Too rich for my blood. Until a Blu-ray player that's at or below the $500 price point with no compromise on features hits the market, I'm out. I'm also out if the software being released continues to be so hit or miss as far as quality is concerned.
Blu-ray machines need to get down into the $500 price range before I will even consider buying one. Plus, with all the software issues it's just way too risky at this point, even with the Panny and Sony models coming.
No way I'm paying that much for a Panasonic. Nor would I pay what they are asking for the Samsung because its a... Samsung.
I almost won't buy a Sony on principle alone, and the fact their player sounds like it won't support the new audio codes just reinforces that. I might pay that much for a Pioneer, but it had better be an Elite.
I guess the expansion shelf I bought for my A/V rack with a BD player in mind is going to sit empty for awhile. No big deal, I can be patient especially with the [sarcasm]fantastic[/sarcasm] exclusive Blu-Ray titles they've got lined up.
Wow...did you guys say the same thing when DVD first hit the shelves almost 10 years ago?
Blu-ray are at early adopter prices. As I see it, the reason why there seems to be so much rejection of these units because of the price is because Toshiba, at their $500 price point, skipped a generation of adopters and went right to consumer #3 (a bigger population)...since #3 found a product at their price point you tend to be more vocal against BD pricing.
Imagine if Toshiba had retailed the HD-A1 at $1000 too instead of subsidizing it. The tables would be a lot different right now.
I'm not saying this to look arrogant, but after spending only 10 years in sales that's just how it is...that's how people are.
I see it all in this well-known business point of view (much like a pyramid in # of people). Manufacturers rely on this for their new products. Here is the breakdown:
1. The first-time buyer. This guy has some money to spend. He will pay full price for a new item and is most interested in the newest gadgets, regardless of price. The are a small number of early adopters.
2. This guy can wait longer for the newest technology. He doesn't want to wait too long to feel left behind so will probably buy the second or third generation product. He won't pay full price as customer #1 but he also won't wait for basement prices. He will never pay full price, he can afford to wait.
3. If you think cutomer #2 is tough on price, you’ve never met #3. They aren’t even remotely interested in paying full (early adopter) price. They will wait for the technology to drop and there are many more people in this group than in the first two. They want to get into new technology (some know about it - some don't) but can wait it out.
4. The uneducated mass market. They don't know about the technology, but when shown the benefits and with a cheap price they will buy.
But you do look arrogant when you start inferring that people who have "only" spent $500 on a HD-DVD player are somehow less intelligent or less worthy of being an early adopter than someone who's willing to spend twice that. Please.
Ten years ago I did not have a DVD player. Yes, you guessed correctly, I am not an early adopter. I certainly do not fit into category 1 of your customer pyramid, but I really do not think that I fall into category 3 either. No, I suspect I would fall into category 2.
You bring up an excellent point about Toshiba skipping a generation of customers. They are turning your pyramid on its head, and I for one think its great. I would imagine that customers in category 1 are going to buy a BD player regardless of price, but those that fall into 2 or 3 are going be more discerning. For all intents and purposes there is an equivalent product out there that costs far less, hence the price outcry. I imagine this is integral to Toshiba's strategy.
Additionally, I am a lot more knowledgeable about hardware now than before, so since BD touts more players they have to live with the fact they'll be compared against one another. Given my experience with Samsung, Panasonic, Sony, and Pioneer products, I have a preconceived notion of who I consider superior (basically I've listed them from worst to first there, IMO), and I will compare their price and features and if they're similar I will go with the brand I trust.
I don't think the "if it's more expensive it must be better" psychology is going to work in this format war. BR supporters can whine all they want about how Toshiba isn't playing by some mythical marketing "rules", but that doesn't change the fact that the HDDVD players are a much better value.
Now now...don't misunderstand me. I never said anything about #3 being "less intelligent or less worthy" so please don't put words in my mouth. Also, there is nothing in my post that suggests "if it's more expensive it must be better." I don't believe in that. There are so many expensive products out there (in both low and high end electronics) I wouldn't put a dime into it because it's s**t, I don't care how much it costs.
My point was that Toshiba, with their pricing strategy, bypassed the "early adopter" and went straight to a customer who does consider pricepoint a big factor when it comes to a new purchase (and thus Toshiba increased the customer base for their technology as early adopters instead of a select few). If this wasn't true we wouldn't be discussing this right now, would we? They aren't playing by the rules, they are playing the rules by throwing it out the window. That's what they feel they need to do to succeed in this war. If it works for them, hooray! They have a good product to do it with.
I'm not being condescending to those who will only spend $500. Heck, if I only had to pay $500 for HD then I would! But I'm not, obviously, because there are two formats, and I don't have 100% backing behind either of them at the moment...and I value my $500 because I want to be comfortable with my decision. So if you bought an HD-DVD player you are ahead of me and I'm stalling behind.
Also, this customer pyramid is not mine. In various forms, this is a highly used pyramid for marketing strategies by companies right to the salesman on a sales floor. I didn't make it up...but I also am not going to deny its existance.
There are countless new technologies that come out and most of us (including myself) are not ready to jump into yet because of price. But for the guy who wants the latest and greatest cool factor, he'll buy it regardless if it survives or not.
FYI, I am #2. I'm not insane enough to spend all my money for having it 'right now', but at the same time, I don't want to wait too long either.
And, FYI, I'm not a Blu-ray lover and will not pull out all of the stops for Blu-ray. Both technologies are performing well, with a tip to HD-DVD right now. Still early to tell...so I'm waiting it out like many of us until the holiday season...because I'm #2.
So Michael, what is the early adopter price point; $600, $850, $900? Sorry, but what you're saying is just laughable, no offense intended.
The early adopter does not have a dollar amount attached, it is those who are willing to spend money, in any amount, on a brand new product that may or may not survive. It's the risk of the purchase, not the amount of the purchase price.
Until you or anyone shows us without any reasonable doubt that Toshiba is subsidizing their players, the use off this argument is mute. And 10yrs ago when I got into DVD, I spent $500 on my first Pioneer player.
The price really does not surprise me, but the fact that it requires upgrade right out the gate is somewhat bothersome. Early adopters will pretty much pay higher prices to be one of the first to step into it. However, this is a bit pricey but not by that much more than what the Sony, Samsung are going for.
I'm not taking any offense...no worries. This is a light-hearted discussion for me and unfortunately others are taking my comments offensive or the wrong way...which seems to be quite common with me lately...hmmmmm...
Anyways, you are correct saying that an early adopter wants gadgets regardless of price...that's what I say. BUT, usually with most technologies, the newest stuff *is* more expensive.
The most recent example is Front Projection 1080p SXRD projectors. They carry a hefty price right now...but over the next few years they'll go down. If you want it 'cause its the newest and best you gotta pay. The same deal with 1080p DLP FPTV...if you want it and can afford it go for it, but it's not in a "mass market" pricepoint.
Other related technoligies in the past: Think 720p front projo DLP (always $10 000+ compared to 800x600 or 480p) now, 4-5 years later you can get them starting for about $3000.
Think Rear Projo DLP/LCD/LcOS when the market was saturated with low-cost RPTV CRTs...a few years back people were paying $4000-$6000 for these things and now they are under $2000.
Think plasma televisions (same as above)
I don't need to go on.
The Toshiba DVD deck, in 1997 was $1000 Canadian...probably $800 U.S. People were buying VCRs for $200 and $800 on a new technology was not mass market then.
Today, we have HD-DVD priced below what a DVD player did in 1997 and giving you much more out of it.
For RonP - at a lower price point Toshiba broadened the market of early adopters. If they stuck to their original price of around $1000 how many HD-DVD owners do you think there would be? Still a lot, but not as many I would assume.
And for Kevin W., FYI when I was viewing Toshiba HD-DVD in Q3 2005, there was only one model, the HD-XA1. Even though the price wasn't announced, Toshiba reps were indicating around $1000 - that price somewhat stands today...depending on where you go. Since then they made the HD-A1...virtually the same machine minus a faceplate option and a different remote. I was surprised to see $500 when released. So either they are making tonnes of money on the HD-XA1 (which they are allowed to do for first gen. product) or something else is going on...think about it: could this player be designed from the ground up, manufactured, marketed, sold to businesses at a lower cost than retail, and leave Toshiba making a nice profit? Ha ha...I don't think so...not at $500 retail. At least, that is how it seems.
BUT: Kudos to them if they did...something I'm sure we won't ever find out for sure...HD-DVD's claim is lower manufacturing costs of Hardware and Software...so if they somehow pulled it off to make a good profit off of a $500 deck then that's awesome...and everyone will have to wait for BD's price to drop and equal in quality if that is the case.
Again, this has nothing to do with "what format is better" ...this is strictly re: pricing strategy.
Yes I remember the first Toshiba DVD player in 1997. I bought it for around $750 from 800.com (remember them?). Anyway I don't think that argument is the same as the HD DVD/Blu-ray agrument. Back then there wasn't a competing format (Divx doesn't count). I think a lot of early adopters don't want to spend the money since they won't know which format will win and which one will be a doorstop. Because of this I think they're being a little more price conscious than usual.
Also because of places like this, AVS forum and countless others, early adopters can now read about the quality of the product coming out. Needless to say that general consensus is that HD DVD had better reviews than Blu-ray, although it's starting to even up a bit. So when I found the HD-A1 for around $360 shipped, I jumped on it. Will I still buy Blu-ray? Yes. Do I love my HD DVD right now? Absolutely.
Then they are not early adopters. Early adopters don't care if a format turns into a doorstop or not. They want the latest and the greatest technology now. If one format fails then c'est la vie....the early adopter eats it. Most likely they will also tell themselves never again and then promptly go through the whole scenario again when the Next Big Thing shows up on the market.
If I could, I would buy the latest and greatest technological toys that showed up in my areas of interest. The reason I don't isn't because I'm price conscious.....its because I'm presently cash flow restricted. If I had money to burn I wouldn't care how much a BD player cost. There would be one sitting in my rack just as soon as I could get my hands on one that had the features I wanted.......right beside the SED TV that I am so patiently waiting for. Come on Toshiba...f$#@ HD DVD....get those SED panels out on the market at a price I can afford. Unless I win the lottery in which case I won't care how much it costs.