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HD DVD gains US traction

14 June 2007

Three weeks into its aggressive spring retail and marketing campaigns, the North American HD DVD Promotional Group has announced that HD DVD is significantly ahead in the dedicated consumer electronics player market with 60% of all high definition set-top players sold, writes Andy Stout.

At the same time, high definition movie sales for HD DVD reached an all time high for the month of May, exceeding 75,000 units during the last week of May alone.

Overall high definition sales hit a record last week as well, hitting $5.2 million in actual consumer spending, which was 31% higher than the previous record for the two formats. This highlights the growing consumer appetite for HD content across the board.

Sales of dedicated consumer electronics players are a critical indicator in the adoption of the high definition formats, given the high attach rates to these players. With the successive price drops by Toshiba, weekly player sales doubled in April when the price dropped from $499 to $399, doubled again during the first week of the latest promotion in late May, and increased again last week.

“Toshiba’s latest promotional efforts are clearly resonating with consumers and showing that price is king when it comes to hardware,” said Craig Kornblau, chairman of the North American HD DVD Promotional Group. “Behind the increase in sales for hardware and movies, you’re seeing fundamentally lower manufacturing costs and ease of authoring for HD DVD. That’s the type of model that can scale.”

By this coming weekend, consumers will have purchased 150,000 dedicated HD DVD consumer electronics players which are holding a 4 to 1 movie attach rate over competing formats. The Toshiba HD-A2 model has also reached the top-seller mark among all DVD players on Amazon.com, and is officially the best-selling next-gen DVD player model to date.

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