Low Demand for HD-DVD Technology

A blurry picture for HD-DVD as launch nears – Yahoo! News: “But so far it appears that those will be the only players on the market, at least for the time being. In the nearly three months since Toshiba announced its players, not a single other consumer electronics manufacturer has chimed in.

Moreover, sources report that only 10,000 Toshiba players are being shipped to retailers initially, a number that indicates low sales expectations. (A Toshiba spokesman would not comment on the figure.) And only one player, the cheaper HD-A1, is on sale (for the full list price of $499.99) at Amazon.com and the Web sites of other big retailers like Best Buy, while the Circuit City Web site is offering neither HD-DVD player.”

Uh, perhaps this might have something to do with the fact that I have no confidence that I’m going to be able to even play HD-DVD movies in HD-DVD on my 43″ plasma that I paid five grand for or my most recent $1,000 plus Dell monitor purchase. Why would people invest money in technology that doesn’t work?

See my post “Hollywood Hates You” for more information.

Unless given rock solid assurance that all HD-DVDs will play on my current monitors I have zero interest in the technology. No assurance is being given by anyone at the moment regarding this and I’d recommend avoiding the technology at all costs until assurance is given. Hopefully these low dismal sales numbers will force Hollywood/Microsoft’s hand on the matter.

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  1. Jeremiah says:

    I feel as if HD has just been some kind of bait-and-switch play. A year ago, I goaded a friend into buying an HD (1080i) capable Samsung DLP TV. The picture is friggin beautiful, and that’s just with DVD’s. We have yet to see any actual HD programming, however, as DISH won’t allow him to upgrade for a reasonable cost (about $600 just to make the change). A new customer can get the HD package for around $99 (around $200 with the HD-PVR, I think), but he faces around $300 in termination fines if he cancels his subscription…so he can’t become a “new” customer either. He’d go with Comcast Digital, but they don’t offer an HD-PVR.

    And now HD-DVD is supposedly not going to work with TV’s that don’t have an HDMI input (or will offer a degraded analog signal).

    And then there’s Blu-Ray….Betamax Pt. II.

    At the end of the day, I don’t think (wait, I KNOW) the industry doesn’t care, because they’re not in the “movie” business….they sell shiny plastic discs. They’re merchandisers, first and foremost. They’ll sell us all our favorite movies and TV shows over and over and over again on whatever damn thingymajigger we’ll buy ’em on. As long as the classic equation provides a desired outcome (i.e., we sell it for more than it costs to produce), it will make it to market.

    Having said that, my *fantasy* would be a media exchange – read: bring us your tired, your ragged low-res DVD’s and let us replace them with wonderous, high-definition versions of our favorite films. After all, we’ve already paid the licensing fee, right?

  2. EnergyGuru says:

    There is definitely the TV compatibility problem that you mentioned by I am more worried by the betamaxesque standards war that jeremiah alluded to. Let’s say I could plunk down $450 for a decent HD-DVD player, I’m basically taking a huge risk that Blu Ray won’t become the dominant standard. If it does, I’m out not only that $450 but anything I spent on new media. I’ll wait until they figure out which format is going to be dominant before I buy.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The industry has risen (or stagnated depending on POV) because of people like US: http://www.flickr.com/photos/post/54713471/

    In the beginning HDTVs suffered from the catch 22 problem. You could get an expensive HDTV but couldn’t get any HD content. Slowly but surely people still bought HDTVs (like me) until the catch 22 problem was almost solved.

    Now that there is a relatively good install base of HDTVs the industry decides it could be profitable to sell their content in HD, however only to the newest of HDTV owners. I’m assuming they’re hoping 1) Early adopters are like iPod owners: willing to upgrade every generation, or 2) People won’t know they’re not seeing HDTV on their older HDTVs.

    Either option is unacceptable to me.

    I have zero interest in supporting this industry any more. You can see from my picture I own around 500 DVDs. I can’t bring my self to buy any more DVDs. I’m not sure when I last bought a movie either. My friends and family have long stopped coming by to borrow my movies because they’re too old or they’ve already borrowed them 🙂

    Adding fuel to the fire: On a related side-note I have given DRM an honest try. I was excited about Napster’s subscription service. DRM was much more of a problem and wasn’t worth the buffet all-you-can-eat benefits. Half the time, the WMP couldn’t acquire a license to play the song leaving my HDD space wasted on worthless files.

    I truly hope the hardware industry stops bending over for the content industry. Their co-dependant on each other, but why does the hardware companies always let the content guys make all the rules?

    I give up.