Although the format war between HD DVD and Blu-ray ended early in 2008—Blu-ray won, in case folks were wondering—the market for high-definition discs hasn’t really taken off. Industry watchers point to a variety of factors, including consumers’ growing interest in downloadable HD content, along with the overall high price of Blu-ray media and players.
Sherwood America looks to ease some of that burden by rolling out its first Blu-ray player, the BDP-5003—and it’ll have a $299.95 price tag. The unit will sport Profile 1.1 (including BD Bonus View), and supports 1080p playback at 60 or 24 Hz via its HDMI 1.3 port. The unit also supports lossless audio in Dolby and DTS formats, and, of course, can handle standard DVDs and even old-school CD audio.
"We are thrilled to be able to offer an advanced player that not only supports Blu-ray 1080p video output but also has built-in decoding for the latest lossless audio formats from Dolby TruHD and DTS-Master Audio HD," said Sherwood’s senior VP for marketing and product development Jeffrey Hipps, in a statement.
The BDP-5003 will be available in November. However, it remains to be seen whether a $300 price tag for a Blu-ray player will really entice consumers this holiday season: with upscaling DVD players available at a (small) fraction of that cost, many consumers looking to exploit high-definition TVs may decide to keep sitting on the fence regarding the Blu-ray format.