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Sony BPD-S300  (Source: Sony Corp.)
Sony will pay Target to put Blu-ray Disc player on display

Target is getting behind Blu-ray Disc in its choices for product availability this holiday season. The massive retailer said that it will begin stocking the Sony BDP-S300 for $499 in October and display it alongside Blu-ray movies.

Target denies that it is actively picking one format as preferred over the other, and says that it will continue to offer movies in both formats.

"We are not proclaiming one format vs. the other as the preferred consumer technology, and software will continue to be available to our guests in both the Blu-ray and HD DVD format," Target spokeswoman Brie Heath said to the Associated Press.

According to the Reuters story, Sony said that Target will exclusively carry Blu-ray players "at least through the holiday season" and will also expand its inventory of Blu-ray discs. Such comments from the electronics company point to the belief that Target’s choice to support Blu-ray this year is fuelled by a marketing deal with Sony.

The AP also reports that Sony is paying a fee to have its Blu-ray player featured in the end-of-aisle display, although Sony executives said that the endcap was a Target decision.

Target does not currently carry any standalone high-definition movie players in its stores. The only HD-capable players carried in the retailer’s electronics department are the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 HD DVD drive.

Both sides of the high-def format war have traded blows since their inception. Blu-ray has consistently led the software sales charts, while the HD DVD camp boasts that it has greater sales for standalone machines.

The Blu-ray side scored another victory in June, when Blockbuster announced that it would begin stocking Blu-ray Disc movies in its stores.



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Is the end in sight?
By harshbarj on 7/27/2007 2:53:01 AM , Rating: 2
Lets hope this trend continues so we can move on and embrace hd.




RE: Is the end in sight?
By InternetGeek on 7/27/2007 3:10:17 AM , Rating: 1
Actually no. It's too early, and just to keep them honest and competitive we need the other camp to stay alive and all stores leaving the choice to whom has the right to make it: the consumer.


RE: Is the end in sight?
By kyleb2112 on 7/27/2007 6:03:22 AM , Rating: 2
That's a recipe to stick a lot of people with a soon-to-be unsupported format. It sounds pretty, though.


RE: Is the end in sight?
By zombiexl on 7/27/2007 7:11:10 AM , Rating: 2
While it may be a recipe to stick people with an unsupported format, I'm guessing most people buying one or the other already know that or have more money than brains and wont be all that affected.

Leaving the HD ball completely in Sony's hands would be a very bad thing. They are consistantly the most overpriced products on the market. If they hold the licensing reigns for the only HD format, I'd expect prices to move downward much slower than if they had to compete.

A better option for the consumer is to have a (reasonably priced, full featured) dual format player and allow that to drive the price of media down. Honestly I dont care if the media is BR of HD, although I do like the dual format HD-DVD's. Makes it easier to take with me if I want to watch it on a laptop or something.


RE: Is the end in sight?
By michal1980 on 7/27/2007 8:44:02 AM , Rating: 1
Huh, Its not just Sony.

HD-DVD is more on the island by itself here with toshiba, then Blu-Ray is with sony.


RE: Is the end in sight?
By mdogs444 on 7/27/2007 8:54:17 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Huh, Its not just Sony.HD-DVD is more on the island by itself here with toshiba, then Blu-Ray is with sony.


Not quite sure how you figure that. Toshiba created HD-DVD with NEC. Sony created BD-DVD by itself.

BD is winning in total movies sales, while HD is winning in standalone player sales.

Both are out there, neither is a clear cut winner, and both are sitting ducks on an island for now just waiting for us (consumers) to make a final choice - unless they decide to keep coming out with dual format players for cheap.

By Toshiba only supporting HD and Sony only supporting BD - and they happen to be two of the top tier DVD player makers in the industry - they both have the possibility of being drowned because of their own greed & attempted monopoly over consumers.

If you dont recall, there was Betamax & Minidisc by Sony. Both were great products, but the fact that Sony wouldn't let anyone else do anything with them, they failed. Hopefully they dont make the same mistake with BD.


RE: Is the end in sight?
By bdwins on 7/27/2007 10:12:37 AM , Rating: 2
Blu-ray was jointly developed by the following companies: Apple, Dell, Hitachi, HP, JVC, LG, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, TDK and Thomson. Sony is just most often assosiated with Blu-ray.


RE: Is the end in sight?
By masher2 (blog) on 7/27/2007 10:27:49 AM , Rating: 2
Sony took the lead, controls the board of the BD Association, and did by far the lion's share of the development. A few other companies did contribute to the development process, but Apple, Dell and TDK (to name a few) did not. They're johnnie-come-lately board members, nothing more.


RE: Is the end in sight?
By Oregonian2 on 7/27/2007 3:09:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you dont recall, there was Betamax & Minidisc by Sony. Both were great products, but the fact that Sony wouldn't let anyone else do anything with them, they failed. Hopefully they dont make the same mistake with BD.


Don't know about Minidisc, but Betamax was a crummy product and that's why it "lost". In the beginning when the war was being fought Betamax could only record one hour per tape. VHS two hours. Very bad for Betamax. VHS could record a movie off of TV unattended, Beta could not. Beta would record the first hour with better video quality, but all that over an hour had the VHS quality MUCH higher (because Beta wasn't recording anymore at all). Sony eventually was forced to lower their image quality by adding a 2 hour mode, but the war was lost by that point. This was a VERY important application for video recorders (leading to the pivotal supreme court ruling about being able to make such recordings).


RE: Is the end in sight?
By masher2 (blog) on 7/27/2007 4:23:15 PM , Rating: 3
> "Betamax was a crummy product and that's why it "lost".

I agree with all your other points but this. Betamax wasn't "crummy" by any stretch; Sony simply misgauged the market, thinking consumers would prefer image quality to recording length (Much as they seem to misjudged the market for the PS3, an otherwise excellent product crippled by high price). Betamax also had other technical advantages, but recording time (along with a few other Sony missteps) trumped all.

In any case, Betamax didn't "lose" on all fronts. Sony shrunk it down, where it became the Betacam standard for camcorders, which dominated VHS-C until the advent of digital technologies.


RE: Is the end in sight?
By 16nm on 7/27/2007 11:50:40 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
[Sony] are consistantly the most overpriced products on the market.
More overpriced than Apple?


RE: Is the end in sight?
By AmbroseAthan on 7/27/2007 9:18:17 AM , Rating: 2
He's right, the format war isn't close to being over. DVD players are still outselling either HD format by a good bit.

HD adaption (either format) isn't going to become mainstream, and maybe show signs of victory, till one of the two players hits close to $200. Then you will see people purchasing their new HD-Format disc player with their new HDTV, or people seeing it as a possible upgrade to their existing DVD players who already have an HDTV. Very few people in the market have the excess cash for the current prices of stand-alone players; combined with the fact HDTV's are a much smaller market segment then regular SDTV's still.

Whoever breaks into the lower price barriers first will be the winner; though I think both are going to last long enough for Hybrid players to become cheap enough for people to consider them an option.


RE: Is the end in sight?
By goodstuff on 7/27/2007 11:40:32 AM , Rating: 2
Hey look, BJ's Wholesale Club is going Blu-Ray only now too. Are we seeing a trend here?

http://www.videobusiness.com/article/CA6463556.htm...

BJ's Wholesale Club stores to carry Blu-ray exclusively

By Jennifer Netherby -- Video Business, 7/26/2007

JULY 26 | East Coast chain BJ’s Wholesale Club will drop HD DVD from its shelves and carry the Blu-ray Disc format exclusively by the fourth quarter, according to sources at the retailer and several Hollywood studios.

Sources said the chain will carry Blu-ray exclusively at all its 170 stores, although it continues to carry both formats on its Web site.

A spokesperson for the chain didn’t immediately return calls for comment.

BJ’s' move follows Target and Blockbuster, both of which have announced they will increase the presence and support of Blu-ray in stores. Both chains, however, will continue to carry HD DVD movies to some extent.


Why not buy a PS3?
By Lord Banshee on 7/27/2007 8:49:07 AM , Rating: 2
Just wondering seeing at a PS3 can be had for $499 also has there been any reviews that should the stand-alone player have better quality and more options than the PS3?

Just wondering as i used my PS2 as a DVD player for a good amount of time and it worked pretty good with a nice optical out sound too.




RE: Why not buy a PS3?
By h0kiez on 7/27/2007 9:44:49 AM , Rating: 2
The PS3 is widely regarded as one of the best (if not the best) Blu-Ray players on the market. So to answer your question, no.


RE: Why not buy a PS3?
By mdogs444 on 7/27/07, Rating: 0
RE: Why not buy a PS3?
By Chaser on 7/27/2007 12:18:53 PM , Rating: 2
If the PS3 were the only BR player out there its still actually a very good player.

I'm happy with its quality, upscaling capabilities of conventional DVDs -a new feature by the way- and its audio quality. A great deal for a "player" that happens to also stream Windows audio, video and photograph files wirelessly, and of course other features. :)


RE: Why not buy a PS3?
By geddarkstorm on 7/27/2007 12:30:50 PM , Rating: 2
Even if there were only three choices, the best is still the best. Why would you pay the same amount of money for something that is of lower quality, and can't do half as much as the other product? I'd say it's time to check into a psychiatrist if you think it's a good idea.


RE: Why not buy a PS3?
By ATC on 7/27/2007 12:50:09 PM , Rating: 2
What's so humorous about it? I counted 14 BD players on Amazon alone. And that's without the internal-PC variety.

Your numbers aside, Yes the PS3 is the best and most tested BD player out there. Take a look at the AVS forums and see for yourself. I would say it's by far the most capable and flexible next-gen player.


RE: Why not buy a PS3?
By wallijonn on 7/27/2007 1:19:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
i used my PS2 as a DVD player for a good amount of time and it worked pretty good with a nice optical out sound too.


Once you got past the 'PS2 ring burns" on the DVDs you were still left with a 27MHz DAC, which just can't compete with a 54MHz or 108MHz DAC. Yes, it made a barely acceptable DVD player but as time went on it was blown out of the water when it came to picture quality. Today it is marginal, at best, when connected up to an HDTV.


Stupid move
By FITCamaro on 7/27/2007 9:53:32 AM , Rating: 2
Considering that Blu-ray players (PS3 included) are far more expensive than HD-DVD players, its a pretty stupid move for a store such as Target to only stock the more expensive of the two. Target caters to those without a lot of money the same as Walmart. So which do you think people without a lot of money are going to buy? A $500 machine or a $200-300 machine? My bet is on the cheaper one.

On a side note. HD-DVD sales might jump a bit next week with a blockbuster like 300 coming out.




RE: Stupid move
By mdogs444 on 7/27/2007 10:53:41 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Target caters to those without a lot of money the same as Walmart.


I have to disagree with that a bit. Target is notorious for having better quality products than Wal-Mart - clothing lines, furniture, etc. Target does get cater to a bit more of a higher income crowd than WalMart does.

Target is still a department store, but a few notches up from Wal-Mart.

I believe in order of quality - lowest to highest (as well as prices) - it goes: Kmart, Walmart, Target.


RE: Stupid move
By theapparition on 7/30/2007 7:58:27 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
I believe in order of quality - lowest to highest (as well as prices) - it goes: Kmart, Walmart, Target.

Nope, Walmart is at the bottom.


RE: Stupid move
By GetSome681 on 7/27/2007 11:22:07 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
On a side note. HD-DVD sales might jump a bit next week with a blockbuster like 300 coming out.


You do know that 300 is coming out on blu-ray as well, right?


Of course...
By mdogs444 on 7/27/2007 8:27:33 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The AP also reports that Sony is paying a fee to have its Blu-ray player featured in the end-of-aisle display, although Sony executives said that the endcap was a Target decision.


Of course they are paying a fee. Advertisement is huge....especially when it comes to "impulse buyers" and the "holiday rush".

But IMO, it would be much more effective to issue a discount price, as opposed to paying the huge fees associated with front level advertising. It would then be advertised in weekly flyers and hit a larger target market - everyone. If they really wanted to, they could have an available discount or rebate offer exclusively for Target as well.

But again, I think its too early to start paying extra fees to stick a $500 DVD player on end caps of aisles. Even with the holiday rush coming up in the next few months, the prices are still very high, and with HD-DVD players available at 40% of the Blue Ray player cost, I think a much more effective marketing tool would be a discount vs. advertising fees for an exclusive chain.




RE: Of course...
By masher2 (blog) on 7/27/2007 10:34:47 AM , Rating: 2
> "IMO, it would be much more effective to issue a discount price, as opposed to paying the huge fees associated with front level advertising..."

Likely true from a raw sales figures perspective. But at this point, Sony is less interested in volume, and more interested in reducing Toshiba's market share.


RE: Of course...
By afkrotch on 7/28/2007 12:02:37 AM , Rating: 2
Who cares what the player costs, drop the damn prices of the discs.

If HD-DVD disc is so damn easy to produce, why the hell are they costing the same as a Blu-ray disc (give or take a dollar)? If they can make it just like a regular dvd, why the hell isn't it costing as much as a regular dvd?

Might get a player on the cheap, but get ass raped on the discs.


Title
By h0kiez on 7/27/2007 9:46:11 AM , Rating: 1
Hey marcus...think we can lay off the lame puns for the titles of articles? ;-) Mmmkay?




RE: Title
By Marcus Yam on 7/29/2007 9:05:02 PM , Rating: 2
I take every opportunity I can to put lame puns into my headlines. Sadly, it's only once in a blue moon that someone like this comes around.


"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins














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