Samsung BD-P1400 is cheapest Blu-ray Disc player yet

Mimicking the  way HD DVD players hit new rock bottom prices with sudden, unannounced sales, Blu-ray Disc hardware is at a never before seen level of affordability.

Retailers such as Amazon, Circuit City and Best Buy - as reported by High-Def Digest - are all listing the Samsung BD-P1400 at prices below $300 – representing a $200 break from the original list price of $499.

Besides the sale price temporarily bringing down the cost of Blu-ray Disc hardware for the holiday season, the Samsung BD-P1400 also carries the distinction of being the first player to support DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, according to High-Def Digest.

Like Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio is a lossless compression scheme that is able to provide audio quality on par with PCM tracks but at the expense of less storage. Players without DTS-HD Master Audio support are able to extract a lower-quality 1.5 Mbps core stream.

Despite the drop to $299, HD DVD still hangs on to its reputation for being the more affordable technology. Even with the prices back up from $99, the entry level Toshiba HD-A3 is still $100 less on Amazon than the Samsung BD-P1400.

There is more to the story than just hardware prices, though, as even with more expensive hardware, Blu-ray Disc leads the way in movie title sales.

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