Monday, February 18, 2008

As I mentioned their last article yesterday, I'll mention now that Ars Technica has a follow-up to their HD DVD article, basically a reminder that there's no official announcement, and an explanation as to why there's not yet an official announcement. Basically, as they suggested in the previous article, they report from their sources that Toshiba hoped to milk the market as long as they could, selling off their existing stock before making an announcement. But now, the thinking goes, that's no longer possible, with the motion picture and consumer electronics industries rapidly abandoning HD DVD. I don't entirely agree that they can't salvage a few bucks off of HD DVD. I don't really know the economics of the matter, but if the factories are already retrofitted for producing HD DVDs, I would imagine that this sunk cost is the primary expense, and that the cost of actually manufacturing the discs is trivial by comparison. Over a million HD DVD players were sold, it seems like catering to that market could offer some opportunity for profit, for a few more months, at least. But again, I don't really know the economics of making an HD DVD, nor the opportunity costs lost by not converting the factories to something more profitable. And considering I only plan on buying one more HD DVD, should Sweeney Todd still come out in the format, maybe other HD DVD owners aren't really in a buying mood (I did recently picked up The Sting, Shaun of the Dead, and a third title I'm not remembering at fire sale prices).

It will be interesting to see how long it takes HD DVD to finally die. As an owner, I hope it takes awhile. I'm not counting on any new releases more than a month out or so, but I don't know how far in advance they manufacture discs...anyone know?

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