Soniq B100 - $99 at JB Hifi

Taking a look in most retail stores over the last few months would have shown you a growing number of budget Blu-ray component players.

In Australia, the prices for a budget player has now dipped regularly below $100 although many of the brand-name players are still over $150.

However, making these cheaper players possible has been the result of falling manufacturing costs in Taiwan.

Online news site Digitimes.com is reporting that the cost of the main Blu-ray Loader, the laser head unit and associated electronics, has now dropped down to less than $US20. That means a complete player can be built for less than $70.

In the PC market, Blu-ray burners have also dropped in price recently with one model in Australia, the ageing but still decent LG BH10LS30, selling for under $100.

Unfortunately, persistently high Blu-ray media prices aren’t helping. In Australia, the cost of a single write-once 25GB BD-R disc is still regularly above $5. Buy in bulk in the US at retailers such as Newegg.com and you can get 25 Verbatim BD-R discs for $30 or $1.20 each.

While drive-based media players are allowing consumers to bypass the idea of needing optical media, lower Blu-ray media prices are all but mandatory for the format to gain traction as a storage media.

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