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|Home: BigScreen Journal - HD DVD Player Prices Dropping, 70 Titles Announced for Release Before July|
If there's one thing the high definition format war is good for, it's a little healthy competition. By healthy, I mean more features at lower prices.
At the end of February, Sony announced the upcoming release of a lower-priced Blu-ray player, the BDP-S300, to be available in June for $599 (which is a bargain compared to the current $1,000 Sony player).
In a press release (see the full release below) issued today by The North American HD DVD Promotional Group, Inc. today, HD DVD players will have lower prices effective April 1st, and more than 70 new titles have been announced for release between March and June.
On March 1, the high-end Toshiba HD-XA2 was lowered in price from $999.99 to $799.99, and Toshiba is following that up with a drop in the price for the entry-level HD-A2 from $499.99 to $399.99. The new HD-A20, which will feature 1080p output, will be available in April for $499 ($100 less than expected).
Since the beginning of the year, the Blu-ray camp has enjoyed a dearth of HD DVD movie title releases. News site High Def Digest records 27 HD DVD releases between January 1st and March 27th, while they list 71 Blu-ray releases during the same time period. This fact, probably more than the recent release of the Blu-ray capable Playstation 3 gaming console, has provided the Blu-ray camp with the foundation to tout a 2-1 sales lead in high definition disc sales in 2007.
As you might imagine, all the posturing from the Blu-ray Association and Blu-ray enthusiasts alike really boil the blood of HD DVD enthusiasts (every war needs supporters on both sides), and the slim HD DVD release slate has caused much gnashing of teeth on the HD DVD side of things.
Hoping to clear that release logjam a little, the press release lists 70 HD DVD titles to be released during April, May, and June:
LOS ANGELES, March 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The top studios backing HD DVD, including Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Warner Home Video, Paramount Home Entertainment, The Weinstein Company, Genius Products, and Eagle Rock Entertainment today announced more than 70 specific titles and release windows through July 2007. With movie titles like Smokin' Aces, The Complete Matrix Trilogy, and DreamGirls, HD DVD continues to deliver on promises made to fans of high definition. Additional titles for the remainder of 2007 will be announced this summer.
With attach rates that still far exceed other high definition formats, HD DVD movies continue to sell briskly at retail to a growing consumer base. The 2007 title line-up from the core HD DVD studios, combined with a strong HD DVD title and hardware presence in North America, Europe and Asia, showcases the format's global appeal and unmatched technology features. Effective April 1st, Toshiba is implementing strategic retail price reductions on its full line of HD DVD players for the U.S. market. The entry level HD-A2 will have a suggested retail price of $399.99; and the new HD-A20, with 1080p output, will be introduced at $499 (available in stores in April). The top of the line HD- XA2 was already repositioned to $799.99 on March 1st.
"The spring is ramping up well for HD DVD, with an incredible list of movies and the best priced hardware on the market," said Ken Graffeo, executive vice president, HD Strategic Marketing, Universal Studios Home Entertainment. "Our consumer base continues to buy movies at rates that outpace DVD in its early years, which shows the willingness of consumers to make the transition to high definition."
"HD DVD continues to perform exceptionally well for Warner Home Video, and we see this continuing as more titles from the HD DVD studios roll out and more hardware hits the market," said Steve Nickerson, senior vice president of market management for Warner Home Video. "Fans of high definition have a lot more to choose from with the release of long-awaited blockbusters like The Complete Matrix Trilogy on HD DVD."
"As hardware prices continue to fall, this is a great time to experience HD DVD," said Chris Saito, vice president, marketing, Paramount Home Entertainment. "Our HD DVD line-up for Spring and Summer 2007 has something for every audience, with hits ranging from Dreamgirls to Flags of Our Fathers."
From the six studios, the following schedules were released:
-- Children of Men
-- Happy Feet
-- March of the Penguins
-- National Geographic: Relentless Enemies
-- Good Shepherd (C) (day & date)
-- Smokin' Aces (C) (day & date)
-- Payback: Straight, The Director's Cut
-- A Scanner Darkly
-- Dog Day Afternoon
-- School for Scoundrels
-- The Game
-- The Jerk
-- Freedom Writers (day & date)
-- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
-- Nutty Professor
-- Failure to Launch
-- The Ultimate Matrix Collection
-- The Complete Matrix Trilogy
-- Dreamgirls (day & date)
-- 40-Year Old Virgin Unrated
-- Flags of Our Fathers: Special Collector's Edition
-- The Hitcher (C) (day & date)
-- Mission: Impossible
-- Mission: Impossible 2
-- Black Christmas (2006)
-- Harsh Times
-- The Battle of the Bulge
-- The Road Warrior
-- The Fountain
-- Smokey & the Bandit
-- Alpha Dog (C) (day & date)
-- The Skeleton Key
-- The River
-- Midnight Run
-- The Frighteners
-- The Big Lebowski
-- Lost in Translation
-- Bruce Almighty
-- Liar Liar
-- Coming To America
-- Born on the 4th of July
-- The Meaning of Life
-- Freedom: Vol.1
-- Yes Live in Montreux
-- Santana: Hymns for Peace
-- Deep Purple: They all Came Down to Montreux
-- Trading Places
-- Meet Joe Black
-- Being John Malkovich
-- Mystery Men
-- American Me
-- The Watcher
-- Shaun of the Dead
-- Billy Madison
-- Cat in the Hat
-- The Untouchables
-- The Warriors
-- Dante's Peak
-- The War
-- The Wedding Date
-- The Bourne Identity
-- In Good Company
-- Streets of Fire
-- Nutty Professor 2
-- Scent of a Woman
-- Sea of Love
-- Deliver Us From Eva
(C) Denotes combo disc format with an HD version and a standard DVD version on the same disc
HD DVD is the next generation, post-DVD standard for high capacity, high definition optical discs, approved by the DVD Forum, which develops and defines DVD formats. Its more than 220 strong membership brings together leaders in movies and entertainment, computing, consumer electronics and software. HD DVD is fast becoming the primary visual medium for the age of high-definition TV. The North American HD DVD Promotional Group, Inc. is an organization established to promote the HD DVD format and educate consumers in North America. For more information and a complete listing of HD DVD launch titles please visit http://www.TheLookAndSoundOfPerfect.com.
Source: The North American HD DVD Promotional Group, Inc. Press Release
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