsoft's Xbox 360 uses an HD-DVD drive, you might be able to get them to push the standard for PC drives.

  • Didn't see that coming...

  • Average != lowest (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HalAtWork (926717) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @07:18PM (#22733972)
    Now that blu-ray is the standard, more companies are willing to take a gamble and produce expensive luxury models. The average price will be higher even though the same lower-cost models are available at the same price. It's just that now more companies are putting weight on high-end options as well as offering affordable options. Prior to this point in the market, the focus was on adoption. Now it's on adoption as well as catering to those who are ready to invest heavily in the platform.
  • So here we are less than 1/5 into the year and still coming off the post-Christmas sales into the standard summer shopping lull and this article makes it sound like this is some sort of significant data point.

    Call me in six months and report numbers then.
  • Annoying memes. (Score:4, Informative)

    by serviscope_minor (664417) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @07:47PM (#22734212) Journal
    There has been an annyoing meme on /. recently among a small, but noticable minority, namely: the free market KING and the goivernment should SFTU and GBTW so to speak.

    This is a classic example of a free market failure. One player paid an enourmous amount of money ($400 million) to kill the other player. Now that the other player is as good as gone, the prices have risen.

    This is an excellent example where the free market fails: corporate collusion destroyed it.
  • Looks bogus to me. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by guidryp (702488) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @09:32PM (#22734932)
    I looked at the graph, it looks like a whole lot of nothing. Minor retail fluctuations with a blip up after the holidays. I would expect that of most products.

    I thought I would check one of the high marks they are using as Evidence:

    I looked at the Sharp BDHP20U listed as having jumped to $440. I checked amazon where it is show a LIST PRICE of $399 and selling price of $350. Only $90 different? Maybe Amazon is an outlier? Dell $329, Every retailer I have heard of was under $400.

    The only number higher were listing of something called "storefront"? with a price of $100 more than list??

    Anyway even if the graph was correct, it looks like a whole lot of nothing, but to top it, the data itself seems suspect. Have a look for yourself.

    Bottom line nothing to see here. Just another attempt to stir up the dead war for TG page hits.

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