HD DVD: Die Hard with a Vengeance

Posted by James Segars on January 14, 2008 
Filed Under: Deals, Format War, HD DVD, Retailers, Studios

hddvdlogof.thumbnail.jpgRegardless of whether or not you think HD DVD is on the way out, it would appear that they are not willing to go quietly, instead they’re kicking their latest marketing initiatives into high gear starting today.

The new initiatives aim to educate customers about the benefits of HD DVD as well as further reduced prices on all of the third generation hardware to help foster acceptance amongst consumers worldwide.   

As some of you may or may not know, Amazon has recently begun offering the third generation players at record low prices, with the A3 selling below $140, and the most expensive player, the A35 going no higher than $299.

In their latest press release, Toshiba confirms the price drop for their hardware: "Effective on January 13, 2008 the MSRP 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."

The logic behind these recent price drops is obvious when you consider the fact that the mass market is largely undecided, or perhaps even indifferent to high definition media as a whole.  These lowered price points should be quite enticing to the mass consumer audience, while the planned expanded advertising campaign alongside studio partners is intended to educate and inform the customer about the benefits of HD DVD, along with the cost incentives inherent with HD DVD.

There’s no doubt about it, some of you will be reaching for your keyboards to voice your disdain for HD DVD, while others will be reaching for your wallets.

Which group will end up in the majority?  That remains to be seen.

Read the full press release, here.

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15 Responses to “HD DVD: Die Hard with a Vengeance”

  1. wysiwyg on January 14th, 2008 10:16 am

    Universal and Paramount, please release big titles like Jurassic Park, Jaws, ET, Back to the Future, Indiana Jones, etc.!!!!!! You’ll be back in the game and WB will have to reverse their decision!!!

  2. efjay on January 14th, 2008 10:39 am

    Universal, Paramount and Dreamworks, lets have some of those gems you have in your vaults! 1 million+ HD DVD owners are waiting!

  3. Charles on January 14th, 2008 10:46 am

    wysiwyg UR Dreaming… Jurassic Park, Jaws, ET, Indiana Jones are all Spielberg properties that means Blu-ray only!

    They R dumping the players to recoup some of their losses (really consumer friendly aren’t they?)

    Warner whether they we’re paid $500 or not made a decision based on economies of scale. Fox and Warner we’re in it together and FOX was never going to HDDVD because of the lack of content protection.

    The WAR is over guys and it’s the best thing. Check out theres some info on a trade in program in the works for Blu versions of HD movies so your losses won’t be as great…

    But please join the reality based community dude it’s all over but the cryin’

  4. Charles on January 14th, 2008 11:31 am

    BTW the HDDVD display at my local Fry’s was wacked back to one small cart. They’ve upgraded Blu-ray to a whole isle….

  5. Ryan Akins on January 14th, 2008 11:40 am

    Content protection? In this digital age there is no such thing …

  6. Si on January 14th, 2008 11:40 am

    Well, as a format neutral, I’ve been waiting for a winning format. I decided to go blu today, and ordered a PS3 plus an initial batch of BDs (mostly Warner as it happens).

    I’d much prefer to see competition within a single format instead of between formats, and can only see the HD DVD camp as hurting consumers now. It feels wrong to me that HD DVD has not gracefully accepted defeat, and this has provoked me into siding with the competition.

    Whilst I never preferred one format over the other, I have now discovered a bias. It’s brought out a desire to take part in helping to end the crappy format war! Yeah I’m just one guy, but Warner’s statement accurately summed up some of my own thoughts about HD format confusion. I think others feels the same way about wanting a winner rather than a specific format.

    It’s absolutely the best thing for the war to end, and hopefully I’ll help with my continued investment. Blu-ray won convincingly on points – get over it HD DVD you bad losers!

  7. Felix on January 14th, 2008 11:52 am

    have they learn something that no matter how low the price is, blu-ray always win. Content is the king.

    Spielberg titles are prevented from being released to HD DVD exclusively (BD version must exist in the first place before HD DVD version), making the content is less and less for HD DVD

  8. Tyler Pruitt on January 14th, 2008 12:35 pm


    care to take a picture next time your there?

  9. Mi on January 14th, 2008 1:43 pm

    Um… Clearance sale?

  10. wysiwyg on January 14th, 2008 2:07 pm

    Charles, it’s not dreaming. It’s called asking. I like the PiP a lot and it’s DREAMING to see some titles with PiP on bluray. Yes, they have profile 1.1, but there aren’t many discs out there that utilizes it and for the one that does, Sunshine, it’s a pathetic 18 minutes total. I have PS3 but I’m not play discs on that thing. My PS2 was ruined by DVDs and I’m not going to repeat the same mistake with my PS3. That said, I won’t buy standalone blu-ray until there’s a cheap profile 2.0 player.

  11. wysiwyg on January 14th, 2008 2:09 pm

    BTW, digitalbits? Haa. Bill Hunt is like Jim Cramer. Full of BS with uncontrollable emotions. I think for myself and do not take their words as gospels.

  12. Crusty on January 14th, 2008 2:24 pm

    I’m not sure of Toshiba’s “idea” of worldwide, as I live down under and as yet we have not seen any evidence of Tosh’s advertising at all, none, nada zip. Go into any of the major retailers here and all you see is Sony, Pioneer, Samsung Blu ray. While I have both formats I believe that if Toshiba is serious about continuing with HD/DVD we should have seen some example of it by now, even though we are a relatively small market we ARE still a part of “worldwide”.

  13. Dave Cowl on January 14th, 2008 4:19 pm

    wysiwyg: There are not all that many PiP titles on HD DVD even though it has been there since day 1. We are seeing PiP on quite a number of 2008 Blu-ray titles. The way things are going, BD PiP titles could outnumber HD DVD by the end of the year especially since the Warner, the strongest user of PiP on HD DVD will cease making HD DVDs…

  14. Charles on January 14th, 2008 7:05 pm

    I don’t know when I’ll next be there (I’m an Amazon shopper) But it’s the Fry’s in the City of Industry (Just outside of Los Angeles) And that change happened recently (probably right around the Warner announcement) I’ll bet if U call to check stock on HDDVD catalog titles you wouldn’t find many…

    The one end cart I saw was half full at best.

    I’m not trying to rub nose on the HDDVD people, it’s just I can’t believe people don’t accept the economic realities of this. The format war was costing the studios money.

    Paramount made a gambit cause they haven’t been very profitable (Transformers was the exception and Shrek underperformed) I mean the idea that the studio split is now 70/30 is in itself an economic fallacy. Disney Warner and FOX have WAY more money making franchises than Universal and Paramount. It’s over Toshiba just doesn’t know it yet.

    And Par/Uni are not going to want to miss out on the revenue from the Blu install base(and that includes PS3 movie viewers, of which I am one) in a likely recession year a combination of retail, stockholder and studio pressure will hasten HDDVDs demise.

    Can anyone offer me a reasoned and logical ECONOMIC scenario that would state otherwise???

  15. Kevin Murphy on January 15th, 2008 3:19 pm

    A bit late for HD DVD. Done in October, this would have ended the war and sent Blu packing. At this point, unless they expect Warner to relent, it’s all over but the shouting.

    Problem is though, it’s all over for blu-ray, too. Considering the number of movie download systems coming out, by the time BD is at an acceptable price point (2009), the download folks will have gotten rid of the stupidest DRM and have transportable and archivable downloads.

    Only HD DVD could have made a mass market in time. Warner may have made the only remaining move given Fox & Disney’s commitment to BD+, but Blu won’t have the time. At best it’s a transition system like videodisc, bought only by the affluent. J6P is going to look at his $189 HD-A3 and say, “Crap!” but isn’t going to plunk down another $400 for a Blu-ray player. Fooled once already.

    Warner’s best shot was going Red. They went blu and there’s no market there.

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