The Peacemaker Hilariously

The Peacemaker

Hilariously, the reports from Japan say that Toshiba was considering launching another, incompatible HD disc format to try to challenge Blu-ray for a third time, but wisely backed off. And yes, I said third, because after The Peacemaker HD-DVD flop, Toshiba then tried to follow-up with an upscaling DVD technology called XDE that went nowhere. Wow, more than a year after the death of the HD-DVD format, and Blu-ray still hasnt matched its sales levels? I wonder how much of that discrepancy, though, is due to HD-DVD sales picking up after the format was abandoned and prices plunged on players and discs. Any of you still buying HD-DVD movies? The latest Commerce Department retail sales data, which showed a disappointing 4% fall overall in April from March, includes a 8% drop in sales at electronics and appliance stores, which is worse than any other individual category. Sales were down 12% on a year-over-year basis. In March, sales were down 8% sequentially for electronics stores, and 8% year over year. As the report notes, some of that decline may be due to Circuit City closing and its customers migrating to Wal-Mart and other non-specialty stores. But theres no doubt that, as bad as the economy was in the first quarter, many people probably just decided to hold off on buying that new flat screen TV or iPod. It was a bit of a rocky start for Blu-ray, but it looks like lower prices are surprise! attracting more buyers. The NPD Group reports that more than 400, 000 high definition Blu-ray movie players were sold in the first quarter of 2009, a 72 percent increase from the first quarter of 200 At the same time, the average selling price for a Blu-ray player fell to 261, compared to 393 a year ago, a 34 percent plunge. And NPD reports that shoppers planning to buy a Blu-ray player in the next six months expect to pay 214 on average. previously reported that electronics companies are expecting entry-level Blu-ray players to hit the 99 mark in time for this Christmas shopping season. Chinese manufacturers have finally gotten the licensing rights to Blu-ray, and that means Blu-ray players will soon be everywhere. Now if the movie studios would just trim the prices on their discs, wed be all set. Its the recession-buster! As previously reported, the Blu-ray Disc Association BDA has recently brought the high definition format to China. In order to accomplish this, they had to not only provide the technology to create Blu-ray Discs and players to Chinese manufacturers, but also create a licensing format which would lower costs and streamline the production process. One of the advantages to the rest of the Blu-ray buying world, commented Mark Leathan, Marketing Director at Samsung, was that we will soon see the entry of the Chinese manufacturers into the Blu ray market that we will have a 99 Blu ray player. Sony, Samsung and the other high-end Blu-ray makers are apparently unhappy that theyre about to be undercut by the Sylvanias of the world, but from the perspective of budget-minded techies, this is fantastic news. Engadget has the details The Peacemaker monthly Netflix bill is going to increase by about 20 percent if you have signed up to receive BR discs, but I dont think this is surprising, and in fact should be viewed as good news by Blu-ray enthusiasts. The reason Netflix has to raise its rates, after all, is because its customers demand for Blu-ray movies is growing quickly. Because Blu-ray movies are currently more expensive than DVDs, a surge in demand for Blu-ray is going to translate into higher costs for Netflix. And because Netflix is a functioning, profitable company that would like to remain profitable, it has to pass that cost on to its customers. So while you grit your teeth over the higher bill, you can take some comfort in the fact that the higher cost is due to BRs higher popularity, The Peacemaker means new movies will continue to flow and BR player makers will continue to innovate and drive the prices down on their hardware.

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