back to article HD DVD player sales share slumps

This month hasn't just seen a relative decline in US HD DVD software sales - purchases of players appear to be down to, the latest figures from market watcher NPD suggest. The numbers, relayed by website The Digital Bits, cover weekly sales of dedicated players - so the PS3 and the Xbox 360 add-on are not included - from the …

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Silver badge

More and better information needed.

I'd still like to see information from other markets and does this include the free titles that are often bundled with HD-DVD players?

Also as the add on for the xbox is a dedicated player it should be included in the sales. If someone buys it there's nothing else they need it for.

BTW, what ever happened to glu-ray?

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Sony formats have a strong history of failing in the long run

Betamax, SAIT, etc.

HDDVD is now going for $149 while Blu-Ray costs $399.

It may all be up to Universal, now. Universal was planning to release its entire catalogue on HDDVD combo disks, 2000 titles, which would swamp the number of Blu-Ray titles available.

Sony could not respond, because Blu-Ray disks cost more to make and can't have HD on one side and standard DVD on the other. New Releases are easy when the disk wholesales for $10 or more but catalogue releases that have to be produced and distribute for a few dollars (or less) aren't yet viable in the more expensive Blu-Ray format. Blu-Ray would also require that a second "standard" DVD be included in the box.

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Joke

But, but, but...

..Lower machine sales make the disc attach rate look better

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Flame

The beginning of the end?

Surely its time for the HD-DVD camp to start wrapping up the technology? Sales are through the floor relative to the Blue-ray opposition and with the majority of studios not supporting the format; its time to move on.

In terms of stand alone players, the question is easy - which one will i be able to watch the majority of films on? The answer will be a Blue-ray player (unless the studios have a change of heart).

As for consoles - Microsoft have invested a lot in a technology that seems to be coming in second in a 2 horse race.

Much as the PS3 hasn't quite got the numbers of the xbox 360, a large part of the target consumers for games consoles (wii apart) are going to want to use the console to watch movies. So essentially the PS3 becomes a budget blue-ray player too. Divx is also there (ok so its not as good as xbox on this front, but its there all the same).

If MS jump HD-DVD ship now, they can start to build Blue-ray into the consoles and get Hollywood onside, removing this advantage from the PS3. Ok a few people get burned after buying the external HD-DVD drive, but thats the risk you take when you enter a format war.

As for Apple's Jobs saying that the format war is pointless because downloads will win out, 3 things - 1. try downloading a movie to watch immediately in the UK 2. People like having the physical copy of their purchase in their hand (with cover art and notes etc) and 3. Many people like apple and their products. Many more don't.

Rant over. Its lunch time:)

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£179.95 + 7 movies (Tesco)

Saw the basic Toshiba HD-DVD player in Tesco today at £179.95 (Bourne Supremacy / 300 in the box, and voucher for 5 more DVD)

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Fab

@Sony formats have a strong history of failing in the long run

So CDs which was Sony & Phillips, those were a comptete failure?

In fact the whole premise of the statement "Sony formats have a strong history of failing in the long run " is flawed.

Whether a Sony format succeeds tends to be obvious in the short run. Now of course Sony will keep a format going forever but its success is normally evident quickly. MagicGate Sticks, Betamax, etc.

Universal represent 25% of the market. They are hence huge but not the winning card of HD-DVD. Also, I would be amazed if Universal dont support BD when they come out of contract with HD-DVD. Even if they still support HD-DVD, that would be end of HD-DVD.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Sony formats have a strong history of failing in the long run

Clutching. At. Straws.

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Stop

But, but, but, but...

Sure you're all missing the most important points:

* HD-DVD is heavily backed by Microsoft, do you want to make a bet against them? I didn't think so. That's a scary proposition. You don't want to know what their retaliation would be like. So you want HD-DVD to win.

* HD-DVD capacity and bandwidth are lower making it more compatible with the inherent limitations of the human sensory system. Any more sharpness and your senses would overload, possibly causing epilepsy or brain tumor. Besides you can't tell the difference between e.g. 720p and 1080p on a 5-inch screen when you're standing more than 10 meters away from it and looking the other way so who cares about bandwidth.

* HD-DVDs are cheaper to manufacture (I'm told), meaning that a movie that costs $19.50 on BD possibly costs only $19.40 on HD-DVD, all other things being equal. OK doesn't like a lot but multiply it by a million and you'll have made a cool $100,000!!!1!

* As the first AC noted, Sony formats always lose in the end anyway even when they're superior and seem to succeed at first, that's an excellent reason to believe BD will fail despite any statistics and sales figures and Hollywood studio decisions and customer opinions.

* So HD-DVD will win, do you want to be with the losers? I didn't think so! You all want HD-DVD! That's why it's better!

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Flame

You have to be kidding ...

"Universal was planning to release its entire catalogue on HDDVD combo disks, 2000 titles, which would swamp the number of Blu-Ray titles available"

Yeah. Right. And bearing in mind it takes 2/3 months to remaster a single title for HD and there hasn't been a thousand-fold increase in mastering companies in the US the quality on these combo disks will be fantastic won't it?! Seriously.

Oh, and regarding price. If HD DVD are so much cheaper to produce why do they cost the same on Amazon? For example Superman - The Movie $19.95 whichever format. This is about the stage where I would accuse the HD DVD side of "blatant profiteering" if it wasn't for the fact that the HD DVD version is 6,591 in the Amazon sales rank and the Blu Ray is 4,436. Not bad for a 30 year old title!

Anyone who believes HD DVD can come back from this is just plain dreaming.

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Ah, but....

If Microsoft had total faith in the format they would have made the internal drive for the xbox 360 a HD-DVD unit. The fact they've used an external drive shows that they've been hedging their bets to see which format wins out.

Once Blu-Ray has taken control of the HD Market, Microsoft can either swap the external drive for a Blu-Ray unit or build the next 360 with an internal Blu-Ray drive.

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@ But, but , but, but...

May I suggest that this post be taken as the standard Reg definition of satire and that anyone who takes it seriously be forever banned from El Reg's comments pages?

Oh, and HD-DVD is dead, rah rah...

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Flame

what the f***?

There's some right bullshit comments on here now:

Sony formats have a strong history of failing in the long run. Memorystick? CD? S/PDF? Trinitron Television sets/computer monitors anyone? The original walkman range? Betamax lost the home consumer and instead became Betacam - a primary format for professional recording... Oh, and lets not forget the 3.5" floppy.

Lower machine sales make the disc attach rate look better -? 1 major studio is still backing HD-DVD. More than that are not.

£179.95 + 7 movies. Thats fair enough. Once you have watched the 7 films and are looking for new ones, how useful will your player be if the films are made by non-HD-DVD supporting studios?

Microsoft backed the wrong horse. They can make mistakes, they have the money to do so. Look at vista, WimME and MSBoB.

"HD-DVD capacity and bandwidth are lower making it more compatible with the inherent limitations of the human sensory system. Any more sharpness and your senses would overload, possibly causing epilepsy or brain tumor. Besides you can't tell the difference between e.g. 720p and 1080p on a 5-inch screen when you're standing more than 10 meters away from it and looking the other way so who cares about bandwidth" - utter utter bullshit. If i buy a high def TV i want my movies/players/consoles to pull out all the stops to maximise the usage of the technology. Even if my eyesight is too poor to appreciate it.

With mass production, prices drop. Always has done always will (unless its oil or houses or something...)

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jai

@James - re: More and better information needed.

"I'd still like to see information from other markets and does this include the free titles that are often bundled with HD-DVD players?"

Yes, it'd be good to see similar reports from the european countries to see if the trend is similar here in the UK.

however, these figures do not include the free titles that are bundled with the players, because these figures are for hardware sales - only the units of players are being counted here, not the number of films people are buying.

to me, this is much more of a critical indicator of the shift in preference for blu-ray - the number of disc sales will fluctuate as new titles are released on one format and not the other, but if people have effectively stopped buying hd-dvd players, that suggests the public have decided that blu-ray is winning format.

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Why HDDVD

Well MS want it because it has been written so that you can take a mangaged copy (if you can manage to get the MS Media Centre working and manage to get the copy across...). That is MS technology, so MS will win big if it goes ahead.

Because it uses the same process but just has a different colour laser, it's cheaper to build, so the electronics industry like it.

The movies are created by the movie industry and they don't like any form of copy. Manged or otherwise. Their cockup with Apple (forcing apple to have a monopoly by requiring Apple control the DRM viciously) finding that they rely on Apple to sell securely means they REALLY don't want to hand the power over to MS who have much more available to take advantage of them. They want to bend YOU over, they don't like being bent over themselves.

As for me, they could have gotten Hi Def on DVD with doubling the resolution and using a new codec that compresses 2x as much. Most DVDs are 4mbps but will go up to 8-10mbps and so you can fit an entire movie on just about. You may need more DVD-9s. But the DVD format no longer controls your use of what you bought so they can't use the DVD format, so they MUST move to a new system.

BD/HD are not for YOUR benefit but for the benefit of avoiding copyright by the copyright owners. If it really was about the customer getting high definition content, MPEG4/DivX and DVD-9s would have solved that. And with no extra cost to you.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Kenneth Ross

Even cheaper on Amazon, £119.99 for the Toshiba HD-DVD player with 7 HD-DVDs.

Even if the format loses it's a bargain if you have an HD-DVD because regardless, that's only around £17.10 for 7 HD movies + the unit. Hell, it'll always make a great upscaling DVD player at the end of the day even if you don't use it for HD movies in the long run. The deal only gets better if HD-DVD loses and you get a plethora of cheap HD-DVD content as a result.

If you're into HD movies regardless of what spec wins the Toshiba HD-DVD playerat Amazon is a hell of a bargain in terms of getting you some HD content to get started with:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Toshiba-HD-EP30-Player-1080P-Voucher/dp/B000W4EB22/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=gateway&qid=1201099284&sr=8-1

I could care less if it loses long term to be honest when I can get the player and 7 decent HD films for less than the price of 7 equivalent Bluray films without the £250+ Bluray player.

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Some people are still in denial

HD DVD supporters need a serious reality check. Some of the comments here and on Engadget are simultaneously funny and pitiful. As if Universal is going to dump their entire catalogue on a dying format, or a handful of boxed sets slated for release before June are going to make a massive difference. It's when you hear comments like that, that you realise why the Downfall clip from last week was so apt. Some people are in denial and imagining that some final push will not only stave off total defeat but turn the tide.

HD DVD might not be dead but its as good as dead. It might have gone the other way but it didn't. Ultimately a single format is good for everyone and the sooner that Toshiba and the remaining studios throw in the towel the better for everyone. But HD DVD owners can seek solace from the amazing firesale bargains to be had over the next few months.

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Yeah, but...

MS probably doesn't want to put costly BD-ROMS in the 360 just for movies, just like they didn't with HD-DVD. Their money is really in the movie download business. They'd do it if the games could use the capacity but that would have to be a whole new console. But then they think the bandwidth fairy is going to bless us with the ability to download all our games.

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I have both formats but prefer HD-DVD

I have both HD-DVD and BluRay through xbox addon and ps3. I much prefer the extras on HD-DVD discs because of the extensive use of the 2nd video decoder. I know this works on the ps3 (where BluRay discs provide it!) but there are so many BluRay players out there that don't. I wish HD-DVD had won, it is a better format as the dual DVD/HD-DVD format (if done cheaply) would be the best way to get many people over to HD formats.

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Flame

customers are NOT choosing BluRay

They are being forced into it by (predominantly) the film industry.

Why would a customer want to pay twice as much for a player which is also region-locked?

The only reason would be that they feel they have no choice.

I'm not buying either until the film industry gives customers what they want, not what they want them to have.

While I'm at it, they can remove the trailers and the "You thieving scum better not copy this disc" crap from the films I buy. Why should only the pirates get to watch films unencumbered by this shit?

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Tim

£119.95 + 7 movies (Amazon)

Effectively a free player and access to over 300 top quality HD titles to keep you going whilst you wait for a decent priced Blu-Ray player that *fully* and *reliably* supports profiles 1.1 and 2.0, and is sub £200, and wait for the HD DVD titles to be re-authored to profile 1.1/2.0 spec on Blu-Ray (which is going to take a long time due to costs and difficulty with the Blu-Ray software development process).

So whilst HD DVD may be dead, at this price you really can't argue. It's a free player and just use it as a door stop if you really must when you've re-bought in 'Blu' (though it's not going to spontaneously combust the instant Warner stops making HD DVD).

As for the sales slump. First thing is it's US figures only. They're blind now to HD DVD. Second thing is observational sales of players this side of the pond doesn't seem to match the claims. PS3s collect dust, EP-30s at bargain prices are flying off the shelves. Just what is the reality behind the figures?

Not that it matters. The BDA have vast amounts of money to throw into the pot to ensure they win no matter what. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if they're actually buying up PS3 and Blu-Ray disc stocks just to force the matter even further. Though I do think it will take $1billion this time to buy out Universal & Paramount, compared to the $500m for Warner (note that the entire profits from HD DVD and Blu-Ray disc sales only amounts to $300m !!).

It's easy to win when you own major studios and just buy all the rest of the competition, use aggressive tactics to bombard the web, retailers and consumers with propaganda, and ultimately remove all consumer choice. If it were Microsoft they'd have anti-trust thrown at them. If they were just UK based they'd have monopolies and mergers after them.

Still, such is progress. Hijack the development of HD and set it back 10 years.

Again, not that it even matters who's won. The whole thing is a war after all of 1% of the retail movie market!

10 years from now, HD will be all downloads. Sounds unlikely, but look at the state of the net 10 years ago.

What matters in the here and now to Joe Public is digital SD TV and small flat screens that can be tucked in the corner. HD is meaningless to 99% of the population regardless of the 'HD Ready' sticker on their sets.

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@ James

there was an article re Glu ray on the reg not so long ago.. It was dropped as the discs came out too expensive.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Why HDDVD

They have a standard DVD based high def delivery system out, it's call HD VMD

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@Christopher

Actually, the HD-EP30 is now a mere £119.99 at Amazon with 7 movies, having come down from your £179 figure over the weekend.

Yes, I can say 'firesale', and no, I'm not getting one to replace my XBox add-on drive right now, as the money is being saved toward the ineviatable PS3 once Warner titles dry up.

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@Mark

Given that plenty of DVD players can't decode Xvid/DivX (much less VC-1/MPEG-4 AVC/H.264), most can't output HD, and none (that I know of ) can do both at the same time, you'd still require a new generation of players. They'd most likely be cheaper than BD/HD, but they'd still charge a premium for them, and for the movies, and it would provide ample opportunity for the implementation of a new encryption scheme.

In any case, you'd still have to get an HDTV, so there definitely IS a cost.

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Silver badge

HD and Formats

Both HD formats use MPEG4, not MPEG2 anyway.

The issue with DVD9 and HD is not fitting the movie feature, but a gazillion languages and all the shovel ware.

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Joke

HA!

Amazing, everyone here is assuming M$'s support of HD-DVD will be a good thing...

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Pirate

die HD-DVD

HD-DVD, Just fucking die already!

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yeah right

I'm still coming to terms with some idiot's comment that Walkman and Trinitron were failures. By that logic we might as well call every iPod thats no longer being sold a failure because no one buys them now.

Both those products were huge successes for Sony. Trinitron monitors in particular were used almost to the exclusion of anything else by the design and CAD industry.

Even companies like Dell and Gateway sold Trinitron monitors as standard with their top end workstations. To call that a failure when they were sold mass-market by two of the industries leading manufacturers is, well, ignorant to say the least.

Trinitron monitors and TVs were never intended as a cheapo mass market product. They were a high margin product and their quality still outperforms any LCD or Plasma TV. The only reason such products won't sell today is no one wants to break their back lifting one.

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Too short a time period

I just can't see how anything over such a short time frame can be regarded as accurate, but I do think bluray will win this format war eventually given the recent press.

As a PS3 and XBox 360 owner it didn't particularly concern me which format ended up on top, I could have easily bought a $100 addon for my XBox if it had gone the other way.

What I do think was stupidly short-sighted was the movie and tv studios that released exclusively on one format only, and did so well before it was clear which format was even close to winning.

Still nothing will stop them from switching formats, but the chances are shows like BSG have missed their target audience and will do so too late if at all.

Having said all that, these numbers could simply be the result of HD-DVD owners not seeing anything they like recently, and Bluray owners picking up some of the more recent blockbusters. A couple of HD-DVD only blockbusters next month could easily swing the numbers back the other way - and that's why I think anything less than a 3 - 6 month study is anything but accurate.

Seeing as many studios only backed one format, it's all about which movies are released when. Obviously in the last few weeks the better single format movies have been bluray.

What would be a more significant indicator of the impending doom of HD-DVD would be the sales of the actual hardware falling by similar numbers.

I also don't understand how consoles could be left out of the equation if anything as drastic as the end of a format is in question. The PS3 in particular deliberately included a bluray drive because Sony wanted and expected it play a significant role, and marketed the console as much as a movie machine as a games machine. The PS3 was their "cheap" bluray player until very recently.

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Anonymous Coward

Here are the actual sales figures ...

http://digitalbits.com/#mytwocents

Here's how the January Week 1 unit sales looked for each format (week ending 1/5)...

Blu-ray Disc - 15,257 units

HD-DVD - 14,558 units

That was prior to the Warner announcement, which came on 1/4. Now here's how the January Week 2 unit sales data for each format looked AFTER the announcement (for the week ending 1/12)...

Blu-ray Disc - 21,770 units

HD-DVD - 1,758 units

As you can see, the HD-DVD player numbers dropped dramatically. However, it's also true that 21,770 isn't a doubling of the 15,257 of the previous week, so we stand corrected on the Blu-ray comment - Blu-ray player sales did not double, but they did increase significantly. It was always our intention that the data would speak for itself, which is why we were very careful in accurately creating the pie charts, and it's why we're posting the unit sales data for you now. We think the data DOES speak for itself, but now you can all draw your own conclusions.

While we're at it, here are the unit sales numbers for the month of December as well (weeks ending 12/8 to 12/29)...

Blu-ray Disc - 115,132 units

HD-DVD - 76,148 units

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@Tim

Sony released a press statement, in which they claim that 1.2 million PS3s were sold in the holiday period here in Europe (November 23 - December 31, 2007). I do not know the number for HD-DVD players from Toshiba, but saying that the PS3 is collecting dust on the shelves is bit far from the truth.

(Link: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid=32300)

Also, according to NPD figures presented by TheDigitalBits.com (http://thedigitalbits.com/#npdfollow) the total sale of HD-DVD for December were 76,148 units in the US. It is generally recognized that the HD disc market in the US is currently much larger the HD market in Europe, and it would therefore be very reasonably to claim that the overall sales would be lower for Europe. But let us say that HD-DVD sold equally well in Europe as it did in the US. That would mean that HD-DVD sold approximately 7% (76,148/1.2million equals approximately 7%) of what the PS3 sold in Europe, in a comparable timeframe.

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I think this might be backwards

Your average consumer doesn't read the tech press.

Wouldn't it be more likely that Time Warner made their announcement because they anticipated this decrease in sales?

Maybe distributing chains made fewer orders, and thus got an early warning about January's numbers. Maybe they conducted their own research and saw falling numbers in HD-DVD hardware sales.

It just seems odd to me that millions of people that only recently purchased a player for several hundred dollars would suddenly stop buying movies for it, just because one movie studio said they were no longer making HD-DVDs.

My gut feeling is most consumers aren't even aware that Time Warner made that announcement. I think it significantly more likely that Time Warner did so based on the orders they received for their product prior to January.

The only way it could be the other way round is if 99% of HD-DVD consumers are people that read tech news, and I just don't think thats the case.

The other thing is if I'm right, consumers would generally find out something like this when they go to buy the player itself. Sales staff would advise them of things like Time Warner's announcement, and perhaps suggest avoiding HD-DVD.

I accept this is just conjecture and you are more likely to be correct, but I think that even if consumers were aware of Time Warner's announcement, if they had bought the hardware, say for Christmas, they would still want to buy the movies - and would continue to do so for a few months yet. Thus my theory that Time Warner knew of the impending doom before they announced they would no longer support the format.

You tend not to give up selling something if you're making huge profits from doing so.

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Alert

WTF

Odd how Hd dvd title sales fell from 14,558 to 1,758, seems a bit strange?

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Anonymous Coward

First graph isn't last week in December

The graphs presented in this piece have been slightly erroneously reproduced. While the 2nd and 3rd charts do indeed cover the first and second weeks of January, the first chart is actually showing the share for the 4 week period covering week ending 8Dec to week ending 29Dec, not simply the final week of December as has been shown in this article. It doesn't really change the overall trend, but it's not quite comparing apples to apples to apples.

You can check the original [i]thedigitalbits[/i] article to see what I mean, and as someone has already posted above - Bill Hunt has since added the actual sale volume numbers from which the graphs were produced.

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Oh Good God

Quoting sales figures from Digital Bits, the most Pro BR, Anti HD DVD site out there....

It details utter rubbish, citing data that conveniently shows how great BR is doing and how bad HD DVD is doing.... there are hundreds of sites out there showing data that varies so much it is untrue. Sure when Warner announced they were going exclusive sales of HD DVD dropped dramatically, but Toshiba have come back with an aggressive campaign, look at Amazon, Play, moneysavingexpert etc you'll see huge volume sales of the Ep30 and Ep35 following the reduction to less than £120 with 7 fee films for an EP30.

Some may call it a fire sale, however Toshiba and Universal have confirmed that they will be making and selling HD DVDs and players until there is no support left and then assess.

From a consumer point of view, look at what happened prices fell a lot, there are rival formats causing this, one is better than the other (yes the red one) but one was marketed better through it's sales via a games console. The minute Warner went exclusive all of the "cheap" BR players increased in price by approx 10% (Sony BDPS300, Sharp BD20H etc) Which to me stinks... alledgedly the consumer spoke, my arse they did.

Hopefully HD DVD will find it's feet again and we can settle on having two formats for the time being and see where it goes... frankly i don't care, i've resided myself to go dual format and then it's problem solved i can watch/buy anything i want... however the specs of HD DVD are still superior so the majority of my purchases where i have a choice will be on HD DVD - better audio, better extra features that actually work as intended, no region coding, cheaper prices etc etc....

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my local electrical stores...

Was out shopping the other day and popped into my local currys. Whilst browsing i noticed they had two different blu-ray players on their shelves, but not a single hd-dvd player was on display, not even an empty space where one may have previously sat. So i thought i would check out the other stores in the area, and low and behold, it looks like they have all decided blu-ray will win, as none of them now appear to stock hd-dvd players.

On a further note of blu-ray supremacy, HD-DVD do not have any uncompressed audio tracks available, they do claim to hold lossless compressed audio tracks on some, but few of the big studios ever used these formats. However, now pretty much all blu-ray discs hold PCM tracks, which are basically uncompressed audio tracks. If you have ever heard one whilst watching a movie, it is stunning. OK most home cinema kits won't be able to play them, but trust me, High Def is not only about the picture, but also the sound and PCM is where the sound is at. Try it and nothing else will ever do again, PCM makes you a part of the film. PCM remember is ONLY available on blu-ray.

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@Chris

"HD-DVD do not have any uncompressed audio tracks available"

Where did you get that idea? There are absolutely loads of HD-DVD titles with lossless Dolby TrueHD on; even Phantom Of The Opera, one of the discs released on day one of the format, had it.

PCM is IDENTICAL to Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio once it reaches the amp - that's what lossless means. Or do you argue the superiority of WAV over FLAC, too?

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Paris Hilton

Why no Xbox360 HD-DVD in the total?

It may not make much difference but why are Xbox360 HD-DVD sales not included? If someone buys a PS3 it is unclear if they are buying it as primarily a BluRay player or games machine. But anyone who buys an Xbox360 HD-DVD drive is buying it for one reason only... to watch HD-DVDs!!

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Unhappy

hd dvd vs blu

its all a big con.

ive come to realise it does no matter what hd dvd does it will get screwed

from studios supporting blu because when b+ encoding comes in you will not even be aloud to borrow sell or copy a product that you have brought,

once the disc is played in your player it is not transferable,

also with the added price of blu ray retailers will have a bigger cut of the profit

so by selling hd dvd players they will lose there profit because of the lower retail value,

so all in all the consumer chose(my arse)

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This disc format war is irrelevant...

BluRay vs HD-DVD - Who cares - both formats will be obsolete within 5 years.

1. Solid state storage is such that within that time plastic semiconductors with make all "laser" discs obsolete.

2. End users will increasingly want real digital libraries not libraries full of old fashioned plastic disks that can get scratched and lost. Neither - but especially BluRay, support ripping of disc content to digital libraries.

BluRay & HD-DVD - die already you belong with BetaMAX and vinyl. I hope Sony & MS loose their shirts in this self grandiose consumer scam.

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