Earlier this week we commented on the decision by Paramount and Dreamworks to victory for the HD DVD camp, even if it did cost them a rumoured $150m. Now we have word that Toshiba is cutting the cost of its hardware -- ., instead of continuing dual-format support. This was seen by some as a bit of a
Of the three HD DVD players in the range, two are getting a price cut. Theis dropping from a recommended price of £349 down to £249. The , which offers the addition of 1080p support, is also coming down in price -- from £449 to £339. The top-of-the-range isn't getting a price reduction -- it still costs £649 -- but it does have the advantage of analogue audio out and HDMI 1.3.
Of course, those are the recommended retail prices and you can probably find a bargain if you hunt around -- we've seen the HD-E1 for just £180 and the EP-10 for £250 on play.com, and that includes delivery. Interestingly, both are out of stock. Is this because people are flocking in their droves to buy players in anticipation of Transformers being available on the format?
The only problem we can see here is apathy. It's all very well having lots of movie studio support and cheap hardware, but until you can persuade the public that HD DVD is something they need, there is never going to be much more than a niche market for these things. Anever helps public confidence, either, especially for a generation of people who were stung by the VHS vs Betamax format punch-up.
There is also one more part to this announcement that makes it all the more compelling. Apparently, if you buy an X Series Toshiba TV, such as the, you'll get an HD-E1 for free. That's a deal we like the sound of, and it certainly won't do much harm to the market penetration of HD DVD hardware. -Ian Morris