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back to article Woolworths stores to stop selling HD DVD

Woolworths has thrown its high street heft behind the Blu-ray Disc format. From March, it will no longer sell HD DVDs in its shops. The change will coincide with the release of Pixar's Ratatouille, but while Woolies's shops will go Blu-ray only, the company will continue to sell HD DVDs online. This move is the a result of a …

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Coat

Woolies Dead Anyway?

Is that the same Woolworths that seems to be closing stores hand over fist because they didn't stock anything apart from top 10 CD's and Games, and has been driven out of business by Tesco/Asda et. al. who still happily sell both formats, although I've noticed that even Tesco's HD-DVD section is getting smaller by the day :(

Still won't force me to buy a PS3 - even though it's the only currently sold Blu-Ray player that will eventually support Blu-Ray 2.0.

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Anonymous Coward

Dreamworks no longer carried in Woolies?

So Dreamworks & Paramount HD titles will no longer be sold in Woollies? I wonder what Brad Grey has to say now?

Remember:

"Part of our vision is to aggressively extend our movies beyond the theater, and deliver the quality and features that appeal to our audience," said Brad Grey, chairman and chief executive of Paramount Pictures. "I believe HD DVD is not only the affordable high quality choice for consumers, but also the smart choice for Paramount.""

The smart choice for Paramount?

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Dead Vulture

based on facts....

Woolies have made the right decision. Based on actual sales figures, Woolies have proved what many have believed - HD DVD is dead in the water. Hopefully this will get the ball rolling and begin the final deathly thrashings of the HD-DVD format.

For the record, I am not a Sony fanboy, i just think that a format should really win out sooner rather than later so that it can be developed further and continue along the march of technological advancement. Blue-ray seems to be the healthier of the formats for many reasons.

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The fat lady sings..

OK not quite but if this is how one retailer feels the others must be asking questions about stocking of HD-DVD.

The Warner Blu-Ray announcement may not signal the end but it looks like it could be the beginning of the end of HD-DVD.

I can't see Toshiba throwing in the towel just yet but it's difficult to see how they can fight back from here.

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Coat

failed we have

won the dark side has

small brown coat and walking stick

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Coat

".....it's difficult to see how they can fight back from here."

I think Hannibal said something like that after Canae.

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Bend over

This must be the first format that was rammed down our throats. Consumers didn't pick the one they wanted... it was trojaned (not a word) into PS3, shady deals done and now we are stuck with the most expensive and DRMed format a couple of year before we actually need anything like this for the general consumer. Great!

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Anonymous Coward

Counting down the days...

I'm sure one could almost put a number on how many days till HD-DVD is gone forever. HD-DVD is the new DVD-RAM. To the person who thinks Sony PS3 will be only BluRay 2.0 supporting machine there's already 3 machines on the market which will support being fully updated to it, and the specification is still quite new, so yeah no PS3 required.

Woolies move becomes yet another in the growing number of large retailers either dropping HD-DVD or phasing it out.

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XBOX

So does the PS3 outsell the X360 by that much in the UK?

Some ways out for Toshiba;

Slash the price of drives and encourage PC game authors and the porn industry to use the format. Hollywood isn't the only game in town.

Slashing the price of drives may hurt in the short-term, but shifting more units and increasing popularity will recoup R&D costs eventually. Either that, or lose the lot.

Added to which, lowering the price of drives, would enable Microsoft to lower the cost of the X360, further increasing take-up of the format.

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Strange

Never seen Blu-Ray discs on the shelves in my local Woolies, let alone HD-DVD discs.

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Woollies stocked HD formats?

When did that start, then? I've not seen any in our local one. Mind you, my local Tesco and Sainsburys don't do HD discs, either.

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Woolies is pointless

So Woolies are saying that Blu-ray outsold HD-DVD 10 to 1! Jez I wonder if that had anything to do with the fact you couldn't FIND HD-DVD disks?

I live near a very large Woolworths and when I went looking for HD-DVD disks either

a) they were not stocked

b) they were hidden behind a stack of DVD versions of the film or

c) they were behind the blu-ray version which were displayed prominently

Speaking with a member of the "entertainment" section they told me that they were told on their stock layout sheets to display Blu-ray separately but they had to find "somewhere" for HD-DVD.

I was looking at the Samsung BD-5000 but I think I will wait for the new 5500 version which will include Profile 2.0!

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Sad day for the consumer.....

Yes, the evil of Blue ray has won. And its a sad sad day. Whaterver happened to treating the consumer with respect? Not Sony; hell no. They bring out hughly expensive hardware, then just as its starting to pick up, they change the spec and make everything they've sold so far (aside from the PS3) obsolite.

And whoes to say they won't screw with the public in the future? So if you want a Blue Ray player, you HAVE to buy a PS3 other wise it could be killed off within a year!

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Anonymous Coward

play.com

Who cares what Woolworths do they are so out loop it silly.

It bigger news if play.com stop stocking new HD-DVD and my personal guess is 2 months!

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re: XBOX

The Xbox 360 doesn't have a HD-DVD drive built in, so the number of Xboxes in the UK isn't really an issue.

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Anonymous Coward

Woolies more important than you think

Woolworths may be closing high street stores but they are more important in this market than you might think.

The jointly own the 2entertain DVD label and act as distributors to a lot of their obvious rivals.

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Re:Strange

I been in to the two nearest me and one has Blueray/ HDDVD and the other does not which is strange as there are only a few miles apart, theough i do notice that the HD-DVD section in other big shops is shrinking and Blue-ray section are larger by nearly half.

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Alert

You spin me right round baby......

Hows this for some good old labour spin. :)

"While we’re disappointed by Woolworths’ decision, it is extremely early to spot which format will eventually win. We’re confident that HD DVD’s affordability, fantastic choice of movies, great consumer experience and upcoming promotions will help it continue to strengthen its share of the market.”

Extremely early!!!!

It's bloody well over.

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Waa! Wah! WWaaaaahhhhhh!

What's that sound? Oh, is it the sound of some kids who bought HD-DVD players throwing the toys out of their prams in frustration?

What's wrong kids, did ya buy a 360 HD-DVD add-on drive?

Good grief, so many teeth gnashing over what exactly?

@b166er

In a word - yes, it does. In PAL territories PS3 outsells Xbox360 by a comfortable margin. Xbox360 fans take note of this one thing, the 360 sells strongly in one market, and one market only - the USA.

Toshiba already slashed prices and is already taking a very deep and cold bath over HD-DVD. Slashing prices further simply deepens the bath and adds some extra chill to their bath water.

@Dirk Vander...

Excuse me? Sour grapes? Blu-Ray is no more being rammed down our throats than CD or DVD, or for that matter HD-DVD considering how deeply Toshiba (the sole hardware manufacturer of HD-DVD BTW) is discounting the price of units that still cost several hundred to make.

Lowering the price of HD-DVD drives has zero impact on 360 pricing, the 360 doesn't include an HD-DVD drive so slashing the cost of an HD-DVD drive has no impact.

Not to mention the irony of your statements, should Toshiba successfully slash prices to the point where they effectively buy the market wouldn't that mean that HD-DVD had forced consumers in their direction, thus forcing HD-DVD down our gagging throats even more harshly than the technically superior Blu-Ray?

As for shady deals, let's not forget that the only reason Paramount et al are exclusive to HD-DVD is $150 million sweeteners thrown their way by Microsoft, shall we? Did ya forget that little nugget?

@TeeCee

Hannibal knew how to get Elephants to move over mountains. Toshiba doesn't yet know how to move mountains of unsold HD-DVDs, even with the aid of large sort of Scottish sounding Ogres.

@Michael

M'Lord Darth Toshiba, our agents report a tremor in the force. the Jedi master Son YPS 3 has joined forces with many Ret Ailer and the peoples of San Yo, and Pan Aso Nic have also joined their alliance. My master, their alliance stretches across the entire CE spectrum. We are doomed.

In our moment of Triumph? I think you over estimate their chances. Leave them to me, I'll deal with them myself.

Yes lord.

...

So, Son YPS 3 we face each other at last!

Face each other we do. One remaining chance you have, Lord Toshiba. Blu within you there remains. Felt it I have. Embrace it you must.

NOOOOOooooooooooo!

---

Sorry, resist it I could not. Toshiba doomed they are. Firesale pricing, help them will not.

@Mark W

Yep, Woolies must be dead, they only have 820 retail outlets and online sales. Sure sounds dead to me.

Ah well, another day, another cadre of HD-DVD folks exposed.

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@ Adam Tagget

This isnt just one retailer. Blockbuster have made a similar announcement not too long ago.

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@b166er

The Xbox 360 has an old-school DVD drive; the HD-DVD drive is available as an £115 optional extra. Bearing in mind you can pick up a standalone HD-DVD player for not much more than that, I imagine the Xbox 360 has had almost no effect on the popularity of HD-DVD as a format.

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Anonymous Coward

Stock Layout...

I think the comment about stock layout just goes to emphasise the point.

Woolies want to shift inventory and I'd imagine have no bias for one format over the other. If Blu-ray is where the sales are, that's what Woolies will display prominently.

Business is business after all...

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Coat

About as important as...

...saying that Ben & J-Lo's movie Gigli will only be released on Blu-Ray. How much impact does this really have?

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Flame

"Well, Hello Mr HD-DVD... going.. Down?"

Anyone want to buy a slightly used door stop known as a HD-DVD drive for the XBOX?

Nice try Tosh, but no dice.

And will people PLEASE stop yakking about DRM... HD-DVD was going to go DRM anyway in the future - it was in the damn profile sheets. "Drm this.. DRM that.." oh, like it's going to make any bloomin' differnence. Bloomin' band wagoners...

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HMV Bluewater

Was in there on Saturday 2.5 rows Blu-Ray and .5 HD-DVD

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Woolworth's?

The 5 and 10? You mean they still exist? I haven't seen one in 20 years or so, since about the time that nickels and dimes became worthless.

I really don't think it will make a difference over on this side of pond until WalMart makes a choice. If they decide to only carry HD-DVD then BluRay is doomed, even at this late date.

I really think either format has a very small window of viability. VOD and streaming downloads are going to replace physical media in the next 5-10 years. It won't be long before you will be able to carry your entire media collection around with you on a chip no bigger than a grain of rice.

-Chris

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Gates Horns

Xbox 360 Smartness

Suddenly Microsoft's decision to support HD-DVD with an add-on drive seems remarkably prescient - after all, it would be easy to start selling a Blu Ray add-on instead.

As much as I dislike Microsoft, the buggers can be annoyingly smart sometimes.

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Gates Horns

Re: Xbox 360 Smartness

Or it could have been a self-fulfilling prophecy. If the PS3's built-in blu-ray support really did help win the format war, then it's Microsoft's failure.

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Good one

Do Toshiba even know who they are? Probably confusing them with a chain that actually matters.

Seems to me that HD-DVD has suffered from death-by-press, a fate similar to that endured by your average Premiership football manager.

Personally I didn't care which format won. I have the means to play Blu-ray via my PS3 and could have bought the same for my XBox 360 for about $100.

What I don't appreciate is there seems to be a desire to make that decision for the consumer, by people that appear to want to see the PS3 succeed.

And while I appreciate the distrust and dislike of Microsoft, it seems somewhat contradictory to then laud or promote Sony. They're not exactly the little guy with rock solid customer service.

Oh I'm not suggesting there was some sort of conspiracy, more that for some reason the tech press fell in love with Blu-ray and the PS3 and felt some sort of weird obligation to both.

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Anonymous Coward

A translation from publicity spin

fantastic choice of movies:

Whatever crap we can port from DVD before universal and paramount jump ship while we fail to mention that any current HD-DVD exclusives will shortly be available on blu-ray once they abandon us

great consumer experience:

The experience of blowing a couple of hundred on a player that is already obsolete and realising in 12 months you should have bought blu-ray as you can't get hold of any new releases

upcoming promotions:

a massive fire sale to try and recoup some of the massive losses we see coming because of building too many players that people don't want. Expect lots of cheap players appearing on Ebay as early adopters try and palm them off on unsuspecting punters

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J
IT Angle

Out in the real wordl...

...I suspect something like this is happening, somewhere:

Joe Consumer, who does not read El Reg or the like, buys one of these funky "HDTV" thingies -- which they use to watch regular cable or satellite anyway. Nonetheless, the DVDs do look pretty good there, and the family goes to Blockbuster to rent some movies.

Joe to BB employee: "Hey, what does that big banner about hi-def Blu-whatever means?"

BBE: "It means you can rent HD movies right here, blah blah sales talk."

JC (eyes glaze for a moment, then come back): "Oh, cool, I just got an HDTV. Can I rent one of those?"

BBE: "Do you have a BD player already?"

And Joe eventually goes and buys a BD player, because that's what he knows he can rent in his neighborhood's BB. He buys it now if he's rich. Later if he'd rather wait for prices to be reasonable (4x more than HD-DVD player, I saw it last weekend in Circuit City, I think).

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Don't underestimate the power of Woolies!

Many a nasty rain-sodden, Brit seaside holiday has been saved by finding the local Woolies. Where else can you buy a 500g bar of Dairy Milk, a re-release DVD of Firefox staring Clint Eastwood, slightly soiled copy of Marillion's Misplaced Childhood album and still have change for a bus back to the caravan park?!

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Anonymous Coward

@ Highlander

"In a word - yes, it does. In PAL territories PS3 outsells Xbox360 by a comfortable margin. Xbox360 fans take note of this one thing, the 360 sells strongly in one market, and one market only - the USA."

That's funny, the facts would seem to disagree with you, the PS3 is a very clear last place in all regions except Japan (the smallest and most irrelevant region by far) still. Whilst the PS3 is currently gaining in Europe it's at a rate so slow it's negligible, it's average at about 10k more units a week than the 360, but when the 360 has a 2million to 3million unit lead that means the PS3 will take around 200 weeks, or just short of 4 years to catch up with the 360 by which point the next iteration of the XBox will almost certainly already be on the shelves. There's really next to no chance of the PS3 ever catching up with the 360 now in Europe and absolutely no chance in the US and hence the complete global market, it's pretty much a write off last place.

"Toshiba already slashed prices and is already taking a very deep and cold bath over HD-DVD. Slashing prices further simply deepens the bath and adds some extra chill to their bath water."

It also increases market share, whilst I don't think HD-DVD has any chance of a come back the fact Toshiba's £119.99 HD-DVD player has topped Amazon UK and US' HD player sales chart for 2 weeks solid now despite the Warner announcement means they're going to be sitting pretty damn happy that they've got a nice fat profit either way.

"Excuse me? Sour grapes? Blu-Ray is no more being rammed down our throats than CD or DVD, or for that matter HD-DVD considering how deeply Toshiba (the sole hardware manufacturer of HD-DVD BTW) is discounting the price of units that still cost several hundred to make."

Well, that depends if you see studios choosing the format with stronger DRM and region locking because it's better for their business. I'd argue that as it's been decided by the movie industry choosing profit over consumer interests that yes it most certainly has been rammed down our throats. It's pretty clear that HD-DVD was ahead in consumer opinion by quite a long shot when all things were equal, that's pretty undisputable and hence it's also rather hard to argue that Bluray hasn't been forced upon us.

"Hannibal knew how to get Elephants to move over mountains. Toshiba doesn't yet know how to move mountains of unsold HD-DVDs, even with the aid of large sort of Scottish sounding Ogres."

Except they are moving mountains of them, perhaps it'll have no effect in the long run because it's lost the content war, but again see above, they're quite happily shifting units.

"Sorry, resist it I could not. Toshiba doomed they are. Firesale pricing, help them will not."

It depends what you mean by "doomed". Currently your apparently beloved Sony is in a rather dire financial situation. Microsoft and Nintendo are healthily in the black (as is Toshiba) whereas Sony has a rather large multi-billion $ debt.

At the end of the day the fact is you can get an HD-DVD player for £119.99 with 7 HD-DVDs right now, and regardless of whether it wins or loses the format war Toshiba is selling a high def machine with 7 discs of high def content for the price of 7 of the cheapest Bluray discs WITHOUT the player. The fact is Toshiba is letting people access and play high def content for roughly around £250 less than the Bluray camp now, even if HD-DVD never had another movie released for it ever it's still a damn good deal and at that low an entry point most people will be willing to see it as something they don't mind if it's useless within a year or so. Especially as at the end of the day it's also a top notch upscaling DVD player when the HD-DVDs stop coming out which is enough for many people's high def needs until Bluray players come down.

The point to take away is this, that yes it seems certain HD-DVD has lost the format war but at the same time Toshiba has had quite a success, a success that's been overshadowed by it's long term loss certainly, but the long term loss is irrelevant when they can at least profit as well as other Bluray companies when they phase out HD-DVD and make the switch whilst at the same time make nice healthy profits from their current HD-DVD business. You can gloat that HD-DVD has lost the format war, but it's both foolish and ignorant to suggest this is somehow bad for Toshiba, is it ideal for them? absolutely not, but they've still come out good from it and made some nice profits - more so than say, the likes of Sony who are still making a noticeable loss on their console/BD player and will continue to make a loss for a good few months if not a year or so yet.

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Anonymous Coward

Whats all the fuss about?

I really don't understand all the very 'anti <insert format here>, my format is best, HA HA!' comments here.

To those that bought HD-DVD - what is the problem? Will your disks suddenly stop working now that Sony have won? No, didn't think so.

If you have a HDTV, a HD-DVD player and a collection of HD-DVDs, your clearly not short of a penny or two, so buying a BluRay player when the HD-DVD supply dries up won't really be an issue, especially considering the players will likely drop to the £100-150 mark within the year. It's also very likely that you will be able to get movies on HD-DVD at DVD prices soon when the retailers try and offload all their old HD-DVD stock. If your worried about the players breaking - chances are the players will be cheap should you want to keep a spare, and I understand you could buy Betamax players well into the 90s if you looked hard enough, so not to worry there.

As for the Blu Ray camp - congratulations, you chose heads and won - why all the 'I was right, you were wrong' insults? It does make you look a little silly. We're talking about a machine that plays films back - hardly the most important issue facing the world today.

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HD-DVD Goodbye and Good Riddance

HD-DVD was an inferior standard. To be honest I never had any interest in movies, rather I'm interested in data storage as a format to retire my venerable DVD-RAM disks. Thankfully I backed the right horse and my Blu-Ray burner will live a long and fruitful life.

This time Beta-Max beat VHS!

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Anon Coward

Very good, Mr Anonymous Coward. You managed to almost address every point. Almost. Of course you did rather redefine the terms of discussion each time before bothering to attempt an answer. For example;

I said "In PAL territories PS3 outsells Xbox360 by a comfortable margin. Xbox360 fans take note of this one thing, the 360 sells strongly in one market, and one market only - the USA."

Alright so is PS3 outselling 360 by 3 to 1 in PAL territories? Yes. That would mean that at the moment the 360 is selling less strongly than both the Wii and the PS3 in Europe? Yeppers.

Is the 360 selling strongly, by any definition, in Japan? No.

Ok then, so right now it would seem that the Xbox is selling well where exactly? Ah, the USA. Yep, just as I said. So what's that you said again?

"That's funny, the facts would seem to disagree with you,"

Oh really? So you're saying that the Xbox360 isn't being outsold 3 to 1 by PS3 in Europe then?

"the PS3 is a very clear last place in all regions except Japan (the smallest and most irrelevant region by far) still."

Oh? Is that in terms of the number selling right now or installed base?

"Whilst the PS3 is currently gaining in Europe it's at a rate so slow it's negligible,"

Except in German and France of course where PS3 has already overtaken the 360...

"it's average at about 10k more units a week than the 360, but when the 360 has a 2million to 3million unit lead that means the PS3 will take around 200 weeks, or just short of 4 years to catch up with the 360 by which point the next iteration of the XBox will almost certainly already be on the shelves."

So, your argument is that installed base counts more than sales? By that definition the PS2 is annihilating the 360, it has an installation base that Xbox can only dream of, and is still selling quite well.

"There's really next to no chance of the PS3 ever catching up with the 360 now in Europe"

Wanna bet? I'll lay odds on PS3 eclipsing Xbox360 in all territories other than the US within a calendar year of today.

" and absolutely no chance in the US and hence the complete global market,"

Except of course it's selling faster than the 360 did, and this year in terms of Global sales the PS3 actually outsold the 360 globally (during calendar year 2007)" With the Blu-Ray boost currently happening, that's a bold, if foolish statement to make.

One last point, Toshiba is selling far fewer HD-DVD players than Sony is selling PS3s. By your own argument you believe that PS3 is insignificant, so what does that make the HD-DVD player? Sorry, you put together a nice long post, but ultimately said nothing.

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Coat

@Anon Coward - Sony Losses = billions

Cough.. ahem.. cough..

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2007/oct/25/technology.news

cough.. Hack-cough!

Phew, glad that's over with :o)

in case you can't be bothered: Sony lost 20 billion Yen in 2006, but that was wiped out by the 90 billion Yeb they profit made in 2007... Cough...

2006 results = 1.68 billion Yen

2007 results = 73.72 billion Yen

So that's with the cost of the PS3s and the famous battery recall.. Still very comfortable.

*Spit*

PING!!

Get facts right before posting.

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Silver badge

Clarity at last

I think everyone knows HD DVD is dead aside from a few deluded supporters and Toshiba. I suspect even Toshiba knows it too and is just considering its options.

Anyway, the sooner the format shuffles off this mortal coil the better for everyone. We're seeing an ever growing number of US retailers put the format into clearance and it never stood much of a chance in Europe.

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Anonymous Coward

Reality check for Highlander

Uh, may I suggest you check:

http://www.vgchartz.com/

The AC was almost right, the PS3 has a 20k lead at the moment but this is down from last week and it was only a couple of months ago the 360 still had a lead in Europe so it's going to be at bare minimum 2 years before the PS3 can catch up with the 360 at current trends if at all. The PS3 has some unit shifters due such as Final Fantasy but then the 360 still has things like Gears of War 2, Fable 2 etc. due over the next couple of years so things are likely to remain equal there.

By the time the PS3 has caught up with the 360 in Europe the 360 will be 5 years old so that does seem a reasonable time frame for a new console to be not far off from MS.

For reference current figures show the PS3 is selling about 1.45 to 1 in Europe right now, I'd love to know how you manage to translate that into 3 to 1, that's some quite impressive fanboy math you've managed right there.

You also stated:

"One last point, Toshiba is selling far fewer HD-DVD players than Sony is selling PS3s. By your own argument you believe that PS3 is insignificant, so what does that make the HD-DVD player?"

Again you missed the point, the PS3 is selling at a loss still, the HD-DVD players have been selling at profit since day one. It doesn't matter how big a flop the HD-DVD player is for Toshiba overall because at the end of the day it's still netted them vastly more profit than the PS3 has for Sony until this point because the PS3 upto now simply hasn't netted them any profit and it's possible it wont for as much as another year.

Is it really so hard to understand that the only company that's suffering right now is Sony, the PS3's future doesn't look any more promising than that of the Gamecube or classic XBox and they're the only company not turning a profit right now. Nintendo is sitting pretty, Microsoft has always made a profit overall and their games division is making good ground month on month, Toshiba is making decent profit from HD-DVD even though it looks set to fail long term, Sony however is still making a loss on the PS3 and already has a hefty company debt.

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What's in a Name?

I wonder if the naming of the technologies has had any impact on the apparent demise of HD-DVD. "Blu-ray" leaps out at the great unwashed as something they've maybe never heard of before and sounds a bit space-age, so they read the small print or ask the salesman what it is; whereas "HD-DVD" sounds more like a generic term and is unlikely to inspire the same interest, as everyone knows what DVDs are and these days everything in Comet, Currys, PC World etc has got a "HD" prefix - I see I can now even buy "HD printers".

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"it is extremely early to spot which format will eventually win" - WTF!!

I think it's a fore-gone conclusion that Blu-Ray will triumph, as reported on this very website, more and more people are moving over to Blu-Ray or drooping it completely from their sales line-up. Toshiba are being overly optimistic on this one!!

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Coat

History Repeating Itself......

Who remembers the days of VHS and Betamax? Everyones know whta happened there.

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Another nail in the coffin

I have been wondering with what format to go with. only the other day in tesco's they had a tosh HDDVD palyer with two titles for £175 very tempting.. however with the recent press it was all to obvious that its not the format to back.

Toshiba and others should accept the defeat and back out now and make things easier for the consumer.. instead though they will keep pushing which will result in many with equipment that they have no use for...

Not that they are left with much choice its no easy decision. im sure they are well aware that they have lost but need to do what they can to pull back some money to cover research and development costs..

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Unhappy

They've missed the boat already

I think if Toshiba and whoever else really wanted to get HD-DVD out there they should have done a deal with Microsoft at the start to ship the Xbox 360 with an HD-DVD player, or at least got them to include it in one of the later models like the Elite. I don't know anyone who would pay 120 quid for an add-on player for the 360, but if it was built into the console from the start it would have been a no-brainer.

Seems like a missed opportunity to me.

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Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

Another way of looking at this is that HD-DVD is the way to go, because if the speculation does prove correct and Blu-ray wins the war, there's going to be some very cheap HD-DVD movies in the bargain bins.

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HD-DVD players sold at a profit?

What planet to these Anonymous Cowards post from? The planet Zurk?

HD-DVD players cost almost exactly the same as a Blu-Ray player to make. the drive mechanisms and lasers are near identical, the audio/video decoders and other assorted processors and interfaces are near identical. Blu-Ray players sell for $300 specifically because the makers of them, Pioneer, Sanyo, Panasonic, Samsun, LG, Sony, etc... don't want to lose money on the things.

Toshiba on the other hand is cutting the price of their HD-DVD players in order to attempt to drive the market their way. The A2 player is a case in point. It cost $400 to make when launched, and yet was sold at or below cost at launch. The recent fire sale pricing of the A2 down to $99 represented a loss of $300 on every single unit . Even if Toshiba had managed to shave $100 off the cost of producing the A2, it still cost them $200 a unit to shove the out the door at $99.

The A3 costs a bit less than the A2 to make, and yet it's still selling below the cost of manufacture. Sorry, but there is simply no way for anyone to come in and say otherwise. Any who do are deluding themselves.

Toshiba makes zero profit on HD-DVD. Cutting the prices even further simply makes their loss per player even bigger.

Let me ask all those proponents of the HD-DVD a simple question. If it's so damn profitable to make and sell an HD-DVD player, why is it that no one but Toshiba makes one? I mean, surely there's an opportunity there for considerable profit, according to your logic.

Let's flip that around, if Blu-Ray is such a loss maker, why are there so many CE and content companies making players and discs for it? Sony isn't dolling out checks to pay peoples costs you know. That's a trick best left to Microsoft and Toshiba with their marketing incentives.

Guys, you're posting anonymously, not sure why, but I get the feeling that you're astro-turfing for Microsoft or Toshiba. Stop, pack up your gear and bugger off.

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Ah, the optimism of the web/tech utopian!

"VOD and streaming downloads are going to replace physical media in the next 5-10 years."

In what fantastic parallel universe would that be, then? The one where everyone has access to cheap, fast, reliable, UNCAPPED broadband?

Or maybe you just forgot that a decent chunk of the couch-potato market has no broadband, maybe even no internet or computer at all, no intention of ever getting such things, and could care less about streaming downloading wotsits as long as they have the beers in and the football is on. Most of the rest have internet, which they think is only for email, websites and getting infected with the virus-du-jour, and is relegated to the corner of the back bedroom under a pile of unfolded laundry. Assuming they even have broadband they'd break their "unlimited" monthly download cap about 10 minutes into the first movie they tried to watch online anyway.

"It won't be long before you will be able to carry your entire media collection around with you on a chip no bigger than a grain of rice."

I know storage tech has come on in leaps and bounds, but that's about as likely to happen as me being able to listen to that media collection in my flying car on the way to work at the human cloning factory.

Besides, may I offer this insight into the future, as played out in our home: "Honey, the dog ate all of our movies and music! I *told* you not to leave them sitting on the arm of the couch!"

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The real kicker

I bought HD-DVD because I knew it would fail! My Xbox360 HDDVD drive cost $149. It came with a free HD-DVD and a rebate for 5 more. Six "decent' discs... so my net cost is $0! Here in Canada HD-DVD and BluRay get equal shelf space and promotion in FutureShop and Best Buy... but I'm now just waiting for reality to set in. I'm looking forward to the HD-DVD clearance sales in summer where I'll be able to pick up and enjoy HD-DVDs and HD-DVD Combo discs with superior features and interactivity for a very low cost.

But here is the real kicker... whether you have BluRay or HD-DVD it doesn't matter because it actually isn't that much better than DVD (compared to HD-TV which is much better than regular TV).

Instead, for me, an LG 831 1080p upscaling DVD player ($70) and HDMI cable ($20) has been the best upgrade. I have rediscovered my entire DVD collection. I no longer care if BluRay or HD-DVD wins because they are both losers.... DVD is the real winner.

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@Chris

"VOD and streaming downloads are going to replace physical media in the next 5-10 years."

Maybe, but so what? 10, even 5 years is a long time. If you go back 10 years to 1998, DVD was at about the same stage that HD-DVD/BR is now. So back then if I'd told you that high-definition DVD would replace DVD in another 10 years would you have stuck with VHS until now?

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@Neil Jones

"Maybe, but so what? 10, even 5 years is a long time. If you go back 10 years to 1998, DVD was at about the same stage that HD-DVD/BR is now. So back then if I'd told you that high-definition DVD would replace DVD in another 10 years would you have stuck with VHS until now?"

The difference is now that the jump from DVD to HD is just irelevant to most people. When I'm sat 5ft from a (good quality) TV I can hardly notice the difference between HD and SD. Most people I know can't tell the difference at all.

It's comparable to the jump from XP to Vista, to most it's just not worth the effort. I don't think it will ever take off like CD/DVDs did. One of the reasons for this 'war' dragging on for so long is that it's just not generating much interest.

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