This Way to the Cliff!
Part I - Jump Already!
I don't get it. I read anecdotal stories on the Internet about people who think their upconverting DVD player is high-def. I find folks who order high-def cable to go along with their new flat screen TVs perfectly happy to view that "high-def" over s-video, per the cable company installer's wishes. So I guess J6P (Joe Six Pack) is a bit, well, ignorant, in the original intent of the word. No offense.
But a week after Warner cut the rope and set HD DVD adrift, the public is proving there' are no flies on them (that means they're not brain dead – my readers are multi-generational so I have to explain everything). Sales of HD DVD discs have practically evaporated and wow, that 2-to-1 BD to HD DVD disc sales ratio of just last December is starting to sound like the good old days to Toshiba!
Prices are rock bottom these days for any Toshiba player (as low as $99), if you can find a retailer willing to sell them. Woolworth's in the U.K. has announced they'll stop selling the players in March. Woolworths! I mean, they made their reputation selling crap and even THEY won't sell HD DVD!
Too bad Toshiba can't figure out a way to convince J6P (see above) they need an HD DVD player to watch the Superbowl. That could be 100,000 units sold right there!
But while we don't know for a fact that the Giants are going to pick up their ball and go home defeated next Sunday (well, we do know, but we're pretending we don't), we do know what's happened in the HD DVD vs Blu-ray debacle. It's over. C'est fini! Acabou Cara! I mean, don't let the door hit you in the ass and all that jazz.
Part II – A New Renaissance
I have a confession to make. I used to buy a lot of conventional DVDs. At some point in 2006, I slowed way down. I mean WAY down. The weekly trips to Costco to pick up a couple of new movies on DVDuesday became a thing of the past. I even bought a new projector, thinking, hell, that'll perk me up, but in the end, I used it more to watch HD programming like HerosPrisonBreak24LostLasVegasTheUnit than HD discs. Oh sure, I'd slap on an HD DVD for a review, but when it was over, back to I Love Lucy on the flat screen.
And I apparently wasn't the only one. Sales of standard DVDs are in the toilet. The market needs a shot in the arm, and hopefully, with the FUD factor gone (fear, uncertainty and doubt), things should start to look up.
Well, you know, provided the economy doesn't tank.
The war is over. It's time to rebuild. I'm actually very excited about being able to commit to something. Maybe retailers could start committing as well. Hey Costco, how about carrying more than one high-def disc at a time?
Maybe I'll try and find that old bookmark I had lying around here somewhere to www.dvdpricesearch.com and do me a little Blu-ray shopping.
I hate making predictions (like the one I secretly made where HD DVD wins the format war), but I think 2008 is going to be the beginning of a new era in disc sales, one where combined Blu-ray and DVD sales easily surpass, at least in gross revenue, DVD sales at their summit.
Let's all hope I'm right this time.