Comparing Amazon's sales of HD DVD and Blu-Ray

Oliver D

Nov 12, 2004
For the past six weeks or so, I've been collecting sales rank data from to compare how both formats are doing. I've compared both the hardware and the software; I've decided to put this here for discussion as it seemed the most likely place.

As a retailer, Amazon is large enough to give us a broad sense of how products are selling but still small enough that they don't exactly mirror overall sales. Comparing their most popular books and albums, for example, does not give you a bestseller list or a Billboard albums chart.'s sales rankings work by ranking each product within a category against all other products: Blu-Ray and HD DVD players are ranked against all other electronics, and software is ranked against all over DVDs. There is no information regarding unit sales, and the lower you go in rank, the more unreliable the numbers become. It's best to think of sales in logarithmic sections: the Top 10, the Top 100, the Top 1000, etc. Ranking is also constantly updated as the day goes on: if sales pick up in the afternoon, a rank is likely to increase, for example.

Given these inaccuracies, I thought it would be interesting to see how HD DVD and Blu Ray were doing on Amazon. Here are my results:

Hardware (and some Software)

First, I tracked hardware sales of Toshiba's two models, the RCA, the Samsung, and Sony's, which is only a pre-order at this time. Second, I tracked these against Oppo's OPDV971H player, which is one of best selling upscaling DVD players on Amazon.

Finally, I also tracked the best-selling title on disc for HD DVD and Blu-Ray. I did not have a chance to check each of the dozens of titles every time, but generally a few titles always sell very well for each format and Amazon ranks the titles as "Bestsellers" per format although (frustratingly) it doesn't correspond to the titles ranking.

The average sales rank from 7/25/2006 to today is as follows:

Oppo OPDV971H: 157
Toshiba HD-A1: 501
Toshiba HD-XA1: 7,500
Samsung BDP-1000: 8,754
Sony BDP-S1: 9,312
RCA HDV5000: 11,765

HD DVD Bestseller: 680
Blu-Ray Bestseller: 3,720

It's also in chart form:

HD Charts.

Peter Overduin

Supporting Actor
Jun 30, 1997
Truly, in all my years of memberships here since March 97, this is one of the most interesting things I have ever seen. Clearly, you have put some thought into this and it is indeed very interesting.

One question: do you actually have TIME to WATCH dvds

kudos man...very nicely done!


Second Unit
Nov 3, 2004
The graph has some interest, no doubt, but I'm not sure what we're supposed to glean from it. That the Toshiba has been consistently outselling the Samsung by an unknown amount? Could be 1 a month, could be 1000 a month. It's not clear. The one figure I have which in any way relates to sales is a Tosh spokesman stating 50,000 players so far shipped.

Toshiba plans to ship 350,000 hi-tech DVDs


Senior HTF Member
Feb 2, 2006
Real Name
YiFeng You
thx for the graph... but it should be fairly obvious that a $400-500 dollar player will outsell a $1,000 player. if the situation had been reversed, meaning BR was sold for $400-500 and HD-DVD was sold for $1,000, you will see the same graph showing BR players and media outselling HD-DVD.

Ronald Epstein

Senior HTF Member
Jul 3, 1997
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
Outstanding report. Thank You for compiling and sharing
this with all our members.

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