Best Buy’s Hit to HD DVD May Hurt More Than Netflix’s

Feb 14, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Netflix hit first, but Best Buy may have hit harder.
Toshiba’s next-generation HD DVD format received two pieces of bad news this week, when Netflix and Best Buy both said they will progress toward exclusively backing Sony’s Blu-ray format this year.
Netflix said on Feb. 11 that it would phase out HD DVD discs by the end of the year in favor of stocking Blu-ray discs. The largest U.S. movie rental-by-mail service cited Warner Home Entertainment’s decision last month to start releasing high-definition titles only in Blu-ray as a primary reason. Of the six major studios, only Universal and Paramount will continue to release HD DVD titles.
Netflix’s decision affects about 7.5 million subscribers. But its limited choice of Blu-ray titles—just 400 out of the company’s 90,000 total—may end up making its decision less important than Best Buy’s switch to Blu-ray, one analyst said.
“From a direct volume perspective, having Best Buy steer consumers to Blu-ray will have a more direct impact on the players, particularly among those who are undecided,” said Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis, consumer technology, at the NPD Group.
Best Buy, which doesn’t break out DVD player or disc sales, said Feb. 11 that it would start to “prominently showcase” Blu-ray players and discs starting next month.
“Best Buy has always believed that the customer will benefit from a widely-accepted single format that would offer advantages such as product compatibility and expanded content choices,” Best Buy President Brian Dunn said in a statement that day. “Because we believe that Blu-ray is fast emerging as that single format, we have decided to focus on Blu-ray products.”
Toshiba, which cut entry-level HD DVD prices in half last month, called Best Buy’s decision “unfortunate” and said it would “continue to study the market impact” of the two retailers’ decisions.


  1. Best Buy has been recomending bluray for over a year now. I don’t know how many times I have gone into the store and heard their sales people talking up bluray and not even mentioning HD DVD. They only thing that has changed is Best Buy has come out and said this is what they are doing.

  2. Looks like Sony may have learned a few things from the old “VHS vs. Beta” battle, after all. Whenever you can encourage the movers and shakers with the greatest consumer influence in the industry to adopt your standards or format, you can certainly shore up your foundation and longevity for it very quickly.
    Troy S. Woody

  3. It is about time. We need one format. I have not purchased either, because I remember the old Beta/VHS battle. Come to think of it, I still have my beta machine.

  4. Best Buy’s Hit to HD DVD May Hurt More Than Netflix’s……really????
    Do you or anyone care what a minimun wage worker thinks at best buy, yet alone take thier advice on spending $300 on a blue ray player……that’s like letting a car salesman pick the car out for you….smart shopper

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