HD DVD Claims 'Undeniable Momentum'

Despite lagging behind Blu-ray in both sales of discs and overall players, HD DVD still put on a happy face for CEDIA 2007 and pointed to its advantage in price and computer manufacturer support in the next-gen format war.

Four of the five top PC notebook manufacturers support the format, the North American HD DVD Promotional Group said Wednesday. In addition, its third-generation players would lower the bar for entry even further, which it believes will give it momentum into the holidays.

In fact, the new high-end HD-A35 from Toshiba at $499 is as expensive as the cheapest Blu-ray player from Sony, the BDP-S300. There has been talk that the price of HD DVD may fall even further closer to the holiday, with the possibility for a $199 player quite real, according to sources.

To build momentum, HD DVD has signed a marketing agreement with NBC that will bring 30 second ads on the format to air in key markets during Sunday Night Football, with additional HD DVD promotional videos to air during shows like Football Night in America.

About 125 titles are planned for the fourth quarter between the three studios supporting the format, the group said. In addition, it plans to offer users of second-generation players a firmware upgrade that would give the earlier players 1080/24p capabilities.

Even with all the positive spin, HD DVD still has serious issues in its way to becoming the dominant format. A majority of studios still exclusively support Sony's Blu-ray, and there has not been any indication that those companies are even considering supporting HD DVD.

Additionally, Blu-ray is now consistently selling more discs than HD DVD by a 2-to-1 margin, further complicating matters.

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