HD DVD sales still solid despite format's failure
Decent US sales showing
Toshiba may have canned production of HD DVD hardware, but that didn't stop US consumers buying into the format last month, new market stats reveal.
According to US market watcher Redhill, 81 per cent of the next-generation optical disc players bought by Americans were Blu-ray Disc machines. That means 19 per cent of them used the rival format.
A sign that folk were buying cheap DVD upscalers - an application Toshiba began highlighting towards the end - or taking advantage of the post-termination HD DVD firesale?
Well, during the first three months of 2008, some 4.9m next-gen discs were sold, 3.8m of which - 77.6 per cent - were BDs, the rest HD DVD. That imbalance between the two formats' hardware and software sales, suggests a fair few folk took advantage of lower prices to build a quick HD DVD collection.
Toshiba announced its decision to abandon HD DVD in February
The quarter accounted for half of the total sales of pre-recorded HD media to date - 9.8m discs overall.
Newsagency Reuters quotes Bernstein Research analyst Michael Nathanson, who claimed Blu-ray's adoption rate is lagging well behind that of DVD. At the end of 2007, he said, Americans had acquired 3.5m BD players and owned, on average, three BDs each. That compares to 30 DVDs at a similar stage in the growth of the older format, he claimed.
True, but at that stage, HD DVD was still riding strong on the back of deep player price cuts. The format war was raging, and Warner Home Video had yet to make its decisive role in the death of HD DVD: all-out support for Blu-ray.
Redhill's sales figures for March suggest that HD DVD hasn't yet died the death, so we await April's figures with anticipation. Will HD DVD continue to sell, and if not - confirming the end of the format war - will Blu-ray growth have accelerated toward erstwhile DVD adoption rates?
Or are punters happy with DVD - especially while BD prices remain high?
Bring out your dead (formats)
I, too, made the HD DVD plunge when I could get a full 1080p player for 100USD. I've watched March of the Penguins in both formats and the HD version is definitely worth the money. With the price drops on discs, I haven't paid more than 20USD for any title. Most were less than 15USD. Yeah, the supply will clear up, but when it does, I'll still have an upscaler.
I'm going to bypass Blu and wait for the chip based formats...
Bluray will probably be the next minidisc or at best laserdisc, if the industry sticks with it for long enough. For it to become mainstream player prices have to drop. Leave it to Sony to shoot themselves in the foot again.
With European SD being 570 line rather than US/japan 480 and very few over 48" TV, I can't see people seeing much difference unless they have 52" to 60" 1080 line set.
The majority of "HD Ready" sets sold in Europe are still 28" to 37" and only 1366x768, really poor for 1080 line Satellite or DVD (There is virtually no 720p content in Europe).
Also we don't have the 24 fps -> 30fps interlace artifact to make "Progressive" a compelling format.
I'd expect Bluray standalone take up to seriously lag std DVD for several years till true 1080 line projectors and > 52" TVs are below 900 Eur.
Get the best of both worlds and get the XE1 HD DVD with a Reon upscaler :D
I too bought a player when they went silly cheap, i've got around 40 discs now and i've never paid more than £9 for a single disc.... the quality is stunning, noticeably better than SD even on my tiny 40" screen.... the audio is better, the firmware keeps coming, the discs are region free so you can save a packet buying from abroad - a recent fire sale in Australia meant many top titles were £4.50 delivered, yes delivered from Australia to the UK!!!
For me the biggest current issue with BR is the players... there are so many and with the exception of a Denon and a Marantz unit none of them can do what i need, or for that matter what the £120 EP35 does.... i need analogue audio is the key one so that rules out the best Blu Ray player currently on the market... the PS3, plus the fact i think it's hideously ugly and really don't want one under my TV! Sure there are cheap Sony, Sharp, Samsung models, but no PiP, no streaming of DTS-MA etc... i hate it when the wrong format wins, but hey i'm loving the bargain prices!!!!!
I rushed out and bought an Xbox 360 HD-DVD player to hook up to my media center PC when they dropped the price to $50. They also threw in 6 free HD-DVD discs, on top of the discounts they offered on other movies. Many of the stores here in Seattle still carry HD-DVDs and constantly receive new shipments of new release movies on HD. Warner Brothers may have announced a switch to BR, but they’re still releasing new HD-DVDs every week. Sadly the price of the discs has gone back up to an average of $5 more than DVDs, but they’re still cheaper than BR. Even the Blockbuster by my house still carries HD-DVDs and those that work there say they’ll carry them as long as there’s still a demand.