Starting April 1st that shiny HD DVD player might look a little shinier still. $100 to $200 shinier, to be exact. On that date Toshiba is dropping the price of its entry level HD-A2 HD DVD player to just $399 and cutting the upscale HD-XA2 from $999 to $799. The 1080p-capable HD-A20, which is to be released this Summer, gets an in vitro price drop too, going from $599 to $499. On top of that, if you buy any of these players by July 31st you can still send in a form to receive <A HREF="http://ultimateavmag.com/news/30807hddeals/">five free HD DVD movies</A>, according to TWICE.
At CES 2006 the Syntax-Brillian Corp. announced it would be diving into high-end home theater with the "Olevia Signature" line of LCD flat panels. The first two models will be the 42" LT42HVi and 47" LT47HVi. Obviously intending to make a big splash out of the gate, Syntax revealed that both sets will feature full 1920x1080 resolution and Silicon Optix' vaunted Realta video processor with HQV.
Earlier this week High-Def Digest reported that the Blu-ray release of the newest James Bond flick, <I>Casino Royale</I>, cracked the top ten DVD sales list at Amazon in its first day of release on Tuesday. Cracking the Amazon Top Ten is a first for either HD format, and surely a good sign of growing consumer acceptance of the next-gen formats.
What a difference nine months can make. At CES 2005 in January the HD-DVD group hosted a gala event at a posh Vegas strip nightclub to unveil its plan to be the first HD disc format to market with the most- Toshiba said they’d have a $999 player in the fourth quarter of 2005 and representatives from major studios such as Warner, Paramount, and Universal strode to the podium amid swirling lights and pledged their support for the format to the tune of 90 HD-DVD titles at launch. All the elements seemed in place for a strong pre-emptive strike against Blu-ray, which has yet to announce a US launch date of either hardware or pre-packaged movie titles. The splashy 2005 holiday season launch was to be one of HD-DVD’s key advantages over the rival Blu-ray Disc format.
A report from Informa Telecoms and Media estimates that the number of HDTV households will grow to over 150 million worldwide by 2011 from just under 50 million as of the end of 2006. The US leads the pack by a long shot, currently comprising 58% of the worldwide totals, followed by Japan with 20% of world HDTV households.
Looking to continue the sales tear that was sparked by recent promotions that included a $100 in-store rebate on its HD DVD players, Toshiba has made its price reductions on its HD-A2 and HD-A20 permanent. On the other side of the HD fence the Blu-ray camp is responding with a summer-long promo campaign that offers consumers five free Blu-ray titles with the purchase of a player.
In the wake of the nearly simultaneous introductions of Sony's Blu-ray capable PlayStation3 and the HD DVD external drive for the Xbox 360, some answers are already coming in on the impact these gaming consoles are going to have on the format war as a whole. And so far, aside from radically altering the install base of hardware for both formats, the gaming rigs are playing a big role in moving HD software off the shelves too.
Leading companies across a variety of converging electronics sectors have formed the High-definition Audio-Video Network Alliance (HANA) in an attempt to create “guidelines” that will increase capabilities and ease of use for networked high-definition components throughout the home, and include robust copy protection.