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HD DVD Penetration Grows

Los Angeles — Significantly increasing its U.S. penetration level, the HD DVD format has sold more than 750,000  HD DVD players following Black Friday’s sales promotions, according to numbers released today by the North American HD DVD Promotional Group.

Some observers see the penetration figure inching toward the critical mass that all Hollywood studios could eventually find hard to ignore.

The number includes total sales of Xbox 360 video game players with add-on outboard HD DVD drives, the group said.

The HD DVD promotional group attributed the increase in part to recent price cuts and promotions, with entry-level players starting around $200 in some accounts. A special one-day pre-Thanksgiving promotion had Wal-Mart selling a closeout entry Toshiba player at less than $100.

In comparison, entry Blu-ray Disc players start at around $399.

“HD DVD continues to gain momentum and market share with consumers,” stated Ken Graffeo, Universal Studios Home Entertainment high-definition strategic marketing executive VP and co-president of the HD DVD Promotional Group. “With more than four weeks left for holiday shopping, HD DVD is turning out to be a perfect consumer electronics gift.”