Print 63 comment(s) - last by Locutus465.. on Nov 20 at 4:30 PM

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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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 ;)

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