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HD-DVD v Blu-Ray sales update

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Apr 2007 11:09 User comments (7)

HD-DVD v Blu-Ray sales update Because of a new research report from Sony, sales for next generation DVDs are finally becoming more public.
According to the report, Sony's new release "Casino Royale" smashed all previous records by shipping 100,000 units to retail and also in the report Sony has 5 of the top 10 releases for the month of March.

Also in the report, Blu-ray outsold HD-DVD an impressive 9:2 while dominating the top sellers list. The only HD-DVD movie to even make an appearence on the list was "The Departed".

The report is also the first to provide hard sales stats for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray from Nielson VideoScan, the industry leader in competitive sales data.

According to the numbers from VideoScan, since its inception there have been 844,000 Blu-ray units sold, while there have been 708,600 units sold for HD-DVD.

However, there are some notes for the numbers. The VideoScan numbers do not include Wal-mart sales and most online merchants. There are also many more Blu-Ray players in use due to the amount of PlayStation 3's that have been sold. In all we can see that next gen DVDs have a long way to go before they can share the market with current gen DVDs.


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7 user comments

19.4.2007 15:20

Who the hell cares how many shipped. I could shit in box 100,000 times and ship it to retailers but would anyone buy it?

29.4.2007 16:15

Wait....Who published this report? The top makes it sound like $ony did the report, which would (even if it is true) make them biased to say their format is "winning". But the figures are supposed to be from VideoScan. Hum......

As the article points out, the PS3 comes with a built-in Blu-ray player. So I am sure most of those disks were played on PS3's. But, if I owned a PS3 I wouldn't play BR's in it. Who knows how long a blue laser lasts, probably less than the red lasers do so each movie sucks precious life from your PS3.

One thing that would have been interesting:

Include hardware sales for this same period, excluding PS3's and the XBox 360 add-on. This might actually reviel the truth to the "battle". A format with the most set-top box players would probably end up more on top then the other.

But, as many have said, I believe that neither format will win with consumers. Some will adopt and others will just sit out, waiting for the dust to settle. I personally will do the latter until a clear winner is announced, not by a first-party such as $ony or Microsuck but rather an independent who has nothing to do with either one of these money hogs.


39.4.2007 18:05

One thing that would have been interesting:

Include hardware sales for this same period, excluding PS3's and the XBox 360 add-on. This might actually reviel the truth to the "battle". A format with the most set-top box players would probably end up more on top then the other.
The problem with that is, the majority of Blu-ray players are via the PS3, so it was extremely tweak the outcome, considering the Blu-ray players run 900-1000 and HD players run 500-600, I do agree with you though, I think there wont be a clear cut winner for 3-4 years, but HD-DVD does seem to need a price cut soon or will fall in danger of falling far behind, at 9:2

49.4.2007 18:59

I actually think that neither format will "Win". They both do their job and have their advantages and disadvantages. Eventually a true HD format (like what HD DVD and Blu-ray are capable of spewing out) will be needed by the general public but the majory of the public doesn't seem to need HD movies quite yet.

59.4.2007 23:24

Neither format has a winning formula going for it. While Blu-ray looks in the lead due to support from Hollywood, HD DVD counters with the low cost to manufacture hardware and press discs; something that China (which makes over 80% of the world's disc-based drives and media), and now the Europeans are starting to become very vocal about - China going so far as to create their own HD standard based on HD DVD spec.

Ultimately, what is really killing both formats is existing DVDs. The overwhelming number of consumers are simply just happy with what they already have and see no need to make the move to HD.

It does not help that the pricing for HDTVs is still pretty high (and almost prohibitive in most parts of the world). And the fact that there is a format war in the first place, only clouds the playing field even further for the consumer.

The greatest fault against both formats is outside of higher video resolution and audio fidelity, they offer the consumer nothing the consumer can't already get on DVD. Now before the techie in you says that is enough and site that it was better audio and video that convinced the world to make the move from VHS to DVD, consider to things.
1 - Betamax offered both higher quality video and audio over VHS; the world picked VHS anyway.
2 - it was not better quality audio and video that converted people from VHS, over to DVD, it was ultimately, the added convenienceand extra content that the DVD format offered beyond VHS.

With DVD, there was no more rewinding the tape, there was no more wear and tear on the tape that would damage the consumer investment just from watching their movie; gone were the days of getting your taped jammed into the machine; discs and their cases were smaller than VHS and thus easier to store; chapters, bookmarks and other navigational tools made it easier to watch your movie your way; deleted scenes, behind the scenes documentaries, trailers and other content has become one of the biggest selling points in home video history; and the lists of conveniences that DVDs offer over VHS goes on and on and is sometimes staggering. It was convenience that sold DVDs, not higher fidelity movie quality. Most DVD owners did not even realize the movies looked and sound better until after they had DVDs around for a while and then happened to visit a friend or relative who still had VHS.

And lets face facts. Even if you were a DVD adopter, if you still had your DVD player attached to your old and busted television set that you had your old VHS player attached to, there was simply no way you got any real higher fidelity benefits from DVD over VHS - and this is until very recently, how most consumers have viewed their DVD collections.

I know, I know. The techie in all of us, updated ages ago. We may have even scraped and saved forever to update our entertainment centers to accommodate DVDs. But most consumers don't even use the term "entertainment center" to describe where they watch TV and play their videogames. To most people, it's just the TV. But we here are already aware that if you are running anything less than a flat screen (not to be confused with flat panel), 480p Progressive scan television and have it plugged to your DVD player via component cables, and have at least the most rudimentary 5.1 audio surround sound receiver, that you are not getting the full audio/video fidelity that regular DVDs have to offer. And this is the scariest part. Once guys like us start looking outside of our circle of techies, we find that the vast majority of DVD owners have their DVD players still plugged up to their non-Progressive, bubble screen television with the two low watt stereo speakers via either coax or composite set of cables; the exact same rig they had their VHS players hooked up for years.

Higher fidelity has not affected the masses of consumers; quite the opposite actually. And you have to sit down and ask yourself, if the masses are already satisfied to what amounts to VHS 1.5 (ie. DVDs plugged up to bargain basement TVs with bargain basement connectors and cables), why on Earth would these people want to invest thousands more of hard-earned money just to make the bump to HD for even higher fidelity, when they are already clearly satisfied with what they have already?

The most basic of facts that very few techies want to own up to (and both Sony and Toshiba do not want anyone to realize either), is that the disc media as a whole, has nothing new to offer consumers in terms of convenience. It is because of this, more than anything else, why consumers are just as apathetic over Blu-ray and HD DVD as they were towards SACD and DVD-A a decade ago. People already had CDs, despite the fact of the obvious fidelity increase that both audio disc formats offered, the vast majority of people (99% of all consumers) could and still does not care one bit. But once you offered consumers the new worlds of convenience that downloaded music represented, not only were they happy to stick with lower fidelity music, but were even happy to trade-in lossless audio formats like CDs, for lossy audio formats like MP3s, WMAs and AACs. But what the convenience and the freedom that downloadable audio offers to the consumer is just as much a paradigm shift forward as audio CDs were over cassettes, LPs and 8-tracks. Witness the hurt that downloadable music is putting on even regular CD sales; the RIAA who refused to adopt and monetize online distributed music early on are hurting as they are watching their bottomlines bottom out. And even as I write this, the unthinkable is occurring with major labels looking to provide their music online sans DRM - the ultimate in consumer convenience and freedom. This last hurdle is being crossed, and with it the dawn of the true age of digitally distributed audio content.

The outcome for the blu-ray/HD DVD format war has already been foretold; we watch this same war played out almost a decade ago with SACDs and DVD-As. Because there is no new convenience factor to be derived from either Blu-ray or HD DVD (or the shift to HD overall), public apathy toward both will remain. It will remain long enough for companies like Apple and Microsoft and Google and Bittorrent and Azureus and Tioti and all the other technologies and companies backing them to get a grip on how best to offer consumable products and convenience over the web. This apathy toward next-gen disc medium will remain in place long enough for the bandwidth to be there to make it worth anyone's while to make the jump online. And even if that means not going HD, most consumers will be consumed with the next paradigm shift in convenience that they will buy as much into downloadable movies and TV as everyone is currently buying into downloadable music. And in the meantime, everyone will be more than satisfied with regular, old DVDs.

And don't you think for a single minute that all those Hollywood studios that are supposedly supporting Blu-ray and HD DVD are not aware of where their true future lies. All you need do, is pick up any MPAA trade publication to figure out the obvious. Since the launch of HD DVD and Blu-ray into the market space a year ago, there have literally been over 20x the number of articles, editorials and commentaries in Hollywood trade publications and how best to monetize on the trend, than all talk of Blu-ray and HD DVD combined. If Hollywood really thought their future was in either disc format, they would be overwhelmingly making it known. But instead you have the CEO or ABC/Disney giving keynote addresses at trade events telling the industry explicitly the opposite.

So what about Blu-ray and HD DVD? What about their futures? Two words for you: laser disc. The future of Blu-ray and HD DVD is a similar niche market that was once home to the laser disc. Not that that is a bad thing. It still means that techies like the rest of us can get our disc groove-on. I still purchase DVD-As and SACDs. Their is simply nothing out their commercially available that rivals the audio quality. The first time you hear Marvin Gaye's What's Going On in 5.1 surround, you'll be sold on DVD-As and SACDs too. And while true that both formats have fallen into a niche market, most if not all major releases are either mastered or get a re-master in 5.1. So it's all good. And I get to experience my musical entertainment in a way that most people do not and which will put any MP3 to utter shame. The same will become of Blu-ray and HD DVD; which is fine by me. I'll have something that very few other people will have and will get to experience it at a level that very few people even knows exists. In a very small way, that makes me just a little bit more special than the next guy.

611.4.2007 06:58

For anyone interested in the actual numbers sold they are approx 10,000 in the UK and 30,000 in the USA.

Not (and nothing like) 100,000.

The really dumb thing about this is that those numbers (given the tiny size of the high def disc market right now) are pretty respectable.

But the spin marketeers at 'you know where' just can't help themselves.

711.4.2007 17:30

With the Toshiba HD-A2 now selling for $309 at with 5 free HD-DVD videos and Bestbuy selling the same player for $399 which includes any 4 HD videos in the store as well as the 5 free mail in videos I suspect the sales figures will increase dramatically for HD-DVD

This will definately be interesting.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 11 Apr 2007 @ 5:37

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