Things are not looking up for HD-DVD. Not long ago there was some speculation that if Wal-Mart got behind the HD-DVD format, things could turn bad for Blu-ray. However, this has not been the case. Currently the HD-DVD guys are trying to make the European Union go after Blu-ray, accusing them of Antitrust. Another thing to consider is that Blockbuster has gotten behind Blu-ray. Now we have this:

Target to Promote Blu-Ray DVD Format – Target Corp., the nation’s second-largest retailer, will start selling a Sony Blu-ray high-definition DVD player during the critical holiday shopping period and feature the player along with Blu-ray discs in store displays, dealing a potential blow to the rival HD DVD format.

The move, which the companies will formally announce Thursday, is another step in resolving a format war that has kept confused consumers from rushing to buy new DVD players until they can determine which format will dominate the market.

The HD DVD camp was not fazed by the Target decision, pointing out that HD DVD players continue to outsell Blu-ray players, which cost at least twice as much. They also point out that HD DVD players and DVDs are featured in endcap displays in Circuit City Stores and Best Buy locations.

Is there something fishy going on here? Is the arrival of players that play both formats making both camps nervous?

  1. Jeff says:

    There are now dual players for the PC as well for the living room. As soon as the price drop on them it won’t matter what format you get. Anyway wouldn’t if help both sides if a dual player comes out?

  2. bobbo says:

    I”ll wait another year atleast for prices and drm to get lower. This is coming along just fine. Last night, I installed a firewire card in my XP computer and started recording high def from my comcast motorola DST6214 DVR to my computer. Sweet!

  3. Smartalix says:

    With video-on-demand and honking big drives removable media will only be useful for retail environments, and the industry is waking up to that. If a winner in the format war doesn’t present itself soon both formats are jeopardized.

  4. tallwookie says:

    this whole hd-dvd vs blu-ray thing reminds me of the vhs vs beta-max thing

  5. JoaoPT says:

    I for one hail our BluRay Overlords 🙂

  6. Milo says:

    Smartalix is right on the money but consider too that by the time one of these formats wins the war they’ll have USB sticks with the capacity to compete with whoever wins, with better data performance and no or easily removed DRM!

  7. Gasparrini says:

    #6, they’ll have USB sticks with the capacity to compete with whoever wins

    Really? Have you seen the price of an SSD drive with 32 GB? This is still a long way off. What I would agree is that this is probably the last disk based format that we will have.

  8. Guyver says:

    Well if Blu-Ray is doing THAT well, there’s no reason why Samsung or LG who used to be Blu-Ray only supporters would even bother with making a combo player. Arstechnica the other day pointed out that “The PS3 has no games in the top twenty list for June, nor the top ten for the first half of the year.” It’s also no surprise that the PS3 has been in last place for console sales. The Nintedo software sales are showing just how well the hardware sales drives the software.

    Blu-Ray supporters heavily cite the huge number of Blu-Ray discs sold. But I haven’t seen anybody put this into perspective. For the most part, I believe Sony is enjoying Blu-Ray sales much like Nintendo is for software sales but for different reasons.

    Every time Toshiba declares a victory citing standalone players sold, Sony’s rebuttal has been to include their PS3 consoles as well. At last count (and at Sony’s insistence) there were 1.5 million Blu-Ray players sold. At around that time, they reached selling 1 million discs. That’s less than one disc per player.

    Toshiba at that same time pointed out that they were only 2,000 discs behind Blu-Ray and their installed base was around 300,000 players. That’s over 3 discs per player.

    So how is it that Blu-Ray disc sales are doing so well? It seems when you have 1.4 million BORED gamers because there are not that many games worth playing that those $15 coupons Sony bundled with their PS3s seem to be spurring those sales. Blu-Ray sales seem to be doing “okay” so long as there are no great PS3 games out.

    I think Sony has seen what price cuts did for Toshiba and they realize when the good games start coming out (and they will) that those same gamers who are propping their disc sales will more than likely drop their interest in Blu-Ray movies due to cost and replay value. For those two reasons, Sony probably dropped their entry-level Blu-Ray player before launch in order to get more stand alone players in people’s hands. They know ultimately the hardware is going to drive this format war.

    That being said, this format war is ridiculously small. I think I recall reading that the DVD version of Borat alone has sold more copies than all HD-DVD and Blu-Ray discs sold combined and that only 1% of all HDTV owners actually have a HD player for their TVs.

    For now this is a huge game of cherry picking facts and embellishing how significant their victories really are. I put the Target announcement along with the Blockbuster announcement. Both hurt the image of HD-DVD (no pun intended) and how this format war is being won in perception. How much actual damage results all depends on how Target and Blockbuster’s competition react or follow.

  9. Milo says:

    #6 Gasparrini: It’ll be a long time before anyone wins this disk format war and there’s only one USB RAM hardware format…

  10. YeahRight says:

    Are you telling me that Sony will be the defacto standard for something… ( beta, md discs,memory sticks,)=NOT

    wow… never thought I would see that day.

  11. Mr. Fusion says:

    #7, Gasparinni,

    I disagree. The retail cost of solid state memory is falling rapidly. I paid $50 (after rebate) for a ½ GB CF card in January 2006 and $25 for 2GB in May 2007. Eight GB is readily available for under $90. It will only get cheaper and solid state memory will improve its reliability.

    I see a shift to where pre-recorded data will come on Blu-ray and home recording will be done on HD. Because of the DRM, few Blu-ray recorders will be able to successfully record video. Neither will have the attraction of current CDs or DVDs. SSDs will become the new standard.

    I get this from reading the stains in my coffee cup.

  12. JoaoPT says:

    # 11 CD

    jointly with philips…
    And to some extent they also responsible for the compact cassette.


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