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back to article HD DVD sales still solid despite format's failure

Toshiba may have canned production of HD DVD hardware, but that didn't stop US consumers buying into the format last month, new market stats reveal. According to US market watcher Redhill, 81 per cent of the next-generation optical disc players bought by Americans were Blu-ray Disc machines. That means 19 per cent of them used …

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Adoption Rate

The reason the HD generation has a much slower adoption rate than DVD is because people need HD TV's as well as the expensive HD equipment to make it worthwhile. Add to that the expense od HD capable audio systems its no wonder people are sceptical. Also the difference in quailty of DVD vs HD is no where near as essential to enjoyment as VHS vs DVD.

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BlueRay Lemmings to blame for high prices

Throughout the entire history of commerce - when did a lack of competition ever equate to lower prices? "Bad lemmings! Bad!"

Hippster

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Dead Vulture

Discs too expensive.

I have to date only bought 1 bluray disc. And that was on ebay from merkia for $US10.

I'm the type of buyer who waits until the price has lowered to what I think the movie is worth. Sometimes it's £14 (Serenity), sometimes it's £10 (Hot Fuzz), and sometimes it's £3 (Bad Boys).

I have yet to see any BD Discs that are worth the £18-30 that seems to be the only price range right now.

Yes, I am willing to pay more for BD - but only about £2 more.

Wake me when they've lowered the price and/or added some exclusive must-have extras that make it worth it.

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Honestly..

..who but the few AV fanatics out there even care? DVD provides a pretty darn good picture, especially when upscaled for hi def TVs. You won't see large market growth until BD players are under $100 and movies are $20. Until then, why would anybody who doesn't own a PS3 shell out for a player? It's really sad that Sony won this one, reg readers know their history and tactics. Now the rest of the world will get to know it too.

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Flame

...oh ffs..

"It's really sad that Sony won this one, reg readers know their history and tactics. "

Groan... Anything else? Or is that just for starters?

EVERY company has a "history" and has had "tactics".. Are you trying to say that the "consortium" behind HD-DVD doesn't have a "history" or has had "tactics"??

I was sort of right with you (but you seem to "want a moon on a stick") until your last 2 sentences..

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J

Prices high

"claimed Blu-ray's adoption rate is lagging well behind that of DVD"

No surprise. And I don't mean just the prices of BlueRay players, which are still outrageous (the disks are not so much more expensive than DVD here in the US, about $5-10 more for new releases, last time I saw). The thing is that a lot of people still have to buy an HD TV set to begin with! Reasonably decent ones start at some $800. No wonder I won't be buying high-def disks any time soon. Gotta bring the prices of those TVs down first, then I'll be able to even start thinking about BR and the like.

Sony's release of an OLED TV (11") for $2500 (!), and other makers preparing their versions, bodes well for the medium term. Maybe with the new tech coming, things will improve price-wise...

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Bargain HD DVDs

Thing is, "dead" format it may be, but with players at ASDA/Wal-Mart kind of bargain prices and discs to be had for between £5 and £10 (ignoring the UK high street of course), all of which are every bit the equal (or more) of Blu-Ray counterparts, then there's every reason to buy HD DVD for HD itself if all you want to do is watch HD movies. And when all the stock is bought up, you've got hundreds of HD movies and an upscaler too!

Meanwhile Blu-Ray remains a seriously expensive investment by comparison and still really only properly served by the PS3 which is limiting the audience somewhat.

HD DVD sales will die off though as stocks dry up, but don't expect Blu-Ray to suddenly surge ahead of DVD any time this side of 2010 (I'd say even of 2015).

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Happy

Upscaler!

I ran out and got a new HD DVD player the minute the prices dropped, even though the format was dropped by Toshibe. Why? LOW PRICE movies all over the place, and the quality of DVD movies is absolutely excellent through the upscale converter.

A new DVD player, plays HD DVD discs and upscales standard DVD discs to 1080I, for forty nine dollars US.

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Cause BluRay doesn't come cheap

Of course HD-DVD's are going to be cheap.. since everyone is offloading them at clearance prices and the fact that even though BluRay won their equipment is STILL expensive.. it slows adoption rates.

Oh ya... couple that with the fact that DVD's are still "good enough" for the masses... BD will have a slow slow rise to domination... its almost like a bad movie plot..

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It sucks HD-DVD died, but...

...I'm enjoying getting all these disks at less than £6 apiece.

At the moment you can pick up the Toshiba HD EP30 player for less than £100. It plays HD-DVDs in 1080p, supports Dolby TrueHD and upscales DVDs like a dream. If nothing else, it makes a perfect high-end DVD player and Toshiba are promising support for 8 years - by which time Blu-ray's replacement will probably be in sight.

A pity the more consumer-friendly format had to die to make HD affordable.

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@John

Actually if you have a large 1080P HD set (bigger than 46" or so), then switching from standard DVD to BD really can make a noticeable difference (mostly in reduction of pixilation). Then again, if you've got a HD set that's smaller than 46" it probably isn't very noticeable so a upscaling DVD would probably work fine. That being the case though I don't know why anyone would buy a standalone BD player at all when a PS3 not only gets you a well supported and upgradeable player, but also nets you a game system at the same time.

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On the flip side:

Blu-Ray (and HD-DVD) actually do provide a somewhat better picture even for SD televisions. A 1920x1080 JPEG stored at 95% quality downsampled to (effectively) 852x480 is going to look a lot better than a 720x480 JPEG stored at 40% quality stretched out to 852x480, which is pretty much the rough comparison between the two (assuming a square-pixel 480p 16:9 display). Not to mention the lack of interlace motion artifacts.

Here is a page with side-by-side comparisons of the DVD and HD-DVD versions of Lord of the Rings at 480p resolution: http://www.cornbread.org/FOTRCompare/

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I'd rather go solid-state

As others have said, the step up is not as good as it was from VHS to DVD. Last time round, there were a whole load of decent (e.g. Scart) TVs out there crying out for a new format. Nowadays we have a new format crying out for people to rush off and buy expensive TVs. The new format's at the start of a new market which does not show as many perceived benefits as before.

For me, HD-DVD seemed more accessible, compared to the more Proprietry-sounding BluRay. As it is, with terrabyte drives now costing £110ish, I'm sticking with my conclusion first made three or four years back that solid-state is the next format. Hell, 16gb USBdrives could do the job.

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All complete nonsense

Laserdiscs still sell on Ebay, that hardly means the format is worth mentioning anymore.

Same goes for the thousands of VHS cassettes still sold to "thrifty" types in car boot sales.

And within a year of DVD appearing we all had 30 discs each? Piss off, i don't even have 30 DVD (err, legit ones anyway) now.

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Happy

Good Deal

I rushed out and bought an Xbox 360 HD-DVD player to hook up to my media center PC when they dropped the price to $50. They also threw in 6 free HD-DVD discs, on top of the discounts they offered on other movies. Many of the stores here in Seattle still carry HD-DVDs and constantly receive new shipments of new release movies on HD. Warner Brothers may have announced a switch to BR, but they’re still releasing new HD-DVDs every week. Sadly the price of the discs has gone back up to an average of $5 more than DVDs, but they’re still cheaper than BR. Even the Blockbuster by my house still carries HD-DVDs and those that work there say they’ll carry them as long as there’s still a demand.

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Why BluRay?

When asked by my friends and family if they should buy a DVD player or wait for recorders to come down in price, I told them, buy a player and get a hard drive recorder if you need something like that.

These days, when asked if BluRay is worth it, I respond... Nope! DVDs are cheaper and the added quality only matters for films which such but have great special effects.

Being in Europe, I tell them to buy an HTPC and lease a VPN connection from a service in the U.S. so they can use Amazon Unbox or an AppleTV for iTMS. They would have to buy something like 400 films and keep the line active for 3 years before they covered the cost of a BluRay player and 10 discs.

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Gates Horns

Stating the obvious...

Of course there will be small adoption. HD DVD players can be bought for $50, and are geneerally OK upscalers (perhaps not as good as the PS3 or Reon upscalers, but still good).

Discs are being sold, as they too are in the fire sale.

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Upscalers etc

Get the best of both worlds and get the XE1 HD DVD with a Reon upscaler :D

I too bought a player when they went silly cheap, i've got around 40 discs now and i've never paid more than £9 for a single disc.... the quality is stunning, noticeably better than SD even on my tiny 40" screen.... the audio is better, the firmware keeps coming, the discs are region free so you can save a packet buying from abroad - a recent fire sale in Australia meant many top titles were £4.50 delivered, yes delivered from Australia to the UK!!!

For me the biggest current issue with BR is the players... there are so many and with the exception of a Denon and a Marantz unit none of them can do what i need, or for that matter what the £120 EP35 does.... i need analogue audio is the key one so that rules out the best Blu Ray player currently on the market... the PS3, plus the fact i think it's hideously ugly and really don't want one under my TV! Sure there are cheap Sony, Sharp, Samsung models, but no PiP, no streaming of DTS-MA etc... i hate it when the wrong format wins, but hey i'm loving the bargain prices!!!!!

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Dead Vulture

Europe

With European SD being 570 line rather than US/japan 480 and very few over 48" TV, I can't see people seeing much difference unless they have 52" to 60" 1080 line set.

The majority of "HD Ready" sets sold in Europe are still 28" to 37" and only 1366x768, really poor for 1080 line Satellite or DVD (There is virtually no 720p content in Europe).

Also we don't have the 24 fps -> 30fps interlace artifact to make "Progressive" a compelling format.

I'd expect Bluray standalone take up to seriously lag std DVD for several years till true 1080 line projectors and > 52" TVs are below 900 Eur.

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Anonymous Coward

next

Bluray will probably be the next minidisc or at best laserdisc, if the industry sticks with it for long enough. For it to become mainstream player prices have to drop. Leave it to Sony to shoot themselves in the foot again.

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Bring out your dead (formats)

I, too, made the HD DVD plunge when I could get a full 1080p player for 100USD. I've watched March of the Penguins in both formats and the HD version is definitely worth the money. With the price drops on discs, I haven't paid more than 20USD for any title. Most were less than 15USD. Yeah, the supply will clear up, but when it does, I'll still have an upscaler.

I'm going to bypass Blu and wait for the chip based formats...

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