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HD DVD players get a sales lift thanks to sub-$100 pricing

The battle in the next generation high-definition DVD format war is far from over. HD DVD and Blu-ray have been fighting it out in the market for roughly a year and neither side shows any signs of giving up the fight.

In late October, DailyTech reported that Blu-ray disc sales held a commanding lead over HD DVD for the first nine months of 2007. Blu-ray outsold HD DVD by a 2-to-1 ratio racking up sales of 2.6 million units versus 1.4 million units for HD DVD.

Since the inception of both standards, a total of 3.01 million Blu-ray discs and 1.97 million HD DVD discs have been sold.

Toshiba, the main backer for HD DVD, decided to turn the tables a bit in order to swing the sales momentum back in its direction. One by one, retailers started dropping the price of the second generation Toshiba HD-A2 HD DVD player. Wal-Mart dropped the price of the player from $299.99 to $198 in late October. Circuit City and Amazon both followed suit pricing the player at $197.99.

On November 1, DailyTech brought you news of Wal-Mart's secret in-store sale which listed the price of the HD-A2 at an unheard of $98.87. Soon after, Best Buy countered by pricing the player at $99.99. Sales of the player were so furious at that the stock was depleted leaving backorders to be fulfilled with the third-generation HD-A3 at no additional charge.

It appears that Toshiba efforts to drive down the price of entry for HD DVD paid off. Video Business reports that 90,000 Toshiba HD DVD players were sold over the weekend thanks to the price drops.

For comparison, Sony has sold 100,000 of its $499 BDP-S300 set top player since its introduction during the summer.

Despite the weekend surge in HD DVD player sales, Sony can still claim the largest install base with its Blu-ray hardware. Since its introduction in November 2006, Sony had shipped over 5.51 million PlayStation 3 consoles -- each of which features a Blu-ray drive.

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The Break HD-DVD needed
By ViperROhb34 on 11/7/2007 11:32:36 AM , Rating: 5
When VHS began to pull away from Beta it was all because standalone players were cheaper. At the time Sony charged outrageous lisc fees to those making Beta players. It was slow at 1st but when VHS began to pull away from Beta in the USA it was over for beta. ( In japan they kept using beta for 12+ more yrs although in almost all countries VHS took over)

What makes a format succeed is large volume sales for players at good prices. If this keeps up, over the next couple months HD-DVD could see a huge turnaround based on Stand-Alone pricing alone.

Once again the format war would be won - not be elite audio/videophilles who will pay whatever for a player - but the avg. everyday mom/pop/aunt and uncle who can't afford alot and buys whats cheap and works.

Something for the masses of everyday working folks.

RE: The Break HD-DVD needed
By TomZ on 11/7/2007 11:54:17 AM , Rating: 4
Exactly - cheap players will drive the market. The PS3 certainly gave Blu-ray a good initial boost, but cheap players now are the most important factor going forward towards getting one format or the other into high-volume mainstream use.

The typical end customer does not understand and does not care about the differences between the formats. They mainly just have to compare cost of high-def players to make a decision.

What I don't understand is why Sony doesn't "get" this?

RE: The Break HD-DVD needed
By Procurion on 11/7/2007 12:39:49 PM , Rating: 2
Sony is an institution in Japan much like our brands in America or Europe, I guess. Years ago Sony would flop worldwide but recoup their money from their Japanese sales. The world is a changing place though, and like I pointed out when this was anounced, the stink is hitting the fan. Volume and discount pricing! Quality and upgrades become the selling points in a few months. It is a beautiful thing to watch in action.

RE: The Break HD-DVD needed
By Xavian on 11/7/2007 12:47:17 PM , Rating: 4
I believe the main reason why Sony doesn't "get" it, is because Sony still believes they can charge a premium for a product with their name on it.

But unfortunately this isn't the case anymore, nowadays there are competing electronics companies out there that can provide the same quality electonics as Sony but at cheaper prices (See Panasonic, Samsung, Pioneer and Toshiba); and ofcourse if Sony doesn't take the lead and start dropping their prices on their stand-alone players, none of the others in the Blu-Ray Consortium will either.

Ultimately the biggest problem with Sony is they no-longer know how to take the lead with formats or technology in general, they seem to have lost that ability somewhere between Compact Disc and Betamax.

RE: The Break HD-DVD needed
By sviola on 11/7/2007 1:01:15 PM , Rating: 2
Because Sony can't, it's written in all their internal documents:

"Thou shalt overprice!!"

RE: The Break HD-DVD needed
By BansheeX on 11/7/2007 7:21:47 PM , Rating: 2
I would say that cheaper 1080p HDTVs are the first step in getting people to rebuy their DVDs in HD and a getting a new player. So yeah, let's not get ahead of ourselves. Everyone arguing in this forum is not the average consumer. It takes a slightly higher order of intelligence to realize that and put yourself in the mind of someone who is far less tech-enthusiastic than you.

RE: The Break HD-DVD needed
By alexsch8 on 11/7/2007 3:11:43 PM , Rating: 2
And since Sony is already losing quite a bit of money on the PS3s, I doubt they can afford to lower the prices of their Blu-Ray players... unless they are willing to risk it all for the sake of the format.

RE: The Break HD-DVD needed
By Araxen on 11/7/2007 3:44:57 PM , Rating: 2
Does Sony have to watch how much they lose on their players besides their bottom line? When does "dumping" come into play?

If MS came out with the Xbox 360 at $50 a console to take the market with their billons in reserve the feds would get involved.

RE: The Break HD-DVD needed
By Araxen on 11/7/2007 3:47:58 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry to reply to my own post, but you can sub in HD-DVD/Toshiba in place of Sony also if you like. When does dumping come into play?

RE: The Break HD-DVD needed
By crazyblackman on 11/7/07, Rating: -1
RE: The Break HD-DVD needed
By BansheeX on 11/7/07, Rating: 0
RE: The Break HD-DVD needed
By FITCamaro on 11/7/2007 4:00:19 PM , Rating: 2
Toshiba may be the only real seller of HD-DVD players but they are still outselling all the standalone Blu-ray players combined.

And it's pretty sad that Sony has only moved 5.5 million PS3s worldwide. Especially considering a good number of them have been bought primarily as a Blu-ray player. I know a lot of numbers say that people don't know about the Blu-ray player in the PS3, but thats America. Not the rest of the world.

RE: The Break HD-DVD needed
By BansheeX on 11/7/07, Rating: -1
RE: The Break HD-DVD needed
By retrospooty on 11/7/2007 9:04:09 PM , Rating: 4
and what is your point? numbers can be fudged, and/or misinterpreted? True, but a $100 HD-DVD player beats the hell out of a $400 BR player any day, its playing (mostly) the same movies at the same quality. That alone is enough to swing it in favor of HD-DVD.

As for your argument above, you did make some good points, but they are all out of context and you are completely missing the point on viper's post. BR is a perfect parallel to betamax, and the PS/3 will have little effect on the war, 99% of its buyers buy it for games, and in the end it will be standalone player sales that decide the war.

"What makes a format succeed is large volume sales for players at good prices. "

that point alone makes all of your points irrelevant.

RE: The Break HD-DVD needed
By BansheeX on 11/7/07, Rating: -1
RE: The Break HD-DVD needed
By retrospooty on 11/8/2007 10:21:03 AM , Rating: 3
Do you wonder why every post you make on this gets rated down to the minimum? Its because your points are all irrelevant and out of context.

And we are not talking about a person that doesnt enjoy films. Films can be enjoyed on any DVD player. We are talking about the next gen HD format and it is for people that want to enjoy high-def movies. People that want that are going to buy high def movie players when they are cheap (speaking by the masses, not the few early adopters). PS/3 did give BR an early bump, but it wont last, unless BR can match HD-DVD's low prices on the standalone players. end of story.

RE: The Break HD-DVD needed
By Procurion on 11/7/2007 7:12:25 PM , Rating: 2
Doing five minutes of research on a Betamax fan page isn't enough to give you an understanding of what happened. Remember that most people who would bother to write the epitaph for Betamax were ardent fans and users.

1) Your supposition that gaming is going to make the product succeed is flawed. Stand-alone players/recorders are the market. It reigned as the most popular format for almost a decade.

2) Incorrect. Betamax had a HUGE base-most of Japan, and they used it almost exclusively for over a decade. It was also pushed to the extreme over here. This is a quote from wikipedia, which has all the footnotes for reference.

In addition to Sony and Sanyo, Beta format video recorders were also sold by Toshiba, Pioneer, Aiwa and NEC, and the Zenith Electronics Corporation and WEGA Corporations contracted with Sony to produce VCRs for their product lines. Department stores like Sears, in the US and Canada, and Quelle in Germany sold Beta format VCRs under their house brands as did the RadioShack chain of electronic stores.

Sony introduced the Betamax home video system in 1975 with the LV-1901 Trinitron/Betamax console. It was the most popular video format in 1983, gaining almost a third of the UK video recorder market, while Sanyo's VTC5000 was the top selling UK video recorder. By 1985, however, the market had turned sharply towards VHS. seem to have ignored history.

3) Virtually every notable manufacturer was making Betamax recorders. This point isn't even worth arguing-you have no clue.

4) You explain how, but not why. Sony refused to design a deck with a slower tape speed, otherwise they could have had the whole ball of wax. RCA requested it of Sony, and only went to Matsushita when Sony refused.

Price WAS the deciding factor. Sony never really dropped its' prices, preferring to keep them artificially high for its' profit margin. Cheaper equipment and longer recording times are what killed Sony and Betamax. Saying that you could find a cheap Betamax deck a decade into production when Sony was desperate is below threshold, my friend.

Not only am I playing at being an analyst, but I lived it. I read the newspapers, saw the ads, read the stories, and watched the whole process.

RE: The Break HD-DVD needed
By BansheeX on 11/7/07, Rating: -1
RE: The Break HD-DVD needed
By retrospooty on 11/8/2007 9:40:25 AM , Rating: 2
Its funny how you keep posting out of context facts and continue to ignore the main point...BR and HD both use the same expensive blue lasers and both play the same quality output, yet HD can now be found for $100 and BR is $400 for a standalone player.

That alone will be BR's downfall. When BR drops to $100, HD will be <$50.

RE: The Break HD-DVD needed
By BansheeX on 11/8/2007 10:24:06 AM , Rating: 2
Out of context? Explain. More explanations, less trumpeting please. There are prerequisites before price will matter: HDTV ownership, far more major titles released, and a less than 100% premium over DVD media for starters. Once you understand that, we'll get the fanboys to pipe down a little with the blind trumpeting about player price. I see prerequisites where you fail to out of passionate support for a format you bought into. You won't see a blitzkrieg of old people fighting for these players this holiday season as you're predicting, I guarantee it.

HD can now be found for $100

Where? Link pls.

RE: The Break HD-DVD needed
By retrospooty on 11/8/2007 10:52:30 AM , Rating: 4
Link? What are you talking about? Its been all over anandtech for the past week, walmart best but etc... If you must have a link, here you go

Out of context explanation: You keep posting factoids about beta, ps2 and blue ray, but are ignoring the price, which is by far the largest factor to mass appeal. When playing a high def movie, BR and HD are equal. A low end BR player costs $400 and an HD can be found for $100. I never predicted a "blitzkrieg of old people fighting for these players this holiday season" as you say, nor do I own any HD-DVD, or BR equipment yet, I merely said that the lower price of HD will be a factor in the long run and will eventually lead to victory. I also question the fact that BR and HD use the same expensive lasers from the same vendor, so why is BR so much higher priced (the answer is Sony royalties).

Now with that said, if sony, or anyone else can release a cheap BR player that is in the same price range as HD-DVD, then BR would have the advantage and would likely win.

RE: The Break HD-DVD needed
By Locutus465 on 11/8/2007 11:28:44 AM , Rating: 2
Banshee has a good point about HD-DVD pricing... I own an HD-A2 my self which I picked up for $130 at Circut City. The HD-A2 is now out of production however, and the $100 to $130 price point was a one time thing thus far... So if you don't have one now, then you'll have to wait and see what happens for black friday...

That said, Toshiba still has a significant price advanatage over any SA BD player (sony is fixated on PS3 for some reason) and this is unlikely to change any time soon. What sony doesn't understand is that most people don't want a PS3 as their DVD player, they want an actual SA DVD player which is stackable and quite a bit more silent than a PS3...

I do realize that the PS2 had a big impact on original DVD adoption, and it gave BD desperatly needed life, however you're crazy to think if BD is going to survive on the back of the PS3... People want SA DVD players, Toshiba is offering (compared to BD) in expensive HD-DVD players which offer the exact same feature set as BD... With christmas season sales, and expected price reductions on the HD-A3 to as standard price of $199.99 (or lower) BD will very quickly find it's self in a bad spot. And unfortunetly this time around it really does look like Sony and co. is taking a "wait and see what happens" approch to Toshiba's HD-DVD sales (which were held at walmart in conjunction with a significant sale on HD-DVD content). It is looking quite possible that BD group isn't going to respond to this onslaught until it is already too late for them. At least here in NA, once the battle here in NA is done the battle for Europe will start in ernest.

RE: The Break HD-DVD needed
By Spuke on 11/8/2007 1:54:26 PM , Rating: 2
The HD-A3 will be available for $170 on black friday which is still a great price.

RE: The Break HD-DVD needed
By Locutus465 on 11/8/2007 2:02:16 PM , Rating: 2
Can't complain about that price for a 3rd generation player that's bundled with 2 movies + the 5 you get in the mail for free! Player is almost free with all the extras.

RE: The Break HD-DVD needed
By BansheeX on 11/8/2007 7:43:35 PM , Rating: 1
Link? What are you talking about? Its been all over anandtech for the past week, walmart best but etc... If you must have a link, here you go

You said now. Time machine and rabbit's foot pls.

ignoring the price, which is by far the largest factor to mass appeal.

Indeed... after people get HDTVs with which to take advantage of an HD format, and after many more movies come out to entice people. Both formats are also competing against DVD at the moment. Betamax and VHS never had to deal with an already adopted, still great looking to most people, cheaper, already existing format. Star Wars and LOTR still haven't come out on any HD format. Do you think that if both of those went exclusive to blu-ray, lower player price would still prevail? You need to rethink your logic a little. I don't question the importance of price, nor have I once criticized anyone for choosing HD-DVD. My posts thus far have been to criticize the idea that current player price forecasts a clear HD-DVD victory. It most certainly does not. Heck, if either format paid Warner for title exclusivity tomorrow, it could be the end, and the $200 player price disparity would have jack shit to do with it.

RE: The Break HD-DVD needed
By retrospooty on 11/9/2007 10:50:26 AM , Rating: 2
"Star Wars and LOTR still haven't come out on any HD format. Do you think that if both of those went exclusive to blu-ray, lower player price would still prevail? "

Thats a nice hyothetical question... They are certainly going to be high volume no matter which they come out on, except for the fact that they are both several years old it would be a deciding factor, but most who want them already have them on DVD. Anyhow, what if they both came out out exclusively on HD-DVD? Moot point.

Actually after clicking on your username, I see clearly that you pretty much do almost nothing at AT/DT lately except push the virtues of Sony-PS/3 and Blue Ray.

Post when you have something else to say that isn't fanboyish. This argument is over.

RE: The Break HD-DVD needed
By Locutus465 on 11/20/2007 4:30:15 PM , Rating: 2
Of course amazon already lists LOR HD-DVD ;)

RE: The Break HD-DVD needed
By Locutus465 on 11/8/2007 1:04:32 PM , Rating: 2
Not everyone sees it that way, there are people out there that decided to take advantage of HD-DVD at the $100 price point who don't currently own HD-TV's simply because they see it as more future proof than a normal up-converting DVD player, and a safer bet than Bluray (even if HD-DVD fails you didn't spend any more on the HD-DVD player than you would have on a upconvert dvd player).

True, the $100 price point is a speacial thing at this point, but HD-DVD is about ready to hit a permenant $200 price point, and probably not long after that (some time in '08) and perminent $100 price point. If bluray keeps going at the pace it is you better believe they'll be left in the dust... Once HD-DVD hardware market penetration has a significant enough advantage over Bluray how long will it be before warner and even Disney start to take notice?

But wait! There were no lines at Wal-Mart!
By AlexWade on 11/7/2007 1:12:58 PM , Rating: 1
The Blu-boys just can't stand any good news for HD DVD. In fact, all fanboys can never stand good news for the other side. HD DVD fanboys have been just as bad, sadly.

I myself bought one, even though I didn't plan on it, just because it was $98. That was a deal I couldn't pass up. Now, these people are going to play their HD DVD's and show it off to their friends and say "Look at this HD DVD I bought at Wal-Mart". The friends, in turn, see the Wal-Mart HD DVD commercial and go buy one. While they are there, they buy a few other items too. Wal-Mart sold these things at a loss just to get people to think of them as serious HD players. You got to spend money to make money. If Wal-Mart did this with Blu-Ray, the end result would be the same. The DVD Forum better be glad Wal-Mart is pushing HD DVD.

RE: But wait! There were no lines at Wal-Mart!
By TomZ on 11/7/2007 1:17:05 PM , Rating: 2
Just curious, are you the same "Alex Wade" involved in Java and Netbeans development?

By AlexWade on 11/7/2007 2:32:23 PM , Rating: 2
No. I haven't really touched Java since college -- I am focusing on PHP, ColdFusion, JavaScript, and AJAX right now -- and have never touched Netbeans. My handle is my first and middle name, most people call me Wade and you can to.

By Locutus465 on 11/7/2007 1:51:35 PM , Rating: 2
Wow... It's one thing to support and possibly evangalize one tech over another, it's quite another to start distorting reality in order to try and make it seem like no one cares about a competing product/format. Every walmart I know of was sold out very soon after 8 (sadly the one I went to sold out at 7am). Apparnetly there were some out there with a larger stock of these, and some customers were able to get them later in the day... But for the most part, they were gone... And I'm pretty sure the story would have been the same if it was a BD player (I perfer HD-DVD, but I would certainly grab a BD player priced at $99 in a heart beat).

By Spuke on 11/7/2007 2:07:52 PM , Rating: 2
show it off to their friends and say "Look at this HD DVD I bought at Wal-Mart".
I have a friend that was not interested in HD players at all until I showed him the Walmart deal. It was just too good to pass up even for him. Hell, he doesn't even have a HDTV yet.

By ChronoReverse on 11/7/2007 2:23:15 PM , Rating: 2
I ended up buying one too. I figure that even if HD-DVD dies, I'll have a nice upconverting DVD player so it's no loss. Furthermore the price of the free movies alone pretty much covers the cost of player.

RE: But wait! There were no lines at Wal-Mart!
By timmiser on 11/7/2007 9:17:22 PM , Rating: 2
The only problem with your post is that it is Toshiba's decision to put the players at $99. They sign a deal with Walmart which includes where in the store the item will be located, the promotional price, and the print and TV advertisements which is mostly paid by Toshiba. Walmart themselves have little to do with the price cut and terms of the deal. Same goes with any product you see being promoted in a walmart ad or any store ad for that matter. Sale prices, circular location, and shelf locations are all negiotiated.

By C'DaleRider on 11/8/2007 1:40:53 AM , Rating: 1
Too bad you got only part of your post correct....the rest is about 180 degrees off.

Wal-Mart, the largest single retailer in the world, usually dictates the terms of any deal with any supplier. This would include Toshiba.

Wal-Mart essentially tells a supplier what kind of item they want and at what price point. It's then up to the supplier to either produce the item at that price or get passed over for another supplier willing to sell to Wal-Mart under those terms.

And every year the supplier contracts to supply WM with XX goods, WM usually expects a price reduction.....

True, shelf space, prices, etc., are all negotiated, but it's done with Wal-Mart in the position of power, not the supplier, and it's done with Wal-Mart specifying the terms of everything, not the supplier dictating the terms.

You ought to read the two articles below.....really will give an insight as to how WM sources and negotiates with its suppliers. Now, I know both articles are over 500 words, and both are probably much longer than anything you're used to reading before losing your to have such short attention spans, isn't it?......but try to read and comprehend what is written in them; then you may truly understand how WM sources its goods.

By bkm32 on 11/7/2007 12:58:00 PM , Rating: 2
When will MS release the HD-DVD add-on for 100 bucks? I mean, the add-on quality is below that of the HD-A2s and -A3s.

You know what would be better (since HD-DVD is so much cheaper now) is an Elite with an HD-DVD optical drive.

Can we at least get a bundle for $450? Hellooo!

RE: So...
By autoboy on 11/7/2007 1:32:08 PM , Rating: 2
The HD optical drive has not been included on the Xbox because of cost, because not everyone has an HDTV, and because the HD optical drive is considerably slower than the DVD drive. I really don't mind it as an add on and the fact that they allow 1080p over component, and my TV accepts 1080p over component, is a huge plus for me.

RE: So...
By Foxbat121 on 11/7/2007 2:01:08 PM , Rating: 2
You can't get HD DVD playback @ 1080p over component. It will be 1080i only. You will need VGA or HDMI connection to get 1080p. You can, however, still get 1080p over component for games.

RE: So...
By peter7921 on 11/8/2007 1:12:04 AM , Rating: 2
Your completely right. What really gets me annoyed is that they do it not for technical reasons but for stupid piracy reasons.

RE: So...
By Locutus465 on 11/8/2007 10:01:51 AM , Rating: 2
I'm ebaying mine for $100 right now (buy it now option)... You should totally go pick it up ;)

Strategy for Toshiba
By timmiser on 11/7/2007 12:11:48 PM , Rating: 5
Video Business reports that 90,000 Toshiba HD DVD players were sold over the weekend thanks to the price drops.
For comparison, Sony has sold 100,000 of its $499 BDP-S300 set top player since its introduction during the summer

This just goes to show how important price of the player is. If HD-DVD wanted to put a fork in Blu-Ray, all they have to do is sell their HD-DVD player at $99 throughout this holiday season.

RE: Strategy for Toshiba
By Locutus465 on 11/7/2007 1:55:58 PM , Rating: 2
Price is king.... I do personally perfer HD-DVD, mostly because of the traditionally lower price, but also because of the exclusion of region encoding... But to be perfectly honest, I be just as excited to be able to pick up a BD player at that price... In fact at this point I would be more excited to, since I already have an HD-A2 in my entertainment center :)

It'd be nice to be able to watch Pirates etc in HD! Too bad it seems like BD camp has no intention (as of this point) to allow the average joe this oppertunity.

RE: Strategy for Toshiba
By Mitch101 on 11/7/2007 2:07:06 PM , Rating: 2
Dont forget the 5 movies at least for each of them meaning we will see at least 450,000 added to the HD-DVD movie count this month on the sale of the players alone.

What's really going to help them...
By Locutus465 on 11/7/2007 10:57:46 AM , Rating: 2
Is that not only do you have a bunch of new HD-DVD customers, but you also have customers like me who decided to "trade" their X-Box HD-DVD drives for Stand Alone players because we perfer stand alone to anything attached to a game console. If the 5 free movies count as sales then that will hella help, in addition to the fact that the A3 in the same time period came with 3 free HD-DVD's at the register (at best buy) which deffonetly count as sales...

Great stragedy on the part of HD-DVD camp.

RE: What's really going to help them...
By rdeegvainl on 11/7/2007 11:00:05 AM , Rating: 2
That is pretty good, 100 bucks for the hd player and total of 8 free movies. To bad Im in foriegn land and couldn't get to that deal. All well, when I get back everything will be cheaper!

RE: What's really going to help them...
By Locutus465 on 11/7/2007 11:10:02 AM , Rating: 2
Should be clarified that the A3 was not at the $99 price point unless you are among the lucky few that got Back Order notices from best buy. We'd need to hear from someone that took best buy up on their offer, but I don't think that you got the 3 free movies in that case.

By bikinistud on 11/7/2007 11:17:44 AM , Rating: 2
You didn't get 3 free movies, only 2 since that was the deal before they sold out. But that's still 7 movies for the Best Buy deal. Not to mention, EVERY HD-A3 comes with 2 movies inside of it allowing those who got the backorder upgrade to get 9 free movies. The player pays for itself ;-)

Chumming the water
By DesertCat on 11/7/2007 11:17:33 AM , Rating: 4
The whole episode had a feel like chumming the waters. Yes, I was one of the people that got a $98 HD-A2 at Walmart. I had been content to sit on the sidelines of the HD war, but the sale was just too tempting.

What's interesting to me is that once the feeding frenzy got going, it had momentum. When the A2s were snatched up from Walmart shelves, people started looking and ended up at BB, Amazon, and Crutchfield just to name a few. When A2s started getting scarce, many people switched over to grabbing A3s for twice the price (although still a good deal and with an admittedly good movie bundle).

The question mark to me is whether there are still enough A2s in distribution channels to do this again. It's pretty obvious that local stocks of A2s got depleted in some areas (and BB appears to be out entirely), but maybe things can be re-distributed from places that still have a supply? There are rumors (and I emphasize the rumor part) that Walmart made a big purchase of A2s back in April. The fact that most of the players purchased during this first weekend have manufacturing dates of January-March tends to lend some support (based on a thread at )

Anyway, kind of fun to watch and fun to be a part of this wave. The big question for everyone is "attach rates". It's not enough just to have players out there. People need to buy and rent movies in the format.

RE: Chumming the water
By blaster5k on 11/7/2007 11:45:46 AM , Rating: 2
The sales made for some really great deals. I finally took the plunge too and got an HD-A3 at Best Buy for $199 plus three free movies (ten total). I'd been hesitant to get a hi-def player when the prices were high and especially with competing formats, but with HD-DVD prices this low, it's hard to pass up -- and it's less money to gamble than with Blu-Ray.

RE: Chumming the water
By PitViper007 on 11/7/2007 9:33:24 PM , Rating: 2
If what happened at BB is any indication, I'd say that there AREN'T many A2's left at all. I can't see them of all chains subbing a newer (and more expensive) model for an older one that's on backorder if they were expecting to get any more in. Actually, given BB's track record, I'm (pleasantly) surprised that they decided to sub in the A3. Normally, they would have just canceled the orders if they couldn't fill the backorders.

Tell m eif this makes sense..
By StillPimpin on 11/7/2007 6:19:17 PM , Rating: 3
Even though I'm a big tech/gadget guy, my budget doesn't always afford me the ability to purchase the best technology. That being said, Blu-Ray is probably technically superior to HD DVD in all ways except the one that matters most to me, Price. I'm currently in the market for a replacement DVD player but I do not currently own a HiDef TV. So, I could throw my money at a cheap DVD player for the time being, or invest in hardware a little more high-end and future-proof my dollar for a few years.

I started out looking at up-converting DVD players and figured I could get a decent one for about $125, and I was completely comfortable with spending that on a solid DVD player that I could also use for "pseudo HiDef" when my budget could afford a TV.

Now, if I can get a device that would do DVD playback, 720P/1080i DVD up conversion, and play HiDef movies for only $100, I'd be crazy not jump at it. This way, I have all my bases covered for at least the 2-4 years until the whole "HiDef War" is decided. By then, even if Blu-Ray completely trounces HD DVD, I can still up convert regular DVD's, which btw are not going anywhere anytime soon, and I'm only out $100.

I don't see how at these prices anyone looking at a DVD player this holiday season, or anytime for that matter, could pass on one of these, especially if you currently own Blu-Ray. Technological superiority be damned, this is an awesome deal!

By Locutus465 on 11/7/2007 6:39:42 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, Bluray really isn't better than HD-DVD at all as far as your home entertainment center is concerned. In fact for some early adopters it could be seen as worse since there are early BD players that lack the kind of interactive speacial features that HD-DVD has enjoyed since day 1 thanks to HDi.

That being said, at this point (speaking from an entertainment center POV), Bluray and HD-DVD are equal tech-wise... Very quicly you should start finding that every BD player on the market is capable of the profile whatever features... The main difference is cost and your selection of exclusive content. If you find that you like BD exclusives enough that it's worth the 4x price increase over what people were paying durring this sale (or 2x with out the OMG sale) then go for it. If you don't think the exclusives are worth all that much, then I'd say you made the right choice.

That's why I ended up being a HD-DVD support... At first I really didn't know what to think, it didn't take a whole lot of Toshiba dropping the bottom out on HD-DVD prices and Sony not responding for me to decide I was all for HD-DVD... The fact that HD-DVD doesn't have regoin coding and BD does (even if not all players enforce it now, I'm pretty sure they'll all get firmware updates to start if BD wins) was just one very very nice bonus.

75% of PS3 sales in all of September
By OddTSi on 11/7/2007 3:28:49 PM , Rating: 3
To give a perspective on these numbers, the PS3 sold 120k units in all of September. That means the HD-A2 did 75% of the PS3s total September sales in a single week.

If people claimed anything BUT price as the deciding factor in this format war, maybe now they'll change their mind.

Thats a big week
By retrospooty on 11/7/2007 10:51:25 AM , Rating: 2
and likely to sustain pretty high rates now that prices are low, as long as they can keep stores stocked. I am definitely going to go get one, and transformers, as soon as I get a chance.

Even if HD DVD loses
By feraltoad on 11/7/2007 10:30:13 PM , Rating: 2
I think the discs and drives could be a hit for backups if they get some HD DVD/RW burnders for around $200, they say they can make them cheaper than BD, and most HD movies would fit on a 15 gb disc right?

PlayStation 3 - so what?
By Xorg on 11/8/2007 8:19:19 AM , Rating: 2
And there is another point to this... Sony has the "installed base" of Playstation 3 users - so what?

That's the extreme low end of the world - Playstation Blu-Ray disc players aren't optimized for home theater playback - in fact, they suck at it.

Toshiba is hitting the sweet spot with its players by offering players with home theater specs that blow the *best* Sony offers out of the water at price points a fraction of Sony's and at price points now LESS than what their el cheapo plain vanilla Playstation readers provide.

Anyone with a brain can figure this one out.

Plus, do I want an ugly Playstation 3 console sticking out of my home theater system??

Is this like the news of the transformers sale?
By michal1980 on 11/7/07, Rating: -1
By Locutus465 on 11/7/2007 11:42:23 AM , Rating: 2
Toshiba has wisly not announced any sales numbers, this announcement was based on "sources close to retailers"... So if there is an attempt to slip in an "anomonous source" questioning the numbers as part of a FUD campaign, the attack will be against retailers not HD-DVD.

By Locutus465 on 11/7/2007 1:53:27 PM , Rating: 1
If you re-read the storys which got "mud in paramounts face", you'll quickly realize the other counts were obtained excluding "non-traditional retail channels" such as Which could very easliy explain the lower sales estamites....

By Locutus465 on 11/7/2007 3:19:44 PM , Rating: 1
Did you? I've been searching for an NPD chart and can't find one... Just paramount v. Home Media Mag & Dead Line Hollywood, neither of which figure in non-traditional retailers...

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