HD DVD price war begins at $198, $170 on Black Friday

HD DVD price war begins at $198, $170 on Black Friday

Summary: The high definition format wars are in full swing and they're about to heat up even more with HD DVD prices dropping below the $200 mark.  HD DVD took an early lead only to lose the lead to Blu-ray because of Sony's PlayStation 3 with built-in Blu-ray capability.

TOPICS: Mobility, Hardware

The high definition format wars are in full swing and they're about to heat up even more with HD DVD prices dropping below the $200 mark.  HD DVD took an early lead only to lose the lead to Blu-ray because of Sony's PlayStation 3 with built-in Blu-ray capability.  With Blockbuster video brick and mortar stores shunning HD DVD on its physical shelves and misreported stories that Target would abandon HD DVD when it was merely doing end caps for Blu-ray, Blu-ray was beginning to look like the decisive winner.  But with Paramount and DreamWorks declaring their exclusive support for HD DVD, that breathed life back in to the HD DVD camp.

It will get even more interesting starting next month on Black Friday when we see deals like this $300 Toshiba HD-A3 HD DVD Player sell for $170 according to this site.  It's likely that projection/LCD/Plasma HDTVs which have come drastically down in price will be a hot seller this Christmas season and the retailers are hoping to move a lot of HDTVs and HD DVD players.  With major retailers like Wal-Mart and Circuit City pushing cheap HD DVD players, it could once again turn the tide of war.  Sub-$200 HD DVD players have been in the rumor mill for some time but it was widely believed that the $200 price will be for some no-name brand and not Toshiba.

Blu-ray players currently sell for just under $400 and we could see bigger discounts on Black Friday but it's still twice the cost of HD DVD players.  While the PlayStation 3 currently has a huge market share relative to set-top HD DVD boxes, it remains to be seen if the numbers will flip by the end of this year.  Since HD DVD players will play standard DVDs up-converted to 1080i, the low-price and backward compatibility should be compelling to consumers as a stand-alone replacement for the ubiquitous DVD players.

Update 11/1/2007 - Bestbuy now selling Toshiba HD-A2 at $180 but sold out.  Betanews reports K-Mart dumps Blu-ray due to price.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware

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  • I think that is the only way HD DVD can win

    Personally, I think Sony offers a better product, but still feel that we live in a cheap society where we don't care about quality near as much as we care about price or lack there of.

    Apple would appear to be the only exception to the rule at the moment.
    • A lot of people don't like Sony's tactics and Sony's pricing

      • Alot more people don't like Microsoft's tactics, pricing or ethics.

        Just because Microsoft wants HD to win (so they make more royalty money) doesn't mean it's going to happen.

        There goes George propping up his Microsoft again ~

        ha, ha, fart~
        • Toshiba Technology

          While MS might be part of the HD DVD group this is Toshiba Technology. MS dosen't even include a HD DVD player with the Xbox you have to buy it separately.

          Toshiba tried to work with Sony on a common standard but Sony would not come to the table. Instead Sony uses Movies Studios and Retailers to blackball the HD DVD format (and cries foul when the HD DVD group is forced to do the same). Sony forces Gamers to buy playstations with BluRay technology that is not required for gaming (at prices below cost)- just so they can get ahead in the HD Player numbers game.

          MS is playing fair in this game. Toshiba is playing fair. Sony is not!

          Pick a differant post to attack MS.

          Thanks for the article George.
        • Dude, would you please stop, this is nto about Microsoft

          Man, you are one obsessed little fella aren't you? Clue for you, Microsoft will sup[ort which ever one wins and users will be happy for it. Now please run along...
          • Axey . . .

            This time, you're on the money. That's why the HD player for the Xbox 360 is an add-on. If the market goes the other way, all they have to do is quit selling HD-DVD, and make a Blu-Ray add-on.

            If Sony loses, they have a REALLY expensive Game Machine. And we all know what will happen in that case. Neo-Geo, anyone?

            MS is innocent, this time. And playing it smart . . .
          • I agree...

            For now supporting HD DVD makes sense (They are in competition with Sony in the console market) but Microsoft is smart enough to see which way the wind blows and if it changes direction so will they.
        • Tis the season for more fiction

          Just in time for Christmas. I can hardly wait for your "Anti-Microsoft Christmas Rants"

          I do not think anyone worries much about anyone's tactics. If they can aquire something cheap or free, then tactics are not even a thought.
      • Agree with that. Nor do I like Microsoft.

        Therein is the rock and hard place for me. I think Sony is an unethical company and I hold the same opinion of Microsoft. Sony wants Blu-Ray... Microsoft wants HD.

        I guess my solution is to avoid buying either one for as long as I possibly can. That's my plan. Maybe some day one or the other will just go away and we can standardize. One or the other will likely win. Sadly, I can't figure out how to make both of them lose.
      • Most people don't even know..

        People will blindly buy Sony because it has the reputation of being the best without realizing there may be better (See Samsung vs Sony in the LCD market) alternatives for a cheaper price.
      • Good thing every other CE company is onboard with BD

        Don't like Sony pricing or tactics? How about get a Panasonic full-spec BD player for $499 next week. Or the Philips player. Or one of the Samsung players. Perhaps the Pioneer player works for you, or the Sharp. Maybe you'd rather have the Daewoo player, or Loewe or Lite-On instead.

        What options do you have with HD DVD? Toshiba and a pre-order for Venturer.
        glocks out
        • $400 is too much, I'm cheap

          $400 is too much, I'm cheap because I have a family to feed.
          • Thank You!! NT

    • Sony offers a better product????

      Well hopefully your personal opinions are not the norm. By your comment of Sony offering a better product you mean:
      - Lack of interactivity (HDi vs. BD-J)
      - Releasing interim BD spec players that will not support 1.1 or 2.0
      - Not requiring ethernet connectivity
      - Initially releasing movies using MPEG-2 that looked inferior to VC-1 titles on HD-DVD

      This is just to cite a few examples.
      • Uhm...

        Most people don't even know what the hell that means. :) Only the techies.
        • but ours go to 11

          just because its technical doens't mean it won't fool the idiots, or easily taken, and it doesn't mean that it will completely confuse them either.

          People hearing that something about a new device isn't right, in general will try to find more information about the problem, or will avoid the product all together.

          Mentioning that BlueRay and HDDVD is a competition of wills that harkens back to the days of VHS or Betamax, is easily the best way to remind people of the VCR generation exactly how things came out.. cheaper vhs won .... but also reminding them that there are other issues with the two competing standards, likens them to either hold off, or to go based on price, and if that's the motivator.. HD is set to win.
        • Exactly

          More points for HD-DVD. Only the Techies care about the superior specs of HD-DVD. But what do most people care about???? Price. Another HD-DVD win. With Wal-Mart's $98 Toshiba-A2 this is a no brainer.
      • I was speaking from a tech standpoint

        But you have listed some of the Caveats of Sony and their inability to work as a company.

        Americans must be getting too much power in Sony. Actually, I don't have a clue with is going on over there. Thanks for you insight though.
    • (NT) Does Sony's still come with a rootkit?

      Jack-Booted EULA
  • I guess it depends on what you can do with it once you've got it.

    Would you be able to plug your shiny new drive into a spare SATA port in your PC and then start watching HD movies on your existing DVI monitor? Or even ripping those movies to hard disk to watch in their full glory?

    Because until then, I just don't see the point in HD drives. The (still too high) price barely even comes into it.