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Latest Cut in DVD-Player Duel: Prices - Deals Rev Up the HD Format Battle

The Wall Street Journal - November 23, 2007; Page B1:

The picture of the DVD market is starting to change this holiday season since retailers began slashing the price of HD DVD players to a level much lower than anyone had expected. While Blu-ray clearly led the race until recently, analysts say the aggressive holiday-season pricing led by Wal-Mart could bolster HD DVD's position, and they expect the prices of newer HD DVD players to remain below $200. Sony and other makers of Blu-ray players are responding with their own price cuts to remain competitive.

The WSJ news report includes facts and figures as well as comments from NPD Group DisplaySearch analyst Paul Erickson, Adams Media Research analyst Tom Adams, Sony chief marketing officer Andrew House, Pioneer business solution senior vice president Andy Parsons, and Toshiba HD DVD business head Yoshihide Fujii.

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felman873350d ago

HD-DVD leads 3-2 in terms of hardware
Blu-ray leads 2-1 in terms of software

Mr Marbles3350d ago

they will both co-exist in the end, as I have said from the beginning.

Guwapo773350d ago

HD-DVD isn't leading in anything. Understand the break down..."standalone players". This is purely PR stats that attempt to trick the uninformed. So Joe Consumer (stolen from Ju) sees 600k in favor of HD-DVD he is going to go after and support the what appears to be the winning format. But in actually what they fail to include is the total sales of Playstation 3s and the can't figure out why they are losing the software war. As we all know more Playstation 3s were sold than total standalones of either format.

Ju3350d ago

^^ :)

Well, OK, so you go out, happy to get a $200 HD-DVD player, then you want to watch a movie and figure out, that, darn, Best Buy has about 5x the shelf space for BD, Block Buster, darn again, since when did they add these other 5 shelfs with BD disks ? Where are my HD disks ? That's what happening.

aiphanes3350d ago

The PS3 is the best bluray player...there were stores that had the 60 GB PS3 for $349.99 today! Would you pay $349 for a 60 GB PS3 that is the best bluray player on the planet and will also play PS3 and PS2 and PS1 games also?
The PS3 will load and play a bluray movie is less than 7 secs...this can not be done on any HD-DVD player.

Also the PS3 is fully featured bluray player with hdmi 1.3a, wifi, will be firmware upgradable to profile 1.1 or 2.0, and has 24 fps support, and deep color support and upscales all DVDs to 1080p better than any HD-DVD or DVD upscaller.

You can not go wrong if you are going blu and go with a PS3....all those cheap HD-DVD sold at walmart for less than $100 were not 1080p compatible...there were only 1080i....all PS3 are 1080p with HDMI 1.3a. You have to spend at least $300 for a HD-DVD player that is 1080p and hdmi 1.3a...and all it will do is playback movies...

Ju3350d ago (Edited 3350d ago )

I agree. Yeah, if it would be < $100, maybe. But $200 ? Still to much. I bought that cheap Toshiba for $99. I lined up at Walmart (well, I usually never do :), but I had a lady in my line. She was there for the $349 notebook. So, she's telling me, they just bought a 57" TV set. I told her I was there for that DVD player. But I guess she didn't understand. She was thinking about it, but then said, "nah, we gona buy that later". I am pretty sure she didn't know what HD-DVD meant. To me it appeared she seemed to think its just another DVD player - BTW. I haven't seen any upconverting DVD player below that price.

So, to make it short, people who go into HD now, pretty much know what they want. They casual HD market (around the $100) is not there yet. This might also be the reason, why the BD camp does not have a player around that price yet. They are happy to sell for what they do right now. The $100 or $200 players don't make them any money. So, they didn't recoup their costs yet, and now they would drop the prices down to a level where they won't make any profit at all ?

I think it will take much more for the HD-DVD camp to beat those guys. If they'll win shelf space back, then, well, yes. But as soon as this is gonna happen, BD players will drop down to the same level. Someone from the BD consortium mentioned, that the HD-DVD requires more cpu power (to drive M$s HDi!), while BD has a bit more complicated optics, and eventually that evens out again. If it has to be, BD players will cost the same as HD-DVD. But won't happen until they are under huge pressure - which they are not (AFAIS).

BTW: 7secs. Yes, can confirm. It p!sses me off, that my HD player needs to boot (!) before I can play a disk. That takes at least 30secs. My PS3 is always on. The slowest is the BD drive sucking in the disk. As soon as it does, the movie is on.