Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Retailers Blowing Out or Hiking Up Price of HD DVDs

Since the end of the format war which saw Blu-ray emerge victorious, consumers that own HD DVD players have been doing one of two things: returning their players to the store, or stocking up on HD DVD discs while they're still available. After all, "winning" format or not, HD DVD produces some darned good quality content! Over the past few months, however, I've noticed some subsequent changes in how retailers have been dealing with the remaining discs.

The first step was logically to drop the price of HD DVDs. One that might have sold for $30 was all of a sudden $18.99, then $12.99, and so forth. Granted, I didn't see any earth-shattering deals, but the prices were certainly coming down more significantly than they likely would have if HD DVD remained in the market. Lately, however, I've noticed that the prices have gone back up as supply slowly dwindles and the discs become more difficult to find.

Interestingly, I was prompted to observe this by a fellow shopper in a discount retail shop this past weekend. As we stood side-by-side looking through the last few HD DVDs in stock (selling for just $6!), he commented about how the prices were going back up elsewhere. Funny enough, this was only after he proudly advised me that "you can't play that in a regular DVD player, you know?" While I enjoyed a little internal chuckle, I was genuinely quite pleased to see an example of an "average" consumer that appeared to understand the difference between HD and SD discs and was eager to share his knowledge.

Regardless of what the current average price is, the fact remains that HD DVD discs are still more affordable now then they were 6 months ago. If you still own a player, now's primetime to stock up on the last available titles. For now, they'll provide better quality content than you'll get via standard DVD, and will certainly tide you over before investing in a fancy new Blu-ray. And who knows: once these discs are completely out of circulation, you might be able to flip those discs to an A/V collector of some sort for a pretty penny!

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Anonymous said...

Yeah, I got a very cheap (but excellent quality) HD DVD player (that upscales my regular DVDs beautifully).

I'm paying $8 an HD DVD movie right now.
I couldn't even get the DVD for that.

I've over 100 high def movie collection that averages out at $18 - $20 a movie in exceptional HD quality now.

I could care less who won the small spat between high def formats; Blu-ray certainly isn't doing squat against DVD.

Maybe when Blu-ray dies I'll buy a load of them cheap too.

Anonymous said...

Id say it was more than a spat to say the least.
What are you backing up your claim with that blu ray isnt doing squat against dvd.
Within a few years downloading a standard def dvd (legit) will be as common as going to your local blockbuster, but due to bandwidth constraints my belief is that blu-ray will still be worth the walk to the corner to rent/buy.
I own all three formats at home (standard def, bluray and hddvd).
All are good, but if you have good scaling/processing on your display device, Id rather send 480i any day than an upconverted signal from a sub 500 dollar player.