Wilted HD DVD camp limps into 2008

18th Jan 2008 | 16:54

Wilted HD DVD camp limps into 2008

Claims to be building momentum in Europe

After being trounced by the Blu-ray camp at CES earlier this month, Toshiba today announced that it is extending its HD DVD marketing campaigns in the UK. It says it's following up on strong dedicated HD DVD player sales and a better HD movie-attach rate than Blu-ray has.

Since the introduction of the format, Toshiba claims that more than 200,000 dedicated HD DVD players have been sold in Europe. That's one player for every 3,550 people - hardly a market penetration to brag about. Mind you, Blu-ray's numbers aren't that much better, with or without PS3 sales included in the mix.

Toshiba says that "according to the latest available independent research, our accumulated share of the high definition standalone player market was close to 60 per cent at the end of 2007". However, Toshiba has once again failed to give us access to this so-called research, and didn't even tell us where it came from. So put on your cynic hat now.

HD DVD fights back?

"While it's still early days for HD on optical disc, these results confirm HD DVD performed strongly throughout 2007," said Yoshio Abe, president of Consumer Products at Toshiba.

"These new marketing investments coupled with our new recommended retail pricing, will ensure HD DVD remains at the forefront of the consumer's mind within Europe," he said.

Toshiba says it plans to extend its promotional campaigns in order to "enhance consumer awareness of the benefits of HD DVD and to drive sales". Either that or it's desperate to flog as many HD DVD players as it possibly can before its fight against Blu-ray finally falls flat.

Coincidentally, Toshiba has also recently announced cuts in the prices of its HD DVD player range in the UK. Effective from today, the recommended price of the entry model 1080p Toshiba HD-EP30 is now below £150 and the high-end HD-EP35 is under £250.

The HD DVD camp, which also includes Microsoft, has been reeling ever since Warner announced that it would ditch the HD DVD format in favour of going exclusively Blu-ray.

This has left HD DVD with only two exclusive Hollywood supporters - Universal and Paramount; two studios who many people expect to switch allegiances before too long - unless Toshiba can pull off some kind of miracle.

"HD DVD";"Blu Ray"
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