Several manufacturers and video publishers have recently announced that they will no longer support HD DVD. Toshiba America Consumer Products L.L.C. sounded the first death knell on February 19, 2008, and several retailers quickly jumped on the funeral wagon.
Another case of “the consumer gets burned”?
Well, in one sense, yes, but in another sense, it creates a wonderful short-term opportunity. You’ve got to take advantage of this opportunity now or miss out. If you get burned a second time, you have only yourself to blame.
First, the bad news. If you bought an HD DVD player or player-recorder and a library of discs to play on it, they are a dead end. Face it, technology becomes obsolete and sooner or later you will upgrade to “Whatever’s Next.”
Ready for the punch line? Blu-Ray will become obsolete, too! “Sooner or later” came sooner for HD DVD, but it will certainly come later for Blu-Ray, and for “Whatever’s Next.”
Consider this. Many have compared the recent competition among high-definition video disc formats to the infamous VHS vs. Betamax format wars of the 1980s. VHS won that war. So, anybody want to buy a VHS? Of course not!
Just as you have slowly, inevitably replaced your collection of VHS tapes with DVDs, even the smug early adopters will eventually have to replace their Blu-Ray discs with “Whatever’s Next.” And you will have to replace your replace your HD DVDs with “Whatever’s Next” as well.
But there is opportunity right now!
There are two opportunities, actually:
- HD DVD players are available at fire-sale prices.
- Video discs, both HD DVD and Blu-Ray, are selling at great discounts.
For the value-conscious, now is definitely not the time to buy a Blu-Ray player. Now that the future has been decided, manufacturers and retailers can command a premium for Blu-Ray hardware. Wait until the distribution chains have cleared out all their HD DVD players, then the Blu-Ray players will come back down in price.
But if you want to take advantage of the close-out, you can get an HD DVD player for a fraction of what it would have cost last year. And Toshiba and most reputable manufacturers have plans to keep repair parts for HD DVD players in stock for years to come. You will still be able to enjoy your HD DVD movies years from now, when we see the dawn of “Whatever’s Next.”
Meanwhile, the close-out of HD DVD media has created a buyer’s market, not only for HD DVD discs but also for Blu-Ray. Movie and video studios need to get rid of their stocks of HD DVDs, but the consumer won’t stand for having to pay too much more for the same movie on Blu-Ray.
Take a look around! HD DVDs are selling for 30% to 50% discounts off their usual retail prices. But the same titles on Blu-Ray are only slightly more expensive, with discounts of 25% to 35% not hard to find.