Home Theater Review


Even Facing Doom Borders Missed The Boat on AV Software Value

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Borders_Feature_News.gifThis past weekend I was bumming around while I waited for my wife to finish with her gym class and came across a Borders bookstore that was covered in signs proclaiming "Everything Must Go!" Not one to pass up an opportunity to save, or possibly kill 10 minutes, I went inside. I was greeted by what appeared to be the aftermath of some sort of shopping disaster - I'm serious: the store was missing ceiling tiles and carpet on account of the fact that they too were for sale. Remember, everything had to go.

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Sitting front and center was Borders' remaining Blu-ray stock and I, like many of you, thought here we go as I glanced at the large sign overhead that screamed 50 percent off all Blu-rays. Thinking I was going to score some 1080p love for half price, I rushed over only to discover that the so-called deal was no deal at all. Borders has always been notoriously overpriced when it came to their DVDs, CDs and even Blu-rays, sometimes charging $10 or more than the competition. Apparently, even in death, Borders failed to learn from their mistakes, for the first three Blu-ray discs I grabbed were all priced $45.99 making their half-off price $22.99 plus tax. No deal. It would be one thing if the three discs I was holding were special editions or box sets but they were not - they were movie only Blu-ray discs, the kind I can buy at Best Buy, Target or Wal-Mart for between $14.99 and $19.99 all day. Don't even get me started on online prices.

I now understand why and how companies as large as Borders can be sinking faster than the Titanic, for they simply failed to, or were unable to, compete with today's value conscious consumer. It's not that I am too cheap to pay $23 for a Blu-ray; it's just I'm more savvy and if I'm buying a stripped, bare-bones disc I simply expect it to cost less than $20, for that is what I deem to be fair. It gets worse for Borders and others like them because downloads and streaming are becoming more prevalent and while they may not possess the resolution or performance of their physical counterparts, they have a perceived value, one that is rooted in our ever-growing need for convenience. And then there is the issue of Internet media all together, which basically goes like this - if I can watch it or listen to it on the Internet then it should be free, hence why iTunes downloads are getting cheaper and Hulu Plus subscriptions haven't really ignited a firestorm.

Read more about what the AV industry can learn from Borders on Page 2.
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