After Hours

Aggressive pricing announced for HD DVD players

Wal-Mart has announced the sale of HD DVD players in the sub-$200 and sub-$100 range.

Wal-Mart has announced the sale of HD DVD players in the sub-$200 and sub-$100 range.

An excerpt from Ars Technica:

As it turns out, plenty of retailers are about to get behind a big push for the HD-A2, whose sweet new price is only soured by its 1080i max output (1080p would be best, but at $200 right now, that's asking too much). Since Toshiba launched its third-generation HD DVD players last August, the second-gen HD-A2 was poised to get a price reduction.

Kmart, Circuit City, and Best Buy are following the price-cutting path set by Wal-Mart, while Amazon announced the low-priced DVD players much earlier. Toshiba's HD-A2 is not the least expensive HD DVD player though. Another player from a firm called Venturer Electronics is priced much lower and is expected to be available during the holiday season.

The players also come sweetened with title deals. But, is the attractive pricing sufficient reason to drive wider HD DVD adoption?

Additional news stories:

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28 comments
dsimp
dsimp

I'm waiting for the prices to come down further for the players which cater for Both Formats. I know of 2 or 3 which are out at the moment - but their cost is enormous.

astoddard
astoddard

...has a good ring to it. I'll see what comes up then.

jdclyde
jdclyde

This is a product designed with people in mind that have more money than brains. After you fork out the cash for the player AND the movies, you have to upgrade your TV and surround. Not exactly "affordable" entertainment. It makes going to the theater to see the shows seem "affordable" again in comparison.

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

Honestly, I have no reason to 'upgrade'. The only HD tv that I have is a 23" one for the x-box 360. Since I ditched tv altogether, and rarely watch movies, I have no need for a new player. however, I do think that the salespeople will be using this as a driving force this holiday season, and it will likely receive a lot of marketing, so many people will buy them.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

As long as my wife is content buying non-HD DVDs, I don't see any reason to spend money to replace a functional non-HD DVD player.

pr.arun
pr.arun

is the attractive pricing sufficient reason to drive wider HD - DVD adoption?

BiggestDawg
BiggestDawg

I'll have to wait and see. I still don't know what the difference between Blueray and HD DVD is from a quality stand point as I have not seen either yet. It will depend on who captures the market. It was the same with the BetaMax and the VHS. BetaMax was far superior but they failed to capture the market because they were not willing to share the technology. I just have to be patient about this one.

Patrick_m
Patrick_m

I disagree about the more money then brains it is a metter of prespective if you have the money I say spend it. And I must sat my 52 Inch HD plays an asome Halo3 it is a big same MS did not intagrate the HD player into the Elite XBOX as it was talked about doing you still have to purchase a 200 dollar HD DVD player to play the HD dvd's which I think it a bit ODD. But maybe with the price reduction even this may come down in price.

Q'sDad
Q'sDad

I rarely *buy* movies. I rent from netflix continuously. HD-DVD doesn't cost any more. I've been wanting a player, but have been on the fence to see who "wins" the format war. We still like to go to the movie theater, but not as much as before. I already have a wide screen to look at regular DVD's with the family. Looks like I should stop by Wal-Mart on the way home. For these prices, I can buy a Blu-Ray when they drop in price. (Assuming that they don't go under.)

El Guapo
El Guapo

No doubt. In order for these lower-priced HDVD players to gain wider acceptance is when the the movies it depends on lowers in price at or near the current DVD prices now.

CG IT
CG IT

I think many mfgs believe that the marketing gurus can get the general population to believe in having the latest and greatest, when in actuality the "latest and greatest" mentality represents a small % of the population. Not everyone devotes 25% of their household budget for the "latest and greatest".

musashi675
musashi675

Having look at both formats at this year's CES in Las Vegas I was leaning toward Blu Ray. It seemed to have a slight edge over HD DVD. However, I recently bought a laptop with a HD DVD drive. For me the chose between the formats is still a wash. It does seem to me that HD DVD is being more agressive in its marketing to get it's product into other venues (laptops, desktops). This strategy may prove to tip the balanced scale.

GSG
GSG

This is like the BetaMax vs VHS "wars" that took place in the early 80s. A lot of people got stuck with expensive BetaMax equipment and tapes when the porn industry standardized to VHS. I think I'll wait to see what they will standardize to this time before I make an investment.

awf
awf

If this pricing ONLY applies to actual "HD-DVD" players, it won't help much as long as there are stubborn studios and manufacturers insisting on producing BluRay only. I'm not about to dive into this ocean without either a single format or a reasonably priced dual-format player. And for those commenting on the quality, it's not quality which has my interest in high-def discs. It's the amount of extra content. I am somewhat of a bonus feature/documentary nut.

ganyssa
ganyssa

At this point, I'm perfectly happy with what I have right now. Also, since I've just purchased a new house, I have a long list of items that are needed a lot more than "toys" - flooring, a million gallons of paint, a stepladder for the cathedral ceilings I thought were pretty when I was young and naive, appliances, a kitchen faucet, ad nauseum. And since a large portion of my television watching is held captive to The Wiggles, I doubt they'd look better in HD anyway.

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

This name reminds me of the Three Amigo's movie...lol "everybody has their El Guapo to fight, yours just happens to be THE El Guapo"...LOL

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Two 20 oz. bottles of Coke from the convenience store on the way to the theater: $2.50 Two large bags of M&M's: $2.50 more Huge cheap "going to the movies" purse for my wife that pays for itself in two trips to the theater: $12.00 Also, we've got a drive-in theater about 20 miles from the house that shows first-run movies on opening weekends along with a month-old feature. $6.00 each for two movies. They allow coolers, but ask that you restrict them to drinks and buy your food from the concession stand. www.thebigmo.com

TG2
TG2

I vaguely remember hearing something like that.. like it was the fact that porn moved for the "inexpensive" VHS that helped propel vhs to the top of the heap... any links to confirm?? I should look too when I have some more spare time..

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

how Southpark would look in HD??? LOL

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I'll never buy another house with one again. Just a lot of wasted air space to heat and cool, and they're a major pain to paint. Tray ceilings, yes. Cathedrals, no.

tundraroamer
tundraroamer

One of my kiddos works at a theatre. They can bring in 3 guests at a time except on Friday and Saturday nights. We also bring a large ziplock and a drink container and get those filled for free too. Makes going back to the movies fun again!

CG IT
CG IT

gas was 35 cents a gallon and if you filled your tank, they gave you a dozen eggs.... best of all Hamms beer was still being made

musashi675
musashi675

I had the fortune to attend the Consumer Electronics Show this year and the porn industry--because it produces the most DVDs- generally make the decision which format to go with. At the end of the weekend they had decided to make no decision and defer chosing until next year's show (Jan 08).

frank_s
frank_s

I should have pointed out that Masushita is the parent company of both JVC and Panasonic and said "It was JVC who developed VHS and not Panasonic.

frank_s
frank_s

First of all it was JVC who developed VHS not Matsushita. You are correct that they licensed it to many other companies but there were a number of other BetaMax VCRs besides Sony, Sanyo, Aiwa, Toshiba and Zenith come to mind (my daughter still has my original BetaMax which was a Sanyo, for her collection of Disney Beta tapes. BetaMax's picture quality was superior to VHS (later VHS VCRs were pretty much comparable, but that was a number of years later). BetaMax's tape transport mechanism was far superior and VHS still lacks in that regard. Most experts say that there were a number of factors in VHS "winning" the format war: one factor was JVC's very agressive push for VHS, and as others have pointed out here, the porn industry choosing VHS over Beta made a difference. Also JVC made a big deal out of the fact that you could record up to 8 hours on VHS compared to 5 hours 20 minutes on Beta. Never mind that looking at an LP VHS recording was like watching colored blobs with next to no detail. Shows you how much the average consumer regards quality. Keep in mind, up until the advent of ditital and HD camcorders almost all TV news was recorded on Sony camcorders based on the BetaMax system. My prediction is that technical superiority will have very little to do with whichever high definition disc format wins out; price may very well be the deciding factor.

GSG
GSG

No links, but my own memory and a discussion the other day from us "older folks" making a joke about BetaMax and one of the young'uns we work with asking, "What's BetaMax?" You could probably google it and get a whole bunch of info on it.

Mark Boz
Mark Boz

Matsushita (Panasonic) licensed VHS techonology to everyone (Toshiba, Mitubishi, ...), while Sony would not license proprietary Beta tecnnology to anyone. This VHS competition led to lower hardware prices which THEN lead to content suppliers choosing VHS first because it was more popular. Porn was just another content provider.

GSG
GSG

Hah, I agree. I just had all of my ceilings painted after having my house damaged when a car was crashed through a bedroom. They did all of the ceilings and it took 3 coats. I'd never have been able to do it myself, and I DON'T have cathedral ceilings.