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Competition remains frerce, but consumer interest wanes...
Written by Daniel   
Friday, 07 September 2007 09:12
Battle between Blu-ray and HD DVD fizzles as consumers watch and wait
ARS Technica
By Eric Bangeman | Published: September 06, 2007 - 10:00PM CT

There's a format war going on, in case you've not turned on the TV, surfed the Internet, or stepped into a consumer electronics retailer for the past year and a half. But some news that has emerged from a couple of trade shows this week shows that the "war" is more like a slap-fight between a couple of preadolescent girls: it holds great significance to the parties involved and may be slightly entertaining to watch, but it does very little lasting damage. Over the last couple of days, the North American HD DVD Promotional Group has sent out press releases trumpeting the format's momentum. HD DVD is going to start advertising on NBC's Sunday Night Football and will soon have 125 new HD DVD titles available. The trade group has also convinced PC manufacturer Acer to join and is highlighting a new Acer laptop (the Aspire 5920) with an HD DVD drive at this week's CEDIA EXPO 2007.

At the same expo, both Sony and Toshiba gave presentations on the strengths of their preferred formats. Sony played up Blu-ray's two-to-one sales lead over HD DVD when it comes to discs sold so far. Sony also says Blu-ray has 55 percent of the next-gen HD player market, compared to 43 percent for HD DVD and 2 percent for hybrid players. But if you take a closer look at the images snapped of Sony's charts by AnandTech, you can see a rather disturbing trend for both Blu-ray and HD DVD.

From their peaks at the end of 2006, both formats have seen a rather precipitous sales decline. According to Sony, Blu-ray sold nearly 70,000 discs per week during the last weeks of 2006. But by mid-May, the last week for which Sony provided data, that had slipped to less than 35,000 per week. HD DVD saw a similar decline, but not as steep, going from around 43,000 discs to a bit more than 20,000. At one point towards the end of April, sales of Blu-ray and HD DVD discs were in a virtual dead heat... More       Comments in the Forums

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