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HD DVD celebrates its first birthday with 100,000 players

The North American HD DVD Promotional Group have announced that more than 100,000 dedicated HD DVD players have sold in the U.S. in its first year since the format’s introduction to the market. This figure does not include sales of HD DVD PC drives or the Xbox 360 HD DVD player.

Earlier this month, Toshiba dropped prices on its line of HD DVD players, with the entry-level HD-A2 coming in just below the $400 mark.

“Toshiba remains committed to drive sales with strategic pricing and marketing to complement the rapid market adoption of HDTVs,” said Jodi Sally, vice president of marketing, Toshiba America Consumer Products. “Retailers are showing a significant increase in sales volume this month so far. On Amazon.com, our HD DVD players continue to rank among the top ten best sellers of all DVD players, which says a lot about how consumers relate to price.”

Although raw sales of movies currently favor Blu-ray, the HD DVD Promotion Group points out that it leads in the area of standalone players. The vast majority of Blu-ray capable machines are in the form of Sony’s latest games console, the PlayStation 3.

The HD DVD Promotional Group also points out that its format currently has the edge on mandatory special features, such as a network connection, picture-in-picture, persistent storage, and decode support for Dolby True HD. Consumers can also enjoy combo discs that include a DVD version as well as an HD version on a single disc for playback on a variety of machines.

HD DVD’s mandatory HDi support has Warner Home Video releasing ‘timed exclusives’ for the HD DVD format. Titles such as Batman Begins, V for Vendetta and Poseidon appear only on HD DVD, though those movies will see eventual release on Blu-ray following the mandatory inclusion of picture-in-picture BD-Java support. The Complete Matrix Trilogy is coming in May on HD DVD first, with a Blu-ray version to follow later in the year.



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Media is what's important
By deeznuts on 4/19/2007 1:08:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Although raw sales of movies currently favor Blu-ray, the HD DVD Promotion Group points out that it leads in the area of standalone players. The
Not going to predict who's going to win or jump in to the debate, but I must say, media sales are what's important to the success of a format, not standalone players. That is just one huge spin on the statistics. But I don't blame them, you gotta do what you gotta do.




RE: Media is what's important
By ZimZum on 4/19/2007 2:03:15 PM , Rating: 2
True, but standalone sales are eventually going to result in media sales down the road. Where as most people buying the PS3 aren't necessarily buying it solely to use as a Blue Ray player. You know exactly why someone is buying a stand alone HD-DVD player, to watch HD movies. Getting the units into households is very crucial.


RE: Media is what's important
By deeznuts on 4/19/2007 2:42:56 PM , Rating: 2
Very true. The attach rate of standalones are higher then consoles, but even a low attach rate of consoles will overcome a high attach rate of a low-number of standalones. Case in point, the explosion of blu-ray in a matter of months to catch up and pass HD DVD total media sales. When HD DVD had several months lead time, and an even longer leadtime after Blu-Ray was introduced, because of delayed releases, horrible vid quality, etc.

HD DVD was given a golden opportunity, but the release of the PS3 really did piss on all of that. 25% of PS3 owners buying Blu-Ray disks is going to be too much already.


RE: Media is what's important
By Moishe on 4/19/2007 2:07:35 PM , Rating: 2
I hear ya... but I look at it the opposite way. It's a lot easier to pay $25 than it is to pay $500 or $1k. 100k player sales without even including the PC or XBox drives is a pretty nice number.

I do agree that if Blu-ray media continues to outsell HD-DVD it will eventually turn the tide. As far as media sales go I'd be far more interested in seeing actual sales numbers that don't include freebies. If Sony sold 800k PS3s and each one had a free BD movie that would really skew the numbers.

Nobody that I've heard of is actually giving away players, so those are probably almost 100% actual sales.


RE: Media is what's important
By deeznuts on 4/19/2007 2:44:13 PM , Rating: 2
I have never seen any number ever quoted that included freebies as it relates to media. Remember, Nielsen VideoScan is point of sale.


RE: Media is what's important
By RexHavok on 4/19/2007 5:54:04 PM , Rating: 1
See here's the thing BD isn't out selling HD DVD at all, It's all hype...Sony is counting games released as BD titles and PS3's as players...there are far more 360's running around then PS3's, people have stopped buying the PS3 due to price but SONY needs to hype it to try to save face. You add all the
360 HD DVD drives sold with the above number and the true number is double, they keeping making apples and oranges comparisons when they are getting their ass beat. Don't believe the hype. check it yourself. http://www.360-gamer.com/news.asp?id=226



RE: Media is what's important
By deeznuts on 4/19/2007 7:02:19 PM , Rating: 2
Your link said nothing. Games are not counted towards the numbers where BD is shown to outsell HD DVD. It's called Nielsen VIDEOscan, not gamescan. Man that's some of the worst fanboy arguments I have heard (not saying you are the fanboy, just whoever made the arguments and convinced YOU).

What you are talking about are Gamecharts. Don't get it twisted bro.


RE: Media is what's important
By DingieM on 4/20/2007 7:37:12 AM , Rating: 2
True, but the point is made that anyone in possession of a Xbox360 and a HD-DVD drive has bought the add-on drive *for the sole purpose* of watching HD-DVD's.
This is quite different from the PS3 that has already built-in player but actually much less people use it.
And the latter just feels a bit like buying a player and not use it...


RE: Media is what's important
By theflux on 4/20/2007 1:26:21 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't matter what someone intends to do with a device. There could be a million people intending to buy movies out there, but so long as Blu-ray is outselling HD DVD it is all hopes and dreams. Saying that dedicated players will continue to generate the high attach rate is as presumptuous as saying that PS3 owners will continue to not buy Blu-rays in mass.


RE: Media is what's important
By AlexWade on 4/19/2007 6:17:01 PM , Rating: 1
If media is what is important, then you should know that HD DVD has slowly, but steadily, chipped away at the Blu-Ray sales lead. After the PS3 surge, many people thought HD DVD's days are done. However, since the surge, PS3 went stagnant, very few people are buying Blu-Ray standalones, and the DVD forum threw in an awesome deal along with both Best Buy and Circuit City giving away more movies. That means HD DVD is far far from dead.

Neutral studios favor HD DVD. Why hasn't Warner released Batman Begins on Blu-Ray yet? Who is getting the Matrix first? Who is getting Lord of the Rings first?

And there are rumors that $100 to $200 HD DVD players may be in Wal-Mart by Christmas. If that happens, HD DVD will be hard to beat, despite the PS3.

This format was is anything but over. It has become very interesting indeed.


RE: Media is what's important
By masher2 (blog) on 4/19/2007 7:19:27 PM , Rating: 2
> "Neutral studios favor HD DVD..."

There was an interesting article in the FT last month, quoting a studio exec that an Blu Ray production line cost something in the realm of €1.7M, and would produce only 10,000 discs per day, whereas an HD-DVD line cost a bit less than half that, but would produce four times the discs/day.


I have a bad feeling about how this'll turn out
By cubby1223 on 4/19/2007 1:40:50 PM , Rating: 3
We all know that consumers in mass will not move to a new format until either (1) one format is eliminated, or (2) dual format players are cost-effective.

I see the dual format players being released at a low price happening before Sony gives up Blu-Ray, or Universal gives up hd-dvd. And once dual format players are in the majority, Sony can keep their blu-ray format, *and* Universal can keep their hd-dvd format without a hit in sales.

So unless blu-ray wins out completely, I just see both formats living on forever, and it will screw over all early adopters who have bought a single format player.




RE: I have a bad feeling about how this'll turn out
By rklaver on 4/19/2007 3:40:31 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder what the possibilities of having HD-DVD for movies and Blu-Ray for computer storage would be? I could care less who wins in the video market, but I would rather back up 50GB of data than 30GB of data. But I guess either way it better than 4.7 and 8.3GB. I still haven't seen HD-DVD burners hit the store yet. Has anyone else?


By cgrecu77 on 4/19/2007 5:14:19 PM , Rating: 2
don't even think about this, even now it's not cost eficient to burn dual layer dvds ... it's going to be forever until a blu ray disk will cost less than 10 times a regular dvd ...


By rklaver on 4/19/2007 7:31:08 PM , Rating: 2
Well yeah, right now it's to expensive because of the recorder. $32 for 50GB media is high but 80GB Hard drive is about $54. But for archiving my torrents...err.. I mean my files, that's about 12 DVD-Rs to 1 BD disc. Besides I'm getting tired of buying drives.


By cgrecu77 on 4/19/2007 5:16:30 PM , Rating: 2
this makes no sense, if dual will get cheap enough then those that bought a single format will just go and buy a dual for (almost) free.

Obviously, those that buy a new technology will always overpay, but that has nothing to do with one format winning over the other or not ...


By cubby1223 on 4/19/2007 5:47:08 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not talking dirt cheap like the $30 dvd players, but like $400-$500 dual format players down the road, that's still a large amount for anybody to purchase.

The whole point is, it would be very nice to know I can buy one player now (at a reasonable price, the LG is not a reasonable price) and not have it soon become obsolete. I just look at it now, and no matter what is purchased, I have a bad feeling they *all* will be obsolete, making *everyone* buy new equipment within two years. And it's disgusting.

Even back to vhs / betamax, people knew that *one* of them would come out ahead, so half the people would not have to purchase new equipment.


Buyers care about price.
By wallijonn on 4/19/2007 1:56:22 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
our HD DVD players continue to rank among the top ten best sellers of all DVD players, which says a lot about how consumers relate to price.”


While some 20% - 25% of Americans now own HD TVs, the fact that a next gen player can cost ~50% of what one paid for the TV, does make a difference to the consumer. Shall it be $400 for HDDVD or $800 for BRDVD? Me, I'll take the lower priced spread.




RE: Buyers care about price.
By Moishe on 4/19/2007 2:09:43 PM , Rating: 2
especially considering that for all intents and purposes there is no real tangible difference between BD and HD-DVD. It's not like joe consumer is going to have some sort of preference for BD over HD-DVD that would make them pay the extra cash.


RE: Buyers care about price.
By cubby1223 on 4/19/2007 3:47:35 PM , Rating: 2
But your Joe consumer, while not preferring one format over another, will look at the movies available before dropping several hundreds on a player, and be just as disgusted as we all are.

I prefer blu-ray right now for the sole reason that far more movies that I want to purchase are blu-ray exclusives, than the number of movies I want that are hd-dvd exclusives. So I bought a PS3. I don't own any PS3 games, but do have 6 blu-ray movies, and likely will buy Planet Earth next week. That's precisely why console sales *do* count in these statistics.

Even the releases coming out later this year, there are like 7-8 blu-ray exclusives I'm very interested in, compared to just 2 hd-dvd exclusives.

Read my other comment on this topic to see why I think we *all* will be screwed, regardless of which "camp" we favor.


RE: Buyers care about price.
By PitViper007 on 4/19/2007 4:19:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
...I think we *all* will be screwed, regardless of which "camp" we favor.


Which is exactly why I've not jumped into either camp yet, nor will I. At this point, I have an upconverting DVD player on my HDTV, and while it's not as good of quality as true HD, the resulting picture is very good. I figure that will do me until the BD/HD-DVD wars are over.

PitViper


RE: Buyers care about price.
By bozilla on 4/20/2007 3:45:28 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
But your Joe consumer, while not preferring one format over another, will look at the movies available before dropping several hundreds on a player, and be just as disgusted as we all are.

I prefer blu-ray right now for the sole reason that far more movies that I want to purchase are blu-ray exclusives, than the number of movies I want that are hd-dvd exclusives. So I bought a PS3. I don't own any PS3 games, but do have 6 blu-ray movies, and likely will buy Planet Earth next week. That's precisely why console sales *do* count in these statistics.

Even the releases coming out later this year, there are like 7-8 blu-ray exclusives I'm very interested in, compared to just 2 hd-dvd exclusives.

Read my other comment on this topic to see why I think we *all* will be screwed, regardless of which "camp" we favor.


And you see that's why you can't count PS3 sales as Blu-Ray..the only reason you are buying that many Blu-Ray movies is because you don't have games for PS3...as soon as you start playing games on it (as you probably primarily bought it for gaming) you are watering down demand. It's what will happen.

On the other hand, HD-DVD stand-alone players and customers who bought them, are constantly buying HD-DVD movies for them, as that player actually only plays HD-DVD movies.

Do you see my point?


About time they started tooting
By Mitch101 on 4/19/2007 1:05:21 PM , Rating: 2
Its about time they started tooting their own horn. In the face of Blue-Ray claiming victory after victory its good to see HD-DVD hasnt given up yet.

However this means the HD war is still on which means confused consumers until there is a clear winner.




By zombiexl on 4/19/2007 2:35:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
However this means the HD war is still on which means confused consumers until there is a clear winner.


The one thing I find interesting is that many people know there are Hi Def DVD's but I still run into people who never heard of BluRay. HD-DVD could really use that to their advantage if they pushed out some TV spots. Most people hear HD and think of hidef, but bluray is still relatively unknown to a large groups of consumers?


By cgrecu77 on 4/19/2007 5:11:33 PM , Rating: 2
... would be some kind of trade-in scheme for the billion of dvds out there.
In theory when you buy a dvd (or hddvd) you don't buy the media itself (although you pay for its cost too), but for the IP, that's why a dvd is so expensive.

Now, when I bought a DVD, in theory I bought for lifetime, so if I damage the dvd I should get a free replacement (barring shipping and production costs which should be very small).

The same thing should happen if I want to replace my dvd with the HDDvD equivalent (as it becomes available). I shouldn't be paying again for the intelectual property since I've already acquired lifetime rights to it.

I should only pay for production, shipping and maybe remastering costs (which for most movies would be next to nothing).




By namechamps on 4/19/2007 7:15:22 PM , Rating: 2
Never ever ever ever going to happen.

The whole reason, the only reason the movie industry is pushing HD is so you WILL buy those movies all over again. DVD sales are stalling. People have bought most of the older titles they want. They are becoming selective about which new releases they buy.

HD isn't about giving the consumer a good deal. It never was. It is about people buying millions of new and older movies in HD quality. The $10Billion+ DVD gravy train is slowing down just like VHS was slowing down in early 90s. HD is just the next step to keep the movie industry afloat in billions and billions in cheap money.

Take away the financial gain for the studios and the gladly would release movies in DVD for next 50 years.


some ps3 owners still buy media
By DarkPrime on 4/19/2007 3:34:49 PM , Rating: 2
count me as one of those ps3 owners who will not go out and buy a blu-ray standalone player but is happily buying blu-ray media right now. I know that the 360 add on and the ps3 really screw up the statistics, but at this point in the game, they really are important to keep in mind.




HD-DVD should've came out years before PS3
By vision33r on 4/19/2007 4:27:23 PM , Rating: 1
They should've started a HD-DVD promotion years before PS3 came out.

Now that PS3 is here for $600, most folks with HDTV rather buy an all-in-one unit than having so many components. The Xbox 360 is great console but without HD drive, that noisy HD-DVD addon drive is not a good selection. Its a good value but just not enough when you factor the added cost and still lacks HDMI.

PS3 is much more elegant, so MS better get a 360 2.0 thats sleeker, quieter, and more reliable.

Reason HD-DVD titles not flying because they are seriously lacking studio support.




By namechamps on 4/19/2007 7:19:53 PM , Rating: 1
Who says you need to buy a 360. Lots of people don't want any game system in their home theater setup. The entry level HD DVD player has a list price of $400 and can be found closer to $300 online (with 5 free movies). Within a year it will be closer to $200. If someone isn't interested in games which is a better deal $200 standalone player which looks nice in a home theater rack of $600 game system which is twice as big and looks like a giant toy.

For the price of a PS3 you could get a $300 HD-A2 plus 5 free movies then spend the $300 saved for 12 more movies. So 17 movies + player for same price as PS3 + no movies.

Don't to rent instead of buy movies. Get a HD-A2 plus one year subscription to netflix or blockbuster and it still costs less than a PS3.


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