Wal-Mart Orders Two Million Cheap HD DVD Players

Cheap HD DVD Players Set to Attack the Market

by Anton Shilov
04/25/2007 | 01:24 PM

In a bid to win the war against the Blu-ray disc (BD) format, Toshiba has started to license its HD DVD technology to manufacturers of very affordable players in

China. The first of such products were demonstrated at CeBIT, but there are more coming, as Wal-Mart has reportedly ordered two million of players at $150 each.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the company that runs thousands of stores across the world, has ordered, according to a news-story at UDN.com web-site, two million HD DVD players from Chinese company Yan Lucky Electronics with the total worth of $300 million. The players should be delivered to Wal-Mart before the end of next year, according to the report.

It is unclear whether Wal-Mart plans to sell those players in China or in the U.S., but considering that, according to Display Search market tracking agency, there are going to be sold about 34 million high definition televisions in the North America, while in Europe and Japan about 8 and 6.7 million are going to be shipped, respectively, the main market for affordable HD DVD players seems to be the USA.

Wal-Mart usually attracts people to stores with low prices, but currently there are hardly any really affordable Blu-ray or HD DVD players. Given that one unit will cost Wal-Mart about $150 and given that its profit margins are not really high, very nably priced HD DVD players may emerge. The actual price, however, was not reported.

Blu-ray disc fiercely competes with HD DVD format to replace conventional DVD in future. While Blu-ray offers larger storage space for content, HD DVD drives and discs are easier and cheaper to produce. Due to widespread confusion among customers which format to choose, different manufacturers offer different kinds of solutions: LG and Samsung offer hybrid BD/HD DVD players and optical drives, whereas companies like Sony and Toshiba offer more affordable Blu-ray-only and HD DVD-only players.