Venturer's anticipated cut-price HD DVD player will, for a brief period, come effectively half price, the manufacturer announced today. No, it's not a philanthropic gesture on the part of Venturer, and you'll still have to pay up front for the SHD7001 - it's still refusing to say how much it will charge - but until 31 January …
Sure... QVC Shopping channel. It will come cheap, but you'll have to buy 5 of them.
Can't show the stick yet
They have to wait until there's no alternative (no DVD players, limited DVD availability) and you've invested money in what you have. If they show you the stick before then, you'll not get into the trap.
A maths pedant speaks
The only way this is going to be "effectively" half price is if the player sells for £100. If it sells for £200 and they give away £100 worth of disks, that makes it effectively 2/3 price (£300 worth of stuff for £200).
I'll get my coat...
Desperate times call for
desperate measures. Looks like they think Blu-Ray is winning.
Looks like it might be down to who's got the deepest pockets.
I'd pay more...
...NOT to have Troy and Hulk foisted upon me.
I'm not taking sides on this - but I expect all the manufacturers of HD-DVD or BD want machines available under £200, as this is seen in the electronics industry as the 'magic number' where mass market adoption of a format is possible.
As far as giving away films is concerned - the Blu-Ray camp are doing this in the states already and I bet similar offers will be forthcoming in the UK too.
I don't care who wins, I just want one format and, more importantly, the cost of the films themselves to come down!
7 free disks
You get 7 free disks with the Toshiba HD-EP30 for £199 at play.com so you would expect the ventura to come in at a lot less than that if it is to be a 'Budget' player.
So I have to buy it from QVC, have to fork out ten times more than a DVD player, have to have a compatible expensive new TV and (worst of all) have to include Hulk and Troy in my disk collection.
That seems like plenty of stick to me, where's the carrot? 'Higher quality' my arse - the number of people willing to watch downloaded/streamed movies proves that people don't want high def content, they want high quality content (ie. well written, well acted, not high budget).
press release prediction
How long before the inevitable "HD-DVD disc ownership increases by 250%" press release comes out
More HD-DVD giveaways
If you buy the HD-DVD add on for the 360 you can also claim 5 free HD-DVD's - is anyone actually buying them?
Leave QVC alone - they do offer a 30 day money back guarantee on all items sold bar postage and also includes software. Occasionally they offer interest free payments up to 4 months too. A little known fact that if it goes faulty within 6 months they will replace it or refund the cost. Even Customer services is pretty good and you don't even pay for the phone call. Whether you want the product is solely up to you after all but a lot of its products are certainly not "tat" these days. You can find that on Ideal World/Price drop TV quite regularly.
What's that sound?
Fiddling? Fiddling while Rome burns?
Ahem....I mean, wonder how much money Toshiba is prepared to throw at HD-DVD. People have jumped up and down on Sony over how much they spent on PS3 and Blu-Ray. In the interests of fairness perhaps we could do similar for Toshiba? Oh, and it might be nice to accuse them of trying to force technology on us too since they clearly wish to use their cash pile to push HD-DVD down our throats...
Must go now, the sound of fiddling is making it hard for me to concentrate on the smoke and flames.
HD requires a good TV
In some ways HD TVs were sold before HD DVD and Bluray were developed.
So you have few HD TVs that can play HD DVD and Bluray at the native frame rate. Any long smooth panning shots will pause briefly every second as there will be a frame rate mismatch.
The annoying thing is nobody is mentioning this in adverts for high definition TVs or players.
Look for 24FPS mode or 24Khz mode. Anything else will do your nut in unless you only use your TV for HD Sky.
erm, perhaps i'd find the latest high-def format more useful (and relevant) if:
 there was not yet another VHS/Betamax pissing match,
 the hardware offered truly compelling and flexible new functionality,
 it wasn't packed full of DRM (from the two parties known for graceless DRM hack-jobs, Sony and MS),
 it was priced reasonably,
 it was backwards-compatible, and
 it was not yet another half-baked solution looking for a problem, in a long series of planned-obsolescence upgrades, extending to infinity, serving no purpose other than to extract money from fools
it is ironic that Maxell announced holographic storage disks back in 2005, and the technology is now in production. the format is currently sold only to the professional media market. the disks start at 300GB, and are expected to reach 1.5TB in a few years.
the next standard is already out, but you can't hear it over the marketing noise. see here:
apart from that, the most compelling argument AGAINST hi-def is the content. most movies (i'd say 98%+) released over the last 10-20 years, don't even qualify as "renter". why the hell would i want to watch that crap in higher definition?
like spending hours, inspecting a turd with a magnifying glass: this is not anything i need to see in more detail, let alone waste between 1 and 4 hours of my life looking at in the first place.
high-def formats do nothing to address this problem. most of the content my wife and i watch, is perfectly viewable on a Mac laptop (which is exactly how it is actually viewed), and is available online, legally.
Forget the format, what's wrong with the content?
Is it just me or is 98% of the content available for both HD-DVD and BD complete crap (yes, even more so than most of Hollywood)? I was tempted by one of those "buy a player/get 5 discs" offers until I looked at the choice of movies and couldn't find one I'd want to watch once, let alone own. Last night I saw an ad on TV for "Underdog", for crying out loud: a movie that nobody wanted to see when it came out and its hard to imagine anybody wanting to own for the pleasure of repeated viewing...
The winning camp will be the first one to realize that the audience it should be pandering to is people who (a) have killer home theater surround sound/big screen set-ups and (b) hate going to the movies to be surrounded by noisy teenagers. In other words, Baby Boomers with lots of disposable income whose kids have left home. Focus on the movies they loved growing up like Rocky, ET, Star Wars, Taxi Driver, classic Bond, etc. rather than recent "Failed In Theaters, Make It Back In Homes" crud like Hulk, Troy, TMNT, and you've got a chance...
Maths Pedant 2
Xbox 360 HD DVD addon £100, £100 worth of Disks, now THAT's effectively half price....
Oh unless you have to count the cost of the 360.... Bugger hoisted, own petard... arse
Good Deal Imo
Considering the format war, I just went with the cheapest and most flexible solution I could find.
I purchased the XBOX360 Premium from them, returned the accessory pack in exchange for the HD-DVD drive and 5 HD-DVD's (I did not like the 2 games offered and I rarely need 2 controllers)
I also purchased Mass Effect.
so, £300 got me an XBox360 Premium with HDMI @ 1080p to go with my nice new shiny 50" HD Plasma, HD-DVD drive and 5 HD-DVD's, seems terribly resonable to me
Cheap HD-DVD players set to flood the market soon.... well, when exactly?!
Has anyone noticed the arrival of these cheap players is starting to smack of the never never? The end of summer the HD-DVD consortium assured us sub £200 players will arrive en mass shortly. Then Autumn came and it changed to "flood the market in time for Christmas". Now Christmas has come (the key buying time is virtually over for stuff like this as well), and the first hint of the flood is January 2008, is one player and sold at one mail order shop. Wow, some flood. And as pointed out too, it's likely to be complete tat as well, which all but the most ill informed consumer will notice.
The HD-DVD consortium continually questions the validity of the PS3 as a Blu-ray player base, but I thought it was just rhetoric. After all, a Blu-ray player, is a Blu-ray player no matter what it is shoved into and they must know that. I guess not if they expect to win consumers over with a "flood" that has taken six months to even materialise and amounts to one bargain bin player. I was really looking forward to the arrival of these players. Not now I'm not if this is what we can expect.
@good deal.. etc
not trying to be picky here and am prepared to be corrected but xbox 360 PREMIUM? don't you need to buy and ELITE to get HDMI connectability?
component seems an awful drop down with a 50"plasma imho..
as for venturer.. wow!!! love to have that piece of quality brand gracing the living room. £29.99 seems like a fair price(dvd player for 9.97 or free with a bag of frozen peas) but only if I can hawk the five free disks on eBay at a tenner each..
never used QVC(likely never will), am thinking 'sheepdog' may have some sort of vested interest in the channel as he 'doth protest too much'!
final point is content..most of the movies I have watched on blu-ray have been ok but not earth shatteringly better than dvd. i am finding myself renting them but mainly using dvdrips(my own btw) and streaming(TVersity) them from the pc thru ethernet because:
a. its damn more convenient to have 300+ rips on a hard drive
b. don't have to get off my ass to change the movie for the next one
c. works and the kids can't scratch it!
you can throw as many crap free disks into a deal as you want, only the dumb looking for a cheap xmas pressie or offloading their january sale money will go for these. have to admit though will watch with interest to see what price they are sold at..