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Blu-ray players with built-in video services (like Netflix, Vudu, and Amazon) are the new standard. Sure, you could find a Blu-ray player without these features, but the price would be almost the same, so why sacrifice?
Predicting Blu-ray player prices for this Black Friday however is a bit tricky. The deal prices over the past year were sometimes erratic; they dropped to $50, then rocketed back up, only to fall again, never really lending themselves to a trend. However, we did see Blu-ray players with Netflix hit $50 on numerous occasions; that's enough times that we believe this price is the new norm. With that in mind, we think it's possible that we'll see a Black Friday deal on a Blu-ray player with Netflix (et al.) drop to a low of $39 this year.
For shoppers that are hoping to complete a 3D HDTV setup, we're confident that Black Friday will see a 3D version of one of these players fall to $59. That's an astonishing price, since they were almost twice that price just last April; but they've already fallen to as low as $70 this year.
After snagging an inexpensive Blu-ray player, you'll likely be able to stock up on cheap entertainment during Black Friday weekend, too. In 2010, we saw a plethora of individual deals and sales on Blu-ray disc movies from multiple merchants, with prices starting at $5. Last year, we saw deals from $4, so it's safe to say that prices will once again hit around $4 or $5 this year. You can also expect to see deep discounts on Blu-ray bundles and boxed sets.
But what about the blockbusters that hit theaters over the summer; the ones that we're all anxious to own (or gift) come the fall? Despite still being hot releases, these titles too will see significant price cuts. For example, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 was released in theaters in July 2011, and come Black Friday 2011, we found it for $10, or 72% off list price! Other such titles received 50% off or more. Not all of this year's summer hit movies will see 72% off during Black Friday, but there's a good chance that The Avengers, for example, could check in at $11.
Normally we would close out this set of predictions with a look at the awesome price we anticipate finding on the Roku set-top box. Over the past two years, however, Roku has burned the consumer by under-delivering during the Black Friday season, offering "deals" that are far from lowest-we've-seen prices. Last year, the manufacturer's sale on a 2-for-1 Roku 2 XS put each player at a higher per-unit price than we had seen earlier in the year. So far, the all-time low price we've seen for the flagship 2 XS model is $75, so we'd advise comparing any Roku deal to this price point.
Summary: Black Friday Predictions for Blu-ray Players, Movies, and the Roku
Top photo credit: Engadget