Toshiba Slash HD-DVD Player Prices

In a shock move Toshiba have slashed the price of many of their HD-DVD players in the US, effective immediately. They labelled the move a "strategic action". The reduction sees its entry level player priced at just $399USD and the newly released HD-A20 model coming to market at $499 USD.

The move comes just a few days after Microsoft announced its Xbox 360 Elite would not have an in-built HD-DVD drive, and at a time where Blu-Ray discs are outselling HD-DVD nearly 3 to 1. Supporters of the HD-DVD format, including Warner, Paramount and Eagle Rock have welcomed the move.

"The spring is ramping up well for HD-DVD, with an incredible list of movies and the best priced hardware on the market," commented Ken Graffeo, executive VP of marketing at Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

News source: Gamesindustry.biz

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It shouldn't have built in hd-dvd, that just adds to the cost of the console and isn't needed, I buy a console to play games, not watch movies. IF you want to watch movies with it you then have the CHOICE to get the hd-dvd add-on or a stand alone player. I don't want a format forced down my throat because some big media company (sony) wants to push it's own format on the world.

The same people crying about the elite not having a HD-DVD drive built in are the same people crying at sony for putting in a blu-ray drive into the ps3....

I don't want a format forced down my throat because some big media company (sony) wants to push it's own format on the world.

Then why is Panasonic, Pioneer, Mitsubishi, Sharp, Samsung, Hitachi, LG, Philips, Yamaha, etc all "pushing" this format if it's just a "Sony" format?

Why is it ok for Toshiba & Microsoft to push a size and bandwidth limited format to confuse the marketplace?

Making the 360 Elite have a HD-DVD drive would mean that they would have pricing about the same as the most expensive PS3.

And yet it still wouldn't have built in wireless 802.11g, gigabit ethernet, SACD, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, or multi memory card reader.

Nor has it been established how much a HD DVD reader is. It very well may be much more expensive than that, and not something MS is willing to risk on an "unproven format" to quote their UK rep.

Microsoft is smart to not include either HD-DVD or BluRay in it's console. Whichever format ends up finally dominating the market can easily be offered as an external unit.

screw the format war, who gives the crap which format is better, they're both virtually the same! I think most people would like to know which HD experience is cheaper and that's the bottom line for consumers. PRICE.

To me it seems like a move of desperation by the HD-DVD group. No real surprise as they had to drop the prices of the players again with the PS3 out and the lack of decent new HD-DVD titles on the horizon. Even at this early stage it feels like a final effort.

Actually, that's one of the main disadvantages HD-DVD has right now (title selection). There is a much wider range of studio support with Blu-Ray, so obviously they'll have more titles available. If more studios would support the HD-DVD format then that'd be a plus for that format since the players are cheaper, the media is cheaper, the manufacturing costs are cheaper, which means a higher profit margin for the movie studios. But I guess they don't see it that way.

IceBreakerG said,
Actually, that's one of the main disadvantages HD-DVD has right now (title selection). There is a much wider range of studio support with Blu-Ray, so obviously they'll have more titles available. If more studios would support the HD-DVD format then that'd be a plus for that format since the players are cheaper, the media is cheaper, the manufacturing costs are cheaper, which means a higher profit margin for the movie studios. But I guess they don't see it that way.

Because with time manufacturing costs will become a non issue.

So the decision of the studios to back Blu-Ray, in the long term will be of greater benifit to consumers. It's a shame that it's proberly not the type of logic the studios based their decision on.

EDIT: I'm just glad Blu-Ray is doing well, and all the Sony haters were not sucessfull in the scare campaign.

When I hecked a catalogue listing HD-DVD and BD titles available, I found a total of 2 BD titles I want to own, maybe 2-3 I wouldn't mind having and a few more that, I'd take them if they gave them to me for free, or I had money to spare and cae by one cheap.

for HD-DVD, I found at least 5 titles I wanted to have, 8 or so I wouldn't mind having, and I don't quite remember how many for the last there, but is was equally much higher.

that's not icnluding titles I found available on both formats.

By the time large quantities of hi-def films are readily available these players will do blue ray and HD-DVD in one box and cost £50.

How do I know this you ask? Well, because history always repeats itself, and this is always the way of modern technology.

I'd have to agree with you. Add the time of people actually catching up and figuring out what the hell "HD" is and why they "need" it and by then you will see players that play both standards. This will probably happen before either format "wins."

I don't see either format packing up and leaving any time soon. Too much money is invested on both fronts. So what if Blu-Ray outsells HD-DVD 3 to 1. Even if it were 10 to 1 I bet HD-DVD would still stick around.

I wonder how much DVD sells are outselling HD-DVD + Blu-Ray sells. I bet it is in the 50+ to 1 ball park.

If Microsoft releases a blu-ray player for $199 as an addon to their XBox 360/PC then I can finally leave this debate :P. (I hope they do.)

hd dvd is crap, thats what it is. Less capacity is just the tip of the iceberg.
The sound of hd dvd no match for Blu-ray also the PQ of Blu-ray is way better.

That are some of the reasons that Panasonic, Sharp, Samsung, Philips, Sony and Pioneer and many other release only Blu-ray devices while no one except Toshiba (we know about their crap players already)...

DaveBG said,
hd dvd is crap, thats what it is. Less capacity is just the tip of the iceberg.
The sound of hd dvd no match for Blu-ray also the PQ of Blu-ray is way better.

That are some of the reasons that Panasonic, Sharp, Samsung, Philips, Sony and Pioneer and many other release only Blu-ray devices while no one except Toshiba (we know about their crap players already)...

You need to be better educated. HD-DVD is actually superior to Blueray INCLUDING capacity wise. The fact that the "base" capacity is lower means nothing as HD-DVD has been creating multi layer disks since day 1 - something Blue-ray still can not do.

However, at the moment, Blu-ray can only produce single-layer discs. So the total storage capacity on all Blu-ray discs that have been brought to market thus far is 25 GB. Meanwhile, from the outset HD-DVD has been delivering dual-layer discs that hold a total of 30 GB

http://www.projectorcentral.com/retailing_HD-DVD_Blu-ray.htm

This is a great move. It might seem like desperation but don't be fooled. Sony was ahead in every format war(mini discs never did well though) they've sparked and lost everytime. Bigger is not always better. HD-DVD is a far more consumer friendly format and with picture and sound quality the same the extra space Blu ray offers is only usefull for the many useless cut scenes they throw onto movies. Its really only good for storage and thats it. IMO The other studios WILL come around seeing as the bottom line is all that counts in business and begin to offer both formats and gradually faze out Blu ray when consumers make their choice.

Sony < every other format they opposed

IMO discs are a dinosaur anyways. I have most of my movies transfered onto a couple of external drives. Now I can take my library of movies where ever I go and with more and more downloadable content being offered legally why would you want to waste money on burners, players and discs??

Isn't the protective layer on a Blu-ray disc thinner than on a HD-DVD? The large capacities are great but I don’t feel comfortable storing my data on a disc that scratches easily.

Sony's rather strange advantage is that the PS3 is a BD player (basically letting them stealth a BD player into the homes of console gamers), whereas standalone BD players are twice or more the PS3's price tag. Whereas, until Toshiba's recent price reductions, the HD-A2 was $100 more than the PS3, but barely half the price of a standalone BD player. The price reduction actually brings the HD-A2 and PS3 into match with each other (which is apparently what the marketplace has demanded). However, why is this good news for either Sony (which makes the PS3 and is the lead manufacturer and supporter of the BD camp) or even BD as a format? With this being the case, it means one of two things: either Sony is losing serious amounts of yen on the PS3 (which Sony's board is not going to permit to happen for eternity) or *all* BD standalone players are horribly overpriced (which, compared to the PS3, is certainly the case). So which is it, BD supporters? Is Sony losing their shirts on BD, or engaged in a massive ripoff with high non-PS3-based BD player pricing? Even the *acknowledged* technical superiority of the Beta format (a Sony-developed and sponsored format) couldn't save it from the VHS onslaught (to the point that Sony is now one of the largest manufacturers of VHS-format VCRs).

Umm, everyone knows Sony's losing money with every PS3 sold.

How many BILLIONS did MS lose with the XBOX? Lose money on the consoles, make money on the games.


Funny you should mention Beta. There was only one maker of Beta decks.
How many companies make HD DVD players? With Blu-ray, right now you can get a player from Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, or a PS3. Seems to me Sony's on the right side this time.

There were other manufacturers of Beta decks other than Sony (however, the bigger-capacity manufacturers were all in the VHS camp, especially Matsu****a Electric, which is best known here in the US for the Panasonic and Technics brands); it was true, however, that Sony was the highest-capacity manufacturer of Beta VCRs. Where Sony got trumped, however, was price, not technology. I was not attempting to paint this as PS3 vs. other consoles (in terms of BD, the console side-battle is actually secondary, as neither X360 or Wii has technically taken a side either way), so why are you trying to drag either X360 *or* Wii into this, as neither has taken a side? Other than Samsung or Sony itself, no other BD manufacturer (including Pioneer) has much in the way of BD player capacity in the North American (especially the US) marketplace; while others (notably Matsu****a/Panasonic) *did* show new models at Winter CES, most of them are scheduled for mid-2007 or later launch. Toshiba leads the HD DVD camp, with assistance from Thomson (RCA); however we have not seen the entry of the Koreans, Taiwanese, or especially Philips (including Magnavox). At this point, it is still primarily Sony and Samsung vs. Toshiba and RCA (with the lone combideck from LG providing an interesting sideshow).

Your information is somewhat out of date.

Panasonic's BD player BDP-10 has been out since November. (Best Buy/Magnolia, etc)

Pioneer's BD player since December. (high end ELITE)

Philips'BD player since November. (available at several stores including Costco!)

RCA, a Toshiba A-1 rebadge, has exited the HD market entirely. (They are members of both camps via Thomson)

Sharp's BD player is built and ready to go.

Samsung's second gen BDP-1200 is now in stores.

The player Panasonic showed at CES was their second model.

Drag in the XBOX 360 because other than Toshiba, it's Microsoft bankrolling the HD DVD marketing effort. Toshiba builds the XBOX 360 HD DVD add-on.

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