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Thursday, 06 March 2008 08:11

HD DVD Fire Sale Continues

Written by David Stellmack
Image

Despite excellent sales of American Gangster


One mystery that will continue to be pondered is how American Gangster on HD DVD was able to capture the top spot on the hi-def sales charts and continue to dominate as one of the best selling HD DVD titles of all time. While it isn’t hard to guess that HD DVD owners are picking up this popular HD DVD exclusive, the sales numbers for this title have been quite good.

As for the sales numbers for HD DVD tiles in general, the fire sale on HD DVD movies is now in full swing, with retailers at brick and mortar locations as well as on-line retailers now getting into the act. Retailers are offering a variety of promotions and discounts to clear out existing HD DVD movie inventory. This is starting to already lead to limited or no availability of some of the more popular HD DVD titles.

Amazon and Deep Discount DVD, which are two of the more popular on-line retailers here in the U.S., are offering a ton of excellent promotions to move HD DVD product, including very deep discounts on multi-HD DVD sets as well as individual titles. Currently some popular HD DVD “A” grade titles are selling for just under US$10 with free shipping in some cases.

Circuit City, on the other hand, is running a promotion where you buy three HD DVDs and get two free. Circuit City expects this promotion to help move HD DVD titles quickly to make shelf space to carry additional upcoming Blu-ray releases and they expect to burn through existing in stock HD DVD titles over the next couple of weeks. In addition, they have cut the price of the HD-A30 HD DVD player from Toshiba to just a tad under US$130, which is another $70 mark down from where the player was priced just a few short weeks ago.

Best Buy surprisingly has not yet started to move into fire sale mode for its remaining HD DVD titles at the brick and mortar level. However, we have started to see some price movement on HD DVD titles at Best Buy online. In addition, Best Buy has started moving the last of the HD DVD add-ons for the Xbox 360 out the door with prices as low as US$50, which isn’t the lowest that we have seen. Remaining standalone HD DVD players from Toshiba have been moved to the DVD players that can up convert and offer HD DVD playback.

As for the price on HD DVD players in the U.S., Overstock.com is blowing out the HD DVD add-on for the Xbox 360 for an incredible US$35. The low-end Toshiba HD-A3 standalone HD DVD player has reached the $80 price point at online retailers like Tiger Direct. Of course, $80 isn’t such a deal when you consider that the HD-A2 was being blown out at Wal-Mart during the holiday season for $99, but the HD-A3 is the third generation version of the low-end Toshiba player, which is an improvement over the HD-A2 model.

Perhaps the question that we continue to get asked more often than any other regarding HD DVD is whether the price of the combo players has dropped; and the answer is “not really.” We thought that the price of the combo HD DVD/Blu-ray players would fall at least some, in view of the recent moves in the market place;, but the price has instead fallen a little or stayed the same, and that is if you are able to lay your hands on a combo player at all.

Many seem to have taken our advice and have latched on to one of these standalone combo players to protect their investment in HD DVD titles. Who can blame them? With the price of HD DVD titles continuing to head downward, you can get some great movies on HD DVD at very low prices today, and also watch the Blu-ray movies of tomorrow on the same player. We just wish the entry price was not so steep.

Last modified on Thursday, 06 March 2008 14:24

David Stellmack

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