Every $99 HD DVD Player Losing $500?

6 11 2007

You might have heard about those $99 HD DVD players that were being sold for a moment at Wal-Mart and Best Buy. You’re probably smart enough to realize that Toshiba isn’t making much scratch on these things, but for reference, the first HD-A1 HD DVD player cost Toshiba $674 in parts alone (Says iSuppli, 2006). So are they losing ~$500 bucks on these newer player selling for less than a C-note?Within a calendar year, I very much doubt that it could have been price-optimized more than 30% (*number pulled out of thin air). Either way, it’s pretty clear that Toshiba is losing at least a few hundred dollars on this $99 deal for consumers, and maybe over $500 bucks including all costs. Is this sale desperation? Or have they moved on from the early-adopter battlefield and straight into the Waterloo of mainstream buyers? Maybe it’s just a stunt, since most places sold out almost immediately. What better way to win the hearts and minds of cheap Americans than to hold an insane sale on a sliver of all of your inventory?

Universal confirms “no plans to support Blu-ray”

5 11 2007

Interview: Ken Graffeo from Universal to talk next gen format war

Credits: Pocket-Lint.co.uk

As the next generation format war between Blu-ray and HD DVD continues to rumble on, Pocket-lint sat down over email with Ken Graffeo, excutive vice president, HD DVD Strategic Marketing for Universal, the only studio to singularly back Toshiba’s HD DVD format from the start.

Is HD DVD going to win over Blu-ray? What does the future hold? How does the company feel about Paramount and Dreamworks coming on board? And will it ever release Blu-ray movies?

Q: No matter how it’s spun, the format war isn’t good for the consumer, looking back, what do you think Sony and Toshiba should have done differently?

A: Extensive efforts were made to find a solution in the DVD Forum and avoid the situation we see today, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. The DVD Forum chose the HD DVD specification and as a result, Sony and its partners decided to make a go of it with Blu-ray. Our focus now is providing the best high definition home entertainment experiences with greatest value proposition for consumers. At the end, the consumer is the real winner because prices on next-generation hardware have been dropping faster and more significantly than they did in the early days of DVD. This is actually hastening rather than slowing consumer adaption

Q: Do you see a time when Universal will release movies on both HD DVD and

A: We have no plans to support Blu-ray. We want to be able to market all the great things HD DVD can offer consumers. We couldn’t do this if we split our resources on two formats, hedged our bets and had to avoid over promoting features on one format so we wouldn’t undercut the other format. HD DVD allows us to provide the type of quality and truly next generation experiences we need to get consumers to migrate from DVD.

Q: With the PS3 price cut meaning the console is now much more affordable, and one of the cheapest Blu-ray players on the market, how do you think this will affect Blu-ray adoption compared to HD DVD?

A: The PS3 is a gaming system first – even Sony will tell you this, and we believe consumers use gaming consoles to play games. Studies show that 70% of gamers don’t even know that their console has a DVD playback option. What’s important is that HD DVD owns the lead in dedicated CE player sales and maintains a 4:1 software attach rate over Blu-ray, meaning people are purchasing four times more HD DVD titles per HD DVD player than Blu-ray. Standalone players for HD DVD will be as low as $199 this holiday shopping season – maintaining HD DVD’s clear cost advantage. The PS3 simply hasn’t been the gamer changer Sony had hoped it would be.

Q: How much longer will Universal offer DVD versions of films for? Read the rest of this entry »

Sony will drop prices for its Blu-ray DVD player – Confirmed

2 11 2007

Sony Corp.’s Blu-ray DVD player will drop 20 percent or more in price this holiday season, the head of the company’s consumer electronics division said.The price for the high-definition movie player, which produces sharper images than traditional DVD machines, will decline to less than $400 from $499.99 now, Stan Glasgow, president of Sony Electronics, said Thursday. The Sony player and HD DVD, backed by Toshiba Corp., are vying to be the new home-entertainment standard.

Best Buy Drops Toshiba HD DVD Player to $99; Supplies Very Limited

2 11 2007

In the immortal words of Crazy Eddie, Best Buy is now offering Toshiba’s entry-level HD-A2 HD DVD at a price so low they’re practically giving it away.

Coming only a week after retailers almost universally dropped prices for the 1080i player below the $200 mark, Best Buy has lowered its price on the player to just $99. This latest price drop from Best Buy follows this morning’s news that Wal-Mart would offer the same player for just $98 as part of a special in-store one day sale this Friday.

There is a hitch, however. Although Best Buy’s website listed the HD-A2 at its new low price earlier today, it also stated that the player was sold out. Some consumers have had better luck finding it at the chain’s physical locations, but there too, many have reported that the player is out of stock.

At press time there was no word on whether new allotments of the player would be offered by Best Buy.

Read Full Article here

New Entertainment Xbox – Microsoft unites with Toshiba

31 10 2007

Microsoft, according to insiders at Toshiba owner of the HD DVD patents, claim that Microsoft is working on a brand new Xbox that will incorporate not only a new HD DVD drive but a large hard drive and new entertainment software that is a spin off from its struggling media centre offering.

The device is being developed in response to the PS3 driving sales of games software and Blu-ray content in several countries. A recent Sony Brand Wave study conducted in five countries including the UK, Australia, France Germany and Spain revealed that a key reason that consumers are buying a PS3 is because it includes a Blu-ray player.

Recent GFK research reveals that the recently launched Xbox 360 HD DVD attach player is not selling well. Another factor that impacted early sales of the Xbox 360 was that Microsoft failed to include a HDMI port – omitted because Microsoft wanted to cut down the costs of the console in an effort to compete up against the PS3.

The new Xbox device, while allowing for extensive gaming capability, will be positioned as an entertainment hub that includes gaming and extensive wireless networking capability as well as 1080p playback. There is also talk of it including a dual HD TV tuner and EPG capability and a docking port for an MP3 player. For Toshiba, the device is critical if it is to be successful in beating Sony and the Blu-ray promoters.

Also being discussed is the development of an open standard docking port similar to the 17 pin iPod port. This would allow all manufacturers to use the same port for docking.  Read the rest of this entry »