Can HD-DVD Survive with less studio support?
I still take my stance after last week’s announcement that it is time to really move towards one format, but I want to play devil’s advocate and look at the flipside of the coin. There are a lot of people out there that kept their movies, players, and I’m even seeing and reading about people that are still buying HD-DVD hardware this week after the announcement. These people aren’t just ones buying hardware as backup units, its new adopters that know about the WB announcement but figure this is even a cheaper solution now to get into the Hidef market until BluRay hardware prices come down in price.
Today I pose the question; Can HD-DVD Survive with less studio support?
Let’s take a look at my plan on how Toshiba can keep HD-DVD alive but not overly hurt the HDM market. At this point, Toshiba should not be looking for the win anymore but ways that they can survive and provide an alternative at that cheaper price tag.
Drop the price of the A3 to $99.99 – $129.99 and still offer the 2 movie pack-in deal with 300 and Transformers. Market this sucker as the hidef player that will play HD-DVD’s, but will also upconvert your SD-DVD collection to near HD quality. Edit: As of this writing, Toshiba has dropped the prices on all their HD-DVD players.
Marketing was such a huge issue the last 18 months with HD-DVD, it was so darn inconsistent and part of the problem. I would fire whoever was doing the marketing and get someone in here that can market the hell out of the hardware and its capabilities.
Independent Films can be the big niche that HD-DVD could also latch on with support. Use the Cannes Film Festival and Sundance as a launching pad here, with “The Ten” releasing in about a week, it could be a good indicator on sales for independent films. Again, their marketing will have to come into play here and it could be good or bad.
Replace Upconvert SD-DVD Player Line with the A3 at $99 or less. Push that this player will play all the HD-DVD movies, but will also upconvert your current SD-DVD Collection. This strategy could help push HD-DVD further since these people buying an upconvert player will also be getting an HD-DVD player at the same time.
Weinstein is the dark horse here even though they are a smaller studio. I think that Bob Weinstein is a POS for pulling HD-DVD support the way he did in July, even though no announcement was ever made. Toshiba should pay Weinstein a nice amount and bind them to a contract where a certain amount of discs must be delivered during that contract. With so many good Weinstein movies sitting on the shelf, hidef would benefit. The Grindhouse Collection, Kill Bill franchise, Halloween, 1408, and The Unknown to name a few titles. Plus they also have some of the Dimension back catalogue to supplement with too.
BOGO’s were the key to BluRay getting the upper jump this past fall on software sales and with every huge HD-DVD release they were throwing BOGO after BOGO. HD-DVD group should have matched BOGO for BOGO, this would have put a dent into Blu almost immediately because HD-DVD group wasn’t being aggressive with their BOGO’s.
WWE, UFC, & NFL Films – every month WWE sales are through the roof with their WWE Home Video line. Why not sign an exclusive deal with WWE helping them get their PPV’s and Documentary releases on hidef. As of this writing UFC has a release coming later in the spring. The NFL license might be expensive, this could help with some of the excellent SD-DVD releases that they have had, imagine those stunning highlight reel plays in HiDef.
Purchase Remaining Inventories – Toshiba should purchase all the remaining HD-DVD titles from Warner and HBO Home Video, and then use those titles for special promotions.
Catalogue Releases – My top titles that I want from Universal & Paramount to announce for HD-DVD: American Pie franchise (bring all 6 on), Psycho, Scarface, Child’s Play 2-Bride, Jurassic Park III, Legend, Conan Franchise, Gladiator, The Godfather franchise, Shrek 1 & 2, Flushed Away, Madagascar, and Braveheart.
There have been some disappointments with titles like Cat People and Time Cop seeing the light of day over higher profile releases. The 3 genres that I would concentrate the most for releases would be Animation, Sports, and Horror which all have been somewhat dry on both formats.
With some of these ideas, they could possibly help keep HD-DVD in the game longer. Only time will tell what the HD-DVD Group’s intentions will be. Everything comes down to Marketing with Toshiba and their next move could be the move that helps them move forward or it could cause them to fall further.