As far as audio/video is concerned, Blu-ray disc players will again take a lead role in this year's Black Friday sale. Retailers and manufacturers have kept Blu-ray prices quite stable over the past eight months. In fact, Blu-ray is one of the few everyday technologies that hasn't seen a downward trend in price in 2010. However, a cheap Blu-ray player is a guaranteed draw for Black Friday. Expect to find a deal at $45.
A new type of Blu-ray player has emerged as a must-have item: Netflix-enabled Blu-ray players. Sure, Blu-ray players can also work with YouTube, Amazon Video on Demand, and a host of other video streaming services. But Netflix is the service people want most, and prices have dropped substantially this year compared to last year. For Black Friday season, we're predicting a price of $69.
How we did last year with Blu-ray players? We got within $4, which was within 8% of prediction. ;-)
As for Blu-ray movies themselves, retailers weren't nearly as aggressive last year as we expected. This year, we predict you'll find good titles from years past for $5 and relatively new releases for $10 around Black Friday. You'll also see Blu-ray movie and TV bundles — e.g., all the Rocky movies, an entire season of CSI — for $25. That's not a lot better than the best deals we see every month, however.
How we did last year with Blu-ray movies? We whiffed, predicting $5 and seeing $7 and up (off by 29%). :-(
We have one more prediction. Blu-ray players are gradually losing relevance as more and more people turn to streaming online video. The well-regarded Roku media streaming box was on sale for 50% off last Black Friday directly from Roku. We expect Roku to repeat its performance, with HD players from $49. Hopefully, Roku's web site won't crash and stay down like it did on Black Friday of 2009, earning a "jeer" in our Cheers & Jeers piece.
Summary: Black Friday Predictions for Blu-ray
- Blu-ray player for $45
- Blu-ray player with Netflix for $69
- Blu-ray movies you actually want from $5
- Roku HD box from $49