back to article US HD DVD sales hit new low

US HD DVD software sales slumped to just 15 per cent of the hi-def disc sales total during the week ending 13 January. Throughout 2007, HD DVD's share was closer to 35 per cent of the total. The latest weekly figure comes from America's Home Media Magazine, which was quoting numbers from market watcher Nielsen VideoScan. In …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    More Microsoft money needed?

    What's taking them so long? They are facing a serious risk of failure this time despite the clear lead they have in the inferiority of the technology... Historically that has always guaranteed a win. What is the world coming to?

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Time for one format ...

    The sooner Toshiba calls is quits and the industry unites behind a single format (Blu Ray) the better as far as I, and more of the industry, are concerned.

    7 Words for Toshiba: HD DVD has lost. Deal with it.

    The consumer always loses in a format war ... doubly so now of course when you consider the number of people picking up "cheap" HD-DVD players now who have no idea that they won't ever get any Disney films, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, etc. etc. etc.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    once again...

    we're getting screwed by the studios

    BD is winning coz they prefer how much it can restrict us the consumer.

    It sucks piles, truly it does.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Toshiba should quit HD-DVD, they're still quids in

    For the good of the consumer, Toshiba should phase HD-DVD out. Early adopters might complain but that's the gamble when you're an early adopter. I'm sure they can think of some clever uses for the format, just as Sony did with Betamax->Betacam.

    Japanese business has a clever way of allowing an opponent to save face in such a battle - Toshiba are now heavily involved with Cell production, so the vast majority of blu-ray players in the market have Toshiba fingerprints all over them. They're not 'losers' in this war. They spent a lot of Microsoft money on their format and now they get to walk away with Sony and blu-ray leaving Microsoft with a pile of broken 360s to fix.

    Good news all round!!

  5. James

    People spend less after Christmas Shocker!

    How much did blu-ray sales fall by in the same period? Given what Sony has already done to it's almost ready guv-ray I'll be buying in DVD what I can't get in HD-DVD.

  6. Aquilus

    No cheaper

    I dropped into a Best Buy in the States a few weeks ago. For a format that's supposedly much cheaper to produce and that's desperately struggling for market share, it seemed like madness that there was no appreciable difference in price between HD DVD's and Blu-rays. The reason they sold so few is because they're no cheaper! Typical corporations - putting short term profit ahead of a longer term strategy of building market share by offering cheaper discs. It's cost them the war.

  7. Warren

    Re:People spend less after Christmas Shocker!

    James, the article indicated that HD-DVD market share fell which means that Blu-Ray market share rose. Actual volume of sales has no affect on this.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How many more times

    'BD is winning coz they prefer how much it can restrict us the consumer'

    HD-DVD has all the things you are worried about such as region coding as part of its specification. They just haven't implemented them. If things had gone the other way and HD-DVD had won, just how long do you think it would be before that changed.

    If you look at the technical side of it, Blu-Ray is the superior format. Larger capacity, greater bandwith, faster transfer rate etc.

    I for one am glad that Blu-Ray have won the war. Not because I bought into it, I don't yet own a player for either format but now a clear winner has emerged that will soon change.

  9. Gulfie
    Paris Hilton

    15% market share!!!

    James, you missed the point, the MARKET SHARE of HD-DVD was down to 15%, the remaining 85% of whatever was sold was blu-ray. So it doesn't matter how many blu-ray discs were sold, for every HD-DVD disc sold there were neary six blu-ray discs sold. 5.666 to be precise.

    Roll on the end of the format wars, I won't buy an HD player until there is one format. And even then I won't pay £25 for an HD version of a film I can pick up for £10 on DVD... no way is that a representative mark-up...

  10. Justin
    Thumb Up

    The power of the studio's

    The studio's want more control over there releases. Something Sony's Blu-Ray can give them now. Toshiba's HD-DVD has the capability to do this.

    But, All those who bought the blu-ray early dont count you chickens and mock the HD-DVD buyers. There is a chnace you may have profile 1.0 player,

    to quote the BBC

    "Blu-ray players were divided into so-called "profiles", with all machines released before November 2007 designated as profile 1.0.

    Machines released onto the market since November are called profile 1.1, but none of the standalone Blu-ray players can be upgraded to accommodate this profile.

    Films will still play on the machines, but access to extra features is limited.

    Later this year the Blu-ray camp will offer profile 2.0, called BD Live, which will allow the players which support the feature to connect to the internet to download related content, such as ringtones, trailers and photos.

    But because internet functionality is not a mandatory requirement in current players, none on the market today will be able to access the feature.

    The only Blu-ray player which can upgraded to use all the features is Sony's PlayStation 3, because it comes with the right hardware built-in and online access."

  11. Anonymous Coward


    The figures quoted were percentage of the total for the period, not comparing to previous figures. Each time the comparisson was to other format(s) in the same period

    Of the <n> sold, a lower proportion were HD-DVD, which in turn means that the proportion of the others went UP.

    I know statistics can be a dark art, but...

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Oh.. ffs.. DRM?? Shut up!

    All this yak about DRM being constrictive is just pants. truly pants. Who cares about DRM?? Do you really want to rip a HD disc down to a gig so that you can then palm it off on your mates?? What's the bloody point?! It'll be cracked anyway soon, so what is the point in being down about DRM... I couldn't give a toss about DRM! "Oooo, it's stopping me ripping it.. now I'll have to buy it!" erm.. that's the point and the reason why studios like it. It's because of people like you Anon that have made DRM real : buy the damn thing and stop pretending you are in a world where everything is free! So I blame you Anon. Coward!!

    Gah! It's the wannabe band-wagon-boys who like to stick the knife in when they haven't a clue what they are on about (yes, I'm aware i'm going to get more BWBoys saying that I don't know what i'm on about.. Just try it!) [bloody drm this, drm that... get a grip]

    ah.. that's better :) Rant over.

  13. Iain


    "How much did blu-ray sales fall by in the same period?"

    Much less, hence the Blu/HD split going from 65:35 to 85:15. Yes the numbers are down on both sides, but between the HD-DVD camp seeing a plummet in figures as people wait for the upcoming firesale, and the Blu guys continuing to throw vast sums at 2-for-1 deals everywhere, the ratio is showing a huge shift. have the Toshiba HD-EP30 at £119.99 with 7 movies, which is just silly cheap for what's comfortably the best upscaling DVD player you can buy for that money if you can cope without multiregion, but it's not enough; the war is lost. Sadly; I've got the 'wrong' side as usual.

  14. Alex

    "restrict us the consumer"

    Erm.. how?

    The (mildly) best format is winning, so how can that restrict us? Or are you talking DRM (which, let's face it, is there to protect copyrighted material... so of course the studios want to use it..)?

    Would want to see a comparison between Blu Ray and HD-DVD to really see if Blu Ray is as strong as marketeers reckon.

  15. Allan Rutland

    What about porn?

    The thing is, certain groups...well porn and the BBC still won't touch Blu-ray. Ok the beeb made that choice, but porn got stuck on HD when Blu-ray went all "ohh we dont want porn". Thats going to keep HD going atleast on one small demographic anyhow.

    Frankly though, both formats are an utter waste of time. I have my DVD's and I aint't going to fork over any more cash to those money grabbing studios for the same movie again. DVD's are good enough with a 1080p upscaller, which makes the whole use of either format, utterly worthless.

  16. Fab



    Errr, yes so there *might* have been a drop in sales post Christmas, I assume there probably was. The point of this news article is the relative market share.

    My collegue suggested that rather than posting the above statement I should applaud moronic statements like yours, but somehow I just couldnt do it.

    Oh heck lets try,

    @james - "Yeah, good point mate, I wish I thought like that!"

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    People do not read or understand things shocker!

    The article state that sale of HD-DVD's as a proportion of all HD discs sold fell to 15%, not that overall sales were down.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Em. James ...

    It's a percentage ... It's market share.

    The "drop in sales" is a drop in market share ... sales would be down across the board, but market share should remain constant. They're not HD DVD sales have dropped by more. That's the "Shocker!".

    And finally (the the lighter side): Don't buy Blu Ray if you don't want to! It's not like Sony is going to come round your house and start making comments about how your DVD collection is looking particularly flammable these days! Don't buy it! You'll be in good company ... The "Vinyl is better" brigade, and "Betamax is best" parties will eagerly await the formation of the "HD DVD Forever" group.

  19. James


    I guess I should have read the article more closely but in smaller markets small shifts in numbers can have a disproportionate effect plus this is only in the US. How did HD-DVD fair in other markets?

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Short comparison

    *Capacity - 25 GB (BD) vs 15 GB (HD-DVD) per layer - BD wins (potentially longer content or better quality of picture, not utilized at the moment)

    *Bandwidth: 1.5 times something (BD), something (HD-DVD) - BD wins (potentially better quality of picture, not utilized at the moment)

    *DRM - both are based on strong encryption and revocable keys - draw.

    *Region coding - both have it, some BDs use it at the moment, HD-DVDs don't (at the moment). Fast forward into future - both have and sometimes use it. Anyway let's call it a HD-DVD win just to be fair.

    *Microsoft support, obviously a good thing, anything Microsoft supports can't be bad for us can it - HD-DVD wins.

    So it seems like an incredibly tight game at 2-2...

  21. Anonymous Coward


    Actually Digital Playground also announced to be dropping HD-DVD in favor of Blu:

    Till then you can still get 'Pirates' for HD-DVD :)

  22. EmperorFromage

    Time to bring on compulsory licensing

    The copyright industry lives of a set of limited right. These rights have been granted them (mostly) by the people. Once again they have used these rights as a bludgeon to stamp out players more or less unrelated market. This power was not intended thought the grants given in copyright law, and so the law needs to be clarified.

    Compulsory licensing needs to be put into effect. Both the HD DVD and BluRay consortium should be allowed to stamp out HD movies on equal terms. This would put the consumers (the people) in charge on who wins any format wars.

    This way the most consumer friendly format would gain the biggest market share, and balance would be restored, the Earth would cool down, and the Tasmanian tiger would once again return to our Planet.

  23. Paul Swindlehurst

    @Anonymous Coward

    "HD-DVD has all the things you are worried about such as region coding as part of its specification."

    No it doesn't. The HD-DVD group have appointed a committee to look into how region coding could work, but they have not reported back yet. It has also been stated by Toshiba on many occasions that all current players would remain region free even if region coding was added to newer players/discs at a later date.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    HD DVD in other markets ...

    "How did HD-DVD fair in other markets?"

    I'm stunned. Since the formation of American exactly when has it mattered how something faired in the rest of the world?

    I mean you have your own plugs, your own mobile - sorry "cell" - phone standards, your own TV standard, etc. etc. etc. (don't even get me started on the "World" Series)

    HD DVD lost. Past tense. Move on. Let's pick something else to endlessly (and pointless) argue about; for example how about whether TV sets that aren't 1080p should be called "High Definition"?

    Actually, forget that, that's an easy one. How about "I *still* say my Spectrum 48K is better than your Commodore 64"? I mean that one rumbled on for decades and *still* hasn't been satisfactorily resolved.

    (Oh, and 19 comments without some comparison of the groups behind either HD DVD or Blu Ray with Hitler and Nazi Germany??!! Seriously people, flame wars just aren't what they used to be ...)

  25. William Bronze badge

    Blu Ray

    Sounds a bit lack Jack Boots to me...

  26. Frank Bough

    Allan Rutland

    You're wrong on both counts, I'm afraid. There IS BD porn, and the BBC have also issued Planet Earth on BD.

    Blu-Ray is the rightful winner of this ridiculous 'war' - now it has DVD, Microsoft, Apple and anyone else who'd rather RENT you movies than sell them to beat.

  27. John Stag


    Both formats seem like a waste of time to me. Call me when there's something which makes me go "wow!"

    At the moment all I see is double-price disks which give 50% better picture. Yawn.

  28. Anonymous Coward


    "How did HD-DVD fair in other markets?"

    iirc its done worse in the rest of the world well before the warner announcement, with europe the best with somewhere around 4 to 1 and the far east with 8/9 - 1 (not sure what the post announcement figures are)

    maybe they should have shipped the players earlier to europe rather than fobbing them off with pointless excuses, i got tired of waiting in early feb2007 and got a full refund on the 10 odd discs i had from before christmas (when the player was supposed to be delivered). Had no problems with my region A ps3 since then

  29. Liam Johnson

    @DVD's are good enough with a 1080p upscaller

    No you have it all wrong. I was in Currys a few weeks ago, and they had a demo where you could clearly see the difference between DVD and HD. The HD was really crisp and clear and the DVD looked like a 3 generation VHS tape. Chuck all you DVDs out now!

  30. Hayden Clark Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    We know the real, real reason...

    ... that Blu-ray has won.

    It has a much cooler name! That's all you need.


    (because that's what Paris would think)

  31. Iain


    Yes, the BBC will touch BluRay. Or at lease 2Entertain, who they license to, will. Planet Earth is on both, and looks gorgeous on both. Bleak House, Galapagos and Robin Hood are also either out or on the way, too.

  32. Tom Adair

    Just one week

    Weekly sales will always vary based on all sorts of things, most notably what new releases were out on each format, and whether there were any new promotional discounts. I just hope both formats keep alive for a while, the competition leads to lower retail prices, which is great for the consumer, I've spent an average of £11 per film so far on my collection, how long did it take for DVDs to fall to that price range?

  33. J

    @ an AC

    "*Microsoft support, obviously a good thing, anything Microsoft supports can't be bad for us can it - HD-DVD wins."

    Hey, you forgot the joke alert there!

  34. matthew bennion

    don't give a monkeys either way

    I don't care which format wins... I'm never going to be able to afford a big enough, crisp enough TV to benefit the higher resolutions in the first place!

  35. Scott Mckenzie


    This still...

    Try looking at the sales stats since then, see a nice HD DVD revival, top selling players, nice price cuts etc...

    The BBC, who are distributed by Warner told them to f**k off with their idea of going BR exclusive, to date the only Warner distributee who's done so...

    HD DVD is a better format, by far, the hardware is better, the disc manufacture is cheaper, the discs are cheaper, the quality of discs is better, a current player will still play new films next year (Profile 2.0 anyone?) and it irritates me when a) studios say that the consumer has chosen and b) people who clearly know nothing about a topic feel an urge to reply with utter rubbish.

    HD DVD hasn't lost, died, gone anywhere.... it's position isn't as strong but blimet, Paramount, Dreamworks and Universal making fillms exclusively for them and Warner until May too.... i'm happy, i'm getting some great bargains!

  36. Iain

    Where, Scott?

    I'm currently a HD-DVD-only owner, and fancy some bargains too. But while there are BOGOF offers all the time on, the import duty will kill you as they mark the full undiscounted package price. Where are you finding the cheap discs?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Random scribblings

    I know it seems a sore issue with DRM rights etc. But B.R. is the worse over HD DVD by far.

    BR PC Drive = limitations regards where the software has to approve if your display device is up to standard be it either a D-Sub connected PC monitor (CRT or LCD) a DVI connection monitor or even a LCD TV HDMI or component.

    If the Blue Ray PC software or Player denotes that the image might be degraded or not displayed to its 100% potential then it will refuse to play or display it at all!

    For example.

    You buy your PC a spanking new Blue Ray drive. You install it and attempt to play your brand new Blue Ray movie, When you do PowerCinema/PowerDVD plops up a lovely Error message and it wont let it play (Ever). Reason for this is the DRM decides it doesn't like you having a Single/Dual monitor setup...It hates DVI-S and for some reason it CAN on occasion HATE D-sub.

    (Strange but sometimes it prefers D-Sub over HDMI)

    If you have a HDMI setup with a monitor also connected by HDMI - forget about it, you are never going to be allowed to watch thay BR in that config.

    I work for a massive chain of a computer manufacturer on the front line of this technology. BR is a pain.

    DRM is is enforced and worse than HD DVD.

    yeah HD DVD has less storage, But compression ratio is the same so the images look as good. No difference in I.Q. on either format.

    HD DVD region free

    HD DVD does not nazi your machine into deciding which display it WANTS YOU to watch YOUR movie on.

    HD DVD R/W should and will be more flexible and released sooner as it already in talks.

    As soon as DRM starts restricting what I can and cannot view my media on straight away gets the thumbs down.

    and all software for B.R. will have to abide by this.

    (Sorry is some does not make sense, written in a hurry)

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