Is Best Buy Souring on HD DVD?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Nils Luehrmann, May 22, 2006.

  1. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    I ask as a visit to the North West (Gateway Plaza) Best Buy in Austin this weekend really caught me by surprise.

    As I understand it, Best Buy is/was HD DVD's largest North American retail partner. BB hosted several of the early HD DVD demos, and at least at this location had an elaborate rollout with lots of publicity. They had an HD DVD displayed on their largest most expensive 1080p display right in the center of the display area where customer traffic is at it highest. In addition to the running HD DVD demo loop, BB also had several HD DVD marketing handouts with the BB logo printed on them.

    I had not been back since the opening, but as I was right next door shopping at CompUSA I decided to go in and see if the HD DVD demo had changed, and what new displays they might have added.

    At first, I couldn’t even find the HD DVD demo! They had moved the demo to the farthest right-hand side of the display area where almost no customers ever go to. In fact oddly enough, right next to the area of the store where they are clearing out entertainment furniture, which they are abandoning due to poor sales.

    Adding insult to injury, the HD DVD player was now hooked up to a small (under 40”) 1080p display by Westinghouse. There was no audio hooked up, and only one HD DVD handout. There were several HD DVD titles stacked behind the demo for sale with most priced at $30 a piece and several previously released titles at $25 a piece.

    I located the floor manger, the GM was not available, and he said they made the move because of the lack of sales, and that they were having too many returns.

    Keep in mind; the BB at the Gateway Plaza is located in one of the better retail areas in Austin and located only a few miles from large neighborhoods with +$500k homes. So of all their locations in and around Austin, this should have, and was presumably expected to have sold more HD DVD product than any of their other locations.

    If this location is souring on HD DVD it makes me wonder if BB is having a change of heart.
     
  2. Andrew Bunk

    Andrew Bunk Screenwriter

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    Ouch.

    I haven't seen much of any HD-DVD presence at the 3 Best Buy's I frequent, and they are also near affluent areas.
     
  3. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

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    I'm wondering why, or if this was a copout
     
  4. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    My Best Buy changed their display to a much smaller one now too. They had no players in stock. I asked an employee if they were having alot of sales on these or if they just didn't get alot of inventory. He told me they did have quite a few but they had so many returns and exchanges is why they no longer have any in stock. This is in Inland Empire in So.Cal. I noticed the same situation in an Orange County BB too.
    So they may just be getting tired of all the returns until a more reliable player is released.
    I think the Digital Bits review of the Toshiba HD-DVD player is far more accurate than the HD-DVD plants and fanboys here want us to believe.
    I had no intention of getting HD-DVD but the $499.00 price was tempting me but now I'm definately back on the not getting one side with all the Player Problems. To me pushing it back until it works correctly like Blu-Ray is doing is way more important than being the 1st out of the gate. Quality product or lack of is remembered by consumers far longer than who had the cheapest player 1st.
     
  5. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    How many people in this thread own a Toshiba player? Probably just me, and I have had no problems to date with content playback. So I'm a little tired of hearing how awful this player is from folks who don't actually own one.

    ( Yes it takes a little while to boot, and the remote is terrible; but I've setup my universal remote, and the load times don't bother me a bit. )

    - Walter.
     
  6. Scotty_McW

    Scotty_McW Second Unit

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    I've had my XA1 for about two weeks now and haven't had a single problem. Bost BBs that I frequent have always had the discs in stock on release day. The only problem I've had is that they don't have the discs in the front of the store with the rest of the new releases.
     
  7. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

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    These people who are buying these players at Best Buy then returning them, probally don't own a 1080p TV or a high end TV to get the full pleasure out of the player. So these people are probally returning them becuase they don't see that much of a difference, or are in fact probally returning them becuase they don't have it hooked up correctly.

    All these returns can't be defectives.
     
  8. Andrew Bunk

    Andrew Bunk Screenwriter

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    While I agree not all of them are likely defective, I still think that where there's smoke, there's fire.

    Even if only 1 in 10 had problems, that's still much too high for my taste. I'm not a gambling man. [​IMG]
     
  9. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    First of all, while I wouldn't necessarily compare Toshiba's HD DVD players to Yugos, I also know you don't have to own something to know it has problems.

    On the other hand, even a brief look through the many HD DVD threads on this and other forums has several posters who were first posting glowing reviews of their player and then followed it up over several days with one return after another. So clearly some players are having problems, and not just mere inconveniences as you might have us believe.

    Far more to the point, your response was completely unjustified. Not only is this thread about the possibility that Best Buy might be having second thoughts about their support for HD DVD, but not a single person posted in this thread saying, and I quote, "how awful this player is". I shared what I was told from the floor manager at BB, and Randy was sharing his opinion on the accuracy of the Digital Bits review and how that may explain why BB is apparently getting a lot of returns.

    It's great that you have a HD DVD player that hasn't any serious issues with it, and it is great that you are such a strong supporter for that format. However not only are there far more appropriate threads for discussing the known issues with these players (there is a dedicated thread for that BTW), but to attack everyone who has posted in this thread for saying HD DVD players are awful is not only incorrect, but on the verge of qualifying as a grade A thread fart. [​IMG]
     
  10. Vegas 1

    Vegas 1 Supporting Actor

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    I was in a local BB yesterday here in Vegas, and did not see the HDDVD display at all or any discs, they must have moved everything out of sight. To be fair however I didn't ask were their HDDVD display was.
     
  11. Jeremy Little

    Jeremy Little Supporting Actor

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    The early rollout displays were merely temporary. The new Westinghouse set up *WAS* the plan all along. Those early displays should have all been disassembled and the new one should be located on a prominent home theater endcap. Ours is right near the entrance to the checkout lanes.
     
  12. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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    Nils, if you want to point a finger at someone about thread fart then I suggest you point it at Randy, yourself and me (for replying to this), but not Walter.
     
  13. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    I don't think you have read any of the posts in this thread nor does your post add anything to the original topic this just qualifies as a personal attack and a major thread crap.
     
  14. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    BB was never "sweet" on HD DVD.
    They were "OK" with it. A few demos on the HD DVD tour and some setups before the offical HD DVD setup. However, I've never been to a BB that "pushed" HD DVD. (I've been to four BBs & two Magnolias since HD DVD's release)
    The weak (Westinghouse) display/demo is HD DVD's idea, not BB.
    When BB does not carry a new HD DVD release from a major studio, then "sour" will be the term to use.
    Right now, I'd say BB is committed to sell HD DVD software as they are SA-CD titles & as committed to sell HD DVD hardware as they are VCR players.
     
  15. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    I agree, Walter.

    the HD-A1 is in short supply. BB can't get their hands on hardware. Why push a product you don't have in stock?

    You guys never miss a trick to take a swipe at HD DVD. Are you enjoying your BD players and discs, fellas?
     
  16. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    Nils - My comment was directed at a specific "quote" in this thread regarding the accuracy of the The Digital Bits review vs. the experience of other owners of the Toshiba player. Yes, there have been reports of problems with the player, especially the first batch, and the remote; but that does not automatically invalidate the positive experiences that some folks have with the player and HD-DVD in general.

    Frankly, I don't appreciate being labeled, in this thread, not by you; as either an HD-DVD plant or a fanboy because of my postive experiences with the player and media.

    I don't recall any negative comments that I've made on the HTF about Bd; I sure wish that some of the Bd enthusiasts on this site could say the same thing with regard to HD-DVD.

    - Walter.
     
  17. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    It won't happen. I don't know if these guys work for Sony or not, but it sure seems like it sometimes.
     
  18. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    This may in fact be off topic, but; I’ve been reading Walter’s posts since joining the forum, and I consider his posts (in the main) to be thoughtful, reasoned and not confrontational (other than to make his point in a generally polite fashion).

    Plus he is one of the few in this hardware section to knowledgeably contribute to discussions about movies.
     
  19. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    I'm not sure what you folks expect from Best Buy. I'm amazed they even carry HD-DVD to begin with. To be honest, their product selection makes no sense to me. You can find a 15K monitor, but hardly a single SD DVD player over $80, a receiver over about $300 (at least the last time I loked) or any speakers which aren't total garbage. At this point in time, I don't know how they can figure HD-DVD exactly fits in their product selection.

    Besides, nobody on their staff understands the slightest thing about the products, formats, technology or much of anything else aside from extended warranties. I doubt a single employee in most of their stores has any understanding of what is needed to get the most out of HD. I know there are exceptions, but this is certainly the standard situation with them.
     
  20. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Its the same at the Watertown/Ft.Drum BB in NY. There is no HD-DVD hardware or software I could find, and I was actively looking for it. Of course all their 16x9 TVs were being fed stretched 4x3 material, so obviously the local crew doesn't give a whooping-funk one way or the other.
    But they do have an Xbox360 demo .... on a 17" monitor [​IMG]
     

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