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Sony and Toshiba play tug of war on who owns most of HD market

In the high-definition optical format race, it’s been commonly observed that Blu-ray Disc software outsell HD DVD by two-to-one margin. In terms of hardware, however, HD DVD’s lower price point is believed the help drive greater standalone sales. To explain for this disparity, some believe it is the Sony PlayStation 3’s Blu-ray Disc playing capabilities that is driving software sales, even though HD DVD leads the player market.

At a CEDIA press conference on Wednesday, Sony cited NPD Group research data showing that standalone Blu-ray Disc players accounting for more than half of all high-definition players sold. Blu-ray Disc set-top players within the last 9 weeks have begun out-selling HD DVD set-top players on a unit basis, reports Video Business.

Upon hearing Sony’s comments, Toshiba, HD DVD’s main supplier of hardware, issued a statement refuting claims that Blu-ray players had taken over the lead. The statement, as published by High-Def Digest, reads as follows:

“In light of recent comments made regarding high definition stand-alone video players sales, Toshiba would like to reiterate its continued industry leading sales figures. Based on July data from NPD, Toshiba had a 55% market share year to date in high definition stand alone player sales followed by all Blu-ray companies at a combined 42%; the final 3 percent is held by dual format players.

While the competition may claim leadership based on one month of data, Toshiba has had continued sales leadership in every month since the original HD DVD players launched 17 months ago.

Toshiba is and continues to be a top seller at retailers such as Amazon, most recently reaching #1 on the site last week. As third generation players begin to come to market at the end of this month, Toshiba has full confidence that it will continue its momentum and lead in player sales.”

Amazon recently ran a promotion for both HD DVD and Blu-ray players, offering up to eight free movies with the purchase of hardware.

Sony credits it hardware sales surge to the $499 price point of its entry-level BDP-S300 player. Sony also announced this week two new Blu-ray players that will occupy the upper range of its product line.

Toshiba will also be rolling out new hardware this fall with a trio of machines ranging from $299 to $499.



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Hard to believe
By mdogs444 on 9/7/2007 12:46:25 PM , Rating: 1
I find BD's figures very hard to believe. I do not personally know anyone, nor have I hear anyone, say they have a standalone BD set top unit. If the PS3 is factored in as a set top unit, then sure I can understand how they may have outsold HD set top units. But if the PS3 is not considered, I think someone at Sony is talking FUD.

But the editor said it right, Sony could be basing this claim on a week or month timespan, not "year to date" or "release to date".




RE: Hard to believe
By DigitalFreak on 9/7/2007 12:55:58 PM , Rating: 1
RTFA

quote:
Blu-ray Disc set-top players within the last 9 weeks have begun out-selling HD DVD set-top players on a unit basis, reports Video Business.


RE: Hard to believe
By mdogs444 on 9/7/07, Rating: -1
RE: Hard to believe
By FITCamaro on 9/7/2007 12:57:44 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Without the PS3 Blu-ray accounts for nothing hardly. The only reason an average consumer would pick a standalone Blu-ray player over an HD-DVD one is if the movie they want is on Blu-ray.


RE: Hard to believe
By Bioniccrackmonk on 9/7/2007 1:18:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The only reason an average consumer would pick a standalone Blu-ray player over an HD-DVD one is if the movie they want is on Blu-ray.


And since we have various movie companies backing one or the other, what do you think the chances are of someone liking a movie that is only available on BD? I would say there is a very good chance.


RE: Hard to believe
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/7/2007 1:34:04 PM , Rating: 2
The same can be said of HD DVD. It's a double edged sword. The killing blow comes by who has the sub $200 players quickest and has popular movies to boot. Shrek and Transformers will help, Star Trek has chosen HD DVD since Paramount owns the rights to it..... Now if only Lucas would pick one the war would end... How much would you be willing to bet that the Star Wars 6 movie trilogy on one format or the other would tip the balance?


RE: Hard to believe
By Bioniccrackmonk on 9/7/2007 1:43:32 PM , Rating: 2
I know its a double edged sword and that is what I was pointing out to FITcamaro. As long as the companies that own the rights to the movies keep choosing sides, owning a standalone player for HD DVD and BD is not unfathomable, because the majority of the people who but this stuff probably have a movie they like only available in one format or the other.


RE: Hard to believe
By Locutus465 on 9/7/2007 1:57:14 PM , Rating: 2
The longest this format war can last is as long as it takes for HD-TV's to filter down into the average home... Once that happens, I'm pretty sure price is going to be the deciding factor.


RE: Hard to believe
By Locutus465 on 9/7/2007 1:53:38 PM , Rating: 2
Starwars would be a big help to which ever format gets it (assuming just one format gets the movies). But then again, considering how long it took Lucas to get to DVD in the first place, I wouldn't hold my breath!


RE: Hard to believe
By One43637 on 9/7/2007 2:13:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
RE: Hard to believe
By FITCamaro on 9/7/07, Rating: 2
By FITCamaro on 9/7/2007 12:57:44 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Without the PS3 Blu-ray accounts for nothing hardly. The only reason an average consumer would pick a standalone Blu-ray player over an HD-DVD one is if the movie they want is on Blu-ray.


You could make that very same argument for HD as well...


RE: Hard to believe
By ani4ani on 9/7/2007 2:19:50 PM , Rating: 2
Funny, even Toshiba, i.e. HD DVD claim that Blu-ray sells 43% of the standalones, hardly nothing and pretty good considering they are "unfinished..soon to be obselete and more than twice the price" I wonder why Toshiba never spout their Hi-def PC drive sales where it is something like 90%+ in favour of Blu-ray.


RE: Hard to believe
By blaster5k on 9/7/2007 2:55:22 PM , Rating: 2
That's actually not true. If you looked at the recent figures Toshiba gave (as mentioned in the CEDIA article on Anandtech), HD-DVD PC drives are actually outselling Blu-Ray by quite a bit at 62.7% market share.


RE: Hard to believe
By Gatt on 9/7/2007 5:55:06 PM , Rating: 1
Now that I find extremely hard to believe unless they're either counting the ones installed on store bought computers or the 360's drive. I haven't seen a standalone HD-DVD drive for the PC yet, there's a number of them for BR.


RE: Hard to believe
By ArneBjarne on 9/8/2007 8:50:43 AM , Rating: 2
I think you need to take another look at that chart again:
http://www.anandtech.com/tradeshows/showdoc.aspx?i...

In black inside the chart frame it says what it is actually a chart of:

quote:
WW B2C Notebook PC MarketShare (07Q2)


In red above the chart you have Toshibas interpretation of the chart:

quote:
HD DVD Leads PC drives World Wide with over 60% share


To get to that conclussion i guess you only need to take the following leaps of logic:

1. Notebooks make up the entire PC market. What happened to desktops?

2. No company can use both types of drives in their model lineup. They either use only HD DVD or only BD, hence HP is assigned exclusively to the HD DVD camp even though they are still a member of the BDA.

3. Every single notebook from the companies assigned to either camp shipped with a HD drive from that camp in 07Q2.

4. All HD drives are shipped in a notebook, none are sold separately.

Did I miss anything?

Now if you take headline of the whole slide, I guess it is a little better, becuase you can skip leap 3 and 4:

<qoute>Market Share of HD DVD PC Brands


RE: Hard to believe
By ArneBjarne on 9/8/2007 2:07:17 PM , Rating: 2
Regarding "leap" 2:

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=8778

I guess we can at least remove Acer and Gateway from the HD DVD side, along with HP, and put them down as neutral.

Funny how most of the 62.7% that Toshiba categorize as "HD DVD PC Brands" actually belongs in the "Neutral PC Brands" category that they conveniently forgot.


RE: Hard to believe
By deeznuts on 9/7/2007 2:34:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Exactly. Without the PS3 Blu-ray accounts for nothing hardly. The only reason an average consumer would pick a standalone Blu-ray player over an HD-DVD one is if the movie they want is on Blu-ray


Umm, according to HD DVD's numbers, not BD's, Blu-Ray standalone players have 42% of the total market, compared to 55% of HD DVD standalones. That means that 42% of all standalone purchasers must have a movie they want which is in BD.

That to me is very very surprising. With the 6 month leadtime in release, and the PS3 as a compelling alternative, I thought HD DVD's lead over BD in standalone set top players would be much much higher.


RE: Hard to believe
By Bioniccrackmonk on 9/7/07, Rating: 0
RE: Hard to believe
By mdogs444 on 9/7/2007 1:28:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So I guess you know everyone in America, or the world eh? Somehow I do not think so, I personally know several people who have a stand alone BD player as part of their home entertainment centers. Some of them also own a HD DVD player as well. Most of these people are older who know absolutely nothing about gaming systems and like the fact that all they have to do is put in a DVD of their choice and hit play to start watching their favorite movies.


It means what is said it means. That i do not PERSONALLY know anyone w/ a BD set top unit. Not sure whats so hard to understand about that?!

quote:
This sounds like an opinion to me which reminds me of an old saying. Opinions are like a-holes, everyone has one and they all stink.


Yes it was an opinion. But i am not seeing any concrete data & numbers coming from sony on this either. Just a remark saying "we won for 9 weeks". So until i see the actual numbers, then its just FUD.


RE: Hard to believe
By Foxbat121 on 9/7/2007 2:02:48 PM , Rating: 2
There were 2 BD players sold and 1 HD player sold while 1 million DVD players sold during that period Sony cited :)

As simple as that.


RE: Hard to believe
By Bioniccrackmonk on 9/7/07, Rating: 0
RE: Hard to believe
By mdogs444 on 9/7/2007 2:37:26 PM , Rating: 2
I know. I think toshiba's statements are FUD as well.

I am not backing either format or company.


RE: Hard to believe
By Bioniccrackmonk on 9/7/2007 2:47:12 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed.


RE: Hard to believe
By mdogs444 on 9/7/2007 2:37:29 PM , Rating: 2
I know. I think toshiba's statements are FUD as well.

I am not backing either format or company.


The bigger enemy
By Zagor on 9/7/2007 1:55:37 PM , Rating: 2
I personally think that either side is missing the big picture. The bigger enemy is the standard DVD. The average joe is perfectly happy with the standard DVD and sees no reason to buy either High Def format. As long as all movies and shows are continually being released on standard DVD and are priced much less than High Def media (see the movie 300, $13 SD - 29 HD) there is high probability that either HD format will be nothing more that a blip on the radar screen. They will both co-exist and will make up less than one percent of overall sales for years to come.




RE: The bigger enemy
By Locutus465 on 9/7/2007 1:59:19 PM , Rating: 2
Are you sure they're missing this, or just realize that there isn't a whole lot to be done about it other than offer regular DVD upconverting on their HD units, which both do....


RE: The bigger enemy
By Zagor on 9/7/2007 3:36:35 PM , Rating: 2
Nothing they can do about it??? Sure there is, how about pricing the two a lot closer. About release the HighDef Version first (say 30 days head start) or better yet, make the HD version a better buy by better packaging, including extras etc...There is plenty they could do to entice the general public to prefer the HD version that just "it looks better".


RE: The bigger enemy
By Locutus465 on 9/7/2007 4:15:20 PM , Rating: 2
Regardless of price, HD will be lower volume anyhow do to the must smaller potential market for it (you need an HDTV!). The premium on HD content isn't horrible, but I'm guessing nessisary to make it sustainable while Toshiba/Sony wait for mass HD market penetration.


RE: The bigger enemy
By mdogs444 on 9/7/2007 2:03:46 PM , Rating: 3
I agree that there isnt that much of a difference between DVD and High Definition DVD - at least enough different to make me spend twice as much on movies and fork over hundreds on a player.

With that being said, i dont see how standard DVD is the enemy.....wouldnt it be the other way around?


RE: The bigger enemy
By Zagor on 9/7/2007 3:41:31 PM , Rating: 2
The movie studio would LOVE to see the standard DVD disappear. Just think of all the money they could make having everyone re-buying all their old favorites collections just like they did when switching from VHS to DVD. Better copy protection is another big reason.


RE: The bigger enemy
By Locutus465 on 9/7/2007 4:19:42 PM , Rating: 2
where do you get the twice as much per movie figure? From what I've seen similar dvd/hd titles are not all *that* far off in price.


RE: The bigger enemy
By Oregonian2 on 9/7/2007 7:12:12 PM , Rating: 2
Are you speaking about rough price parity only in terms of buying the same new movie, or are you talking about more general movie shopping as one might do in practice? Meaning that one goes down one's store and makes a choice among all the movies being offered at the store, "listing" the ones one wants to buy and then choosing the one to take home (where HD and plain-DVDs may very likely be different movies)? There's a big choice of econo-priced regular DVDs that one may want to buy "instead" of the HD movie (which is likely a new movie).


RE: The bigger enemy
By Locutus465 on 9/9/2007 10:20:05 PM , Rating: 2
I'm comparing the cost of a new DVD... As I'm currently getting ready to make the switch to HD, I've been looking through various retailers to see what building up the HD library will cost. What I've found, is that the vast majority of HD-DVD's are priced in the neighberhood of $20, not a whole lot more than a new regular DVD (in fact a few stores charge that for new regular DVD's still).

True, there are no 4/20 block buster HD deals (well, I think they're blueray exclusive, but still), but then again given the newness of the technology and small market this is to be expected.


A point
By michal1980 on 9/7/2007 2:03:06 PM , Rating: 1
Toshiba said they lead the stand alone market.
Once again Toshiba said they lead the market at 55:42 for standalones.

Do any hd-dvd fans see anything good about that number?

If price is number 1, and toshib's hd-dvd player has been selling for 50%-60% below that of a blu-ray player, how come the sales ratio is so close? shouldn't they be owning the floor with sony, and the blu-ray crowd?




RE: A point
By mdogs444 on 9/7/2007 2:06:43 PM , Rating: 2
I believe the PS3 is included in those figures is it not? (not trying to be cynical, but honest question).


RE: A point
By killerroach on 9/7/2007 2:16:53 PM , Rating: 2
Note, "standalones". Those are the numbers that Toshiba is citing themselves, so if their lead in dedicated hardware is that slim, considering the price difference, that's not really that good of a sign.

The Paramount/Dreamworks thing did muddy the waters considerably, though... just before that, it was talked about that Universal was considering jumping ship to Blu-Ray, which, if that had happened, would've probably ended the format war in favor of Sony's optical medium. But even still, at present both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD are like squabbling children, with papa DVD turning his head around and yelling "would you two quiet down back there?". When some DVD movies are selling as many copies in their first week or two out than entire studios have sold copies on Blu-Ray or HD-DVD... that's not a good sign. Unless something changes relatively quickly, the format war will end with both blue laser optical discs going the way of the UMD movie...


RE: A point
By ChristopherO on 9/7/2007 2:15:07 PM , Rating: 1
The numbers don't reflect the period where Paramount and DreamWorks went HD DVD exclusive.

Toshiba has been ahead since day 1 with a lower purchase price, and only one exclusive studio. It's a no brainer in that regard, cheaper price will result in better hardware sales.

Now the studio count is more or less even, and might tip to HD's favor since Warner seems to have a preference in that direction.

As a result, Sony's numbers are totally and utterly meaningless since they don't reflect the *current* market.

The only numbers that will matter will be those from November through January... One week of holiday sales will be equal to several months of sales during the slow part of the year.


RE: A point
By SirLucius on 9/7/2007 2:34:46 PM , Rating: 3
How are Sony's numbers useless, when they're citing sales records for the past 9 weeks and Toshiba is only showing up to July? Granted, Sony isn't showing numbers before those 9 weeks, but in terms of reflecting the current market, Sony's figures are more accurate (assuming they didn't fudge the numbers) and Toshiba's are a month out of date.

While I agree that the holiday numbers will be the deal breaker, it's hard to say that Sony's numbers now don't count since they surely include the time since Paramount/Dreamworks went HD exclusive.


RE: A point
By ChristopherO on 9/7/2007 4:30:01 PM , Rating: 2
The current numbers are useless, because even if they included up until today, DreamWorks/Paramount haven't released any significant titles exclusive to one format, and existing Paramount titles are still available at retail. Most people buying a player at Best Buy aren't going to know about exclusive marketing agreements. And generally speaking the employees are probably going to provide false or misleading information.

When that supply dries up, and big exclusives are available (i.e. the Summer blockbusters), that will change things considerably.

I also don't buy Sony's numbers. Toshiba had been drastically ahead for many, many months. I think it's impossible to reverse that trend in a short amount of time, unless Sony starts including PS3s, which isn't really quite fair since their impact on the market is going to be different than a stand alone player. You can assume appreciably more titles purchased by stand-alone buyers. Sure their are some PS3/BD junkies, but that's going to be the exception (and decline over time as the PS3 becomes more mainstream).

It's a lot like the PS2 -- early in it's life cycle it was much more common as a DVD player. Now, some people still use it for that purpose, but it's an unusual situation. By and large >95% of DVDs are going to be watched on stand alone players. That's also why, over time, the PS3 effect on BD sales will diminish.


RE: A point
By deeznuts on 9/7/2007 2:37:43 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
If price is number 1, and toshib's hd-dvd player has been selling for 50%-60% below that of a blu-ray player, how come the sales ratio is so close? shouldn't they be owning the floor with sony, and the blu-ray crowd?

Don't forget, 6 month leadtime and a very good alternative in the PS3, which makes that number even less appealing for HD DVD.

The PS3, even if you say sucks as a gaming console, is much much more than any standalone and offers much more as well. Threads over at avsforum show this. It is a great multimedia box.

And standalones have still sold 42% of the total market.


Best way to end this war
By Timeless on 9/7/2007 1:56:44 PM , Rating: 2
HD-DVD gets movies. Blu-ray moves out of movie business, instead goes back into gaming business. HD-DVD can be the new standard hi-def for movies. Blu-ray can be standard hi-def for gaming. Problem solved. No more war.




RE: Best way to end this war
By mdogs444 on 9/7/2007 2:01:12 PM , Rating: 2
And the xbox 360 & Wii are just going to adopt Blue Ray gaming? No offense, but i think we've got a better chance of spotting elvis...


RE: Best way to end this war
By ViperROhb34 on 9/7/2007 6:49:34 PM , Rating: 2
LOL, very nice about Elvis .. HAHA

It was mentioned once by a MS rep that Bluray could be possible on 360 if HD-DVD tanked, but Im sure it would be last ditch - if that ! I mean its somewhat possible both formats could end up failing/falling to a new format in a couple yrs when people are more ready to adopt those technologies...

It's all speculation and in the end all our voices here are just that - opinions.


RE: Best way to end this war
By Locutus465 on 9/7/2007 2:04:32 PM , Rating: 2
Except I'm sure most companies like microsoft would perfer to have one single all round solution.


Something's up
By A5un on 9/7/2007 3:35:14 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not a frequent BestBuy shopper, so what I'm saying may not be entirely accurate. And this is really just an observation I've made:

BestBuy never ever turn on the TV that's playing the BD movie!

I don't know if it's just my timing, but I've been there couple of times in the past two months because I'm in the market for a notebook, and not even once were the BD TV's on. The HD-DVD TV's on the other hand, were playing all sorts of thins. I sense something is up.

And this happened at various BestBuy locations too. And I swear I'm not making this up.




RE: Something's up
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/7/2007 4:08:41 PM , Rating: 3
Who knows with best buy, that place sucks, period.


RE: Something's up
By Locutus465 on 9/7/2007 4:18:17 PM , Rating: 2
Odd, best buy near me has two BD displays placed prominently in the HD tv section, one mulitformat display between those, and tucked way back in a dark corner an HD-DVD display you have to go specifically looking for... Bad marketing if you ask me!


HD-DVD PLAYERS PLAYS DVD'S
By xxsk8er101xx on 9/9/2007 9:32:51 PM , Rating: 1
I REPEAT: HD-DVD PLAYERS PLAYS DVD'S.

So the whole "hd-dvd is trying to get you to buy all new movies." is just not knowing anything about HD.

You can play ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLl your dvd's on a HD-DVD player. There is a difference in quality you just need a hdtv big enough to tell. I mean 30+ inches. It's harder on a 20" to tell.

I REPEAT: HD-DVD PLAYERS PLAYS DVD'S

so there's no conspiracy from hd-dvd.

btw: sony's blu-ray cannot play dvd's

that is all ...




By RubberJohnny on 9/9/2007 10:34:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
btw: sony's blu-ray cannot play dvd's

Wrong!

All blu-ray players currently available also play dvd's

I REPEAT: BLUE-RAY PLAYERS PLAYS DVD'S

that is all ...


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