If a Blu-Ray drive can cost <$100, why are standalone players $200+?

Looking at newegg, there are BD drives that cost around $90. But their cheapest standalone player is still north of $200. What’s going on there? Is there really expensive licensing for the standalone players?

If I recall correctly, the original high cost of the players was due to issues manufacturing the lasers cheap enough. Clearly that’s no longer the case if they’re selling the drives that cheap.

Because the standalone player includes a drive, plus all the hardware required to play back the video and output it to an HDTV. With the bare drive, your computer (which presumably cost more than $100) provides those functions.

No, the lasers arent that expensive, theyre just more expensive than the tried and true DVD laser. I believe bluray licensing is somewhere around 20 dollars a player, regardless if its stand-alone or SATA.

The drive has very little logic and doesnt need licensing for the player software, as it doesnt have one, although the OEM can bundle one if it wishes. The drive is a simple device and cannot output to your TV. You need at least one other CPU, probably a dedicated GPU, ram, board, chipset, power, embedded software (usually custom made == expensive), QA, etc, etc. The standalone is just a computer, like any other.

If the stand-alone is only $200 then that tells me that the drive thats selling for $100 is probably over-priced, not the other way around. Expect the price to fall.

WAG, it’s partly due to the fact that a stand alone player has a nice aluminium box with buttons, a display, various I/O sockets at the back, possibly surround sound decoding and other onboard functions, plus a remote. A drive is just the drive and some software.

Sorry, late post after opening this thread. On preview, what the above posters said.

Exactly - look at the difference in prices between comparable internal and external hard drives.

Relevant thread from about a year ago:

Why are computer Blu-Ray drives so much cheaper than standalones?

In fact, $100 for all that is pretty reasonable. It would run you at least $250 to build a computer that could play Blu-Ray.

It’s really a matter of location, location, location.

Look at it this way, there is no real reason for BluRay. Yes it does provide better pics, there’s no question, but it’s highly unlikely anyone ever said “My God, that movie’s not in high def, I won’t see it.” Of course they would, as long as there isn’t something else.

So they need marketing to sell it.

Computers have really fallen in price. So I have an old computer I need to replace, well I don’t need to but it’s still running Win98. Even though it does everything I want, in the back of my mind I want a new one. Of course I can’t justify getting a new computer, 'cause the old one still works.

But WAIT A MINUTE, I think. If I want a blu ray, I have to pay $250 and attach it to a crummy old computer (let’s forget for the moment you’re system maybe too old to handle it.). But look here if I buy a new computer, which I need anyway, well I don’t need but it’d be nice, I could save $150.00. That’s $150.00 saved and I could use that savings for a new computer. At $15.00 minimum payment on my credit card. That’s like getting it free for ten months.

See how your mind will work? Of course none of it is necessarily so, but marketing makes it so.

Sounds a lot like the question “if an internal hard drive is so cheap, why is an external hard drive so expensive?”

It is and the external drives are only 20% to 30% more expensive than internal drives. For smaller capacity drives the price difference is less.

It’s closer to the question “if an internal 80GB hard drive is so cheap, why is a TiVo so expensive?”

Give it time. There are already people who won’t watch movies in black & white. Some of them on this very board.

You can make your own external drive by taking an internal drive and dropping it in a $20 enclosure. Is the price difference more than that?

It’s pretty much $20 or less. Like at this very moment, a Western Digital 1TB drive is $99 for internal, and $119 for external (at newegg).

decompressing HDTV at a decent rate still requires non-trivial processing power which means the chips required for a blu-ray processor are going to be more expensive that most commodity hardware.

Not to mention codec licensing for the player that the standalone drive manufacturer does not need to pay.

As a related question, do PC’s that come with Blu-Ray have HDMI output or are you just supposed to watch the movie on the laptop?

HDMI output is a function of the video card and not the blu-ray player. If the video card has HDMI output, then it’s got HDMI output. More’n’likely it’ll have S-video out as well as RGB. Expect to pay a small premium for a card with HDMI going out.

Some do, some don’t.