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UK consumer tech prices start to rocket

Denon DVD-3800BD
The price of Denon's DVD-3800BD Blu-ray player has risen by 25 per cent in the since it was first announced

The recession and the slump of Sterling is starting to have a drastic effect on the price of consumer electronics, with several companies already announcing higher prices for products.

The high value of the Japanese Yen, in particular, is forcing the likes of Panasonic, Denon and Sony to put prices up - with immediate effect.

Denon - a relatively small company compared to its huge Japanese counterparts - has already had to raise UK prices on a clutch of new products.

Planned to sell for around £600, it's new DVD-1800BD Blu-ray player has risen to £700 while its reference-standard DVD-3800BD deck had a suggested retail price of £1,600 when it was announced in November. Its street price is now touching £2,000 - a 25 per cent rise.

Even Pioneer, who officially announced that it's to end production of its Kuro plasma and LCD TVs, couldn't rule out price increases on remaining incoming stock, due to the poor exchange rates and global economic conditions.

Sony, Sharp and Panasonic - all of whom have posted losses in recent weeks - haven't yet put their prices up across the board in the UK, but there's plenty of evidence that the exchange rate is starting to take effect.

Sony's XEL-1, an 11-inch TV - and the first to use organic light emitting diode (OLED) technology - can now be pre-ordered in the UK for £3,489. That's despite it being available on import from Japan and the US on sites such as eBay for as little as £1,458.

And Panasonic, who has already announced drastic budget cuts despite rising demand for its plasma TVs, has already put its prices up in Australia by as much as 22 per cent. A spokesman told us today that pricing for the UK market was still under discussion.