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Old 01-05-10, 10:17 PM   #1
Desidarius
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Why are Blu-ray movies more expensive than normal DVDs?

I just got my first HDTV and blu-ray player, so I'm anxious to start buying movies again. Ever since HD TVs and HD movies started being made, I stopped buying movies, I figured it was pointless since I knew I'd eventually start buying the new format. To give you an idea for how long it's been, the newest addition had been Superman Returns (right when it came out), lol. But now that I've got a blu-ray player I have the desire to buy my favorite movies again on blu-ray, as well as new releases coming out and ones that have come out since I stopped buying movies.

I was just curious as to what the real reason is that blu-ray movies are more expensive than normal DVDs? Are they that much more expensive to produce? Is it simply the demand? I had assumed that the production cost would be virtually the same; but where does the increased cost come from?
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Old 01-05-10, 10:20 PM   #2
NiCK Crush
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Re: Why are Blu-ray movies more expensive than normal DVDs?

Simply put, they are better than DVDs. Things that are better tend to be a bit more expensive. As the market grows and more people adopt the format, the price of Blu-ray titles will decrease. Just like DVDs did.
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Old 01-05-10, 10:35 PM   #3
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Re: Why are Blu-ray movies more expensive than normal DVDs?

They are not always more expensive if you show around.
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Old 01-05-10, 10:36 PM   #4
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Re: Why are Blu-ray movies more expensive than normal DVDs?

Yeah, Amazon has some Blu-rays cheaper than their DVD counterparts.
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Old 01-05-10, 11:03 PM   #5
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Re: Why are Blu-ray movies more expensive than normal DVDs?

No offense but...I thought that was point of every new video format? To be better than what was before. But whatever...

Blus can do a lot more than what a DVD can do. Usually the Picture and Audio quality is much better, to me it's like I literally have the quality of my cinema in my room (again...it depends on your set up but..i just have my badass TV and it's still damn amazing). EVERY once in a while....you'll find that well..guess this or that studio didn't do a good job on it. Also they're able to contain much more features than previously. A lot more. In some cases, the wealth of features will be on the Blu-Ray and not on the DVD. Yes, this can be a bitch for those that are only DVD atm but...for those of us w/ Blu...we got it made. Again...this or that studio may not put the old features on the Blu...it's all based on whether the studio cared to do that or not. Last piece...sometimes...the Blu and the DVD just have no features and it's just the movie.

EX: The Dark Knight is TONS better than it's DVD (though...the DVD wasn't all that hot it was ok, some even cried it was a conspiracy of sorts for people to hit Blu and what...only if you really looked could you tell it was off but yeah it wasn't a hot DVD)

Fight Club for sure is a great Blu. It has everything the 2 disc had on one Blu disc and then some. It looks great too.
(500) Days of Summer looks great and has any and all features, it's DVD...did not have them all.
Enter The Dragon looks great and has all the features it's 2 disc had.
etc..
I suggest you read up on the Blus you're going to buy to be safe on your purchase. DVDbeaver, this site, and others are great help. Hell we the members of this forum are pretty good at warning others of shit gone bad or when stuff is golden.
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Old 01-06-10, 12:26 AM   #6
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Re: Why are Blu-ray movies more expensive than normal DVDs?

Pricing of Blu-ray is set by the studios and retailers... and is based largely on the highest price studios and retailers think people will buy titles at in massive numbers. The motives for studios and retailers differ in the US.

Studios want massive volume for the directly resulting revenue from the sales of new movie releases. They are currently making more off of SD DVD titles because of volume, and have been pricing BR releases at slightly higher premium as a technical marketing move. Still, the delta on new release BR and SD DVD movies is quite modest often... at least in terms of MSRP from the studios. There is no easy/direct correlation between BR pricing delta and the additional video and audio resolution or features. A little more for the BR can get you a ton of additional image and sound information surprisingly.

As a result, I call the pricing difference here technical marketing. The cost of producing product has little to do with the pricing by the studios. The studios wish to make more money from BR product and this is done by racketing up volume even if it costs more and more. Volume for new releases is more important than expenses. For instance, look at the way they are adding bullet points to BR releases. The addition of digital copies and now SD DVDs in new releases is spreading quickly. The costs clearly go up with these additions, and yet the MSRP of Blu-ray releases from studios haven't budged (except maybe at Disney). Terms like "adding value" is technical marketing at it's finest.

Retailers want foot/web traffic from the sales of new release movies which are fresh, never before available product. SD DVDs continue to bring in more foot traffic... so the pricing is lower most part for new releases.

Look no further than the Q4 2009 price war. During the recent holidays, Walmart aggressively lowered BR pricing and SD DVD pricing looking to capture more foot traffic. Most of the blockbuster BR new releases during the holidays this year featured under $20 pricing on release week as a result of this bid for market share. The feet moved with the pricing -- and Walmart moved up the Blu-ray share ladder.

Myself, I recommend getting out of the high stakes new release marketing arena... it's costly. Most BRs can be had to $5-12 with patience.
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Last edited by beebs; 01-06-10 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 01-06-10, 12:31 AM   #7
Desidarius
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Re: Why are Blu-ray movies more expensive than normal DVDs?

I know blu-ray is better than DVD, I was just wondering the real reason they are more expensive (for example, they are more expensive to manufacture and/or produce). But if it's just because they are in demand (the 'new' popular format) that isn't really a legitimate reasons for them being expensive, though it would just be the harsh reality of supply and demand.

Basically, I assumed that if you looked at the cost of producing a Dark Knight DVD vs. Dark Knight Blu-ray side-by-side, would the cost really be much different?

I was hoping that studios/companies would set them as the same price, and it would urge people to switch to blu-ray, since they'd realize the cost is the same, but blu-ray is much better.

Last edited by Desidarius; 01-06-10 at 12:34 AM.
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Old 01-06-10, 01:00 AM   #8
Matthew Chmiel
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Re: Why are Blu-ray movies more expensive than normal DVDs?

Take this for example....

The Final Destination. DVD at Target is $17; includes both 2-D and 3-D versions on the same disc and little-to-none extras. Blu-ray is $20; includes both 2-D and 3-D versions in HD on the same disc, an hour of extras, a copy of the film on DVD, and a digital copy.

For three dollars more, you get the film in a superior format (1080p > 480p) as well as (some) extras, a DVD copy and a digital copy.

Also, if you know how to shop, as others have said, can become cheaper than their DVD counterpart. I've scored all the Disney / PIXAR titles all for $5 - $10 brand new due to this message board. Same goes for G-Force (can't beat a BD/DVD/Digital Copy combo for five dollars).
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Old 01-06-10, 01:09 AM   #9
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Re: Why are Blu-ray movies more expensive than normal DVDs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desidarius View Post
I know blu-ray is better than DVD, I was just wondering the real reason they are more expensive (for example, they are more expensive to manufacture and/or produce). But if it's just because they are in demand (the 'new' popular format) that isn't really a legitimate reasons for them being expensive, though it would just be the harsh reality of supply and demand.

Basically, I assumed that if you looked at the cost of producing a Dark Knight DVD vs. Dark Knight Blu-ray side-by-side, would the cost really be much different?

I was hoping that studios/companies would set them as the same price, and it would urge people to switch to blu-ray, since they'd realize the cost is the same, but blu-ray is much better.
I believe the price differences between creating the Dark Knight Blu-ray and Dark Knight SD DVD release is not important in the pricing of the product. This title sells is such volume, the expense of creating the product is probably not critical to pricing.
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Old 01-06-10, 01:20 AM   #10
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Re: Why are Blu-ray movies more expensive than normal DVDs?

Blu-rays cost more because the studios think that the people who are buying them are willing to pay a premium price for them. Simple as that.
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Old 01-06-10, 03:59 AM   #11
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Re: Why are Blu-ray movies more expensive than normal DVDs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desidarius View Post
I know blu-ray is better than DVD, I was just wondering the real reason they are more expensive (for example, they are more expensive to manufacture and/or produce). But if it's just because they are in demand (the 'new' popular format) that isn't really a legitimate reasons for them being expensive, though it would just be the harsh reality of supply and demand.

Basically, I assumed that if you looked at the cost of producing a Dark Knight DVD vs. Dark Knight Blu-ray side-by-side, would the cost really be much different?

I was hoping that studios/companies would set them as the same price, and it would urge people to switch to blu-ray, since they'd realize the cost is the same, but blu-ray is much better.
You know Blu-ray is better, but you think it should cost the same? So the improved quality doesn't have any value?

I know the studios set the pricing, but it always confuses me that a lot of people (not just you) insist on Blu-ray quality but want the price to be the same as DVD. It's like how HD downloads are often more expensive than SD--is that unfair too?
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Old 01-06-10, 04:30 AM   #12
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Re: Why are Blu-ray movies more expensive than normal DVDs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
Blu-rays cost more because the studios think that the people who are buying them are willing to pay a premium price for them. Simple as that.
It isn't as simple as that. There are many factors that go into the pricing of Blu-ray versus DVD, just as there is with any product.

First, Blu-ray is a new format, and there was a lot of money spent on the research and development of the format that needs to be recovered. This includes, but is not limited to, all the work done to invent the blue laser that made the format possible.

Second, there was the cost of building the pressing facilities to manufacture the discs. That was one of the benefits of HD DVD over Blu-ray --- that it was easier and cheaper to add HD DVD capability to existing DVD plants, whereas the manufacturing of Blu-ray discs is more difficult and required the building of new pressing plants.

And finally, you also have volume. The more you make and sell of something, the cheaper the per-unit cost. Not as many Blu-rays as DVDs are sold of any given title, so the per-unit cost goes up. That means higher prices for the consumer.

Some of these factors are changing as more and more people adopt Blu-ray. That's why we're seeing lower prices for the discs and players than we were a year ago.

The same, by the way, happened with DVD versus VHS in the first few years of DVD's existence. Many people either forget that, or were too young to have gone through it. But some of us remember when DVDs cost $30 to $40 when the VHS version of a title was $20.
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Old 01-06-10, 05:38 AM   #13
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Re: Why are Blu-ray movies more expensive than normal DVDs?

One other factor is other studios do pay Sony as Sony holds the patent on blu-ray.
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Old 01-06-10, 06:32 AM   #14
Mr. Salty
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Re: Why are Blu-ray movies more expensive than normal DVDs?

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Originally Posted by pvdfan View Post
One other factor is other studios do pay Sony as Sony holds the patent on blu-ray.
Um, no. Sony is only one of several companies behind Blu-ray, including Panasonic, Philips and others. Licensing fees are paid to the group --- the Blu-ray Disc Association --- not one company.

I know its popular to blame Sony for all the world's ills, but DVD (Sony, Philips and others), HD DVD (Toshiba), VHS (JVC) and other formats also have patents, and their respective owners also receive licensing payments. Blu-ray is not unique in this respect.
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Old 01-06-10, 10:41 AM   #15
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Re: Why are Blu-ray movies more expensive than normal DVDs?

Why does a Ferrari cost more than a Corvette? Because it can.
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Old 01-06-10, 10:52 AM   #16
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Re: Why are Blu-ray movies more expensive than normal DVDs?

I paid $29.99 for my original Die Another Day DVD

Still have the price tag on it.

Man what a terrible movie. I got hosed D:

DVDs were pretty expensive, even up until about 2003.
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Old 01-06-10, 11:15 AM   #17
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Re: Why are Blu-ray movies more expensive than normal DVDs?

Why is a new Honda Civic more expensive than a used one?
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Old 01-06-10, 12:06 PM   #18
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Re: Why are Blu-ray movies more expensive than normal DVDs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desidarius View Post
I know blu-ray is better than DVD, I was just wondering the real reason they are more expensive (for example, they are more expensive to manufacture and/or produce). But if it's just because they are in demand (the 'new' popular format) that isn't really a legitimate reasons for them being expensive, though it would just be the harsh reality of supply and demand.
Almost nothing you buy is priced according to its cost to produce. If you consider that the only "legitimate" basis for pricing a product, then you're not paying attention.

The price of everything is affected by market forces, by politics (government subsidies, international trade agreements, import quotas, etc.), by supply and demand, by promotional costs, by royalty and rights payments, etc., etc., etc. For nearly all manufactured items, the actual cost of manufacture is usually the smallest part of the final retail price. Blu-ray Discs have a higher suggested retail price because they are positioned as a premium product, whereas standard DVDs are becoming a commodity item.

"The worth of a thing is the price it will bring." -Old Ferengi Proverb
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Old 01-06-10, 12:21 PM   #19
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Re: Why are Blu-ray movies more expensive than normal DVDs?

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Originally Posted by Algus View Post
DVDs were pretty expensive, even up until about 2003.


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Old 01-06-10, 01:05 PM   #20
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Re: Why are Blu-ray movies more expensive than normal DVDs?

What rdclark said.

But to answer your more specific question about production cost - yes, Blu-ray discs do cost at least a little more to produce for the following reasons:
-- replication costs are slightly higher currently.
-- for catalog titles that do not have a sufficient hi-def master available, a new one must be made. though this doesn't apply to all titles, the budget allotted for such things does get distributed across all of a studios releases, generally.
-- authoring a Blu-ray disc is different than authoring a DVD, particularly when advanced content (BD-Java) is involved. the tools are more complex and those using them are likely not yet as efficient. this will change over time.

Additionally, Blu-ray is a newer product and all involved expect to make more profit from it before the market gets diluted (see $5 DVD bins).
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Old 01-06-10, 02:06 PM   #21
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Re: Why are Blu-ray movies more expensive than normal DVDs?

I'm farely new to Blu-ray but by my experience, every new flick I've eyed or bought (except Inglourious Basterds), the BD was actually cheaper than the DVD.
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Old 01-06-10, 03:14 PM   #22
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Re: Why are Blu-ray movies more expensive than normal DVDs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Salty View Post
It isn't as simple as that. There are many factors that go into the pricing of Blu-ray versus DVD, just as there is with any product.

First, Blu-ray is a new format, and there was a lot of money spent on the research and development of the format that needs to be recovered. This includes, but is not limited to, all the work done to invent the blue laser that made the format possible.

Second, there was the cost of building the pressing facilities to manufacture the discs. That was one of the benefits of HD DVD over Blu-ray --- that it was easier and cheaper to add HD DVD capability to existing DVD plants, whereas the manufacturing of Blu-ray discs is more difficult and required the building of new pressing plants.

And finally, you also have volume. The more you make and sell of something, the cheaper the per-unit cost. Not as many Blu-rays as DVDs are sold of any given title, so the per-unit cost goes up. That means higher prices for the consumer.

Some of these factors are changing as more and more people adopt Blu-ray. That's why we're seeing lower prices for the discs and players than we were a year ago.

The same, by the way, happened with DVD versus VHS in the first few years of DVD's existence. Many people either forget that, or were too young to have gone through it. But some of us remember when DVDs cost $30 to $40 when the VHS version of a title was $20.
This.
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Old 01-06-10, 04:27 PM   #23
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Re: Why are Blu-ray movies more expensive than normal DVDs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NiCK Crush View Post
Simply put, they are better than DVDs. Things that are better tend to be a bit more expensive. As the market grows and more people adopt the format, the price of Blu-ray titles will decrease. Just like DVDs did.
It's funny you say that. After a few years into DVD it actually became much more expensive to produce VHS tapes.

Pressing DVDs was fast and simple whereas VHS tapes had to be recorded in actual time in a warehouse with stacks & stacks of individual VHS decks.

Not to mention the additional cost of the blank VHS tapes themselves, storage space and extra shipping expenses.

Once the development and set-up costs are covered with Blu-ray, the price will be almost identical to DVD.
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Old 01-06-10, 05:22 PM   #24
Qui Gon Jim
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Re: Why are Blu-ray movies more expensive than normal DVDs?

Doubt it. There will be a slight premium on BD for a good long while.
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Old 01-06-10, 07:19 PM   #25
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Re: Why are Blu-ray movies more expensive than normal DVDs?

it'll even out as always.
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