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Toshiba cuts HD DVD prices to fight Warner coup

updated 08:35 am EST, Mon January 14, 2008

Toshiba HD DVD Price Cuts

Toshiba today began the first week after CES with a major cut to its HD DVD player prices. The electronics firm is now set to reduce the normal price of the 1080i-only HD-A3 player in half from $300 to $150; the 1080p-capable HD-A30 and HD-A35 will be available for $200 and $300 respectively. The drop has allegedly been made as price is a "deal-breaker" for a mainstream audience and because HD DVD has a significant marketshare; about 50 percent of the HD movie player business and 80 percent of HD-capable notebooks belong to HD DVD, Toshiba claims. However, it is unclear whether the company has included sales of Sony's PlayStation 3 console, which ships with Blu-ray but has historically been excluded by the HD DVD Promo Group as it is not a dedicated movie player.

Advertising for HD DVD will also be stepped up to emphasize the format, Toshiba says, and should include new promos such as free movie bundles.

While officially claimed as a reflection of the popularity of HD DVD, the move is already considered an attempt to shore up the format after the loss of Warner Bros. movies. Warner's shift from producing in both formats to Blu-ray alone has left HD DVD with just Paramount and Universal as its major supporters, both of which account for only 30 percent of all HD movies on offer. The move was sufficiently damaging as to force the HD DVD Promotional group to postpone and then ultimately cancel its CES keynote.

Notably, Toshiba's announcement stresses HD DVD's role as a conventional DVD player rather than its native format, noting that it produces "near high definition picture quality" by upscaling video over an HDMI connection.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001



    good luck Toshiba. More like, clearing out suddenly undesirable HD DVD players.

  1. danviento

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2005


    Sounds to me...

    Don't they usually call this liquidation? Excpet Tosh has too much pride to put it that way.

  1. JeffHarris

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999


    Fire Sale

    danvieto, you're being kind.

    HD DVD is DEAD and this is a FIRE SALE.

    Long Live Blu-ray!

  1. Feathers

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Oct 1999


    price of players...

    What's the point of getting a player cheap if there's nothing to play on it, oh, except traditional DVD's??? So the upshot of this is that Toshiba is clearing inventory by selling them as upscaling DVD players rather than HD-DVD players. Sounds like defeat to me!

  1. f1rehead

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2006



    Why is this cross-posted to MacNN?

  1. horvatic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2002


    Blue Ray has won

    Blue Ray has won, it's over. HD DVD was inferior from the beginning. It's time to standardize on blue ray and lower prices so real people can afford to buy and use the product.

  1. vasic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005


    Going down...

    They said they won't go down without the fight and the apparently mean it. Not that they can put up much of a fight, but one never knows. This still has potential to swing either way, unless tomorrow SJ announces standard Blu-ray in all Macs.

  1. tindrum

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2004


    free movie bundle

    Well, I put in for the 5 free movie bundle when I bought the add-on for xbox 360. I included a copy of the receipt, the paper indicating what 5 movies I wanted, and the UPC off of the box, but they wrote me back saying I didn't have the right paperwork. I sent it back, telling them I did (what else did they want) but I never saw any movies. That was the start of me getting sour on HD DVD. If they really wanted to promote it, they would have just shipped me my damn movie, not sat on particulars that I couldn't figure out. Now, I've got two HD DVD movies - Transformers, and King Kong (which came with it). I'm buying Blu-Ray.

  1. LtCarter47

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2004


    HD-DVD may be dead

    but I have no problem picking up a cheap player. There are a ton of discs already out there which will now become cheap, and they're just as good as the Blu-Ray discs.

  1. ender

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 1999


    I can see it now...

    Whether you call it a last ditch effort to win, or a liquidation of assets in defeat, the problem is that 90% of consumers don't read these message boards and don't realize the inevitability of the situation. And don't expect your local Best Buy sales person to explain it to them. Make no mistake, there are going to be A LOT of people getting suckered into buying HD-DVD for awhile yet.

    I can see it now, there will be a class action lawsuit against Toshiba, Best Buy, etc, for knowingly selling to unsuspecting consumers players for a format they know is going to loose. This ia America after all. It's my right to sue when I make uninformed decisions!

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