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Media The Almighty Buck Hardware

HD DVD Prices Slashed By Toshiba 414

Posted by Zonk
from the i-think-that-bell-has-rung dept.
Hellburner writes "Hoping to stop the inevitable, Toshiba has slashed the price of entry-level HD DVD players to $150 — down from the previous $300. 'It's a half-empty, half-full moment for retailers, who could see a sales boost at the same time that some may be faced with price matching from holiday sales ... The theory: play up the acceptance by consumers who have already paid for HD DVD versus those who get it with something else like a gaming console, get more players out there--and dare studios to ignore those consumers. In addition to the sales cuts, Toshiba will launch major initiatives, including joint advertising campaigns with studios.'"
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HD DVD Prices Slashed By Toshiba

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  • by AdamTrace (255409) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @11:24AM (#22051218)


    Warner joins Blu-Ray. People think the battle is over. In response, HDDVD prices are slashed. Consumer's flock to HDDVD. Battle continues.

    I'm really tired of this.

    • by RailGunner (554645) * on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @11:29AM (#22051288) Journal
      It doesn't matter what the player costs when there's little to no content for it.

      Especially when Disney is Blu-Ray exclusive - never underestimate the number of parents buying Ratatouille for their kids.
      • by Kludge (13653) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @11:44AM (#22051536)
        I know many parents who still use VCRs regularly (like me!).
        Little kids aren't clamoring for better-than-DVD quality. They don't care or know the difference, and parents aren't going to fork over extra $$ for it.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by ArikTheRed (865776)
          Sure they are. "Parents" with Disney-aged kids are mid 20's to early 30's.... right smack in the middle of the High Def target demographic.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by modecx (130548)
            A lot of the "parents" I know would not trust their HD-DVDs or Blueray discs to their "Disney aged" kids, in the first place. Pretty much all of them back up their original DVD and give the kids the backup... Surprisingly, a lot of them are "non geek" parents. Of course, a lot of them rent the DVD, and then create a backup, too... Not that I really support that.

            The kids won't and don't care because they're not looking at the definition of the video, and the parents are happy because they can burn another
            • by Grishnakh (216268) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @01:23PM (#22053664)
              I think the parents you know aren't typical of the population. Most American parents will happily buy their kids DVDs, Blu-rays, etc., and the kids will scratch them up through mishandling, then the parents will go buy replacements and then complain about it, but never do anything to either 1) teach the kid to handle things more carefully or 2) get around the problem by using backups.

              Most people are just complainers. They complain about stuff, but they refuse to find ways to solve their problems, and worse, they actively ignore any suggestions which would solve their problems.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by king-manic (409855)

              A lot of the "parents" I know would not trust their HD-DVDs or Blueray discs to their "Disney aged" kids, in the first place. Pretty much all of them back up their original DVD and give the kids the backup... Surprisingly, a lot of them are "non geek" parents. Of course, a lot of them rent the DVD, and then create a backup, too... Not that I really support that.

              Fortunately Blu-ray mandates a anti-scratch coating that is really really hard to scratch. Find a bargain bin Blu-ray and try it out (total recall is a candidate).

        • by xtracto (837672)
          I know many parents who still use VCRs regularly (like me!).
          Little kids aren't clamoring for better-than-DVD quality. They don't care or know the difference, and parents aren't going to fork over extra $$ for it.


          And yet, these parents are the first ones to buy whatever technology is needed to play the Rataouille or any cartoon that the kids want.

          With this I mean it is not a matter of technology, as they have said before, it is a matter of availablility. When you kid wants Toy Story 5 and it is only in BluD
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            But that's just the OP's point. It's NOT just on BRD. It's on DVD.
        • by srussell (39342) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @01:30PM (#22053820) Homepage Journal

          parents aren't going to fork over extra $$ for it.
          Hah! My kids are going to trounce those parent's kids. They'll be more popular (all of their friends will want to come see Ratatouille at their house, on the big, high-def screen); they'll be smarter, having all of the latest, non-obsolete technology; and they'll just be better, because they'll be technology winners (by association). Consequently, they'll have more success breeding, have more offspring, and eventually weed the Luddite parent's kids out of the gene pool. All thanks to Blu-Ray.

          Just kidding. I don't have any kids.

          --- SER

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Because the studios rejected HD-DVD, the HD-DVD consortium should do one thing: tell them to fuck off and then clean the DRM infection ou tof the spec with bleach and anti-biotics, and released it as a huge DVD with additional divx/xvid codec - along with PC rewritable drives for storing all that downloaded content.
      • by El Cabri (13930) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @11:45AM (#22051550) Journal
        Never underestimate how irrelevant it is for a grad schooler, that their Disney direct-to-video sequel is in HD or not.
        • I know it was a typo, but for a minute I kept thinking of some guy dropping his work on a thesis defense to rush out and buy some Disney Princesses sequel on DVD.

          Much thanks for the (albeit unintended) morning mental giggle. :)

          /P

      • by AJWM (19027) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:09PM (#22051904) Homepage
        Especially when Disney is Blu-Ray exclusive

        Only in North America. In some other parts of the world Disney titles (at least some of them) are HD-DVD, due to different agreements with local distributers. And HD-DVD has no region encoding.
      • by pnewhook (788591)

        It doesn't matter what the player costs when there's little to no content for it.

        Exactly. Even $150 is too much to pay for a paperweight.

      • by Wdomburg (141264)
        Never underestimate parents buying Ratatouille on regular DVD so they can actually play the damn thing in their minivan. :)
      • by Zalbik (308903) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:26PM (#22052258)

        never underestimate the number of parents buying Ratatouille for their kids.

        As a parent, that's one of the least convincing reasons to go with HD discs.

        The minute I start buying kids movies on HD, I lose the ability to play those movies:
        - on my laptop when on holiday
        - in the car
        - ripped onto my media centre
        - on the upstairs SD TV

        My kids don't watch a lot of TV...but the places they do watch tend to be non-standard. They don't go down to the theatre room & plan to spend a couple of hours watching a movie. That's a mom & dad thing.

        Watching TV for them is more typically on the way to grandma's house, or for 20 minutes in the family room so mom can get dinner ready. Unless I invest in a whole pile of new technology, blu-ray reduces the options for my kids. Do portable Blu-Ray players even exist yet?

        And to make matters worse...my kids won't even care. Oh sure, if I sit them down and force them to compare they might notice a difference, but they won't whine about having to watch the DVD version over the HD version.

        For that matter, neither will I. I'm gonna pass on this format war until I have no choice whatsoever (i.e. blockbuster doesn't carry standard DVD's).

        It's still possible that BOTH formats will go the way of the laser disc.
        • by yodleboy (982200) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:41PM (#22052602)
          the first post i've seen by someone that actually sounds like they have kids. the DVD player in the car was a godsend on a recent 1800 mile round trip drive. i also would lose the ability to back up that expensive dvd. standard practice for me is to make a copy of kids movies for 2 reasons. 1 if it gets scratched i dont have to buy another, 2 i can strip out all the ads,previews,warnings and other crap. put it in, movie plays. it can take minutes to actually get the damn movie started on some discs thanks to previews you can't skip or FF thru (i'm looking at you disney). when the kids are screaming that seems like eternity...
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by hairyfeet (841228)
            As both a pc repairman and a guy with two kids I can tell you that one of the FIRST things a parent asks, right after "Can you fix it?" is "My kids keep losing or scratching their dvds, is there a way for me to back them up?". With the economy in the crapper parents have to many other bills to worry about (my boys just had dental work,ugh) than hi-def. Plus I know that a lot of the tech guys that parents go to to get their machines worked on are happy to point out that it is easy to back up a dvd, and a roy
      • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@@@keirstead...org> on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @02:34PM (#22055354) Homepage
        People keep quoting your above argument, but if you look historically, it is often backwards.

        When did consumers make the move en-masse and DVD started outselling VHS? Not when the quality and content difference was there - it was there from the beginning. It was when the players got cheap!

        When did the DVD+R/DVD-R/DVD-RAM war end? It wasn't when one media had innvation over the other - it was when the dual-format hardware came out!

        Why did VHS beat out betamax? It wasn't cause of the Porn angle, that is an urban myth (do a Google search). The real reason? VHS media was cheaper both to acquire and to record on (consumers could record 3 hour long shows on 1 tape vs. betamax's 1 ).

        Consumers don't think with their heads. They think with their WALLETS. If they see high def player A on the shelf and high def player B on the shelf, and one is 1/2 the price of the other, they don't sit around doing market analysis to see what content is available on each - they buy the cheap one. Then they buy stuff that works in the cheap one.

        And if your content doesn't work in their cheaper player and they know that, it won't get bought.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by mgblst (80109)
          Why do people insist on whittling things down to one reason? I know it makes it easier to understand, but it also makes it less correct. There are multiple reasons for the adoption of this hardware, and Porn certainly did play a part in the uptake of VHS - no, it was not the only factor, or the most important, but it was a factor.

    • Battle continues. I'm really tired of this.

      I've never heard consumers complain about price wars in the past... airlines, PCs, etc.

      Isn't that a big part of what capitalism is all about? While there are two competing solutions, since they have many similar features on a technical level, they're forced to compete on price. This tends to be GOOD for the consumer, at least in the short term. (In the longer term, it can be bad as lower margins can squeeze out smaller startup competitors in the field.)
      --
      Educational microcontroller kits for the digital [nerdkits.com]

      • by IDontAgreeWithYou (829067) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @11:43AM (#22051520)
        It isn't about a price war, it's a format war. If I spend $150 on an HD-DVD player and that format dies next year, I have to buy a Blu-Ray player anyway. The money I spent on the HD-DVD player was a waste. This is where consumers have a problem. Generally competition is good, but eventually one format will win this battle and you don't want to be heavily invested in the losing side.
        • by HTH NE1 (675604)
          Interesting. I feel like I missed out on a piece of history by not getting a DiVX player and scarfing up the fire sale on DiVX disks in the last days. Though I already have the Xbox 360 and Xbox 360 HD DVD USB drive, and a PlayStation 3, I'm tempted to get a standalone HD DVD player and a couple more of those USB drives for my other computers.

          Meanwhile, though Apple is a backer of Blu-ray, Final Cut Studio still doesn't support Blu-ray, but does support HD DVD (unless there's an announcement at MacWorld).
          • by CastrTroy (595695) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:20PM (#22052116) Homepage
            Even if the item is on sale for dirt cheap, it still costs money to buy. I remember a story one of my professors told me. His wife comes back from shopping with a new $400 coat. When he asks why she spent so much money, she says, it was on sale, I saved $200. He said great. Go buy 4 more so we can pay the rent. The moral of the story is, buying something simply because it's on sale doesn't save you anything. It just costs you money.
            • by Doctor-Optimal (975263) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:37PM (#22052498)

              Even if the item is on sale for dirt cheap, it still costs money to buy. I remember a story one of my professors told me. His wife comes back from shopping with a new $400 coat. When he asks why she spent so much money, she says, it was on sale, I saved $200. He said great. Go buy 4 more so we can pay the rent. The moral of the story is, buying something simply because it's on sale doesn't save you anything. It just costs you money.


              Did your professor mention how comfortable the couch was?
      • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @11:44AM (#22051532)

        I've never heard consumers complain about price wars in the past... airlines, PCs, etc. Isn't that a big part of what capitalism is all about? While there are two competing solutions, since they have many similar features on a technical level, they're forced to compete on price. This tends to be GOOD for the consumer, at least in the short term. (In the longer term, it can be bad as lower margins can squeeze out smaller startup competitors in the field.)

        That totally misses the point. We're talking *standards*, not *manufacturers*. Having multiple manufacturers who are competing for the exact same market is fantastic. But it doesn't help capitalism to have multiple standards; if anything, it fragments the market and makes competition more difficult.

        Even then, IF players on the market could play either disc, then sure, competition between standards would be OK. But nobody likes hardware/disc incompatibility. Nobody likes buying a player that only gets half the movies released for it. Nobody likes having to have two damned disc players to make sure they can play what they want. And nobody likes buying a disc player whose maker loses the format war, meaning you spent hundreds of dollars for something that becomes a dinosaur in a year. Do you then go buy another disc player? Do you leave the player hooked up in your entertainment system forever even though it can only play the 5 movies you bought, or do you go re-buy those movies?

        Basically, what's happening now is nobody wants to get caught up in the HD-DVD vs Blu-ray pissing contest, so a whole lot of people who otherwise would have bought a player by now are getting sick of the crap and want someone to win. That doesn't mean we want to see only one manufacturer making players; far from it. I'd like to see tons of manufacturers competing directly on the basis of a single standard. I'd like to get a better disc player than the one I have now, but I don't want to get in the middle of this crap.

        • That totally misses the point. We're talking *standards*, not *manufacturers*. Having multiple manufacturers who are competing for the exact same market is fantastic. But it doesn't help capitalism to have multiple standards; if anything, it fragments the market and makes competition more difficult.

          Why, exactly? One would think that competition in ideas and standards would be just as healthy as a competition in the products themselves.

          Hell, if it wasn't for competition in standards, we'd all still be using Direct Current in our homes instead of AC, and our computers would still have RAMBUS(*puke*) in them instead of DDR memory.

          Everyone acts like standards wars are new or something. Go hunt down the really old-school standards wars, like Westinghouse vs. Edison (AC vs. DC) sometime... it's been

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by terjeber (856226)

            Why, exactly? One would think that competition in ideas and standards would be just as healthy as a competition in the products themselves.

            It is. Competition is good also in ideas. In this case Blu-Ray, which is the technically superior format, won the war. Sadly, the fact that a Microsoft funded Toshiba continues the fight just means that we will have more senseless damage to innocent bystanders and no different outcome in the end.

            In this battle Toshiba is Microsoft's paid assassin, and the only thing

      • I don't think you can compare competing solutions with competing standards.
        Pick the wrong standard and you end up lumbered with a pile of useless junk.

        Maybe someone can come up with a car analogy.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by CastrTroy (595695)
        The difference is that if you pick Delta airlines over TWA, you can still fly from New York to Chicago (I don't fly often, let's assume that's correct). When you choose either HDDVD or BluRay, you are limited in what movies you can watch on which one. So if you buy HDDVD You can't buy Disney Movies, and if you buy BluRay, you can't buy movies from Universal (or whichever company is still left as HDDVD exclusive).
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I think it's the news that's really giving Blu-Ray momentum, if you think about it.

      People are on the sidelines waiting for a winner. The simple move of a studio or two to one format or the other won't decide the battle- the consumers will, and the studios will follow.

      But what's really going to give the consumers the illusion that one side has already won? Sensationalist headlines and news stories similar to this one. It treats it like the battle is already over and toshiba lost. If enough news sources po
    • by SL Baur (19540)

      I'm really tired of this.
      Why? Do you have a personal investment in BluRay?

      I find it tiring that the prevailing attitude is "If everybody tells you that you cannot succeed, don't bother trying". Whatever happened to "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again"?
    • Stringer-san, if you're listening. It never is set up like this, never do you get a softball like this. Slash blu-ray player prices NOW! Attack when there is blood in the water!
  • Dying format. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki&cox,net> on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @11:24AM (#22051222)
    Why does it matter? It's a dying format. Even if people jump on now, everyone's scrambling to get away from HDDVD discs! The real news will be when BluRay players are 150 bucks a pop.
    • Re:Dying format. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @11:27AM (#22051268)
      The real news will be when BluRay players are 150 bucks a pop.

      Which is something that we won't see for at least a year--possibly longer. Something that struck me about the new BD player announcements at CES is that none of the manufacturers are lowering the prices of the entry level players (all are still around 400 bucks MSRP). Rather, they're refreshing/updating them and keeping the prices the same. The only price drops were on the higher end ones ($800 down to $650, for instance).
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by PFI_Optix (936301)
      It'll be a good thing, too, when Blu Ray's update breaks their earliest players. It'll be that much cheaper for the early adopters to replace their obsolete next-gen players.

      HD-DVD needs to push their hybrid DVD/HD-DVD disks that they introduced a year ago. That alone would win the war if they just got out there and told consumers "hey, you can buy a DVD today and when you decide to switch to HD-DVD your HD library will already be started."

      In fact, if HD-DVD got half as much advertising time as BR they woul
      • Re:Dying format. (Score:4, Informative)

        by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki&cox,net> on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @11:35AM (#22051394)
        Star Trek TOS: The Complete Series is on DVD/HDDVD hybrid.
        • by PFI_Optix (936301)
          What the need to do is get just one major studio to fully convert to hybrid disks without raising prices. Take a loss on the format change if you have to, but play it up big time that the DISKS are HD capable but work in a standard DVD player. People love the idea of buying something that works today that will work tomorrow. ADVERTISE. I've seen Blu-ray commercials. Lots of people have. A lot of people don't even know what HD-DVD is...some will even say "you mean like Blue Ray?" when you mention the format
        • Is the source material for TOS of sufficient quality to warrant that? I've got some DVDs for shows of the same era and, in spite of the clean-up effort, you can still see that the source format doesn't have enough video bandwidth to take advantage of DVD resolution, let alone HD.
          • Is the source material for TOS of sufficient quality to warrant that?

            Y'mean film? Yeah, I think film handles the conversion to HD quite well. Of course, not everything from that period was filmed on film, but the stuff that was will convert nicely.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              Well, it's not just a matter of it being on film or not. Many times special effects and sets are built to be believable on a TV screen. Even worse in this case, a TV screen from a few decades ago. You may get such a nice, crisp picture you can see all the strings on the puppet.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by CastrTroy (595695)
        And that right there is the answer. Advertising decides everything. I don't think they advertised half as much as they should have for HDDVD, and this is why it failed. Not because it's technologically inferior, but simply because they didn't push it enough.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Loibisch (964797)
      which Sony and co have already said would not be happening, I only have a German reference right now (http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/101796):

      [quote]Hersteller von Abspielgeräten für das konkurrierende Blu-ray-Format erklärten derweil, sie sähen aufgrund des mittlerweile entschiedenen Konkurrenzkampfes keinen Grund, die Preise ihrer Player zu senken.[/quote]
      Translated:
      Meanwhile manufacturers of players for the competing format Blu-ray stated they wouldn't see the need to bring dow
    • by oliderid (710055)
      It is more than a dying format. It is a dying concept. Downloading movies is the way forward. The last one I just downloaded was...Mmmg 1.7 GB or something. DIVX with a new codec. Works well with my ADSL. Resolution is now better than VHS, sure it is still behind DVD quality, but things are improving. And on my old TV, you can't really spot any annoying difference. I don't see myself buying any DVD/Blueray whatever in 5 years honestly.
    • Re:Dying format. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by tlhIngan (30335) <.slashdot. .at. .worf.net.> on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:32PM (#22052378)

      Why does it matter? It's a dying format. Even if people jump on now, everyone's scrambling to get away from HDDVD discs! The real news will be when BluRay players are 150 bucks a pop.


      And this is the best way to do it.

      The Blu-Ray folks are complaining that HD-DVD forced them to release crappy players that are going to be horribly obsolete and not play *well* new Blu-Ray discs. They did this because HD-DVD players have, in their specification, everything that Blu-Ray Profile 2.0 (BD Live) is supposed to have, practically two years earlier!

      And then, the HD-DVD players debuted at a price of $500.

      The first Blu-Ray players in North America debuted as a price for $1000, but were basically upgraded DVD players that added Blu-Ray disc support and HD decode.

      Now, you can find HD-DVD players for $150. The price of a good Blu-Ray player (at least one supporting profile 1.1, and optionally supporting upgrade to 2.0) is $400 (PS3, for varying definitions of "good" because of a lack of IR support (and thus integration with useful devices like Harmony remotes)).

      I'm fairly certain if it wasn't for the push to the bottom, Blu-Ray players would take their sweet time coming down in price, and we'd still be at Blu-Ray 1.0. And double-layer Blu-Rays would be nonexistent, rather than heavily developed (which is where HD-DVD triple layers are - dual layer HD-DVDs are trivially simple since they have millions of DVDs to refine the process).

      If we believe the Blu-Ray guys, then Blu-Ray wouldn't have been out until a year after it was released (what the PS3 would use, who knows).

      The funny thing is, the Blu-Ray Association claimed profile 2.0 was long settled before the first player made it to market, as well (and still, the combo HD-DVD/Blu-Ray players have the hardware, but don't support profile 2.0).
  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @11:25AM (#22051230) Homepage Journal

    ...but they do make good upconverting DVD players, and at that price can be bought as "An upconverting player that also happens to have a fairly good selection of real HD content for it."

    I think more than that's needed for HD DVD to "not fail", but it still results in good value hardware hitting the market that's worth the money regardless of whether it supports a standard that may not end up going anywhere.

  • MSRP? (Score:3, Informative)

    by mr_mischief (456295) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @11:27AM (#22051248) Journal
    Toshiba can't actually set the street price at the store legally in the US. They can influence it with a lower price to the retailer. They can lower the suggested retail price, which many consumers expect the stores to match. They can offer rebates and coupons. They can't actually tell the stores they'll be selling it at exactly $150, because there are laws against that.
    • For some items this doesn't seem to be the case, especially for those that have never changed in cost over the years. For example, every store is still selling the TI-83 calculator for the exact same price I paid for it 10 years ago.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ahsile (187881)
      I thought there was a lawsuit won by the manufacturers a year or two ago that forced retail outlets to stay within a certain range of the MSRP... it was an attempt to curb internet vendors undercutting brick & mortar stores.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mblase (200735)
      They can't actually tell the stores they'll be selling it at exactly $150, because there are laws against that.

      Really? I'm pretty sure Apple does this with their iPods, Nintendo with the Wii, Microsoft with the XBox 360, Sony with the PS3, Canon with their cameras, and so on. Granted they appear to have pre-existing agreements with those retailers, but let's not pretend it's completely illegal.
    • Re:MSRP? (Score:5, Informative)

      by John3 (85454) <john3.cornells@com> on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:02PM (#22051802) Homepage Journal
      The way most manufacturers enforce pricing is through advertising co-op funds. They can't tell a retailer what price to set, but they can tell them "We won't reimburse you for your advertising unless you set the price at $$$". When Best Buy runs their sale flyers, manufacturers are compensating Best Buy for their portion of the flyer. If Best Buy runs a price too high or too low then the manufacturer will refuse to pay co-op money.

      Co-op is paid at anywhere from 50% up to 100%, and is based on how much a retailer purchases from the manufacturer. For example, in my hardware store we buy products from Scott's (fertilizer) and accrue 6% of our purchases into co-op funds. If I run and ad, feature Scott's products, and follow their price guidelines I get reimbursed up to whatever my accrued co-op fund is.
  • Why not both? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Blimey85 (609949) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @11:27AM (#22051256)
    We've had to contend with +r and -r for dvd burning and I honestly can't tell you anything about them other than +r seems to work better with my equipment. My burner can handle both and I'm assuming if both of these formats can stay viable long enough, burners, players, and even the game consoles will eventually support both. MS is already on record stating the 360 would be able to support a BR player due to it's current high def player being external. A lot of people bitched that it wasn't included like the BR drive was with the PS3 but I think in the end they made a smart decision to go external. If the format does fail then they can easily switch and probably a lot of the people that have bought drives would buy again to get the new format.

    I really don't care who wins out or if we end up with both. I'm sick of needing to replace my movie collection every however many years. I had a crap load of vhs. I now have a library of films on dvd. Am I going to replace everything with the media du jour? No. I have too much money invested in the shiny discs I already have and I don't see those going away for a very long time. Most people I know don't even have a high def tv yet and according to the story yesterday regarding the uber def format the Japanese are working on, why should I upgraded to BR or HDDVD only to have to upgraded again to support the crazy resolutions of yet another format in 2015?
    • by glop (181086)
      You don't need to upgrade everything.

      However, you might be happy to be able to buy a player now that allows you to enjoy better quality now and later. For instance, every time I read about this fight it reminds me of the BBC's Planet Earth series. I have the DVD version and when I watch the amazing pictures I regularly notice something that might be better in HD. But I can't go and buy a player while the format war is still raging and makes it uncertain that I can use the player for anything else in the com
  • Cracking (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Thelasko (1196535)
    I have a hunch that movie studios are jumping on board with Blue Ray because they feel it's more secure. Which makes me ask, "Why haven't there been more stories about Blue Ray being cracked recently?" Anybody?
    • by rvw (755107)

      "Why haven't there been more stories about Blue Ray being cracked recently?" Anybody?
      Well, that's simple. They are just waiting until all major labels have chosen for one type. That will save a lot of work. If this is the end of HDDVD, then they only have to crack Blu Ray.
    • Re:Cracking (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Aladrin (926209) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @11:36AM (#22051396)
      Because it's still a hacker's game, instead of a general public game. 'True' hackers display their work in the 'scene' and not for public consumption. It's people on the fringes of the 'scene' that release all the stuff to the public.

      If you think Bluray hasn't been cracked, take a look at the newsgroups and how many bluray rips there are. HDDVD, too, mind you.

      So why are there no stories about BR being cracked? Because nobody's talking about it.
  • by MankyD (567984) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @11:27AM (#22051260) Homepage

    My mother bought me an HD-DVD for the holidays, assuming for some reason that I owned an HD player. Now, this is a series that I wanted in HD (Planet Earth), but I was going to wait till this annoying format war was over. Now of course, a month later, the format that she bought me turns out to be losing.

    Anyone know if there will be some way to exchange formats, should HD-DVD finally die out? Buying a hybrid player seems like an awful waste for a single dvd. Anyone else have a contingency plan to play HD-DVD's that they own?

    • Anyone know if there will be some way to exchange formats, should HD-DVD finally die out? Buying a hybrid player seems like an awful waste for a single dvd. Anyone else have a contingency plan to play HD-DVD's that they own?

      Unfortunately there isn't any way to do that at the moment. You may want to try to take it into WalMart or somewhere and exchange it for the BD version or just try to get a refund/credit.

      As for contingency plans, I have a library of about 20 HD movies. My player should last at least
    • by LWATCDR (28044)
      I got an HD-DVD when they where on sale for $98. It is only 1080i but then I only have a 1080i TV. I am hoping that it will win but I think the magic price was $100.
      If there was a flood of $99.95 HD-DVD players on black Friday then HD-DVD would have won.
      I thought that was going to happen.
      It does do a wonderful job with upconverting and is is a very nice DVD Player.
      The funny thing was when I was buying it the woman at the check out made the comment "That is an expensive DVD player." I told her that it was re
    • Anyone know if there will be some way to exchange formats, should HD-DVD finally die out? Buying a hybrid player seems like an awful waste for a single dvd. Anyone else have a contingency plan to play HD-DVD's that they own?

      Rip it. Easier said than done, I know - but I've heard it can be done with HDDVD as well as Blu-Ray.

      I've sat-out the format war, and while I believe Blu-Ray will win, I'm not convinced that I'll ever get into it. Of course, within this is a hope that the legitimate on-line market for video will finally get going. Seems a fool's dream at the moment, but two years ago it seemed impossible the music industry would ever wake-up and drop DRM.

      Physical media is dead to me.

    • by 0xdeadbeef (28836)
      I plan on buying a standalone player when the prices go from "for the love of god, please buy our players" to "help us throw away our useless inventory", and keep it unused until my Xbox player fails. And after that, I imagine it won't matter, since we'll all have fiber to the curb and storage will be priced by the terabyte.
  • Those guys posted an awesome recreation of what is really happening at Toshiba headquarters.

    Youtube clip via gizmodo : http://gizmodo.com/344885/the-downfall-of-hd-dvd-now-available-on-blu+ray [gizmodo.com]
  • Too late... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nweaver (113078) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @11:28AM (#22051278) Homepage
    Its too late. The writing is on the wall. With almost all studios having defected to Blu-Ray primary/Blu-Ray only, anyone who's been sitting out the format war to date is not going to jump at this.

    Especially since, lets face it, you'd only care about Blu-Ray/HD-DVD in the first place if you drop $1k-2k+ on the TV itself, and another $200-1K on the stereo system.
  • by The Analog Kid (565327) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @11:29AM (#22051302)
    Seeing how most people still don't have an HDTV, they won't bother getting either an HD-DVD player or a Blu-Ray or a combo unit (if they even make these yet). Until that changes a cheapo DVD player works fine still. It's a start, but I think whoever gets a $100 player out first will win the war. (not on sale, but one that normally retails for $100)
  • I am going to purchase a Sharp HDTV later today and will be getting a free Sharp Blu Ray player with my purchase. Toshiba can cut prices all they want, you can't beat free.
  • I came here to make a comment, but was greeted with Bluray adds.... I hate format wars, it does nothing but to stifle acceptance. Just like the bajillion different HDTV standards during the development phase; manufactures need to accept just ONE standard and quit locking us into a standard with the sole intent to license it just to generate revenue. I might be tempted to buy a new player if it didn't become obsolete the moment I paid for it.
  • If you want your format to win in the market, you don't gouge customers for as long as you can get away with and then AFTER you lose try say "hey wait, come back" ... horse is out the barn already. (I'm not saying the other side isn't overpriced either, but it's not a format "war" if neither side does any "attacking" i.e. aggressively lower prices to win customers over.
  • The best option (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alzheimers (467217) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @11:33AM (#22051362)
    Make HD-DVD disks the same price as DVDs, or less. I don't care about getting a cheap player if the disks are going to cost me 25%-75% more for a movie that looks just as good (right now) on my TV as the cheaper DVD that I already own a bunch of players for.

    Meh, it doesn't really matter at this point. Digital Distribution is going to end this format war a lot faster than Sony's or Toshiba's corporate posturing.
  • What studios are left...that matter?
    • RE: What studios are left...that matter?

      If the writers strike goes on 'til the summer, one or 2

      If the writers strike goes on for a year, NONE. All the producers will have bypassed the studios and dealt with the writers directly.
      (David Letterman did it already...)
  • Interesting timing (Score:2, Informative)

    by seebs (15766)
    I wonder if they timed this partially because of the recent blu-ray admission that none of the existing players but the PS3 will play new movies shortly? They may suddenly have a much larger installed base of players-that-can-play-new-movies.
  • That makes them hardly more expensive than a high end upconverting DVD player, which they also are. And if HD-DVD really will go away, then hundreds of title will end up in bargain bins and be offered for next to nothing on peer-to-peer second hand markets. Just that would be enough to keep us busy and see if physical media will be replaced or not by on demand in the next couple of years. On that account, maybe it's the $400-$500 investment in a Blu Ray player that doesn't make sense.
  • Read this [betanews.com] from the Firehose the other day. Seems that the BlueRay format was not and is not finalized yet. All 1st gen players aren't going to support the final format (which sounds an awful lot like HDDVD with internet connectivity) and they won't be able to be upgraded. The only player that will continue to work is the PS3. Talk about alienating customers. This makes me think that the war is far from over.
    • sigh, yet more FUD. Its just SOME special features that won't work on older players, its not as if the main movie won't play. Yes the profile thing is lame but it's not going to mean your left with a dead player.
  • They will drop their players down to $139 etc .... and this will all be over

    I love Capitalism!
  • To HD-DVD: I'll have a blu Christmas without you...
  • Are they actually just trying to get the best price they can for what they now realise is an obsolete product?

    The real question is: will their factories continue with production (after the stock of components are used up), or will they shut down - maybe even licence Blu-Ray and start building "the competition's" products.

    The only indicator would be if Tosh are still ordering components - anyone know?

  • Victimizes the weak (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dpbsmith (263124) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @11:59AM (#22051748) Homepage
    I really hate moves like this.

    This is simply taking advantage of mom 'n pop consumers who are just out to buy a nice birthday gift or something like that and don't read consumer electronics news sites.

    There's probably nothing in particular that can be done to stop it. It's simply the strong taking from the weak, where in this case the weak are the uninformed. The current moral climate in the United States seems to accept that it is perfectly OK for the strong to take from the weak as long as there's no law against it, and as long as it only involves money. But it leaves a bad taste in my mouth nonetheless.

    I wonder how many of the Best Buys of the world will be warning customers that the price drop is a firesale of a product that many think will be orphaned, and how many will be stacking 'em up by the checkout isles and selling them as hard as they can?
    • So a product is being sold at a discount and somehow that "victimizes" the weak? Tough shit if the consumers don't know any better. It's simple economics: as the price drops, more units are sold. I have never heard of consumers complaining about lower prices.

      If it bothers you so much, then you pay for an ad in your local newspaper warning others of the "danger" of buying electronics at a discount. Seriously, why do people even care what others are doing with their own money? It's called free will.
    • by techstar25 (556988) <techstar25@[ ].rr.com ['cfl' in gap]> on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:16PM (#22052044) Homepage Journal
      Yes it may be orphaned, but these folks are getting one of the finest upconverting players available, that just happens to have thousands of HD DVD discs already available for it. If you think what Toshiba is doing it unethical, then how about what the BD group did by releasing 1.0 players that they knew might become obsolete so soon.
  • Dell is offering a free Blu-ray player with a Sharp 46" 1080p LCD TV today ($1699 total). You can't really beat free.

    Link [devsdeals.com]
  • Why you'd waste your money on either format until the format war is over and players for the winner are priced less than $150. What's the point?
  • There are now only two studios supporting HDDVD, leaving 75% of the total content today under the aegis of studios that support only BluRay.

    'The Wawr is ovuh!'
  • The current wave of HD video simply isn't enough of an improvement in quality to excite me. It's a fairly transparent game of marketing to try and jack up the basic price of plastic disks and give them more DRM.

    Give me actual high-def - three or four megapixels. At the moment I'm walking past the demo screens and I'm having to check the labels to make sure it's actually hi-def and not just a good quality DVD.

    Make me say "Wow!" and I'll pay this thing some attention.

    Until then, I'm just not going to bother.
  • by ducomputergeek (595742) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @12:29PM (#22052312)
    In 2006 I bought a Blu-Ray burner. Video editing/post production is my primary source of income and I already had the HD cameras and editing software and have been using it since 2003. In fact, I'm the only person in my area doing HD work for commercials, etc.. I get hired by other larger production companies who weren't able to, or not ready to take the HD plunge. I had a client who finally wanted work in Blu-Ray last year. So I bought the burner and offered small scale production runs to other videographers in the area who were now shooting and editing in HD, but had no way of getting it to their end users.

    I remember looking at HD-DVD burners around the same time. It was about $600 for the Blu-Ray internal drive and it was about $1200 for an external firewire HD-DVD burner. Late spring/early summer 2007 I went to look at getting an HD-DVD burner as wedding season started. I figured the price of HD-DVD burners had dropped to the point where I could make a buck by offering the same service to others still not wanting to invest a $1000 in a burner, but still needed HD-DVD work. I could purchase the blank media at staples (both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD), which is saying something because it's a rural college town, not a big city.

    So I went out shopping online and found HD-DVD drives for computers, but I couldn't find a single burner. I went to a couple specialist companies that sell high end editing equipment, and they didn't have any Pro-sumer grade HD-DVD burners (they had the high end stuff). Come to find out, the low-end/consumer/prosumer grade HD-DVD burners simply didn't exist. They weren't available.

    That told me something right there. When people asked what format to buy this past christmas, I still said, "I think digital downloads is going to be the way HD-content is delivered to TV's. Whether that's Apple TV/iTunes, Amazon/Cable/Tivo/Sat. I don't know. My advice is to wait. But if you have to buy one, go Blu-Ray. I can burn Blu-Ray discs, I can't even find an HD-DVD burner.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by evilviper (135110)
      Curious... Why do you even need a Blu-ray or HD-DVD burner? If you're just distributing relatively short high-def videos like commercials, you could simply follow the Blu-ray HD-DVD standards for high-def video on a DVD-9, far, far cheaper, with length being the only drawback. As long as you're not making feature-length films, I don't see the need.

Get hold of portable property. -- Charles Dickens, "Great Expectations"

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