Hi-tech Blu-ray players are remarkably inexpensive. But have you ever wondered how the manufacturers can make a profit when they sell these technology-packed units for less than 50 quid?
Well, I know.
Once upon a time there we had incredibly expensive Betamax video recorders. Then came the VHS – about the size of a VW camper van. Just as everybody was building up their video collection, along came the equally mega-expensive DVD player, which is now moving aside to allow Blu-ray into the picture.
So I got a Blu-ray player. I suppose my DVD collection will now be going the way of my radiogram, slide rule, platform shoes and LP records. The thing is, a Blu-ray player is seriously cheap – about the price of a half decent meal – when you consider the amount of technology and clever-clever hardware inside such a small box. So I was mightily pleased with my new player.
Until I opened the packaging.
Inside, I found a little black box with some buttons along one side, and a mains lead. The only other thing in there was the instruction booklet which informed me that all I had to do was plug the unit into the mains and attach the HD cable (not supplied).
Not supplied? Sorry?
Muttering to myself, and anybody else who would listen, I set off to Livingston Centre for this magical HD cable. The price for a cable? Almost £50. The lead was more expensive than the player! I asked the salesman if it was made of gold. Turns out, it was – 24 karat gold plating, to be exact.
However, I bought one – without the gold. A snip at £20 for a short length of wire. That should have been it. But, no. The TV set has only one HD input, and I have Sky television, which means I would require a total of three outrageously expensive cables PLUS a “splitter”, which would cost a further £50.
In other words, the cost of linking the unit to the TV is twice that of the player!
It’s like going for a meal; excellent value at only £2 for a three-course dinner. Will you require a plate? Ah, that’ll cost you an arm and a leg, sir. How about cutlery? Would you like to hire a knife and fork? We accept all credit and debit cards. A chair? Certainly, sir. Will you be paying cash?
So, if you’ve ever wondered how manufacturers can turn a profit when selling hi-tech, cutting-edge gizmos at ridiculously low prices, now you know.