Latest VideoScan Market Share and Toshiba to Drop HD DVD?

Posted by Dave Cowl on February 14, 2008 
Filed Under: Blu-ray, Format War, HD DVD, Studios

toshiba.jpgThe Hollywood Reporter is stating that the format war has turned into a format death watch.

Industry sources say that Toshiba is widely expected to pull the plug on its HD DVD format sometime in the coming weeks.

Officially, no decision has been made, insists Jodi Sally, VP of marketing for Toshiba America Consumer Products. However she said that "Toshiba will continue to study the market impact and the value proposition for consumers, particularly in light of our recent price reductions on all HD DVD players."

In software sales, Blu-ray Disc titles accounted for 81% of all high-def disc sales for the week, with HD DVD at just 19%. Sony’s ‘Across the Universe’ on Blu-ray outsold the top HD DVD, Universal’s ‘Elizabeth: The Golden Age’ at a ratio of 3:1.

Toshiba has been fighting back with heavily discounted players and a Superbowl commercial, but in the end, sources say, the substantial loss Toshiba is incurring with each HD DVD player sold – a figure sources say could be as high as several hundred dollars – coupled with a series of high-profile retail defections has driven the company to at last concede defeat.

Related posts:

  1. Blu-ray Market Share Falls Further Week Ending May 4th
  2. VideoScan First Alert Data Shows Another Strong Week for Blu-ray Disc
  3. Toshiba Reaffirms Blu-ray Stance
  4. NPD Confirms Huge Blu-ray Share Jump
  5. Toshiba Says to Quit HD DVD, Ending Format War


20 Responses to “Latest VideoScan Market Share and Toshiba to Drop HD DVD?”

  1. Merrick97 on February 14th, 2008 5:03 pm

    Oh man oh man.

    All the buzz this article is going to create.

    This is going to get talked about over and over.

  2. Bigdmelt12 on February 14th, 2008 5:05 pm


  3. Felix on February 14th, 2008 5:08 pm

    this is much more credible than any other rumours

  4. Dave Cowl on February 14th, 2008 5:09 pm

    It certainly makes some bold claims… and from ‘pretty serious’ press too.

  5. Beta-guy on February 14th, 2008 5:19 pm

    this is amazing if true it’ll mean we can put the format war to an end. :D

  6. Mehar on February 14th, 2008 5:28 pm

    Im guessing this will depend on attach rates, if this actually increases the attach rate then Toshiba might stay, but if they really are losing so much money with little gain then I could see them throwing in the towel.

  7. Jared on February 14th, 2008 5:48 pm

    Its over!!!!

  8. Belard on February 14th, 2008 5:52 pm

    I thought that Toshiba was losing about $100 or so per player, not closer to $200. This is why HD-DVD was put into a tailspin… trying to use a hail-Mary to save their rear ends.

    But the HD-DVD fanatics thought that $150~200 players was because it was SO much cheaper to make, compare to BluRay. You cannot support a product or get others to support (Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, etc) is there is no profit to be made. Think of the poor idiot at Toshiba who wrote a check for $2.7Million that had almost no return…. What were the SALES figures for that week of Hardware sales (can we have that data please) before and after the superbowl. It would have been more helpful and cheaper to GIVE AWAY 13,500 HD-DVD players in some sort of promotional deal.

    Thinking about this now… was an angle I didn’t see. I suspected a studio to pull out, which the other would in days… then Toshiba was bury the poor child. For Toshiba to PULL the plug themselves, that would be FAR more respectable and lower the amount of “lost face”. They are a Japanese company mind you – its about honor, kill HD-DVD, rather than let it die in a ditch suffering any longer. By doing this, Uni-P will LOOK LIKE good guys for sticking up for the underdog. This how Toshiba says “sorry” to those two studios WHO did stick around. Paramount could have jumped HD-DVD when WB announced their plans. When a press conference was CANCELED, NOT rescheduled, because of WB’s plans – they knew they we’re in deep doo-doo. But they showed a lot of weakness by NOT recovering.

    To those HD-DVD owners: Sorry. I doubt that many Blu-Ray owners are laughing or making fun of you guys for this situation. Now some in the business are going to have a party, this is business. On a personal level, its a loss of a product you bought that has no value anymore. But this was a war, one side was going to lose and that was always a chance since the beginning that YOUR player was not going to make it. Blu had almost twice the capacity which meant more future proof to many of us. And the PS3 was an important factor as well… Even if BLU-RAY lost, sony would have the perfect copy-protected game disc. Had M$ made the Xbox360 with an HD-DVD player, it might have changed things a bit, but both the DVD and HD-DVD drives are LOUD… and the 360 would have been a $500/$600 console and people would have complained about the price the way they did with the PS3. M$ was more concerned about thier console, not HD-DVD… and also it would have delayed their release of the 360 and put them on more even ground against the PS3. So yes, they made a smarter move for themselves.

    Those of us who sat on the fence… the dust is settling and we can start walking across the street without getting our shoes dirty.

  9. rz on February 14th, 2008 7:04 pm

    I guess that would mean this website is over also…

  10. Bigdmelt12 on February 14th, 2008 10:58 pm

    i find it funny you think that ps3 is just profiting on every ps3 they sell….there is a reason third party players can be sold at 399…because sony can afford to lose money since they are putting their heart and soul into this. congrats to blu-ray, but as a bunch of articles lately have stated, its not the format war that was the problem. It was the had a good idea, too late…lets see if sony can do it and convert the public and not the niche market we are all in to get into Hidef. I have talked to a bunch of people and none are interested in paying upwards 400 bux…just not gonna happen. so until this happens i dont see anyway this winning out against downloadable marketplaces and sd dvd. Think upconversion players and hd dvd players work great because most tv’s play in 720p/1080i…most people that have a 1080p tv…lets face it, prob not interested in a game console, and the kids who do get ps3s, could prob careless about blu i stated NICHE market. Congrats

    @RZ- this site will still run, because there is a new format war on the horizon. HD DVD and blu ray should have been called format battle, because the war is truly against dvd

    get yo popcorn ready (as my boy T.O. might state) because it has only begun

  11. Jonsson on February 14th, 2008 11:58 pm

    I’m still extremely sceptical about all this.

    But if it is true, then it would be the best thing that has happened to the global HD community since this idiotic format war started.

  12. Ryan on February 15th, 2008 4:52 am

    I think this has all proven while Toshiba is capable on the hardward side (I commend the quality/features on their HD players, which are more functional and upgradable than any Blu Ray standalone – PS3 is quite amazine as well), they should not be in charge of a format. They have made questionable at best decisions, and somehow the complete, better format has lost in the end. Sometimes I guess it’s just better to throw around money. It was fun while it lasted, hopefully a few newer releases still see the light of day … And I can’t wait until the clearance sales start!

  13. Mehar on February 15th, 2008 1:15 pm

    Ryan the reason were using DVD’s is because of Toshiba, they have the skill and knowledge, it amazes me why they put it to so little use for this format war.

  14. Kevin Murphy on February 15th, 2008 3:11 pm

    Engineering didn’t kill HD DVD.

    From a price/performance and time-to-market perspective, the engineering was spot on. The A2-era HD DVD players were complete, to spec, and buildable at about $200. Had HD DVD won, those players would be fully usable today. The same era blu-ray players are now quite obsolete.

    Blu-ray really should have lost due to its overambitious specs and being rather late to market and not meeting spec.

    Yet Sony won because their marketing folks are MUCH better than Toshiba’s. Sony didn’t win this, Toshiba lost it. Engineering or no engineering, if you can’t get it into people’s hands, it doesn’t matter.

  15. Mehar on February 15th, 2008 5:16 pm

    Kevin thats what suprises me, Toshiba is not a new comer, nor are Microsoft (Who has a good background with the console ads and what not), etc. And somehow they managed to let this mess happen!

  16. Dave Cowl on February 15th, 2008 6:19 pm

    @Kevin: My first gen blu-ray player is far from obsolete. It plays the movies I buy today just fine.

    Just as DVD players have added new features over the life of the format, so do BD players.

    What I find more curious is that there were 3 generations of HD DVD players … if the very first players were technically complete, what was the point of having two additional generations?

    How does that differ from having new generations of BD players?

    The trend for any product is towards lower cost and more features. It is the way that the hardware makers can stay in business.

  17. Mehar on February 15th, 2008 7:11 pm

    Dave, you know better then that, unlike our 1st gen players, your 1st gen players won’t support advanced features, the stuff that should have been their from the start. What did you even get on the discs any ways? Just a HD movie (Which was upscaled anyway by the studio), you got the same thing from DVD’s! The reason Toshiba released generations was because they had features like more HD settings, etc (Atleast the players were future proof if HD DVD ever took off that is).

  18. Dave Cowl on February 15th, 2008 8:45 pm

    If you can’t tell the difference between the image on BD, HD DVD and a DVD upconverted, perhaps HD DVD was the right choice for you after all.

    You must be disappointed, though, that a majority of the titles released on HD DVD don’t make any use of the advanced features you speak of and yet cost so much more than the DVDs you equate them with.

    I believe that many of us are more interested in the best quality image and sound possible, much more so than gimmicky features.

    As such, my gen 1 BD players works just great. And my main reason to upgrade will be to get better audio codec support, rather than the new profile features (though I won’t say no).

  19. Mehar on February 16th, 2008 8:16 am

    By HD setting’s I meant 1080i/p, etc And some DVD upscalers can reproduce a damn good quality, sometimes it looks better then select few hd releases.

  20. Dave Cowl on February 16th, 2008 10:21 am

    The first HD DVD players only had 1080i. 1080p output on HD DVD gen 2 and gen 3 is still buggy (and I read that the latest firmware release broke it again). The reason that 1080p 24 is so difficult on HD DVD is that the streams are flagged to 1080i 60, so the decoder has to cheat the stream and work out for itself how to get the 24 fps back.

    BD has been encoded as 24 fps 1080p from day one. All BD players support 1080i output (and at least 1080p 60 output also). Many support true 1080p 24 output also, including the PS3.

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