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Cheap Chinese HD-DVD players are apparently likely to be on

by ramsrule30 / July 8, 2007 2:06 PM PDT

the way soon. Here is the story:

Friday, June 29, 2007 - 10:21 (GMT+99)

China prepares to unleash its HD DVD army
Filed under: DVD, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD | by :ryan |

AV Zombie: The steering committee of the DVD Forum has now rubber-stamped an agreement with the Optical Memory National Engineering Research Center of China, which effectively gives a green light to the creation of an HD DVD variant for China?s local market.

Under the agreement, the country gets a unique version of the HD DVD specification which is close enough to the standard used elsewhere for Chinese makers to develop widely compatible disc players, made inexpensive through huge economies of scale.

It?s unclear yet what the real impact of cheap HD DVD players pouring from Chinese vendors will be, but Universal?s Ken Graffeo believes it could mark a turning point in the hi-def format war. ?Hardware drives software. Why do you think they give away the razor? It?s because they want you to buy the blades.?

Inexpensive players are seen as key to broadening the appeal of high def packaged media. Toshiba recently saw its player sales soar by as much as 70% when it dropped the price of its entry-level deck.

Andy Parsons, spokesman for the Blu-ray Disc Association, was less impressed, claiming the ratification of a Chinese HD DVD standard would have little relevance in the worldwide market.

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low quality
by widojofus / July 8, 2007 2:50 PM PDT

no matter how good they sound, they are gonna be junk, and they will not as good as a good hddvd or bluray player. chumps will buy this, and they will end up throwing away their money.

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could be
by ramsrule30 / July 9, 2007 12:19 AM PDT
In reply to: low quality

But, I said nothing about the quality. Right now, prices on both types of players are too high to involve the mainstream consumer. If cheap enough players come out on either side, that could tip the scales in favor of that format. Walmart will pick up whichever sides put out the cheapest players. They can't make enough money on current Blu-ray players because they are so pricey. I honestly do not care which format wins, but would like this to be over. As it currently stands right now, HD-DVD stands the best chance of mass adoption because of price. They already outsell Blu-ray standalone players because of price. Overall Blu-ray has sold more players if the PS3 is counted. But, I have read sales are not doing so well in that area any longer. This was a smart move by Sony to allow the PS3 to double as a Blu-ray player, but they are going to have to start producing much cheaper players to stay ahead in this game. Blue-ray has outsold HD-DVD in disc sales due to the PS3 and more titles in that format. Things have not looked good for HD-DVD recently, but things could swing dramatically if they produce these cheaper players and get Walmart behind them. Funai is suppose to be putting out some cheaper Blu-ray players but if they are not cheap enough, their efforts could be undone by the HD-DVD players on the way. Mainstream America will care less about which technology is "superior." They will go with the side that puts out the cheaper alternatives.

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Content will make the winner
by givemeaname / July 9, 2007 3:38 AM PDT
In reply to: could be

Wally World is not the place where people go shopping for the newest technology, they go there because "it is cheap". & for the newest cutting edge technology in home entertanment a 'cheap' Hi Def player is going to be low on the shopping list of someone going to Wally Wolrd.

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you miss my point
by ramsrule30 / July 9, 2007 5:22 AM PDT

If you are looking for the best product and technology you will probably not look to Walmart. However, millions of Americans do their one stop shopping there. If Walmart sells these players for as cheap as some suspect it could provide a huge boost in sales for the HD-DVD camp because it is more affordable. Whichever camp wins the war will have to have the mainstream average consumer behind them. With this announcement and no cheap alternatives for Blu-ray this seems to favor the HD-DVD camp. Your average Joe does not want to shell out a few hundred dollars for either side at high prices. However, if prices fall dramatically with these new players that could be on the way, people will be much more likely to "try out" this new technology. All sales figure and data in this war is only coming from a small fraction of the population at this point; not mainstream consumers.

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And so the damage is done.......
by Rollbar / July 9, 2007 4:26 AM PDT
In reply to: could be

...by the very act of pointing out the issue. Here I was ready to cough up cash for a Blu-Ray; not now however. Now I want to wait to see what happens.

Gary

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Should have added...
by Rollbar / July 9, 2007 4:28 AM PDT

...It's not because I'm looking for cheap....I just don't want to throw away my cash on a Beta tape player.

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Cheap-o players have one good side
by Dan Filice / July 9, 2007 4:46 AM PDT
In reply to: Should have added...

When cheap-o players hit the market, it should help force the main-stream makers to lower their prices a bit. That will be a good thing. But bottom line, cheap-o players will cater to the same group of people that shop for price and who buy a 40" LCD TV for $499 instead of a good one for $1000. People who impulse-buy aren't typically the ones who do their homework and do research before buying.

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I agree
by ramsrule30 / July 9, 2007 5:28 AM PDT

I think its a little premature that some are already declaring Blu-ray the winner in this war. You can bet these cheap HD players will be here in time for the holiday season, which could make things very interesting. I personally do not necessarily care which side wins, but would like a winner soon. Whichever format wins will have to have the average consumer in their corner. If these players come in time for the holiday season and sell as well as I expect they will, things could change dramatically. You could see some companies that are exclusively Blu-ray begin to produce releases in both formats if the HD-DVD camp start experiencing a huge boost in sales as a result of these players.

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Here is something you won't read on cnet
by ramsrule30 / July 9, 2007 6:27 AM PDT
In reply to: Should have added...

HD DVD stand-alone players have 60% market share


Warner releases The Matrix Trilogy on HD DVD on May 22.

JUNE 11 | Following a reduction in pricing, HD DVD players command 60% of the high-definition stand-alone market, according to the North American HD DVD Promotional Group.

To date, consumers have bought 150,000 dedicated HD DVD players.

In May, Toshiba lowered pricing on its base models to $299 from November?s $499 tag. Toshiba?s higher-end players are dropping as well, including the HD-A20, the price of which will fall to $399 this month from earlier April $499 pricing.

The HD DVD Promotional Group also touted that 75,000 HD DVD movies sold during the last week in May. That corresponds to the availability of the some of the most elite releases to date on the format, including The Matrix.

?Toshiba?s latest promotional efforts are clearly resonating with consumers and showing that price is king when it comes to hardware,? said Craig Kornblau, chair of the North American HD DVD Promotional Group and president of Universal Studios Home Entertainment. ?Behind the increase in sales for hardware and movies, you?re seeing fundamentally lower manufacturing costs and ease of authoring for HD DVD. That?s the type of model that can scale.?

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Why is it
by ramsrule30 / July 9, 2007 6:30 AM PDT

that we don't get much converage here on this topic.

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it's all in how you slice
by woodygg / July 9, 2007 3:02 PM PDT
In reply to: Why is it

the data...

people here seem to have a bias towards the blu ray. never understood why - i could care less which one wins. i'll buy when the time is right (which isn't now for me!)

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here is more of what I was saying
by ramsrule30 / July 9, 2007 3:32 PM PDT

Has Blu-ray won the HD war or just round 1?
By Stan Beer
Monday, 25 June 2007
With the announcement that Blockbuster has decided to give HD DVD the flick from shelves of 1450 stores after an initial trial of 250 stores, many market watchers have declared Blu-ray the winner of the high definition video format wars. However, the HD DVD camp is far from admitting defeat and they claim to have some good reasons. But do they?

As it stands, current sales figures show that Sony-backed Blu-ray disks are outselling Toshiba-backed HD DVD titles by more than two to one. The same thing goes for rentals, which is why Blockbuster has given HD shelf space in most of its US stores to Blu-ray movies only.

On top of this, Blu-ray has the support of more major movie studios than HD DVD. How much longer Universal will stick with its exclusively HD DVD stance is open to question.

Then there is the question of high definition players. HD DVD players have definitely outsold standalone Blu-ray players in the US. By the HD DVD camp's own figures, it has 60% of the standalone market, selling 150,000 players compared to 100,000 standalone Blu-ray players.

However, Sony has sold about 1.5 million PS3 consoles in the US alone and more than the same again outside the US. Thus, sticking with the US market, there are already ten times as many Blu-ray players as HD DVD players in the homes of US consumers. Blu-ray may have a lower attach rate of high definition movies to its players but with that sort of numerical advantage it's hard to see how HD DVD can prevail.

That said, there is one major advantage that HD DVD has going for it - price. HD DVD players at present can be had for 40% less than the cheapest Blu-ray players. If HD DVD players get cheap enough quickly enough - say around US$150 to US$200 - consumers may consider them a no brainer and snap them up in bulk from major retail outlets. Blu-ray players are still very much a luxury purchase.

Make HD DVD players cheap enough, then consumers may start buying them instead of DVD players and the PS3 driven lead of Blu-ray could be whittled away overnight. If movie studios start sensing that HD DVD players are getting into the hands of more consumers, there is not one shred of doubt that more of them will start supporting the format.

However, at present Sony seems to hold the aces in pack. PS3 owners may not have bought their consoles to play Blu-ray movies but it's a fair bet that many households with a PS3 are playing Blu-ray movies - just ask Blockbuster.

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I'm for HD-DVD
by C_519 / July 10, 2007 12:02 PM PDT

I probably be one of the few

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as was I
by ramsrule30 / July 10, 2007 9:34 AM PDT

If the Blu-ray camp would put out some sub $200 players soon they could potentially end this thing. Funai is suppose to be releasing some less expensive players for Blu-ray soon but I will be extremely suprised if they are in that price range. I am afraid it is more likely they will be in the same price range as the entry Toshiba HD-DVD range.

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BIG HAIRY DEAL...............
by Riverledge / July 10, 2007 12:39 PM PDT

DOES ANYONE CARE ANYMORE???


river.

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You should if you want a High Definition DVD player
by ramsrule30 / July 10, 2007 12:58 PM PDT

At the very least this could force the Blu-ray camp to lower prices.

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DON'T DO MOVIES, COULD CARE LESS!!!
by Riverledge / July 10, 2007 1:03 PM PDT

JUST ROOTING FOR SONY, that's all. Have stock in SONY.

river.

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Ok Riverledge, now you forced me to say something
by misterguy / July 10, 2007 6:46 PM PDT

You dont do movies! Are you crazy!!!! Ill get to that in a second. Im still in shock. I guess its hard for me to relate since I burn through multiple movies every week. I just love movies. Anyway, I normally try not to comment on these format war threads because too many people fail to understand that nobody is currently winning. Who knows, there might not even be a winner. They are just dealing each other blows like any competition would do. Each camp has their own stats as to how they are winning. Makes no sense to quote one of them. Oh, and if you really want an HD player then wait until the price is right and go out and buy one. Enjoy one now and stop worrying about the next millennium.

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(NT) (NT) You dont do movies! Im still in shock :-)
by misterguy / July 10, 2007 6:53 PM PDT
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