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Funai To Intro Blu-ray Player For OEM Mkt.

Funai, the Japanese manufacturer of value-oriented consumer electronics products, said it plans to introduce a Blu-ray Disc player for OEM distribution by the end of the year, according to Japanese newspaper Nikkan Koyo Shimbun.

The company said Funai has no plans at this time to market the player under its own brands — which in the United States currently include Funai, Symphonic and Sylvania (the latter in flat-panel TVs) — but rather will produce the player for other marketing companies to sell under their own brands.

According to the Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun report, the player is expected to be priced around $500, which is between $300-$500 less than current stand-alone Blu-ray Disc players in the United States. Sony’s entry PlayStation3 game console, which plays Blu-ray Disc movies, currently sells for $499.