Toshiba deploys new HD-DVD marketing initiatives... No white towel yet! - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 30 Old 01-14-08, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Toshiba deploys new HD-DVD marketing initiatives... No white towel yet!



Mass Market Acceptance Confirms that HD DVD is the Consumer's Choice for Next Generation High Def Entertainment

Toshiba America Consumer Products, L.L.C. (“Toshiba”) today announced that it is stepping up its successful marketing campaign for HD DVD as it experienced record-breaking unit sales in the fourth quarter of 2007. Major initiatives, including joint advertising campaigns with studios and extended pricing strategies will begin in mid-January and are designed to spotlight the superior benefits of HD DVD as well as the benefits HD DVD brings to a consumer’s current DVD library by upconverting standard DVDs via the HDMI™ output to near high def picture quality.

As Toshiba achieved the #1 sales volume in the next generation DVD category with an approximately 50% market share in 2007, HD DVD is proven to be the format of choice for consumers. Coupled with an 80% plus market share of all next generation DVD equipped notebooks for the 4th quarter 2007, the HD DVD format has already paved the way to high definition digital AV solution by eliminating the boundaries between the consumer’s living room and on the go.

HD DVD not only creates the ultimate high definition entertainment experience, leveraging all of the promise of the format such as superior audio/video performance, Web-enabled network capabilities and advanced interactive features – it also has a high-level of compatibility with DVD. With DVD upconversion via the HDMI™ output, HD DVD players instantly make a movie lovers existing DVD library look better than ever.

“HD DVD is the best way to watch movies in high definition,” said Jodi Sally, Vice President of DAV Marketing for Toshiba. “Our HD DVD players not only play back approximately 800 HD DVD titles available worldwide and deliver an entirely new level of entertainment, but also enhance the picture quality to near high definition on legacy DVD titlesby all studios. In short, we added hi def to DVD which already is the de facto standard format created and approved by the DVD Forum that consists of more than two hundred companies.

New Marketing Strategy for Mass Market Adoption
Taking the holiday season sales based on promotional prices into full consideration, these new manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRP) are designed to meet the potential demand for HD DVD players in the US market. Effective on January 13, 2008 the MSRP of the entry-model HD-A3 will be $149.99, the HD-A30, with 1080p output, $199.99, and the high-end HD-A35, $299.99.

“While price is one of the consideration elements for the early adopter, it is a deal-breaker for the mainstream consumer,” said Yoshi Uchiyama, Group Vice President Digital A/V Group. “Consumer sales this holiday season have proven that the consumer awareness of the HD DVD format has been elevated and pricing is the most critical determinant in consumer’s purchase decision of the next generation HD DVD technology. The value HD DVD provides to the consumer simply cannot be ignored.”

Extended Advertising Campaign
Toshiba plans to execute an extended advertising campaign that will further enhance consumer awareness of the benefits of HD DVD and drive sales to retail among potential consumers. Advertising strategies will include television, print and online media channels. Toshiba will also work with its dealers and studio partners on joint marketing and promotional initiatives to promote HD DVD. Current promotions include “The Perfect HD Offer” – a mail-in offer allowing consumers to select five HD DVD titles for free from a selection of 15 with the purchase of any Toshiba HD DVD player.

Consistent Viewing Experience and More
With advanced interactivity and Web-enabled network capabilities built into every HD DVD player through a dedicated Ethernet port as mandated by the specifications approved by the DVD Forum, Toshiba delivers on the promise of a consistent entertainment experience through firmware updates as studios launch new applications. HD DVD allows studios to flex their creative muscle in ways never before seen. The latest of these new experiences is online streaming. Now, when consumers connect their HD DVD player to the Internet, they can stream new content or trailers, as available, directly from a movie studios server.

Universal Home Video, Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation SKG have reported that an average of 30 percent of HD DVD owners have accessed Web-enabled network features and continue to do so regularly.

Ongoing Customer Commitment
In order to ensure that its customers will receive complete satisfaction from their new players, Toshiba introduced the "HD DVD Concierge" earlier this month. Consumers can now call 1-888-MY HDDVD (1-888-694-3383) for answers to general questions about HD DVD, for operational assistance or for assistance with various promotions.

About Toshiba HD DVD Players
With the HD DVD format, select HD DVD players allow consumers to experience true high def 1080p for extraordinary resolutionthat matches the latest state of the art 1080p HDTVs. These same players display images at 24 frames per second, the same frame rate used by directors when using film to create motion pictures, for a smoother, more film-like, viewing experience.

Source: Toshiba News
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post #2 of 30 Old 01-14-08, 10:41 PM
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Re: Toshiba deploys new HD-DVD marketing initiatives... No white towel yet!

Well I would have thought if they simply put all their players on sale they would be doing nothing more than dumping them, but with all that advertising planned, it sounds like they ain't going down without a major fight.

I'm torn here... I was almost hoping for them to actually throw the towel in, but there's a part of me that says go for it. Either way, they are going to do what they want to do.

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post #3 of 30 Old 01-14-08, 10:57 PM
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Re: Toshiba deploys new HD-DVD marketing initiatives... No white towel yet!

I don't think Toshiba is going to lay down on this at all. I expect that the studios will do their best to play the two sides against each other to get as much out of them as they can. In the end, both formats will be losers, I expect.

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post #4 of 30 Old 01-14-08, 11:31 PM
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Re: Toshiba deploys new HD-DVD marketing initiatives... No white towel yet!

Yay, go Toshiba! Go Microsoft! Go HD-DVD!
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post #5 of 30 Old 01-15-08, 07:30 AM
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Re: Toshiba deploys new HD-DVD marketing initiatives... No white towel yet!

What I am interested in is seeing what happens with the retailers, like BB and CC. Are they going to keep re-stocking the inventory? It is unknown as to whether its inventory blowout or some delay strategy to keep things open while nogotiations are continued. It has been speculated that BB, CC, and Walmart want a single format and might work together to make that happen.

My other thought is if/when Toshiba does decide its over, are they going to keep selling players, or immediately cut off distribution? How is the software going to be supported once the hardware is no longer sold? How mad are the people who bought one of the $150 players going to be when the format is yanked a few months later, especially after hearing the advertising blitz that's going to make them believe that HD DVD is Thee Format?
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post #6 of 30 Old 01-15-08, 12:46 PM
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Re: Toshiba deploys new HD-DVD marketing initiatives... No white towel yet!

This is kind of what I expected to hear from them.

Before I say anything else, I do prefer HD DVD over Bluray because up until now more of the titles I personally like to watch were on HD DVD. I am format neutral as I have mentioned several times, so what I am about to say is going to sound negative towards HD DVD, but I am not just blindly bashing Toshiba and HD DVD...

Warner has one of the biggest movie libraries. Their announcement to go Bluray exclusive was a major blow to HD DVD. With only two major studios still in camp with HD DVD (and I do think it is safe and fair to say their loyalty and allegence to HD DVD is strained at this point) that doesn't leave an impressive content list for consumers... whatever is out there now, and only new releases from Universal and Paramount. Paramount has already post poned the release of some highly anticipated HD DVD exclusive titles, so it looks like new releases even from the remaining studios may start to slim down.

Without content, Toshiba can advertise and cut prices all they want, it won't matter to the consumers. I said this before that Warner was a bit premature in their statement that they made the move solely based on player sales and movie sales... 4th quarter 2007 information would barely have been in, if it was even fully compiled by the time Warner made their announcement. Their timing and announcement was done to hurt HD DVD plain and simple. It took Toshiba totally by surprise to the point they had to cancel their press conference because they were unprepared for what happened.

So although I think it's a noble effort on Toshiba's part, what really lacked in that article was any mention of any possibility of HD DVD getting a studio to cross the lines and even release in both formats let alone declare they would become HD DVD exclusive. Without that commitment or even the hint of some new studio backing, I honestly can't see how Toshiba can pull this off. Yes 4th quarter 2007 was a record high for HD DVD sales, and yes Bluray was fast becoming concerned. Sony had to do something, and the Warner deal was really all they could do, and that was pretty big.

This won't be the first time that a superior format lost, Beta was a superior format than VHS. I think though that the buy offs and smear campaigns were a little more public this time around which has turned some people off to both formats. I've heard some people say Toshiba deserved it because they bought Paramount off, but the reality is Toshiba did nothing and is guilty of nothing that Sony hadn't already done themselves. In fact both sides made deals with the studios that originally sided with each format, don't anyone fool yourself into thinking otherwise. Money talks, and Warner walked, it's as simple as that.

So to repeat myself, without a substantial library of future releases, Toshiba could start giving players away and it isn't going to matter as long as the general public percieves that it is over. Fact is HD DVD was selling like hot cakes, perception is Bluray won. Anything other than a major announcement that HD DVD has gotten additional studio support is only going to be veiwed perception wise as they are trying to dump their inventory.

Toshiba needs something more substantial than this and what they just said... that's my opinion on this.

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post #7 of 30 Old 01-15-08, 01:33 PM
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Re: Toshiba deploys new HD-DVD marketing initiatives... No white towel yet!

Looking at the releases for February again BluRay has way more than HD DVD if this is any indication of what is to come:
February 04, 2008

* Deadliest Catch: Season 3 (Discovery Channel)

February 05, 2008

* Across the Universe (Sony)
* The Brave One (Warner)
* Celine Dion: A New Day... Live in Las Vegas (Sony BMG)
* Crimson Tide (Buena Vista)
* The Jane Austen Book Club (Sony)
* Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World (Fox)
* Me, Myself & Irene (Fox)
* Wall Street (Fox)

February 12, 2008

* The Amateurs (First Look)
* Becoming Jane (Buena Vista)
* Gone Baby Gone (Buena Vista)
* No Reservations (Warner)
* We Own the Night (Sony)

February 19, 2008

* Deep Purple: Live at Montreux 2006 (Eagle Rock)
* In the Valley of Elah (Warner)
* Michael Clayton (Warner)
* Run Lola Run (Sony)
* Santana: Hymns for Peace - Live at Montreux 2004 (Eagle Rock)
* Yes: Live at Montreux 2003 (Eagle Rock)

February 26, 2008

* 30 Days of Night (Sony)
* The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Warner)
* Beyonce: The Beyonce Experience - Live (Sony BMG)
* Justice League: The New Frontier (Warner)
* To Kill a King (Starz)

February 04, 2008

* Deadliest Catch: Season 3 (Discovery Channel)

February 05, 2008

* The Brave One (Warner)
* Elizabeth: The Golden Age (Universal)
* The Lawless (Phoenix Group)
* Naked Beneath the Water (Phoenix Group)

February 12, 2008

* The Amateurs (First Look)
* Girls Gone Wild: Baby Bash - Live And Uncensored (Mantra)
* No Reservations (Warner)

February 19, 2008

* Galaxina (BCI)
* In the Valley of Elah (Warner)
* The Invasion (Warner)
* Michael Clayton (Warner)
* The Road to Bali/The Road to Rio (BCI)

February 26, 2008

* Beowulf (2007) (Paramount)
* Dragon Tiger Gate (Tai Seng)
* Justice League: The New Frontier (Warner)
* Rain in the Mountains (Vanguard Cinema)

Home theater:
Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
3 EV Sentry 500 monitors across the front, 4 Mission 762i's Surrounds, SVS PB13U sub, Panasonic BDT220, Harmony 1100, Nintendo WiiU
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Living room system:
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Last edited by tonyvdb; 01-15-08 at 02:03 PM.
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post #8 of 30 Old 01-15-08, 01:47 PM
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Re: Toshiba deploys new HD-DVD marketing initiatives... No white towel yet!

I too have been on the side of HD DVD. Mainly because I don't like that Sony came in late with a competitor, I think it stinks!

I'm generally one of those old school believers in separate corporate entities with no conflicts of interest conducting our services. I don't like a company that's a studio also making the playback hardware and creating the format. The whole thing stinks to high heaven!

What about innovation? You won't get innovative ways to push the DRM envelope from a consumer electronics company that also happens to be a studio.

Sony used to be innovative. Sony Vs Universal City Studios is one thing you won't see happen again!

Sony pushed the tolerance of studios by giving people timeshifting. There is no chance you'll see CE companies these days pushing the content providers buttons to give the customer what they want.

Like I said - it stinks. But if we have to live with Blu-ray so be it. I'm not completely married to HD DVD or anything. I'd like to see an end to the format war so we can get more movies in HD and high resolution audio.

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post #9 of 30 Old 01-15-08, 01:57 PM
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Re: Toshiba deploys new HD-DVD marketing initiatives... No white towel yet!

Looking at the releases for February again BluRay has way more than HD DVD if this is any indication of what is to come:
It's actually HD-DVD = 17 and BD = 25 if you look at the entire month.

In March they are both slated for 18 releases each as of now.

If Toshiba spends serious dollars on advertising the HD-DVD format to the general public (who I don't believe is all that aware of any format war) and builds it up to be "the format" of choice, on top of slashing their player prices... this is most likely going to motivate the general public to pursue HD-DVD. If BB, CC and WM get a rush of HD-DVD buyers in their stores buying HD-DVD players and movies... which they will prefer, especially being less than Blu-ray... on top of all those they sold at x-mas time... I just don't see them dropping HD-DVD for Blu-ray. If they did, the general public is then going to be mad at BB, CC and WM, not Toshiba, because the general public bought their players there and will want to continue to buy HD-DVDs there. This could indeed sway Blu-ray studios to reconsider. The general public will be buying SD-DVD and HD-DVD and leaving BD on the shelf. Of course this will all henge on just how strong of an advertising campaign Toshiba has.

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post #10 of 30 Old 01-15-08, 09:08 PM
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Re: Toshiba deploys new HD-DVD marketing initiatives... No white towel yet!

Their "strategy" makes sense - sell the players at even lower prices to increase the number of players in consumers hands. If they can sell enough, after maybe 6 months or so, some of these studios may need to re-evaluate their stance. If more people own HD DVD players than Blue Ray, it would only make sense to go after the larger target crowd. Only potential setback I see is that the prices of the discs need to come down too, not just the players. You may get the average Joe with a $150 player, but he still isn't going to buy $30 movies.
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