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HD DVD fights back in the US

But not for long?

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HD DVD managed to cut itself a rather larger slice of US hi-def player sales in the third week of January, according to one analyst group's figures. But a rival market watcher still believes that HD DVD will be dead before 2009.

US Standalone HD Player Sales

BD vs HD DVD

Source: NPD

According to the NPD Group, HD DVD increased its overall sales percentage against rival Blu-ray from 7.4 per cent in the week ended 12 January to 34.3 per cent during the seven days ended 19 January. While this sounds promising for the Toshiba-backed format, the percentage figures still only translate into 8639 HD DVD units and 16,496 Blu-ray units, during the week ended 19 January, according to NPD numbers cited by website The Digital Bits

It’s impossible to pinpoint exactly what caused HD DVD’s sudden sales increase, but analyst house Gartner believes that Toshiba’s recent HD DVD player price-cut may have had an impact.

“Toshiba's price-cutting may prolong HD DVD's life a little, but the limited line-up of film titles will inflict fatal damage on the format," a Gartner analyst recently forecast. "Gartner expects that, by the end of 2008, Blu-ray will be the winning format in the consumer market, and the war will be over”.

Toshiba’s not going without a fight though. It’s spent $2.7m on a 30 second Super Bowl advert to advertise its new HD DVD player prices.

This week, UK retail store chain Woolworths declared Blu-ray the HD winner, by announcing that it'll end its HD DVD sales in March.

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