Wal-Mart to ditch HD DVD, go Blu-ray exclusive

If Warner’s decision to abandon HD DVD hadn’t already sounded the format’s death knell, a related move announced today by Wal-Mart probably will. As the Check Out Blog reports, Wal-Mart has also decided to turn its back on HD DVD. The superstore chain will reportedly stock Blu-ray titles and players exclusively starting in June, leaving only Blu-ray and standard-definition DVD products on its shelves. Wal-Mart’s move follows the recent decisions by Best Buy and Netflix to ditch HD DVD in favor of the competing format.

Unsurprisingly, the HD DVD camp isn’t exactly unfazed by these developments. Ars Technica quotes the Hollywood Reporter as saying "reliable industry sources" believe Toshiba plans to euthanize HD DVD in the coming months. A Toshiba executive told the Hollywood Reporter, "Given the market developments in the past month, Toshiba will continue to study the market impact and the value proposition for consumers, particularly in light of our recent price reductions on all HD DVD players"—a statement that leaves the door open for a potential discontinuation of the format, Ars says.

Comments closed
    • Code:[M]ayhem
    • 12 years ago

    I pity all the fools that jumped on the $99 Toshiba HD-A2 deal a few months ago at Walmart.

      • Vrock
      • 12 years ago

      Why? It was a heck of a deal. The player and discs aren’t just going to explode because HD-DVD dies, you know.

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 12 years ago

    I don’t regret buying the HD-DVD add-on for my xbox. the moves that I have still look fantastic and that’s not going to change.

    /me hopes for some good sales on HD-DVD movies.

      • Vrock
      • 12 years ago

      Universal titles are going for as little as $12.20 at deepdiscount.com

    • rythex
    • 12 years ago

    I just love how some people say “upconverted DVD’s look just as good as bluray” obviously they’re watching the movies on a craptacular 32″ 480i standard definition monitor…. or they say HD DVD has just as good picture quality, I’m sorry but 720p < 1080p.

    The best reading comes from AVS forums . com, since there are some guys so deeply attached to their HD-DVD bandwagon they deny any of the negative HD-DVD press is actually going to kill their format..

      • Vrock
      • 12 years ago

      Um, HD-DVDs are encoded in 1080p. Just like Blu-ray. They’re pretty much identical as far as video quality goes.

    • Snake
    • 12 years ago

    Can’t say I’m surprised – I called BD’s success over HDDVD at the very beginning, especially after the PS3 made BD standard.

    HDDVD just can’t keep up with that level of marketing and customer recognition, regardless.

    • albundy
    • 12 years ago

    it must be nice for Wally’s World, but I would never set foot in any of their stores. The smell of plastic shoes and cheap no name clothes along with overpriced food just doesn’t cut it for me.

      • ludi
      • 12 years ago

      Overpriced food??! Guess you don’t shop there. The selection is limited compared to a proper grocer, but the prices are usually better, provided you avoid the “fresh meat” (which is never cut and packaged onsite and therefore has just as much preservatives as lunchmeat and deli cuts). Plus there are a wide range of brand name dry goods and hardware that are the same stuff at any store, but Wally tends to have better prices on some things. You’ve got to get that stuff somewhere, and it’s going to come from China either way, so…

        • DASQ
        • 12 years ago

        Yeah their Mini-Wheats are almost always dirt cheap.

    • UberGerbil
    • 12 years ago

    This coffin is getting a lot of nails.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 12 years ago

    I own neither format, but I’m glad Blu Ray won. From a strictly technical standpoint, Blu Ray is superior, so I’d like survival of the fittest to work.

    Also, it gives me pleasure to see Universal make yet Another Dumb Executive Decision.

      • Tuanies
      • 12 years ago

      From a technical standpoint they’re both the same. Blu-ray had the edge in space at the beginning, but that’s about.

      Both use the same audio and video codecs. HD DVD required Dolby Digital TrueHD decoding, HDi interactive support, Ethernet and downloadable firmware updates from the start.

      Sony’s Blu-ray is still constantly updated, first-gen, second-gen and even some third-gen players won’t even work with the latest BD-J 1.1 or 2.0 titles. Dolby TrueHD decoding is still optional on BD players, the spec is just incomplete.

      So technically, HD DVD is the more consumer friendly format, and superior because all the interactive features are supported on all players, not just those released within the last 6 months.

        • Krogoth
        • 12 years ago

        That is wrong, BR always had superior capacity, I/O speeds than HD-DVD.

        HD-DVD’s only advantage was that it was a cheaper to convert pre-existing DVD production infrastructure to HD-DVD then it was to do it for BR.

        Neither option was really more customer friendly over the other.

          • ssidbroadcast
          • 12 years ago

          Exactly my rebuttal. Thanks for backing me up, Krog.

          • Tuanies
          • 12 years ago

          I’d have to say that if you bought a first-gen HD DVD player and still have the same capabilities as, sans 1080p support, as a third gen player, that’s quite consumer friendly.

          Blu-ray might be superior on paper, but it has nothing to show for it’s technical superiority. Movie’s don’t look any better, and the best they could do is shove 3 different LPCM language tracks on a single disc.

            • Krogoth
            • 12 years ago

            You are looking at the wrong area.

            The superior capacity and I/O transfers are more than welcome on the optical data storage side of the equation.

            BR was going to win that area in area regardless if HD-DVD managed to capture the movie market.

            • Anomymous Gerbil
            • 12 years ago

            Apparently you don’t understand Blu-Ray profiles?

            • Krogoth
            • 12 years ago

            Ok, profiles and other movie crap has little to do to with the media. They are purely firmware, software related issues. Capacity and bandwidth are the two concerns for them. BR and HD-DVD both have sufficient bandwidth for them at 1x speed of each media.

            From a hardware standpoint, BR does have superior I/O transfers and capacity per layer then HD-DVD. Both are very desirable traits for general data storage.

        • JustAnEngineer
        • 12 years ago

        This is why the PlayStation 3 is still the best Blu-ray player.

          • Tuanies
          • 12 years ago

          It’s sad ain’t it, a couple years later and one of the first Blu-ray players is still the best, while the stand-alone’s are headed towards a dead end.

        • Vrock
        • 12 years ago

        q[

          • Tuanies
          • 12 years ago

          Because from the get go, not many receivers can decode Dolby TrueHD, which is still the primary lossless audio codec used by HD DVD and Blu-ray, when lossless audio codecs are used.

          Hell even some low end receivers still can’t decode TrueHD, but they can accept LPCM sent from the player. It also provides users of existing HDMI receivers which only accept LPCM the ability to enjoy TrueHD.

          The PS3 supports it, but the early Samsung’s, and some of the second-gen players do not.

            • Vrock
            • 12 years ago

            q[Because from the get go, not many receivers can decode Dolby TrueHD, which is still the primary lossless audio codec used by HD DVD and Blu-ray, when lossless audio codecs are used.]Actually, I think 5.1 PCM outnumbers Dolby True HD on Blu-ray discs, though I may be wrong.

            q[

          • Tuanies
          • 12 years ago

          And it’s not that there aren’t any BDJ 2.0 movies out, its when they come out, players that don’t support it can’t use the features. Whereas Toshiba simply provided a simple firmware update to enable interactive features on their players.

            • Vrock
            • 12 years ago

            BD-J 2.0 is a gimmick. Web-enabled features? Feh. As if the PiP of 1.1 wasn’t silly enough. HD is about the movie, not the “special” features that most people don’t care about. This coming from a HD-DVD owner and a PS3 owner.

    • Nitrodist
    • 12 years ago

    Give up, HD-DVD.

    • 2_tyma
    • 12 years ago

    i hope blu ray movies go down in price because of this.

      • Buub
      • 12 years ago

      Lack of competition almost always makes prices go up, not down.

        • ludi
        • 12 years ago

        Yes, but competing standards tend to make the price go up until one of the standards finally wins, and the manufacturers and vendors can finally stop wasting resources in the support of two different hardware classes.

          • SPOOFE
          • 12 years ago

          You kidding? All the news for the earliest months of the format skirmish were about how they were trying their darnedest to LOWER prices.

          Raise prices to penetrate a market? You must work for the government.

            • willyolio
            • 12 years ago

            oh no! without betamax, VHS prices will never drop! without laserdisc, DVD prices will never drop! all the companies manufacturing blu-ray players are a big cartel and won’t compete with each other!

            PCIe video cards will remain uber-expensive if AGP ever dies out! we MUST have competing standards to confuse the customers, it’s the only way competition will exist!

            • ludi
            • 12 years ago

            I have NO idea where you came up with that.

            My point was, when you have two competing standards, especially at the high price points HD currently commands, you divide both the competition and the customer base — each standard has fewer competitors and less market to capitalize upon. This does not drive down prices nearly so fast as when one of those standards bites it, and all of the money that was formerly chasing the failed standard is now addded to the market for the successful one, increasing total competition and total market size.

        • Moe_Szyslak
        • 12 years ago

        True, in theory. But since everybody, who wants to buy a movie on a next-gen format, will have to buy a Blu-ray disc and BD player, the manufaturers will produce and ship more units. The fixed costs per unit will drop, lowering the retail prices.

        • PetMiceRnice
        • 12 years ago

        Yes, and I wish the fanboys of Nvidia and Intel would realize this same logic when bashing AMD and ATI when talking about CPU’s and GPU’s. It’s not stupid to get the most value for your dollar, but to blindly bash another company because of some sort of brand “loyalty” is.

    • Krogoth
    • 12 years ago

    HD-DVD is already halfway sunken.

    This move is just coup de’grace.

    • maxxcool
    • 12 years ago

    Follow the money….. No walmart…. No future….

    • tesla120
    • 12 years ago

    one more nail in the coffin

      • Moe_Szyslak
      • 12 years ago

      At this point we’re talking about more dirt on top of the coffin. The final nail was hammered in weeks ago when the remaining big studios ditched hd-dvd.

      This makes me very happy since I have been betting on Blu-ray to win. I wonder how much money the hd-dvd camp has flushed down the toilet with this format war.

        • tesla120
        • 12 years ago

        possibly, I think it has a few more steps to go before it is completely dead. I’m still waiting for Microsoft to announce the xbox 360 w/ blu-ray they did say it wasn’t out of the question after all….

          • SGT Lindy
          • 12 years ago

          Doubtful they will even offer a BR add-on. For sure they will discontinue the HD-DVD, but honestly this round of gaming consoles dont NEED a BR.

          While BR has won, the next fight it has is convincing people they need one period. DVD is strong, and the percentage of people that have Hi-Def TV sets is still below 20%.

          On the horizon you have many offerings that are broadband based. Apple TV 2.0, Netflix online, Blockbuster, on-demand from your cable company….etc are only going to grow. By the time 50% of the population has HD sets, these broadband options will have time to mature. BR might just be the last media when buy for movies.

    • adampk17
    • 12 years ago

    Even though I have a Toshiba A3 and about 11 HD-DVD movies I say this is good news. If the format had to be the one to lose at least it’s going to die relatively quickly and not drag it’s feet on it’s way to oblivion.

      • Smurfer2
      • 12 years ago

      Agreed, the sooner a winner is chosen, the better.

        • Krazeee
        • 12 years ago

        Aside from having no money, I was waiting for a decision too. I almost feel like giving Sony an “atta boy” for having finally put forth a format that will probably be the mainstream. Memory Stick wah? MiniDisc who? Way to go Sony. /fist pump

          • Sikthskies
          • 12 years ago

          Blu Ray isn’t owned by Sony alone

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