HD DVD Tries to Go Deep With Super Bowl Ad

Jan 31, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Could Sunday’s Super Bowl mark HD DVD’s Hail Mary?
The Toshiba-led next-generation DVD player format, declared all but dead by at least one technology research firm this week, will air a commercial touting the advantages of HD DVD during Fox’s Super Bowl telecast Sunday.
Toshiba, whose HD DVD format has lost ground to the Sony-backed Blu-ray player, will run a 30-second ad, confirmed Nicole Lawler, a Toshiba spokeswoman. Fox is charging between $2.6 million and $3 million for 30-second spots during the Super Bowl.
The commercial is an attempt to boost HD DVD market share, which has declined since Sony included Blu-ray players with HD televisions during the holiday season and took another hit earlier this month when Warner Bros. said it would release HD movies exclusively for Blu-ray starting in June.
HD DVD’s strategy is in marked contrast to that of Blu-ray, whose Panasonic-sponsored shopping mall tour showcasing new-this-year Walt Disney Studios HD releases such as “Finding Nemo” and “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” began last week in Toronto.
Last year, Super Bowl commercials were seen by an average of 92.8 million people, according to Nielsen Media Research, while Fox estimates a worldwide audience of 800 million people.
Still, the commercial’s effect may arrive too late to help Toshiba, whose electronic devices unit had a 7.6% decrease in operating income on flat sales for the quarter ended Dec. 31. After almost matching Blu-ray’s market share for the first week of January, HD DVD’s share fell to less than 10% the week after the Warner Bros. announcement, according to NPD Group, and was 34% for the week ended Jan. 19, according to Web site Digitalbits.com, citing NPD.
Warner’s decision “has left HD DVD with just Paramount and Universal as its major Hollywood supporters, both of which account for only 30% of all HD movies,” said a report from technology research firm Gartner this week. “By the end of 2008, Blu-ray will be the winning format in the consumer market, and the war will be over.”

62 Comments

  1. Considering where Toshiba is placing this ad, if it works, it will do nothing except prove P.T. Barnum was right about the American public.

  2. Sony’s eventual victory will be sweet revenge for the painful Betamax defeat. Looks like they learned from their mistake. But will the consumer prevail? Is Blue-Ray better that HD-DVD? Was VHS better than Beta?

  3. To a certain extent, I think the consumer does in fact win if Blu-Ray comes out the victor, if for no other reason due to the increased data storage afforded by Blu-Ray as opposed to HD DVD discs.
    With the continual growth in compression further reducing the picture quality of HD delivered by DirecTV, DISH Network, cable companies and even over the air broadcasting (thanks to the proliferation of multicasting services such as NBC’s Weather Plus) the only source of true HD content available to the consumer will be optical media – BD or HD DVD.
    Sure, downloads will be available (though the HD content available through sources such as the iTunes Music Store will not be as of high quality as what is available on disc), but most consumers still don’t have high speed Internet at all, let alone access at the speeds that would make downloading HD content anything less than a “start the download overnight” situation.
    It would be nice to see the higher quality format win for once; recall in the VCR war VHS won in part because viewers preferred its longer recording time to Beta’s higher picture quality.

  4. Sorry Bill, but how does storage matter on pre-recoded discs? For example a series of smallville on 5 dvds will fill one HD dvd and only half a bluray disc. Paying a premium for a half empty disc but the same quality is beyond me. Bluray disc would be better for storage but not for pre-recorded. (also many prefer a package of more discs, even transformers had 2 on HD, the second wasn’t needed considering).
    They have made a big mistake though, prices need to be competitive with dvds if they want us to replace our collections, and they are way overpriced. HD has a chance if it drops the price of discs to the current dvd level to a) get the market on new releases and b) replace choice films.

  5. Sorry to burst the bubble here….but HD DVD players in the market outnumber Blu Ray players (excluding game machines from both camps) – in the case of HD DVD – over 1 Million of them.
    Since game machine owners have been repeated proven to be HD disk renters and not buyers, whereas HD DVD owners buy disks, the studios are really plain stupid to bank their future on Blu Ray at all. This is why despite the PS3 Blue ray ownere advantage of a 14 to 1 ratio, disk sales are only 60-40 slanted in Blu Ray’s favor. This clearly shows a Sony failure (yet again) in launching a new platform.
    The second shoe is about to fall on Blu Ray in about a month, when all the existing Blu Ray player owners get angry when they find out their machines do not support the (first time) standard for Blu Ray – v1.1.
    It will be interesting to see how the Blu Ray owners feel about owning a semi-obsolete machine that does not support many of the new features to be found in future Blu Ray media, especially when many folks bought those boxes this past holiday season. There are only so many boats in need of anchors…
    Despite paying 2-3 times as much for players, having no standards to the technology, and now abandoning all their current users, Sony professes boldly to “win the war” for HD formats? What a joke. How can you win a war with broken equipment and no soldiers.

  6. People have a right to deside what they want to buy not Sony, not studios and not manufacturers.
    Warner’s backstabbing of HD DVD will hurt them very dearly. Time Warner will loose so much money that their shareholders will revolt. NBC Universal will become Warner’s new home distributor (like Fox for MGM), and effectively ALL of Warner’s catalog will become HD DVD exclusive and UIP will have worldwide distribution rights of Warner’s films.
    Well done there retarded Ted Tsujihara for using high gas prices as the main reason to backstab HD DVD.
    After Warner’s announcement, the stock continued spiraling downward, to its 52-week low.
    HD DVD is not going anywhere anytime soon but UP.
    The DVD Forum will never let a Sony format succeed SD DVD period.

  7. This article is way off. Not a good idea in predicting that HD DVD will die off in late 2008. That will never happen period. Blu-Ray is already DEAD, just wait and see.
    If people want to KILL OFF Hi Def Media, then go ahead and buy a Blu-Ray player & movie.
    If you want Hi Def Media to have a chance in this world, than HD DVD is the only FORMAT that can do it. Plain and Simple.
    I don’t understand why people allow Sony & the BDA’s payoffs to run your lives?
    Why on earth would people want to buy expensive, profile plagued, problematic & obsolete JUNK Blu-Ray Players for???????????
    I’ll stick with my 3 HD DVD players and my 102 HD DVD movies thank you. My family & friends also see it my way and they too have purchased or are going to purchase HD DVD hardware & software.
    Blu-Ray JUNK = No Thank U

  8. from what I can see , giving the latest movies coming out. the companies that are supplying blue ray movies. seem to be pushing out alot of garbage. paramount and universal on the other hand have quality upcoming movies that people will pay good money for. sorry br people its quality not quantity ..maybe it should change the name to BD ( brain dead )

  9. Super Bowl is the ugliest sports in the world. Most of the time those big monsters ass-rape each other. Yeah. They need “super bowl” for their big pricks.

  10. I know that HD DVD will not die this year (2008). Paramount has an 18-month contract with them and they’ll continue to release their HD movies in HD DVD. The format war will be clearly heading in one direction in the end of 2008 but a winner will not be declared until the end of 2009. I don’t own an HD DVD player yet, but I will buy one when the price reaches $100 (Toshiba HD-A3); which will hopefully be real soon. I plan on buying my HD DVD movies as combo format movies so I can see them in my car and laptop too. I saw Best Buy had two (2) HD DVD combo format movies for $19.99 (Buy one get one free). I hope more movies come out this way.

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