HD DVD Still Winning Price War vs. Blu-ray: Player & 10 Movies $219

HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray(*Update* The deal mentioned in the title is over, but Amazon has an even better deal: HD DVD player & 7 Movies for $132.)

Today I came across this article by Joel Hruska at Ars Technica in which he links to this Blu-ray deal on Amazon and says the following:

“Samsung is hoping to tilt the scales in favor of Blu-ray; as of right now, Samsung’s BD-P1400 Blu-ray player is selling for $279 on Amazon, down from a $499 MSRP. That’s not so much a discount as it is a steal, and it drops the BD-P1400 squarely within the price range for an HD DVD box.”

I couldn’t help but respond with all of Amazon’s concurrent HD DVD deals, which happen to be much better than the above mentioned “steal.”

Here is the Toshiba HD-A3 720p/1080i HD DVD player for $132 with 7 free movies (the Blu-ray deal above only comes with 5). Though, to be fair, the comparable HD DVD model with the same picture quality as the Blu-ray player mentioned is the Toshiba HD-A30 1080p HD DVD player, which is only $171. It also comes with 7 free movies.

And as icing on the cake, here is the current buy one get one free promotion at Amazon for HD DVD movies. Many of the movies are already discounted heavily (starting at around $20). So that means you can effectively get dozens of HD DVDs for $10 a piece. Of course, as always, all these deals (including the Blu-ray one) are subject to change. But it’s interesting, nonetheless, to gauge where each technology stands in terms of best deals on Amazon.

In short, comparing HD DVD to Blu-ray via Amazon’s current best deals for each has HD DVD players coming in $40-$60 cheaper. And they come with twice the movies plus have other movies available for as little as $10. Which would you buy?

See our previous coverage of HD DVD vs. Blu-ray here, here, and here.

*Update* Blu-ray Gets Warner Bros. Movies Exclusively, HD DVD Left Relying on Low Price

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  • Logan Bobo

    This is actually a pretty good step still for Blu-Ray. So far B-R players have cost a lot more than HD DVD, so making one available in the same general price range is a huge step. Especially since the word is that Blu-Ray is slightly better technology (though in truth the two formats are remarkably similar).

    But I don’t know. I just can’t pull the trigger yet on either. Blasted format wars! The most annoying thing of all is that combo players cost more than buying two separate units. Luckily I haven’t felt the need yet–few of the movies I watch are in either format (a quick look at my Netflix queue shows just 2 movies in my first 20).

  • http://www.techconsumer.com Bob Caswell

    Interesting, Logan. I certainly can understand your hesitance, but I wonder if you could provide more specifics on your intel that puts Blu-ray as slightly better technology.

    Here’s what I know: Both formats use pretty much the same codec, which is the number one determinant of picture quality. Blu-ray players usually come standard as 1080p whereas HD-DVD has the cheaper and “less quality” option of 1080i. But that could be argued as positive for HD-DVD, giving consumers more control (after all, there are plenty of HDTV buyers whose TVs don’t support 1080p, so why pay for it if you won’t use it?).

    Another area where Blu-ray is arguably “better” is that its discs can hold 50gigs whereas HD-DVD discs can hold only 30gigs. But the way movies work, those maxes aren’t even close to being hit.

    And one area where HD DVD actually is “better” technology than Blu-ray:

    All HD DVD players are required to come with network connectivity, which allows for more advanced features (which I mentioned in an earlier article) and easier updates. Blu-ray players, on the other hand, may or may not come with network connectivity. And so far, they’ve needed more updates, which would be a huge pain if not automatic through online connectivity.

    Also, remember that HD DVDs work anywhere in the world whereas Blu-ray are region specific.

    Anyway, let me know if you know something I’m missing… But I think it’s hard to say one is better (even slightly) at this point. But if I were to pick which is “better” technology, you probably could guess my opinion based on the above info…

  • http://www.techconsumer.com Bob Caswell

    And I should mention that HD DVD also allows for combo discs where the movie can work on HD DVD or DVD players (many of the HD DVD movies come in this dual format). Blu-ray movies don’t have that option; they will only work on Blu-ray players.

  • Logan Bobo

    Well, it’s true I’m talking mostly about the greater capacity, which always seems to become an issue during the lifespan of a storage format. And the greater high-end capacity qualifies it as a slightly better technology, I think (your argument against it is not on technology grounds but market-share grounds!).

    But I don’t think the differences are anything that deserves a whole lot of discussion–certainly not enough to take up the several comments it already has with the addition of this one.

  • http://www.techconsumer.com Bob Caswell

    “I’m talking mostly about the greater capacity, which always seems to become an issue during the lifespan of a storage format.”

    Um, that is, if we’re talking computers. But last time I checked, capacity was never an issue for the regular old DVD. And if you look at the allocation of space for next gen movies, it’s really not going to be a problem with either format… again.

    And my argument was based on market share? Maybe, sort of, but I listed a couple different features which have nothing to do with market share.

    But you’re probably right about this topic not necessarily deserving such detailed conversation. I just can’t help myself when it comes up!

  • Logan Bobo

    Yeah, let’s do stop. When the sarcasm starts coming out I know this will only end badly.

  • SMP

    In short, comparing HD DVD to Blu-ray via Amazon’s current best deals for each has HD DVD players coming in $40-$60 cheaper. And they come with twice the movies plus have other movies available for as little as $10. Which would you buy?


    Well Bluray obviously, because it is outselling HD-DVD by about 3 to 1.
    .
    Actually the HD player prices are distorted now because of subsidies by Toshiba and Sony in order to push their own format and try to get it established as a standard. Toshiba subsidises it’s HD-DVD players and Sony subsidises the PS3. Other manufacturers are pricing high and selling to AV enthusiasts only. The manufacturing costs are similar for both HD-DVD and Bluray are about the same, and the $99 HD-DVD players reported were prices to clear the shelves of unsold old HD-DVD players to make way for newer models.

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