If you're thinking of buying an HD DVD player, you might want to wait a week or so.
I just received an e-mail tonight from the folks at the EMA (Electronic Merchant's Association), who are responsible for a big industry event next week, the Home Media Expo. The e-mail is ostensibly an attempt to boost last minute attendance at next week's trade show, which will run July 16th - 19th in Las Vegas.
But the e-mail looks more like an ad for Toshiba than for the show itself. Even so, I found the pitch absolutely irresistible:
TOSHIBA HD DVD PLAYER for ONLY $99 PLUS 3 FREE HD DVD’s
For one week only, starting July 22, 2007, Toshiba will be offering the HD A2 player for only $99. With your purchase you will also receive 3 HD DVD's.
I can't tell if this is an offer being made exclusively to show attendees, or if it's a consumer offer that Toshiba will announce at the Home Media Expo next week at the Venetian Resort. I suspect it's the latter, although it's nearly midnight on a Friday night and I have no way of confirming that at the present time.
The e-mail says "for more information and details on how to cash in on this PERFECT offer go to registration at next week’s HOME MEDIA EXPO."
So, it may well be an offer just for show attendees, although that would be most unusual... after all, if they're practically giving them away, they might as well actually give them away to influential people within the industry and the trade press.
There is no information about the offer on the show's registration pages or at Toshiba's site, so take this as a tantalizing tease (with however many grains of salt you deem appropriate).
If this is indeed a consumer offer, it's the one everybody has been waiting for... an entry level high definition DVD player for a hundred bucks. Subtract out the cost of the three "free" HD DVDs and you're looking at a net cost of about $30.00.
A copy of the e-mail follows after the jump.
Update 7/15/07 - 10:15 AM
Since we published this story late Friday night, it's been picked up by many other sites, some of which have declared it a desperate fire sale by Toshiba. Others say it's a great marketing coup that will have the HD DVD guys eating Blu-ray for breakfast.
And many of those who have commented say they're already making plans to purchase one of the low-priced HD DVD players, completely ignoring the caveat about it possibly being for show attendees only.
We've e-mailed the show's press representative for clarification; we'll let you know when we receive a response.
In the meantime, thanks for stopping by. Don't be a stranger! Bookmark us or add us to your RSS feeds or sign up for our weekly newsletter for information on the latest DVD releases and more industry news.
Update 7/16/07 - 11:23 AM
Gizmodo is reporting that they have heard from a Toshiba rep, who says they have nothing to do with this offer and that it does not represent an official manufacturer's price drop or a new marketing strategy by the HD DVD camp.
It was a maverick - and in the Dossier's opinion - poorly executed marketing decision by the folks at the Home Media Expo.
Giz spoke to the people at the show, who were able to confirm that they acted without Toshiba's knowledge or support.
Curiously, Gizmodo - which we at the Dossier love and read regularly (they've been quite generous to us with links in the past) - didn't cite us as the source of their first story on the topic on Saturday, but now that they've retracted the story, they say it was a rumor that came from us.
Surprisingly, we haven't yet heard from Toshiba or show management, who may have vastly underestimated our readership or the interest in this story.
And so now, if you'll excuse us, we're just gonna go buy our damn razor.
Update 7/17/07 - 11:58 PM