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Frank Costello, played by Jack Nicholson, remains format neutral by appearing on both HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc - Image courtesy Warner Bros.
Blu-ray doubles HD DVD sales again in February

Blu-ray shows no sign of slowing down, after leading high-definition movie sales since the beginning of 2007. According to sources cited by Video Business Online, consumers bought around 250,000 units of Blu-ray movies during the month, compared to the estimated 125,000 units of HD DVD movies.

“Every week it grows,” said Rich Marty, VP of new business development at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. “It’s growing faster than DVD did. Each month it just looks more and more promising.”

The Departed was released simultaneously for both formats on Feb. 13, offering an informal opportunity to gauge customer preference for each format. The Best Picture winner had one of the highest first-week sales totals for either format, selling over 20,000 units on Blu-ray and 13,000 on HD DVD. Blu-ray’s lead in sales of The Departed cannot be completely attributed to a customer preference or an installed user base.

The sales may be skewed in favor of the Blu-ray version of the movie as it retails for about five dollars less than the HD DVD version. The reason for HD DVD’s higher price point is because of its combo format, which places a standard-definition DVD version on the flip side of the disc, allowing it to be played on industry-standard DVD players. Owners of both HD DVD and Blu-ray machines may have chosen the Blu-ray version of the movie simply because of price, and not because of technical differences between the formats.

Ken Graffeo of Universal Studios Home Entertainment, the only major studio to exclusively support HD DVD, tells onlookers to be skeptical of Blu-ray’s recent pull-ahead. “When they start talking about numbers, two-to-one, that’s really about the release schedule,” he said. “You can’t look at the last two months as a trend or as what the consumer wants to do in this format. It’s really an artificial, short time period.”

According to the source, 650,000 HD DVD discs have been sold since the format’s earlier debut compared to 675,000 Blu-ray discs sold since hitting the market.

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By tuteja1986 on 3/13/2007 3:36:52 AM , Rating: 2
Are they including the number from free Blu-ray packaged with PS3.

By michal1980 on 3/13/2007 7:43:01 AM , Rating: 2
nope, free bundled movies are not counted, only disks sold at retail/online

By ATC on 3/13/2007 10:16:34 AM , Rating: 2
Just to reiterate what Mical1980 above said (which is true) just because he's getting downgraded by fanboys.

Bundled movies are NOT included in these numbers, only stand-alone retail sales.

By Oregonian2 on 3/13/2007 5:00:53 PM , Rating: 2
Wonder what the count is for "regular" DVD's during the same period? I suspect neither HD format is really winning.

By ilmdba on 3/13/2007 3:37:45 AM , Rating: 2
just wait until blu ray drives start showing up in macs soon.

the 'propaganda' that comes out of the mac-heads online, rambling about the greatness of blu ray will be mind numbing.

anyway, it's pretty much over for hd-dvd.

universal is probably putting together a press release right about now i suspect...

By TSS on 3/13/2007 3:57:12 AM , Rating: 2
betcha you can say that about any compagny at any time and still be right.

fact of ther matter is, the only thing thats comming to a close is round 1. Round 2 won't take long if HD-DVD really lost due to the 5 bucks difference.

bring on the price cuts!

(though that would have to be HD-DVD, sony wont budge untill they do im sure)

By Suomynona on 3/13/2007 8:49:43 AM , Rating: 2
I'm kind of skeptical of the price difference claim. How many people actually have both a Blu-ray player and an HD-DVD player? That sounds a lot like spin.

By aos007 on 3/13/2007 12:13:21 PM , Rating: 3
No, it's correct. $5 was the exact difference in local store. I have both format players (read: I have Xbox360 and PS3) and I would've gotten BluRay since it's $5 less - though I did not realize the HD-DVD was a combo version. But I'm not interested in ultra violent movies with questionable morals (based on real people) so I'm waiting for today's release of Casino Royale (fictious entertainment) to add to my collection. Universal was talking about unsure about schedule. They ain't seen nothing yet. Peter Jackson better release his LOTR soon...

By timmiser on 3/13/2007 3:25:30 PM , Rating: 2
One idea behind the combo version is if you plan on one day getting a HD-DVD player but like many of us are waiting for a year or two for the prices to come down, you can get the combo movie now, and then once you get the HD-DVD player, you'll already have a library of movies to watch.

By plonk420 on 3/13/2007 7:19:09 AM , Rating: 2
what is strange how (Apple's) DVD SP supports "HD DVD" .. yet they're on BRD's board...

By threepac3 on 3/13/2007 8:26:22 AM , Rating: 2
If that surprises you then what I say next will really be nuts. Sony is also part of the DVD Forum that currently supports HD-DVD.

By ArneBjarne on 3/13/2007 1:38:59 PM , Rating: 2
What did you expect? That Sony would leave the DVD Forum and stop using the DVD format?

Now if the were a member of the HD DVD Promotion Group* that would be "nuts", but like a lot of other members of the DVD Forum they are not.


Format Wars - people buy what's cheaper
By xxsk8er101xx on 3/13/2007 12:30:19 PM , Rating: 2
As soon as people realize that the blu-ray discs have very little protective coating on it vs the hd-dvd discs people will prefer hd-dvd. HD-DVD will last longer than blu-ray. That's all i care about. When i buy something i don't want an insane amount of protection and very little protective coating.

The reality of this format war is people don't understand the difference and buy what is cheaper. Give it time.

By xxsk8er101xx on 3/13/2007 12:31:38 PM , Rating: 2
Copy Protection* is what i meant

RE: Format Wars - people buy what's cheaper
By EclipsedAurora on 3/13/2007 12:48:50 PM , Rating: 1
I seems that BluRay is cheaper in both GB per $. Also, pls remember as most manufacturer support BluRay, the massive production power will outweight BluRay's initial higher cost. In fact today in Japan a HD-DVD burner drive is no way cheaper than BluRay. In Japan, a 1080p HD-DVD player is even 2 times more expensive than 1080p BluRay player. HD-DVD completely lsot their "claimed" advantage.

It's a truth that HD-DVD's inventor Toshiba also admits that HD-DVD is just a transistion technology over BluRay.

By TomZ on 3/13/2007 1:37:00 PM , Rating: 2
It's a truth that HD-DVD's inventor Toshiba also admits that HD-DVD is just a transistion technology over BluRay.

Please cite your reference for that claim. I find that hard to believe.

RE: Format Wars - people buy what's cheaper
By timmiser on 3/13/2007 3:31:33 PM , Rating: 2
Marge (read: average buyer); mother of 4, walks into the best buy to purchase a player for her HD television. She sees the Blue Ray display, purhase done. Or, she may even check out the available movies and see more available on the Blue Ray format, purchase done.

But she'll never say, "nah, I'm going with HD-DVD player because of that protective coating issue they got on them Blue discs cuz some people think it will last longer."

By TomZ on 3/13/2007 3:48:38 PM , Rating: 2
If Blu-ray discs develop a general repuation for being unreliable due to sensitivity to scratches, however, that probably would be a problem for Blu-ray sales.

RE: Format Wars - people buy what's cheaper
By 9nails on 3/14/2007 12:36:26 AM , Rating: 2
Marge, mother of 4, would look for family films. After grabbing the first low-cost High-Def player she finds, she heads over to the video isle to find that Disney officially backs Blu-Ray only. She now puts the HD DVD player back and reluctantly takes the higher priced Blu-Ray player. She grabs Eight Below and The Wild, also reluctantly since she hadn't had much interest in these movies to begin with. She suspects (wrongly) that she can rent other BR-DVD movies at the local video store...

Marge now feels buyers remorse.

RE: Format Wars - people buy what's cheaper
By TomZ on 3/14/2007 8:21:19 AM , Rating: 2
I don't mean to sound sexist, but probably Marge doesn't know or even care about high-def, and it will be her husband Biff that makes the purchase. Biff won't even think about the movies (he's only interested in sports), and it will only be after the fact he learns about Disney. At that point he'll be in the doghouse for picking the "wrong" format and maybe suffer buyers remorse.

Or more likely, they'll just play Disney content with their old DVD player, since the kids don't notice or care about high-def either.

By timmiser on 3/14/2007 6:30:11 PM , Rating: 2
When Homer comes home and sees that Marge has the hi-def player with a bunch of sports titles laying around, he'll be too happy to even be suspicious that a Bif even exists.

He'll probably think the reason Marge has told him she has something to tell him, but only live on the Jerry Springer show in Chicago, is that Marge has some kind of sports addiction but it will turn out that is wasn't the "sports" Homer was thinking.

By Zoomer on 3/15/2007 7:24:41 PM , Rating: 2
Bestbuy sales: Get Blu-Ray, it has better specs and is more future proof! 50GB over 30GB! <Insert awesome sounding nonesense> HD DVD is just dvd that's tweaked and repackaged!

Besides, selling 3 $1000 players over 3 $600 players looks much better on their performance review sheet. $3k vs $1.8k. Seesh.

RE: Format Wars - people buy what's cheaper
By timmiser on 3/13/2007 3:31:34 PM , Rating: 2
Marge (read: average buyer); mother of 4, walks into the best buy to purchase a player for her HD television. She sees the Blue Ray display, purhase done. Or, she may even check out the available movies and see more available on the Blue Ray format, purchase done.

But she'll never say, "nah, I'm going with HD-DVD player because of that protective coating issue they got on them Blue discs cuz some people think it will last longer."

By Oregonian2 on 3/13/2007 5:02:31 PM , Rating: 2
She'll only say that when she goes to buy another copy of the same movie due to the scratches.

By Golgatha777 on 3/13/2007 9:26:36 AM , Rating: 2
Blu-ray has Disney movies and HD-DVD doesn't. Also, Universal is the only studio not releasing their movies on Blu-ray. So, of course Blu-ray sold more discs. It's not rocket science.

RE: Hmm, couldn't have anything to do with content....
By ATC on 3/13/2007 9:58:03 AM , Rating: 2
and the divide will only grow with time, which will force Universal's predicted change of course. Yes, sad to say it, but HD-DVD is dead.

By hubajube on 3/13/2007 10:34:49 AM , Rating: 2
I guess the price difference of the drives themselves don't have any effect here. I would've thought for sure that people would prefer a cheaper drive to a much more expensive one. Unless people are using the PS3 as the Blu-ray player then the price difference would be the same. I would like to see the numbers for the standalone Blu-ray and HD-DVD players.

By ani4ani on 3/14/2007 2:56:28 AM , Rating: 2
The HD DVD platers could be free, but if you can't play anything on them, what use is that? In terms of numbers of standalones, even though Bluray players are more expensive, the numbers are essentially the same. Of course add the PS3 and its nearing 10:1 in Blurays favour.

By plonk420 on 3/13/2007 2:06:43 PM , Rating: 2
Actually (Universal's) The Producers is out on Blu-Ray in Japan. The Rundown or something is supposedly a Universal/Sony release, too.

bigger list of Universal releases here:

Looks familar
By Trisped on 3/13/2007 4:40:11 PM , Rating: 3
Well it looks like Sony was able to get what they wanted, more software in the user's hands. Now comes the final part (and most important) of the test. From what I understand this is what happened with Beta, a “technical superior format” (though the actual differences in the formats are very very small here), costing more, having great industry support. Then came the Sony back stab where they wouldn't give developers as much freedom as VHS did, so industry support switched and Beta died. Sony has left themselves open for the same mistake this time, keeping the anti-scratch coating a secret that only they produce they will be able to hold Blue-Ray producers hostage once they have a monopoly on the market.

Will they make the same mistake twice? Will HD DVD pull ahead? Will the two end up taking different markets? Only time will tell. Personally I am still waiting for the Omni-Drive that will allow me to play both in my PC (as well as play R/RW DVDs and CDs).

RE: Looks familar
By ani4ani on 3/14/2007 3:01:05 AM , Rating: 2
The scratch "story" is an urban myth these days - BD's are as robust as HD DVD discs. Sony are not the only "makers" of BD's and it is not a Sony format either - The BR forum has a 193 members

RE: Looks familar
By Trisped on 3/15/2007 6:21:32 PM , Rating: 2
I think you miss understand. Sony is the owner of a chemical covering that goes on BDs which makes them scratch resistant as well as doing a few other things. This is Sony's love handle on BD, it allows them to maintain control over the number of disks produced and verify that proper royalties are being provided. It also provides a way for them to hold us hostage.

That may have changed, but I haven't heard anything about it so I think it hasn't. That isn't to say that others can't make disks with out the chemical. It just means that they can't put the coating on them which may or may not be important for reading the disks latter.

RE: Looks familar
By Zoomer on 3/15/2007 7:30:12 PM , Rating: 2
I think that's TDK's IP, they call it the Durabis.

By gramboh on 3/13/2007 11:46:21 AM , Rating: 2
This sucks.

The only way for HD-DVD to win is by competing on price to the mainstream market. The problem is, if Blu-Ray has higher adoption by opinion leaders, and more titles available, the mainstream will adopt Blu-ray anyway, even if HD-DVD is significantly cheaper.

This phase is probably a few years off at least, until there is more penetration of HD sets.

RE: Argh
By Noya on 3/13/2007 8:33:20 PM , Rating: 2
Have you noticed the fantastic marketing of Blu-Ray?

It absolutely blows HD-DVD out of the water.
TV spots, magazines, Circuit City and BestBuy ads...I'm an avid tech watcher and I swear BD has ten times the advertisments.

In one Best Buy ad a few weeks ago, BD was on one half and directly across was HD-DVD. The ad stated BD is 1080p and HD-DVD as 720p! How many uninformed sales was that mistake?

I think if HD-DVD is going to survive, they need a massive influx of quality advertisments.

RE: Argh
By Arjunne on 3/14/2007 9:28:38 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly what I was thinking... Blu-ray has a MUCH larger advertising impact around my parts, and no one is even mentioning HD-DVD in conversation - and I'm talking lay-person, here. Its ALL blu-ray.

Another factor? Blu-ray just sounds cool. People are intrigued by the name and the branding... and lets be honest, for the average person, branding is going to have a much bigger impact than anything else.

Casino Royale
By Novaoblivion on 3/13/2007 8:21:42 AM , Rating: 2
Casino Royale comes out on BD today if I am not mistaken, I am going to pick up my copy :).

RE: Casino Royale
By Torched on 3/13/2007 8:41:36 AM , Rating: 2
According to Casino Royale is the top selling blu ray product at amazon. Alot of other info there that will make HD DVD fans cry.

By R3MF on 3/13/2007 5:23:24 AM , Rating: 2
< chuckles to himself.

Still too early
By CorrND on 3/13/2007 10:52:08 AM , Rating: 2
Congrats to Blu-ray for winning the second round (HD-DVD clearly won the first by coming out so much earlier). However, the total number of discs sold is still miniscule. This war won't really be waged until players come down in price and more people get them in their home. HD-DVD might regain some advantage if they can be the first come out with a player in the $200 range (early signs indicate they will). If Blu-ray beats them to that point, the war will be over.

By EclipsedAurora on 3/14/2007 11:24:38 AM , Rating: 2
But BluRay is going to win a beautiful war at least in Australia

Michele Garra, chairwoman of the Australian Blu-ray Disc Working Group, denied there was a "format war" in Australia, since few stores stocked players and movies in "the rival format".

Featuring an article from Sydney Morning Herald

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