Seemingly resolute in its cause, Toshiba announced today new
pricing and marketing strategies for HD DVD.
Realizing that price is one of the biggest barriers in mass
consumer adoption of a new technology, Toshiba has dropped its suggested retail
pricing across the entire third-generation HD DVD player line. Effective
starting January 13, the price of the entry-model HD-A3 will be $149.99, the
HD-A30, with 1080p output, $199.99, and the high-end HD-A35, $299.99.
New, lower pricing on Toshiba HD DVD hardware appeared over
the weekend when online retailers listed the HD-A3
as low as $129.99 and the HD-A30 at $179.98.
"While price is one of the consideration elements for
the early adopter, it is a deal-breaker for the mainstream consumer," said
Yoshi Uchiyama, Group Vice President Digital A/V Group. "Consumer sales
this holiday season have proven that the consumer awareness of the HD DVD
format has been elevated and pricing is the most critical determinant in consumers'
purchase decision of the next generation HD DVD technology. The value HD DVD
provides to the consumer simply cannot be ignored."
Last year, special holiday sales of entry level HD DVD players
had consumers taking home new hardware for
under $100. Thanks to priced-to-move sales on HD DVD hardware, Toshiba moved
90,000 players during a weekend sales rush.
The second point to Toshiba’s two-pronged attacked is its
new marketing campaign aimed to inform consumers on the DVD-upscaling
capabilities of its HD DVD players. All of Toshiba’s HD DVD players will upscale
a standard-definition DVD to high-definition resolutions.
"HD DVD is the best way to watch movies in high
definition," said Jodi Sally, Vice President of Marketing, Toshiba's
Digital A/V Group. "Our HD DVD players not only play back approximately
800 HD DVD titles available worldwide and deliver an entirely new level of
entertainment but also enhance the picture quality to near high definition on
legacy DVD titles by all studios. In short, we added high def to DVD which
already is the de facto standard format created and approved by the DVD Forum
that consists of more than two hundred companies."
While Toshiba overstates in its press release the
improvement of upscaling DVDs to 1080 resolutions (especially when compared to
true high-definition movies), those looking to extend the life if their
existing standard-definition libraries should consider a high-definition
player. Nearly all Blu-ray Disc players on the market, including the
PlayStation 3, also feature similar upscaling technologies.
Toshiba said that its new advertising strategies will include
television, print and online media channels, along with dealers and studio
partners on joint marketing and promotional initiatives to promote HD DVD.
With Warner Bros. siding exclusively
with Blu-ray Disc this summer, Toshiba appears to be exploring every angle to
turn the tide in the still-ongoing high-definition format war.
quote: Will it work? Only time will tell
quote: Maybe not the 'majority', but a 'significant portion' of PS3 buyers were/are intend to use it as a Blu-Ray player.
quote: According to the results, only 40% of PlayStation 3 owners polled were aware the machine had a Blu-ray player and about 50% of that number had popped in a Blu-ray movie during the last 10 times they turned on the machine -- the other half didn't use the feature.
quote: 40% of PS3 owners don't know that there's even a Bluray player in the unit.
quote: No one is going to buy a PS3 for the sole purpose of playing BD discs...then not buy any discs for it.
quote: This whole Bluray vs HD DVD thing is irritating.
quote: I just don't see the importance of one format over the other.
quote: They're both HD and neither holds a candle to DVD sales.
quote: The only reason why I post in these threads to prevent misinformation and to TRY to make this less emotional.
quote: I mean it's just a media format for God's sake!
quote: I could care less which one gets accepted.
quote: If I were a developer looking to make money (as developers often are) I'd half-ass that port just to get that thing running and selling.
quote: It's a similar tactic to Sony's inclusion of BD in the PS3, which millions of people bought as a game console, and only secondarily as an HD player.
quote: Maybe Sony doesn't want anyone coming out with a $100 BD player...
quote: > "Rental outlets are NOT going to stock two new formats"
quote: I guess you don't remember all the years rental outlets stocked both VHS and DVD, eh?
quote: Heres how it realy works masher = take one point of any comment that can be spun or twisted and try to confuse and "win" an argument based on that.
quote: Are you going to have 20 copies of a new movie on DVD, 20 on blu, and 20 on hd-dvd all sitting together taking up 3x as much shelf space?
quote: The super cheap a3 isn't even an option with it's sub par audio capability.
quote: Toshiba does have a point here. I actually ran some tests with conventional Standard Def upscaling DVD players, SONY and Toshiba brands, comparing their upscaling picture against the upscaled picture from both my Toshiba A20 HD-DVD player and my Sony PS3. My conclusion was that the upscaling by the Hi Def players was far superior to the Standard Def upscaling players.
quote: Right. FUD aside, even the low end HD-DVD players upscale on the level of a $1000 Denon unit.
quote: HD-DVD has sold a lot more stand alone players than BD has
quote: you can't expect the floundering PS3 to keep BD disc sales up
quote: This week it will probably be about 50-100k lower, but I don't see how you can claim the sales of the PS3 are "floundering".
quote: People will choose BD because of it's superior manufacturing brands and abundance of titles.
quote: Why is it that all these Blu Ray fanboys respond with "blu ray won go into a whole(sic) hd dvd cuz my ps3 by parents bought me is winz"?
quote: A format war is by no means over when HD DVD sells 40% of the discs, has more standalone players sold by far, and is supported by Toshiba (largest computer drive manufacturer in world) and Microsoft (needs a description?).
quote: Also, what's up with the misinformation rumor propaganda Blu Ray keeps shooting out?
quote: If Sony has to resort to false rumor propaganda to win methinks they are not going in the right direction.
quote: The majority do not care about HD-DVD.
quote: PS. Im not too worried about having to buy a ps3.
quote: If you think this will always be the same you are mistaken. My first dvd player was $500 and movies were in the $35 range. Sound familiar?
quote: Sony, on the other hand, no doubt wish to keep prices high for as long as they can
quote: Denying WHY Sony dropped HD-DVD to lead Blu Ray is just as stupid
quote: BD-Java means more DRM than HD-DVD