AfterDawn: Tech news

HD DVD sales rebound but still trail Blu-ray

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 12 Feb 2008 0:27 User comments (21)

HD DVD sales rebound but still trail Blu-ray Apparently nobody has told companies backing HD DVD that the format war is over. According to sales figures leaked to This Week In Consumer Electronics from The NPD Group, Blu-ray standalone players (not including PS3 consoles) are still outselling HD DVD units, but not nearly by the same commanding margin as a few short weeks ago.
HD DVD sales appeared to be dropping off the radar less than a month ago. However, as Toshiba, Microsoft, and company have regrouped and made a serious promotional push they've at least managed to halt a complete meltdown. According to the leaked NPD figures, the week ending January 26 saw Blu-ray players accounting for 65% of unit sales compared to nearly 90% just two weeks earlier.

According to Ross Rubin of NPD, It has only been a couple of weeks since the Warner Bros. announcement [of exclusive support for Blu-ray], as well as Toshibas price promotions, Microsofts lowering the price on its HD DVD Xbox peripheral and the [Toshiba] HD DVD Super Bowl ad. So, the story continues to evolve. The two formats ended 2007 essentially in a dead heat. Until one camp decides to give up its format we are going to continue to see confusion at retail.

Rather than talking about sales though, it might be more useful to think in terms of losses. While Sony's Blu-ray players and Toshiba's HD DVD models are in a virtual tie for units sold, when it comes to percentage of overall revenue from those players Sony has approximately a 2:1 advantage. Neither company is actually making money in the Hi-Def DVD player market, unless that situation changes soon it could become a question of who has the resources (and nerve) to continue supporting the cost of competing.

It seems unlikely that either will become profitable except as the lone HD disc option, and even then there's no guarantee. In other words we're just about back where we were before the Warner Bros. announcement at the beginning of the year.



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21 user comments

112.2.2008 3:30
Ludikhris
Inactive

You're going to see a slow die off of HD-DVD. They will draw it out until the Bluray group finally pays them off to stop. I kinda think that what they are doing to consumers at this point is mean though. Not everyone knows what they are getting into when they buy HDDVD. At such low prices you are going to get people that will impulse buy not knowing the real issues. My guess is there are a lot of people making uneducated purchases, and there are probably a few people snagging them up before they are gone. As I made it sound, I am convinced Bluray will be the dominante format, it is just a matter of time now.

212.2.2008 3:59

Quote:
Apparently nobody has told companies backing HD DVD that the format war is over.
Maybe you should keep that to yourself. Although I agree with you, these are supposed to be news, not your personal opinions.

Quote:
I kinda think that what they are doing to consumers at this point is mean though. Not everyone knows what they are getting into when they buy HDDVD. At such low prices you are going to get people that will impulse buy not knowing the real issues. My guess is there are a lot of people making uneducated purchases, and there are probably a few people snagging them up before they are gone.
Maybe retail should do something about it, like dropping HD DVD altogether. Or that would just piss off more customers who have a HD DVD player.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 12 Feb 2008 @ 4:04

312.2.2008 4:04
Ludikhris
Inactive

From what I can tell this site operates as more of a blog than a news site. Most the stories here have little attempt of objectivity. They are mostly geared to the opinions of the readers, so it is rarely noticed when opinions spill out. In situations of high controversy such as this one, it is much more apparent when a blip of opinion finds it's way onto our screens. You won't find too many articles here that are truly objective.

412.2.2008 8:04
vinny13
Inactive

I figured they'd bounce back a little... But when Warner goes FULLY exclusive ion may or whatever sales will slowly begin to drop... They have to :S

512.2.2008 8:54
hughjars
Inactive

These NPD numbers don't count Amazon sales
(who are 'only' the 2nd largest retailer in the whole world).

They are unofficial leaks, NPD do not release these numbers weekly.

So it is clear that they are designed & being used to suit a rather obvious agenda.
They are impossible to verify......and note that the instant HD DVD prices were cut (and the HD DVD numbers recovered) they stopped coming - only now to be released again this week as BD promotions blunt the impact of the HD DVD numbers.
Talk about selective stats.
It's not exactly hard to see what's going on there.

We also know (ironically from NPD when they tried to show a little fairness & clarified the last lot of leaks) that the blu-ray side are giving away as many Blu-ray profile 1.0 (which may well come back and bite them shortly) players as they can with certain brands of TV.
So it turns out that many of the Blu-ray 'sales' are not actually true 'sales' at all.

In short these numbers are as unreliable as they come - but even so they show that, despite all the bad publicity and tales of doom,
HD DVD has not just rolled over & died.

We have also seen it is a verifiable fact that , since the HD DVD price cuts, the Amazon (remember, only the 2nd largest retailer in the world) ranking of all the gen 3 HD DVD players at or around the top of not only the DVD bestseller ratings but also the ratings for their entire electrical itinerary.

The Blu-ray side are trying to stack up as much bad news for HD DVD as they can.
It's just a spoiler for what's on the way.
They are mightily unhappy about what is going on, because despite the enormous amounts of cash they have spent out HD DVD has still not vanished, not by a long shot.

(and note that despite all the unfounded 'fire sale' claims Amazon & others have been selling out and restocking HD DVD hardware)

It's not over and some surprises are long overdue.

612.2.2008 9:04

^^Dont care

712.2.2008 9:05

What i can see happening, is HD DVD players being sold as Upscalers atm, because they are cheap enough to be sold as them, and because they are cheaper than some upscalers anyway, so this shoudl be want the camp want to be aiming for, and as more people uy them as upscalers they will increase the amoutn of HD DVD players in teh market, until they have more standalone than BR, in which they could actually fight BR back, as companies would see HD DVD has a good amount of stand alone players!

812.2.2008 9:52

I don't think HD-DVD will ever die but instead be a small portion of the Movie industry.I prefer HD-DVD over Blu-Ray because I love extra features that HD-DVD has to offer over Blu-ray.I don't think it is over completely because if it was all the Movie Studios would have joined Blu-Ray already even if Sony payed them like they always do.

912.2.2008 10:00

It's a firesale, plain and simple. Of course the numbers will look strong until the inventory is depleted. Same thing happened when Videodisc was competing with VHS and Beta in the home video market. Lots of players kept selling (and a couple even developed) even after the format was dead, and media was available to pick up on the cheap as rental stores liquidated their inventory. Some folks were able to put together some nice little libraries. Same story with HD DVD. They aren't bolstering the format with these sales, they're recouping sunk costs and getting out. The "restocking" is mostly coming from inventory of already finished goods and plants with work already in process.

It's over, yet it's apparent some are (still) in denial. Waste of effort to think otherwise.

I don't understand how folks can't see this objectively, without heavy doses of fanboy mentality. It must be difficult for those who are seething and bitter that they guessed, and guessed wrong. The real winners are those who weren't early adopters of either format. I have no interest in either format (I don't even have HDTV yet) but it's very amusing to watch folks spin doctoring, tapdancing, and flailing like a fish out of water over the "war" as if they have some vested interest in it (other than having an expensive soon-to-be paperweight in their entertainment center.)

1012.2.2008 11:34

Originally posted by pirkster:

I don't understand how folks can't see this objectively, without heavy doses of fanboy mentality. It must be difficult for those who are seething and bitter that they guessed, and guessed wrong. The real winners are those who weren't early adopters of either format. I have no interest in either format (I don't even have HDTV yet) but it's very amusing to watch folks spin doctoring, tapdancing, and flailing like a fish out of water over the "war" as if they have some vested interest in it (other than having an expensive soon-to-be paperweight in their entertainment center.)
haha-you are so right!! that made me laugh dude, thanx :P

1112.2.2008 12:17

that's because hd-dvd is on sale everywhere u get a 42lcd with a hd-dvd player plus a couple of movies for 700 , so that's why

1212.2.2008 13:40
hughjars
Inactive

Originally posted by pirkster:
as if they have some vested interest in it (other than having an expensive soon-to-be paperweight in their entertainment center.)
- What "paperweight"?

In what weird universe can my HD A/EP35 be anything but what it is?

It's always going to be an excellently spec'd player and the bargain it has always been.

It is 2nd to none at SD DVD playback (comparable with Denons at many times it price)
and I have a growing collection of HD DVD discs which it plays beautifully.

How is that ever going to change?

The only "fanboys" I see around in this debate are the sort who pretend that in 6mths time there will be no more HD DVD discs available and the HD DVD players that we own (and the discs bought to date) will suddenly stop working.

That's just ludicrous BS, but sadly all too typical of the level of the Blu-ray 'argument'.

Not only do I have a catalogue of approx 500 (western) HD DVD discs to choose from right now (800+ worldwide) but I also will always have 90,000 SD DVD catalogue to play on it too.

1312.2.2008 13:52
OhCrap
Inactive

Awesome Hugh you can just set that hddvd player on the shelf next to your 8 track player, betamax player, cassette tape player, laserdisc player, minidisc player, along with all the media you have for those as well.

1412.2.2008 15:32
hughjars
Inactive

I hardly think an HD DVD player (which will always be a very nice spec/price deal) sits easily with the failed formats you have listed off there.

The fact that it will always be able to use the 90,000+ SD DVD titles and the 500+ HD DVD titles alone makes such a comparison laughable.

1512.2.2008 16:17
goodswipe
Inactive

Originally posted by chaos_zzz:
that's because hd-dvd is on sale everywhere u get a 42lcd with a hd-dvd player plus a couple of movies for 700 , so that's why
42" LCD for 700 dollars?? Where, oh do tell!

1612.2.2008 16:53
jagstilv
Inactive

Originally posted by hughjars:
These NPD numbers don't count Amazon sales
(who are 'only' the 2nd largest retailer in the whole world).quote]These numbers don't represent PS3's sold either. Which, btw, would make Blu-Ray's lead even larger.

1712.2.2008 16:53
jagstilv
Inactive

Sorry, double post.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 12 Feb 2008 @ 16:54

1812.2.2008 17:10

Why trade the insults guys? Everytime this debate comes up you attack each other. You'd think this was the presidential election we wre discussing.

Insults aside, there are one or two points I would like to throw into your discussion.

1. These companies with exclusivity deals with Blu-ray may be in the fold now, but what happens in a few months time if the format is not going as well as is being projected? They may need to rethink. Not just on loyalties to format, but to Hi-Def itself, which brings me to the next argument.

2. Formats aside, HD video is still a very small market and I don't believe it's growing as strongly as some people believe. Even if one format does win the "War", who is to say that things will improve?

3. Let's remember that customer is king. This format "war" is not being decided by consumer power, but by corporate will. That applies to both sides.

4. This is nothing like the betamax and videodisc format wars of long ago. Both camps have poured billions of dollars worth of investment capital into the developement of - and the equipment for manufacturing - these discs. Do you think that either one will suddenly roll over and die? I think not

5. Finally, let's just suppose that the only Hi-Def format left in six months time is Blu-Ray. Those "Poor" HD-DVD users are still going to have a pretty good upscaling DVD player that will play the format that is still likely to dominate the market for a few years yet.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 12 Feb 2008 @ 17:15

My opinions come with no warranty whatsoever, but are totally open-source, so you can reverse engineer or decompile them as you see fit. All other rights reserved.

"Freedom" in the west consists of: Freedom of speech, freedom of opinion and freedom of movement. So why is it then, that people want to know what youre saying, what you think of them and where you are going?

1912.2.2008 17:58

Toshiba reportedly has new HD player model coming out:

http://1080living.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=30

2012.2.2008 18:31
hughjars
Inactive

It's no surprise that that sort of rumour is being spread.

But that doesn't make it true or anything more than a mere rumour.

217.4.2008 21:46

Toshiba and Microsoft are fighting a lossing battle that really showed the sony did really learn from their loss in the arly years. Now they have really put a great product out there however i am not going to get any new next generation dics yet. Until i see afordable next generation disc writers.

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