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JVC misses the mark with “entry-level” Blu-ray player

JVC misses the mark with "entry-level" Blu-ray player

Acting as if it had not been paying attention for the past several months, JVC today officially introduced what it called an “entry-level” Blu-ray player, the XV-BP11, at a “popularly-priced” amount of $199.

Looking at the list of specs for the player, two things immediately jump out:

  1. It’s a profile 1.1 player, that means no BD-Live support and no network port for future updates.
  2. Being profile 1.1 means there’s no support for any streaming services.

Need I remind you again that this player is $199? This announcement comes on the heels of Best Buy pricing their Netflix-playing Profile 2.0 Insignia NS-BRDVD3 for just $99.

A quick look through other players on the shelf at Best Buy shows seven new players priced $199 or lower. Support on these players includes Wi-Fi, BD-Live, 24P output, Netflix, YouTube, CinemaNow and other Web-streaming options. And I’m not talking about one player. Every player in that price range is Profile 2.0, all but one has support for some variety of Web streaming service.

Add in that many offer 24p output, X.V. color (even though there’s nothing that supports that on the source end yet), and other advanced options and I’m simply not sure where this JVC model fits in. I would buy each one of those players before considering this JVC.

The specs aren’t awful. Decoding of the latest audio codecs, AVCHD support for hi-def camcorders and a front-facing USB port for quick access to pictures and videos on a memory stick are nice features, though I’ve never seen someone actually use a USB port on a TV or disc player for pictures and video. It’s just that all those features would be nice at $149. Or even $129.

Most of the features on the JVC have come to be expected from a Blu-ray player. If the player added an HQV or Faroudja video processing, maybe the $199 would be justified, but this player would definitely not be in the entry-level realm that JVC is trying to put it in.

As the holidays near and talk of possible $49 Blu-ray players is all the rage, introducing a new player with this feature set for $199 seems out of touch with consumer needs and expectations.

Here’s the full release:

WAYNE, NJ, October 28, 2009 – JVC today announced the availability of a new entry-level Blu-ray player. The new JVC XV-BP11 is a truly versatile high definition player, offering playback of high definition Blu-ray discs, plus playback of the AVCHD format, the high definition format widely used for HD camcorders, including the JVC HD Everio line.

JVC XV-BP11 Features

  • Playable Discs: BD-Rom, BD-R/RE, DVD-Video, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, Audio CD, CD-R/RW
  • Playable Formats: AVCHD, WMV, JPEG, MP3, WMA, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital plus, Dolby True HD, DTS, DTS HD Master Audio/Essential
  • Connections:
    • Video: HDMI V1.3, composite
    • Audio: Analog L/R, coaxial, HDMI V1.3
    • USB Host (front panel)
  • Convenience Features: Quick loading, cinema zoom (x16), parental lock, slim design

The new JVC XV-BP11 Blu-ray player is available immediately for $199.95.

About JVC U.S.A.

JVC U.S.A., headquartered in Wayne, New Jersey, is a division of JVC Americas Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Victor Company of Japan Ltd. JVC distributes a complete line of video and audio equipment for the consumer and professional markets. For further product information, visit JVC’s Web site at http://www.jvc.com or call 1-800-526-5308.