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Business as usual for HD DVD camp, says boss

January 29th, 2008 · No Comments

Universal Studios executive vice president and HD DVD Promotional Group spokesman Ken Graffeo admits that the HD DVD camp has yet to address Warner’s defection to the Blu-ray camp, which comes into force in May, but denies that either Universal or Paramount are about to follow suit. “This is business as usual for us and there are no plans to make any changes,” he says.
Part of Toshiba’s Post-CES strategy appears to be to cut prices and promote the upscaling abilities of its HD DVD players. Explains Graffeo: “Upconverting players are outselling the next-gen players combined by 10 to 1 every month. They are affordable because they are under 200 dollars (the average price is 85 dollars), and consumers want to see their movies better. So pricing is very important. We saw that on DVD. As soon as price point went under 200 dollars and as soon as it started getting close to 100, players really started taking off because you’re hitting very consumer-friendly prices.”
Market research firm Gartner remains unconvinced. It says it is inevitable that Blu-ray will become the de facto HD disc standard, and predicts that Toshiba will be unable to recover from Warner’s decision to turn Blu. It even concludes that Toshiba and will step down from the fight within a year. Analyst Hiroyuki Shimizu writes: ‘While officially announced as price cuts, this move from Toshiba is an attempt to back up the HD DVD format after the loss. There is still a lot of support for HD DVD as the de facto standard, from companies such as Paramount, Universal Studios and even Microsoft. However, Gartner believes that Toshiba’s price-cutting may prolong HD DVD’s life a little, but the limited lineup of film titles will inflict fatal damage on the format.’

Tags: Corporate · HD DVD and Blu-ray · Trade

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