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Toshiba Deploys New HD DVD Marketing Initiatives Based on Strong Fourth Quarter Unit


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#1 of 125 OFFLINE   loganhunter2002

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Posted January 13 2008 - 05:41 PM

Toshiba Deploys New HD DVD Marketing Initiatives Based on Strong Fourth Quarter Unit Sales

Quote:
Originally Posted by PR Newswire
Mass Market Acceptance Confirms that HD DVD is the Consumer's Choice for
Next Generation High Def Entertainment

WAYNE, N.J., Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- 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
definition picture quality.

As Toshiba achieved the #1 sales volume in the next generation DVD
category with an approximately 50 percent market share in 2007, HD DVD is
proven to be the format of choice for consumers. Coupled with an 80 percent
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 a 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 lover's 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 Marketing, Toshiba's Digital A/V Group. "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 titles by
all studios. In short, we added high 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 U.S.
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
consumers' 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 studio's 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 resolution that 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.

Important Notes:

HD DVD with high-definition content required for HD viewing. Up-
conversion of DVD content will result in near HD picture quality. Viewing
high-definition content and up-converting DVD content may require an HDCP
capable DVI or HDMI input on your display device. 1080p capable display
required for viewing content in 1080p. Firmware update may be required for
some interactive features depending on content, which may also require an
always-on broadband internet connection. Some features may require
additional bandwidth. To take advantage of web-enabled network content,
installing the latest firmware (ver.2.4 for HD DVD player models HD-XA1,
HD-A1, and HD-D1; ver.2.7 for HD-XA2, HD-A2, HD-A2W, HD-D2, HD-A2C, and
HD-A20; and ver.1.3 for HD-A35, HD-A30, and HD-A3) is required. Web-enabled
network features require an always on broadband connection along with
specific movie titles that include this form of content. For 24p output,
content that was created in 1080p/24 frames/sec is required. Viewing 24p
output requires an HD display capable of accepting a 1080p/24Hz signal. Use
of REGZA Link, which is a feature based on HDMI-CEC, requires an HDMI-CEC
compatible display device. Depending on the specifications of your TV, some
or all REGZA Link functions may not work even if your TV is HDMI-CEC
compatible. Dolby® Digital Plus, Dolby® TrueHD and DTS® support for
up to 5.1 channels (DTS HD® support for DTS® core only). MP3/WMA audio
files not supported. HDMI audio output requires connection to a PCM capable
device. Because HD DVD is a new format that makes use of new technologies,
certain disc, digital connection and other compatibility and/or performance
issues are possible. This may, in rare cases, include disc freezing while
accessing certain disc features or functions, or certain parts of the disc
not playing back or operating as fully intended. If you experience such
issues, please refer to the FAQ sections of TOSHIBAHDDVD.COM or
Toshiba | Consumer Electronics & Digital Home Entertainment Products for information on possible work- around solutions or
the availability of firmware updates that may resolve your problem, or
contact Toshiba Customer Solutions. Some features subject to delayed
availability. While every effort has been made at the time of publication
to ensure the accuracy of the information provided herein, product
specifications, configurations, system/component/options availability are
all subject to change without notice.

About Toshiba America Consumer Products, L.L.C.

Toshiba America Consumer Products, L.L.C. is owned by Toshiba America,
Inc., a subsidiary of Toshiba Corporation, a world leader in high
technology products with subsidiaries worldwide. Toshiba is a pioneer in HD
DVD, DVD and DVD Recorder technology and a leading manufacturer of a full
line of home entertainment products, including flat panel TV, combination
products and portable devices. Toshiba America Consumer Products, L.L.C. is
headquartered in Wayne, New Jersey. For additional information, please
visit Toshiba | Consumer Electronics & Digital Home Entertainment Products.

Sony STR-DG910
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Toshiba HD-A2
Toshiba HD-XA2
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#2 of 125 OFFLINE   Yumbo

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Posted January 13 2008 - 05:52 PM

Rock on!

#3 of 125 OFFLINE   Sanjay Gupta

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Posted January 13 2008 - 08:47 PM

I suppose this means that many more are going to get suckered into buying a losing format. At this stage of the format war, I think it is time for forums, such as this one, to take a stand and support a single format. Regardless of the merits or demerits of each individual format, the way things stand at this stage, how can anyone in their true conscious recommend that a newbie buy into HD-DVD. In the last few days there have been several posts stating that the fat lady has not sung yet and that may be true to an extent, but the fact remains that there is no way the HD-DVD format can sustain itself with just the two studios supporting it. Thus, leaving personal biases and opinions aside, the fact is that Blu-Ray is here to stay and thus it is the only logical choice, for anyone new to the HD scene.
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#4 of 125 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted January 14 2008 - 01:19 AM

That's probably true. That said, this puts the HD-A3's price in line with upconverting players, and it's probably a good one if my HD-A1 is any indication - so there's that, plus you can play HD-DVDs. As much as logic seems to favor BD, HD-DVD has been the little engine that could for the past year or so, and if they can get a lot of units into homes this way, and thus give Paramount and Universal good sales, they can force a stalemate or even get Warner to reconsider.

Would I recommend HD-DVD to a new buyer? Probably not. But those prices do make it pretty damn hard to leave them out of the conversation.
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#5 of 125 OFFLINE   Jari K

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Posted January 14 2008 - 01:48 AM

Toshiba and cheap players. Strategy to victory. Or perhaps not.

#6 of 125 ONLINE   Scott-S

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Posted January 14 2008 - 02:00 AM

The fire sale begins!! So this is what a last gasp sounds like. Posted Image

I wonder if people realize that the HD-A3 is only 1080i?

This is only going to confuse the Wal-Mart shoppers even more now. I guess those who wondered if the Warner announcement would end the battle got their answer now. Posted Image

I do find it funny seeing how PR people spin things. I like how they claim to have 50% market share. Guess they forgot about the PS3 lol.

Looks like Toshiba is being stubborn.
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#7 of 125 OFFLINE   ReggieW

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Posted January 14 2008 - 02:08 AM

......Or these price drops COULD'VE been planned BEFORE the WHV announcement.

If the exclusive HD-DVD studios do not issue some stellar catalog releases to go along with these price drops, then this whole campaign will be pointless. If I don't see similar follow-ups from Universal/Paramount within the next two weeks, then it'll be over imho.

Cheap prices with no stellar software announcements is a dead strategy.
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#8 of 125 OFFLINE   nolesrule

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Posted January 14 2008 - 02:21 AM

So Toshiba announced clearance pricing. Big deal.

#9 of 125 OFFLINE   Paul Arnette

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Posted January 14 2008 - 02:38 AM

Quote:
If I don't see similar follow-ups from Universal/Paramount within the next two weeks, then it'll be over imho.

I tend to agree with this. Hardware price cuts mean nothing to me, as I already have all the HD DVD equipment I plan to buy for the forseeable future. The only thing that could pursade me is content, be it in the form of increased content from existing HD DVD supporting studios or new studios.

If Paramount/Universal or a new HD DVD studio don't get Toshiba's back, so-to-speak, I'm left with no other impression than this is merely a timed HD DVD retreat.
Universal Blu-ray Discs I will not be buying while they're offered only as Blu-ray + DVD 'flipper' discs:

The Jackal
, Out of Africa, and Traffic.

#10 of 125 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted January 14 2008 - 04:09 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Arnette
Hardware price cuts mean nothing to me, as I already have all the HD DVD equipment I plan to buy for the forseeable future. The only thing that could pursade me is content
Toshiba doesn't need to persuade you, though - you already have the equipment. This is about (hopefully) quickly increasing the install base to a number that's competitive with PS3's numbers and is thus too big to ignore. If they can do this, and then flex that muscle a little bit (I'm guessing we're going to see them push Beowulf hard), then maybe Warner suddenly finds an out clause, the other studios reconsider their support, and we're back to last month. At the very least, it makes staying HD-DVD exclusive a more palatable option for Universal and Paramount and gives them time.

I don't really think it's a plan with a large chance of success, but it's more or less their only chance at this point. They need to advertise heavily, though, pounding the message that they cost half of what BD does while (currently) doing more, and that's going to cost enough that if it doesn't work, someone at Toshiba loses his job.

It's probably too late, but with what's at stake, it's certainly worth a shot, at least in terms of seeing how well Beowulf and Bee Movie do (Universal doesn't seem to have many new releases coming in that time frame). If those don't move, then Toshiba will probably throw in the towel.
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#11 of 125 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted January 14 2008 - 04:13 AM

So Toshiba's strategy is to get more people to use their HD-DVD players as upscaling DVD players? Huh?

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#12 of 125 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted January 14 2008 - 04:28 AM

More like their strategy is to capture people who are willing to spend upscaling money but not Blu-ray money for a player to hook to their HDTV. They can position it as a good upscaling player (which I suspect it is) and, as a bonus, you can also play HD-DVDs, with the hope that the seven people get for free will hook them.
Jay's Movie Blog - A movie-viewing diary.
Transplanted Life: Sci-fi soap opera about a man placed in a new body, updated two or three times a week.
Trading Post Inn - Another gender-bending soap, with different collaborators writing different points of view.

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#13 of 125 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted January 14 2008 - 04:35 AM

Also, now that the "no more DVD-only releases for big non-catalog titles" strategy has been revealed, emphasizing that angle makes a little more sense.

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#14 of 125 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted January 14 2008 - 04:39 AM

I'd call what's going on in that thread a rumor more than a revelation, myself. "Revealed" implies at least a press release.
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#15 of 125 OFFLINE   Robin_B

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Posted January 14 2008 - 04:43 AM

Not a mention of the WB split in there.

Next step .... give them away. I see Toshiba execs standing in Wal-Mart "please have a free HD DVD player, please take one"
"Yeah but secreted from what?"

#16 of 125 OFFLINE   Cees Alons

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Posted January 14 2008 - 06:23 AM

Not good .... people would apply the "money saved" to the purchase of a BD-player.


Posted Image


Cees

#17 of 125 OFFLINE   FrancisP

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Posted January 14 2008 - 06:33 AM

That makes a lot of sense. I would sell it as an upconverting dvd player with the ability to play hi-def discs. Certainly the A3 is in that price range and I believe that it could hold on as an upconverting player. It offers a cheaper alternative for many people than blu-ray and you can get blu-ray studio releases on dvd for upconversion. The average person is not going to be rushing to bluray anytime soon. I would also look at refining the technology even further. As for the fact that the A3 only does 1080i, the average person is not going to notice.

#18 of 125 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted January 14 2008 - 06:38 AM

Quote:
Not a mention of the WB split in there.

According to several insiders, this press release from Toshiba was prepared in December *before* the WB announcement, which is (one reason) why there's no mention of it in the statement.

Toshiba seems to be rolling forward as if nothing has changed. Who knows, perhaps in their eyes, nothing has.

I agree that as long as a consumer knows what he/she is getting, it makes good sense to pick up one of these players for the purpose of an excellent upscaling DVD player, if not more (gives you the added benefit of being able to enjoy current HD DVD exclusives). Though many BD players provide as-good upscaling and many consumers already have upscaling DVD players... so the need to "upgrade" for upscaling alone may not be imperative for many consumers.
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#19 of 125 OFFLINE   Doug_H

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Posted January 14 2008 - 06:49 AM

End of HD-DVD or not this makes me happy. I can buy two more for my other TV's and take advantage of all the HD-DVD discs I have picked up in the last two weeks.
I have no problem taking the discs off the hands of the ones who started to sell as soon as WB did their press release. I have collected about 100 discs at less than DVD prices Posted Image

Now if I can just figure out a way to start a panic driven sell off from the Blu camp! lol
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#20 of 125 OFFLINE   JeremyR

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Posted January 14 2008 - 06:52 AM

You know.. I think we're giving the GP entirely too much credit. Hell, I was in Best Buy Saturday looking at Blu-ray players, and was speaking to one of the EMPLOYEES (who appeared to be in his late 20's, early 30's) about a Panasonic player, and I mentioned to him how it looked like Blu-ray was going to win. He looked at me a little puzzled, and I mentioned the Warner dropping and he shrugged his shoulders and said he didn't know that. So I don't think many people really have any idea. Toshiba moved a truckload of players with their aggressive pricing strategy around Thanksgiving, perhaps they think they can match that and think they can get to a point that they can't be ignored. I don't know if that's true. I was feeling that it was all Blu from here on out about a week ago, now I'm not so sure. I don't think the general public have a clue, and will buy what seems to have the best prices. And now software prices seem to be improving a little. I guess we'll see.


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