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back to article Wal-Mart blogger claims retailer will ditch HD DVD

Wal-Mart has apparently decided to follow Best Buy and Netflix and only offer its customers Blu-ray Disc products in future. From June, the retail giant will no longer offer HD DVD players. The news comes from the company's Check Out blog, penned by staffers. One of them, Susan Chronister, today wrote: "OK, so are you ready... …

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Tom
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beginning of the end?

"it could mark the beginning of the end for HD DVD."

Beginning? At best it's the middle of the end. More like a nail in the coffin.

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Tim
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Price reductions... with Sony?

"Not sure of the short-term pricing plans, but history tells us that as more people move to a new technology prices typically go down."

Is this really true of Sony?

Well I suppose it is in so much as they go down a little, but they still remain far higher with the Sony brand.

There seems to be a perception that with "one format" and it being Blu-Ray that we'll get budget players in ASDA and £5 a pop for a disc. Fat chance with Sony at the helm.

However, it is inevitable with the steam roller power of Sony and the fanboys that HD DVD will be no more, but really how successful will Blu-Ray be? £300 for a player and (once the BOGOF deals dry up with no competition) £20 per disc, and what perceivable benefit to Joe Public who thinks DVD is the bees knees anyway, especially at £5 a movie and £20 for a player?

So we'll have Blu-Ray and everyone cheers. Great. Sony have achieved their plan of wrecking the party and the consumer ultimately loses. It's short sighted. Oh well. Enjoy.

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Its official..

http://money.cnn.com/2008/02/15/technology/wal-mart_blu-ray/index.htm?postversion=2008021511

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Confirmed..

http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=980

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That's all folks!

Walmart is not just the 800 lb gorilla in the room, it's the rampaging bull elephant of the retail world. If Walmart goes Blu then it will not matter what the HD-DVD lobby and Toshiba do, the game is over, end of story. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

Honestly I truly hope that this story is true. Thie stupid format war should never have happened. Both Toshiba and the Blu-Ray folks should have got together early on and agreed a compromise. One thing that seems to have been a theme in coverage of this is the whole Blu is Sony is Blu thing. While Sony is a true Blu supporter and one of the founding members of the BDA and developers of the tech, it should not have escaped the notice of Toshiba that Blu-Ray is/was backed by the rest of the CE industry. That alone should have been a sufficient clue to enable a compromise. However Toshiba chose not to compromise and began swimming against the tide.

A pity. This expensive and pointless format war could have been averted before it started. You'd have thought that the example of betamax would have been sufficient warning for the industry. Still it appears that Sony actually learned something from that experience and got the vast majority of the CE industry involved from the beginning. They also got most of the content industry on board early on. Wise moves. Including Blu-Ray in the PS3 was risky, but appears to be paying off.

Well, this is all rumor, so it has to go in the 'hope it happens soon' category. For now.

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Happy

Well, thats that then

If all this is true, then i agree that Toshibas mutterings about dropping it have indeed been triggered by Walmarts stance.

With Walmart and Bestbuy gone, HD-DVD is relegated to the scrapheap.

Hooray, now lets get the Bluray prices down.

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The end started in January

I think Toshiba's troubles can be traced to CES. Warner kicked them in the balls just one day before their big press conference and that was that. The conference got cancelled and its been bad news since. It must have sucked that Warner shifted to Blu but enough to cancel a press conference? My guess is they were going to announce a Fox and Warner defection and a Toshiba branded 360 with HD DVD. But with Warner going Blu, *everything* fell to pieces and we are where we are. Maybe MS wouldn't even agree to a Toshiba branding on their precious console without victory in the bag.

There is fantastic story there for any journo who can find out what they *were* going to present.

If not for that announcement we might be all talking of the demise of Blu Ray right now. As it is, HD DVD is dead as a dodo. From a pragmatic point of view Blu Ray always had the edge in player sales and technological superiority but we all know how a few greased palms at studios could have turned it the other way.

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Re: Price reductions... with Sony?

I think you're forgetting that Sony aren't the only ones who make the players... just like DVD (and VHS) there are multiple manufacturers.

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Happy

@tim

"Oh well. Enjoy."

Thanks, i certainly will now it look more than likely that 100% of the studios will produce blu-ray in fairly short order. (maybe paramount will hold out to take as much of the bribe as possible, unless toshiba has a get out clause)

oh and thats where the competition will come, from competing movie studios or are you still paying £20 - £30 for a dvd? thats possibly your problem, trying to polarize everything into a me vs them when its more a me vs thems

and seeing as there are competing hardware manufacturers rather than just one hardware prices will drop, i bet toshiba will knock out a good blu-ray player stick in their much praised upscaler, a cell chip and the network adaptors (they can take out of unsold hd-dvd players) and it'll be a pretty tidy piece of equipment. Maybe they'll offer a recycling scheme? actually with EU reg's dont they have to? or is that just environmental disposal?

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Prices

There's already been a sub $300 player announced, and with the shift to Blu-Ray exclusively, economies of scale / popularity will come to play and you can bet before you know it there'll be chinese/korean imitation BD players on the market for $100-150. And when the market size for Blu-Ray reaches mainstream levels of adoption, the prices of Blu-Ray discs will drop as well.

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@Tim

Whenever someone mentions Blu-Ray, one of the first things heard is a round of Sony bashing, when Sony don't control Blu-Ray and don't manufacture the vast majority of the discs. Engage brain before touching keyboard.

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Not Intristed

Blu-ray nah! no thanks, no one is buying into anymore over hype products. When will they learn. People are very happy with current media. Sorry folks will add these to my BETA tapes :p

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Dead Vulture

For Tim

Yeah, damn right people will enjoy. As for pricing, Bro you got no idea. DVD took over 18 months to drop below £18 for mainstream block buster releases, and even today they still expect £13 minimum for them.

The fact is, it is the retailers who end up having the biggest say over what we end up paying and when hardware manufacturers (all of them for everything), have tried to keep prices high, the retailers simply buy from elsewhere and other countries. Tescos UK regularly go to East Asian manufacturing plants and buy directly from there because of this. The manufacturers price fixing conglomerates were broken up around the world or crippled by legislation years ago.

Sony don't own Blu-Ray, they are a developing partner and any attempt to keep prices high will simply mean the consumer won't buy and the BR manufacturers won't see any profit. The only reason HD-DVD players were so cheap was because of the loss Toshiba were making. You are very very naive if you think Toshiba wouldn't have charged full price if they could have done.

DVD was the same. Budget players didn't appear for two years and you couldn't buy a decent lower end player for less than "£225 after the same time. As for disks, they only dropped in price once it became profitable and the consumers bought in large enough quantities. You also ignore the fact that with DVD again, block buster titles were suddenly appearing for £10 for a while and this was because of subsidised prices from the studios to encourage us to buy. That subsidy vanished real f-kin quick when we did!

No offence, or patronising, really I'm not... I just get the impression you aren't old enough to have really gone through all of this and weren't buying DVD from the very very start.

Taking a swing at Sony is really ill informed. Do you REALLY know who make up the BR association?! Take a look...

http://www.blu-raydisc.com/general_information/Section-14009/Index.html

The biggest culprit in the world for trying to keep prices high are Apple, and wouldn't you know who is on the BR development board!! But you take a swipe at Sony all the time. What about Samsung, LG and Pioneer? Oh yeah, weren’t LG one of the first to market with a DUAL FORMAT PLAYER?! Some of those contributors and general members happen to be technological partners of Nintendo Japan by the way. The people who make your much maligned Wii…

Your rants and arguments have no factual basis bud, that one link shows that without question. I rest my case.

Now Tim, go get your shine box!

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Writing on the wall at Asda

My local Asda used to stock both Blu-ray and HD-DVD but a week or two back both formats were removed from the shelves. Really anoyed me too as they had plenty of movies at £20 or under e.g 3:10 To Yuma new release at £15.98. I am looking upon their removal as a clear sign that the company is making a decision as to which format to support in the long term.

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Anonymous Coward

Bring back Betmax!

Glad to see Sony winning a format war for once :)

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HAHA

Yes, you're completely right Anonymous Coward! Sony, for once, gets a media technology right! :)

Re: Monkey - possibly the best post on this article. Exactly to the point. Only silly fanboys would see Blu-ray as only a Sony thing without actually researching properly.

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Re: Writing on the wall at Asda

Asda are owned by Walmart so I think we know which way they'll go.

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Pirate

Deliberate dumbing down of DVD quality?

Anyone else noticed how new DVD's appear to be low quality? My Transformers DVD looks like it's been recorded with a webcam, even on CRT I see artifacts. The "Dreamworks" motif looks like it was broadcast on YouTube. My 5 year old DVD's are noticeably much higher quality.

Pirate logo cos my Pirate Bay downloads look much better.

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About Time

Format wars are silly - betamax was better than VHS but JVC's VHS was good enough and it stole the march. The industry should have learned from that - two competing DVD HD formats was silly, and I'm glad if it has been overtaken by retailer decisions. Philips had a huge success with its audio cassette and tried to do it again several times with video, but lost a fortune. Sometimes co-operation is the only sensible way forward.

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Tom
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Toshiba to exit HD DVD, end format war-NHK

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL1627196120080216

"TOKYO (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp is planning to stop production of equipment compatible with the HD DVD format for high-definition video, allowing the competing Blu-Ray camp a free run, public broadcaster NHK reported on Saturday.

Toshiba is expected to suffer losses amounting to tens of billions of yen (hundreds of millions of dollars) to scrap production of HD DVD players and recorders and other steps to exit the business, Japan's NHK said on its website..."

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Finally

Good grief, finally it's over. Toshiba can wash their hands and make some kick-ass Blu-Ray devices and we can all get back to consuming movies...

Can't help wondering how Tim will take this news though...

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Unhappy

Has anyone thought to....

Hold the other HD-DVD partners to account for their lack of involvment lately? Lets get off the HD-DVD vs BR rant we let Tim suck us into, and examine a major issue in all this.

http://www.thelookandsoundofperfect.com/hddvd/about/partners/

The last six months or more, Toshiba have been the only one helping the format. Why haven't Acer or HP shipped EVERY new PC with HD-DVD drives? We know MS want us to buy downloads off of them so it's a no brainer there so let stay off that one (!).... and the studios go with what shifts the most product ultimately.... Which is BR now that is without a doubt. But the other two big technology partners, shame on you.

I just feel very sorry for Toshiba, clearly shouldering the largest development, marketing and manufacturing costs yet seemingly getting no support from their partners. That is what stinks here.

Not consumers getting burnt (early adopters know the risks, and if it is your first time, welcome to the club!!). Toshiba seemed to throw all their weight behind this only to watch their partners fk off basically!

And ultimately it is only them who will get the corporate humilation when they announce BR support (which is inevitable). Just as Sony get the bashing for "owning" BR. Both are unfair and factually wrong.

To me, these are probably the real issues here. (?)

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Jobs Halo

It's not over.. sony offer better blu-ray pricing for exclusive stores..

Stores don't care how many formats there are, they can sell them all. I reckon Sony are putting price pressure on the chains to offer exclusive blu-ray ranges.

I don't like blu-ray yet, because I don't know how the drm works. Mind you, I don't konw about hd-dvd either.

Topfield should do what they did to FreeView tuners/recorders, and then we'd all buy it. It's unseemly to see these corporations fighting over adoption. The new technology should be adopted strictly on merit.

!!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Price reductions... with Sony?

'Well I suppose it is in so much as they go down a little, but they still remain far higher with the Sony brand.....So we'll have Blu-Ray and everyone cheers. Great. Sony have achieved their plan of wrecking the party and the consumer ultimately loses. It's short sighted. Oh well. Enjoy'

What a load of baloney....

Every manufacturer and his dog including all the sub 50 ukp dodgy supermarket specials will be eventually be on the market....And not a Sony in sight unless you want to go for a top end player and willing to pay extra for the marque

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not Intristed

'Blu-ray nah! no thanks, no one is buying into anymore over hype products. When will they learn. People are very happy with current media. Sorry folks will add these to my BETA tapes :-P'

Sorry don’t believe you one bit….

So when you DVD player breaks down in a couple of year’s time (or maybe it might not even break you’ll just be browsing) and you go into you local electronics store and are presented with a Blu-ray player for under 50 ukp you are going to say naaa no thanks…. I’ll stick with my vanilla DVD format… and it will be even more perverse decision as you will in all probability also have a HD TV..

Sorry I will say it again….Don’t believe you…:-P

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