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HD DVD players are coming... where are the movies?

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 14 Mar 2006 17:32 User comments (14)

HD DVD players are coming... where are the movies? The launch of HD DVD players from Toshiba has been set for March 28th, but if you were planning to buy a player and test it as soon as possible, then you might have to wait until April to get a disc to test. Warner Home Video announced today that it will not be releasing HD DVD movies on March 28th after all. Therefore, the first title to be released will be U2's Rattle and Hum documentary in April. This is terrible news for HD DVD's launch.
Warner will be weeks late releasing movies in the format, and other studios planning to release movies will be even later. When the movies do appear, it is still unknown how much they will cost. Wal-Mart was initially taking orders for HD DVD films at US$25.48 each but a Warner representative said the studio hasn't decided if this price is accurate yet. Blu-Ray movies are expected to cost between $23 and $39 when launched.

Rumours also say that there will only be 10,000 Toshiba HD DVD players available at launch. LG has agreed to build HD DVD players also, but nothing will be available from the company for some time yet. So it seems the stage is set for a very shaky start for HD DVD, but the format can still rest assured it has backing from Microsoft (which plans to releases a HD DVD drive for the Xbox 360) and that it still is beating Blu-ray to the starting line. Now the HD DVD camp can continue to pray that rumours of further PS3 launch delays are true.

Ars Technica

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14 user comments

114.3.2006 19:48

Sounds like one big mess.

214.3.2006 22:00

Well i have to agree that it is a mess... But like anything new that hits the market... I always wait till the inital race is over and everything calms down b4 i go out and make an investment like this... Cause from past experience and what has come and gone they always have glitches in the begining even when they get released to the public... So my advice to every1 would b wait and c what happens... U never know one format might whipe out the other and we only have one choice... :)

315.3.2006 11:11

how stupid to release this without at least 1 or 2 movies to show it off.

415.3.2006 12:03

so you buy it, and by the time you can test it to find out if it works, its after your 30 day return and you cant return it.. sounds good to me!

515.3.2006 12:40

I like DVDs - they only cost three times as much as they should.

615.3.2006 14:05

Well it`s official, the PS3 won`t come up until november so there`s no hurry to get it out.

715.3.2006 14:55

Sounds like one big mess. Sounds like what people said when original DVDs came out.

816.3.2006 15:36

the day i buy my next generation dvd player "2 year" it will be sold at wa$$mart for 99.99

917.3.2006 5:39

The advertising for HD-DVD goes something like: You've paid to see it in a theater, you've paid to see it on cable, you've rented it, bought the VHS tape, and then bought it again on DVD. Now own it today once again, the same exact movie as HD-DVD!

1017.3.2006 9:04

lol your funny max but your not far off from the truth

1117.3.2006 10:00

Can't see the need for HD DVD's, just a way of getting you to buy more electronics. Surely if they used XviD or DivX compression on a standard DVD disc, they could get almost 10X the data as that do now? DVD players for this new format would be cheap to manufacture as existing factories would be unchanged. No way to justify increased prices though

1217.3.2006 11:44

P_Quinn did you ever see hd tv man it puts DivX XviD and dvd's to shame

1317.3.2006 19:29

HERES THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION, Reply to thread: HD DVD players are coming... where are the movies? Warner announces HD DVD launch date, titles 3/17/2006 1:34:57 PM, by Anders Bylund In a press release issued last night, Warner Home Video announced what they call the first HD movies of any kind. April 18, the studio will ship out HD DVD versions of Million Dollar Baby, The Phantom of the Opera, and The Last Samurai, to be followed by 17 other movies "in the coming weeks," including The Matrix and Batman Begins. Perhaps the biggest surprise in the announcement was the expected retail pricing, set to US$28.99. That puts HD DVD movies a few dollars below the expected Blu-ray prices of up to $35, though the lower price point probably shouldn't surprise us. It's comparable to what the first old-skool DVD movies cost back in 1997, and like anything else that doesn't actually get better with age, the prices should come down a bit over the years. But let's refocus on the here and now. The first two HD DVD players should hit the stores by April (pushed back from the original March release date), which—given Warner's "we're first out the gate" bravado—could mean one of two things: either there will be HD DVD players well ahead of the first movies, or it all happens on the 18th. Either way, it's still a first-mover advantage over Blu-ray, which is not expected to enter the market until late May. The November release of the PS3 doesn't help Blu-ray either. Not only is there a format split, but one of the next-gen consoles is late, and the Xbox 360 will require an expensive add-on to play HD DVD movies. But that doesn't stop Warner from projecting huge HD format sales during the holiday shopping season this year: "From October to December, we expect at least $250 million to possibly as much as $750 million in sales industrywide," said Steve Nickerson, senior vice president of market management for Warner Home Video. Nickerson said Warner Home Video was forecasting industry-wide sales of next-generation DVDs of $35 million to $40 million in April to September, as electronics makers and studios begin to release the next-generation DVD players and movies. Going from a trickle of $40 million for the first five months to a torrential $250 million to $750 million (nevermind the vagueness of such an enormous range) for the final three months would be impressive indeed. But the players are expensive, and the available movie library will be rather thin even by Christmas, and with consumer ambivalence over which player to invest in on top of the fact that Blu-ray has more studio support, $250 million in Q4 HD DVD sales could end up being a pipe dream. However, in the unlikely event that the projected rate of uptake holds, today's dominant media (DVDs) will be made museum pieces at a rate faster than when they displaced VHS tapes. Will we be saddled with two competing formats for the foreseeable future, or will one of them race ahead and obsolete the other? Perhaps we'll eventually see a situation akin to burnable DVDs, where nobody cares much whether they're buying DVD-R or DVD+R discs because their player can handle either one. In any case, the age of HD digital entertainment is upon us, starting April 18.

1420.3.2006 6:07

well this isn't suprising and actually there is one more special dvd that currently supports HD-DVD and that is the special edition of titanic remember try watching the hd tv preview on the 360's hard drive and the special edition is already out

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