Blu-ray v. HD DVD War Goes To The Mattresses

A report from Forrester Research paints a bleak picture for sales of next generation DVD players. They estimate that at least another eighteen months will roll by before many consumers make up their minds to buy one; and until then the two formats will fight it out in low-level trench warfare until one or the other is embraced by consumers.

Forrester analyst J.P. Gownder stood behind his company's view that Blu-ray would eventually win out over HD DVD, but he said the Blu-ray camp needs to cut prices.

A stand alone Blu-ray player sells for about $500, while HD DVD players cost about $400, and prices are expected to drop further as the holiday shopping season nears.

Gownder said Blu-ray's content advantages are somewhat diminished since the recent decision by Viacom Inc's Paramount studio to commit exclusively to HD DVD. HD DVD hardware prices have also dropped into consumers' preferred price range, he said.

The report also estimates that consumers would be willing to buy a new player for their high definition televisions -- if it cost less than $200. Either Sony (Blu-ray) or Toshiba (HD DVD) is going to be offering their units for a lot less than that, when consumers decide to adopt one format or the other.

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