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Is Wal-Mart Pushing HD DVD?

by May 01, 2007
Wal-Mart Low Priced HD DVD?

Wal-Mart Low Priced HD DVD?

Amidst a flurry of conflictive reports in A/V sites and blogs across the net, Fuh Yuan the Chinese manufacturer that reported the initial news that Wal-Mart had placed an order for 2 million low priced HD DVD players, quickly responded to the rumors by posting a disclaimer on their site stating the deal wasn't written in stone... just yet.

The somewhat revelatory statement by Fuh Yuan still leaves some question unanswered, "We are sorry to correct the statement that we have 2 million HD DVD players order [sic] from Wal-Mart and manufactured by China Great Wall Group, the actuality is that we had not received yet [sic]. We are asked to provide the schedule to Wal-Mart and cost to determine the quantity even more than 2 million, if the cost is good enough and timing is correct. So the capacity is under consideration. Any qualified manufactured base group will be welcome [sic]."

This leaves a fundamental question open, if they produce more than 2 million what will happen to Blu-ray? Wal-Mart could turn out to be the de-facto quotient not just to rescue HD DVD, but to put a nail in the coffin of Blu-ray. Fuh Yuan's statement makes it clear that the 2 million was only a starting point, according to them if the price and timing are right the doors are open to any production number.

Wal-Mart has been supporting both formats up to this point, but if the eminent plans go through, the high definition DVD landscape will be changing. In a statement released to Video Business , Wal-Mart makes no promises to Blu-ray, "Today we sell both Blu-ray and HD DVD in our stores nationwide (approx. 750 stores). As with all new technologies, we are committed to providing the best value on products that customers choose as most relevant to them. With new industry developments, we will make shifts in our selections as customer preferences evolve and they vote with their purchase. We expect that as prices decrease and new elements are added in the coming months that consumers will choose which format will dominate, and that could happen by the end of the year."

Looks like Blu-ray has been put on notice. Sony has announced price cut on its Blu-ray player to $600 this summer. Toshiba also on the warpath due to lagging sales of HD DVD software is slashing their low end player to $399.

These are dark days in deed to be a manufacturer of high definition DVDs, the ink hasn't had time to dry on your press release before the competition is racking up their next attack. You can bet your silver dollar that Chinese manufacturers are poised to flood the US market with low-cost high definition players in the coming months.

No, the war isn't over yet, but the skirmishes that are coming our way will make it interesting indeed. HD DVD might down for now, but Blu-ray better get ready for the coming storm if Wal-Mart has it's way.

The plus side for consumers, lower prices accross the board.