I had to look in European gadget and technology blogs to find detailed coverage of the HD DVD presentation from IFA. Some of the products and news are very much about the European market, and it’s natural that IFA coverage by the “home team” is going to be pretty good. All of this information comes from DVD Times, Pocket-lint.co.uk and TechDigest.tv, and you can (and should) read these for yourself because I’m only recapping the highlights here:
- Toshiba will have sold 30 million HD DVD-equipped notebooks by the end of 2007, with 16 million of those purchased directly by consumers and the remainder sold to businesses. Whether these are used for movies or storage, it gets HD DVD drives into people’s hands. Toshiba has a 70% share of the European IT market, and HD DVD is being made available even on sub-1000 Euro laptops.
- There will be 400 HD DVD titles by the end of the year. A lot of movies paraded at the Blu-ray presentation yesterday are actually also coming out for HD DVD, including titles from Studio Canal and Pathe (Studio Canal had been mispresented as Blu-ray exclusive). They showed a lot of logos of European companies currently involved with making HD DVDs.
- HD DVD offers great possibilities for live music DVDs, and EMI presented music by Herbert Gronenmeyer (a famous musician in Germany). His HD DVD disc is being released in December, with DTS HD 7.1 audio.
- Toshiba announced the European versions of their third-generation machines: the HD-EP30, and EP35 coming in October. All come with the “5 Free Movies” offer. There’s no HD-EP3 because Toshiba Europe says no more 1080i players for them. With the Venturer at the low-end, Onkyo at the high end, and Toshiba right in the middle, European consumers will have plenty of choices.(We will too)
- Presented a list of hardware manufacturers involved with HD DVD, some of the names overlap with the list presented by the Blu-ray group from the day before.
Except for new player announcements, this was a lot like the presentation put on by Team Blu-ray the day before, and it definitely had a very European flavor to it. I’m glad they debunked any sense of Blu-ray exclusive deals by showing that many of the same parties are involved in both camps.
IFA is not over yet, and there’s likely to be more HD DVD news coming in the days ahead. A lot of products show up on the exhibit floor that aren’t part of these big press conferences, and I’ll report on those tid-bits as they come in. Feel free to share in the comments about any items that you come across.