After Hours

Snagged my $98 HD-DVD player at Wal-Mart this morning


As we reported yesterday, Wal-Mart kicked off the holiday shopping season this morning with a "secret sale" that included a $348 Acer laptop, a $998 50" Sanyo plasma TV and a $98 Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD player.

I headed over to my local store at around 7am this morning and ended up being 4th in line. By the time the sale started at 8am, there were only 15-20 people in line. Most wanted the laptop; however, everyone in front of me bought both the laptop and the HD-DVD player.

Toshiba HD-A2

If you were able to get the $98 deal this morning, you can make it even sweeter by getting 5 HD-DVDs for free by mail. The selection is pretty light; however, there are a few good ones available including Full Metal Jacket and Babel. Print out the rebate form here.

So have you picked sides in the HD-DVD v. Blu-ray format war? If not, what is it going to take for you to adopt the new HD formats?
10 comments
Zaitoshi
Zaitoshi

This insane pricing strategy by HD-DVD is likely their last throw at trying to create a userbase capable of sustaining the format. Blu-Ray sales are 5:1 in Asia, 4:1 in Europe, only the US has some sort of a battle between the standards, but even there it's a grim 3:1 in favor of Blu-Ray. I could be badly mistaken, but this looks like a desperate move on behalf of the HD-DVD group. On the other hand it's also quite likely the HD-DVD group has nothing to do with this, and all the major outlets are dumping their HD-DVD gear before the standard collapses under the Blu-Ray pressure. Either way, HD-DVD needs some sort of miracle to win this one.

Litehouse
Litehouse

I haven't exactly picked a side completely yet. Like most consumers however, price will make a BIG difference in my choice. These cheap HD DVD players are going to sway an awful lot of people. If BluRay cannot do the same, it will die.

ben@channells
ben@channells

In the UK it may be 2:1 in Blu-Ray, but before the PS3 came out HD-DVD out sold 6:1 The image quality difference is near impossible to see, in the next 5 years screens may become as good as HD-DVDS or Blu-Ray Blu-ray has an older encryption method than HD-DVD and needs more space as the compression method is less efficient than HD-DVD In the UK Blu-Ray players cost ?600 to ?800 where as HD-DVD cost between ?300 to ?600, yes the are cheaper entry level units but why waste your money. Prices of movies are similar although some on Blu-ray are ?2 to ?4 more. Price of HD-DVD vary on how recent they are by ?4 where as Blu-ray vary but ?14. When casino royal is ?30 on Blu-Ray and ?8 on DVD Blu-ray is too expensive for player and movies. The war is not over as the shops are full of cheap DVD, new and old film, Bunndels, special editions. When you can get a new DVD player with 5.1 sound out HDMI and upscaller to ?35 Why but HD-DVD or Blu-Ray???

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

As price DOES play a big part in it. For right now, all of the wealthy people are running out and buying the Blu-Ray, while HD-DVD is finally starting to target a lower income base. They lost the high-end userbase already, but most people (the masses) are not willing to jump up and pay the prices as of yet. Over the long haul, Blu-Ray will be the dominant one, because of the extra storage capacities, but HD can make a bundle if they lowered the prices even further, especially on the videos...

astoddard
astoddard

It makes sense either way. To dump off supply, or try to get some attention. Either way, the 7 people who currently own HD-DVD players are kicking themselves

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

of course I got mine 2 years ago at Fry's. They're now offering $200 desktop PC with Linux, or version $298 with the 'windows tax' version of vista.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I don't know the costs of movies in either format, but I'd go with the format that had less expensive movies, even if the player was two or three times as much. You only buy the player once, but you'll buy lots of movies.

michael.laborde
michael.laborde

Blu-Ray is now using the same compression methods. It's hard to compare against UK prices which are almost always much higher for electronics. In dollars U.S. player prices for both formats seem to be anywhere from 25 to 50% cheaper. The sale price was probably pushed by Toshiba, which has been doing a number of things to get HD-DVD players sold. This sale model is already obsolete and short on features and was basically collecting dust in warehouses and needed to be moved. Better to sell them then put them in a landfill.

romeobartlett
romeobartlett

My son was lucky enough to get one. It is really nice. I wish I hadn't been at work I would have liked to get one. I think that HD will beat Blu-Ray in the long run. As we saw in the Beta vs VHS fiasco, quality doesn't count as much as a cheap price and HD seems to be less expensive so far. But it is very good. I am not sure if Blu-Ray is really any better for the extra expense,

mmenasian
mmenasian

I picked this player up as well. I love it. I already had the 360HD addon for my room but I put the Toshiba in the living room on the big screen. $98 for an HD player? I'm there. Great quality and sound at an amazing price. I have always preferred HD over Blu-Ray. Glad I picked this one up.

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