Toshiba to Roll Out Cheaper HD DVD Players Next Week?

Illustration for article titled Toshiba to Roll Out Cheaper HD DVD Players Next Week?

Toshiba is taking the gloves off next week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, where the company might introduce a third line of HD DVD players that will be even cheaper than its current versions. Toshiba chief Yoshihide Fujii offers this tantalizing hint: "At first I thought the price threshold is $499. Maybe coming next is $399 and after that is $299."


Perhaps Fujii isn't aware that Toshiba's much-improved HD-A2 player (pictured above), released a couple of months ago, can now be found on the web for $399. But that $299 price could be a number that opens the floodgates for HD DVD player sales. We'll be at Toshiba's CES press conference on January 7, and we'll bring you details as they happen.

Toshiba Plans HD DVD Push [PC World]



Blu-Ray - it's technically superior. But technically superior isn't a winner (Beta was superior to VHS, the Xbox is superior to the PS2 and GameCube, and so on). 25GB/50GB/more per disc. We'll probably see this as the optical data storage media of the future - if we can get our heads around the crap that is region encoding, disc fingerprints (which keeps BD-Rs from playing copyrighted/pressed BDs, for example), etc.

HD-DVD - it's inferior to Blu-Ray. Except in one key factor - price. DVD players took off when the price came tumbling down from $1000 to $200 to $100 and now they're a dime a dozen. HD-DVD's barely a year old and if the price continues to tumble. Blu-Ray prices have tumbled with the PS3. The HD-DVD itself is cheaper to produce because it's a tweak of the existing DVD process, so thus there's tons of capacity to produce HD-DVDs (and why HD-DVD/DVD "flippers" are trivial - the same plant can make them with minor upgrades). BDs require plant upgrades to produce them, plus certification.

No, the race is decided on content, like VHS vs. Beta. HD-DVD has the advantage that content will be cheaper to produce and consume. And apparently, until recently, the mastering tools were better, leading to better mastering and content on the HD-DVD versions of movies... but that should've been fixed by now, right?