November 02, 2007 by Cindy Davis
At 8:00 a.m. today Wal-Mart put out a limited number of Toshiba’s HD-A2 HD DVD player for $99. This was one of Wal-Mart “Secret-in-Store Specials” that had somewhat limited advertising (online to millions of people).
Usually you wouldn’t catch me dead in a line of frenzied shoppers waiting for a deal, but this one was worth it. I feared that my inexperienced combined with my willingness to only show up a half-hour before the registers opened would have me walking out empty handed. At 7:30 a.m. there were fewer than two-dozen people in line. Whew! Then I heard rumblings that they only had 15 available for this sale and no limit to how many each person could purchase. I quickly did a real count and it looked like I was going to leave empty-handed.
Good news, most of the people in line in front of me were there to purchase the Acer laptop for $348. Really? Where’s the line of people who just can’t wait to experience movies in high-definition at a price that’s too good to be true? By 8:00 a.m. there was a line double that of when I arrived, but still mostly wanting to purchase the laptop. A few people ahead of me walked away with two HD DVD players but I was still in no danger of not being able to purchase one for myself.
While I was waiting I asked the few people who were purchasing the player what and how they were hooking it up to their TV. Across the board, everyone said they were waiting for a price drop to buy either the HD DVD or Blu-ray format players. This was their first high-definition player and they would also purchase a Blu-ray player when the price came down more. Each person also said they would be hooking up their new Toshiba’s HD-A2 HD DVD player via HDMI to their 720p, or 1080 displays. One shopper said, “At this price I don’t care which format wins, I will just throw it away.”
I wonder if the purpose of this secret sale was to increase awareness for high-definition players? If so, I don’t think it was too successful. The people in line who were there to purchase the player knew every detail already and the people that were there for the laptop had no idea what an HD DVD player was or why they would purchase one.
For me, I am happy to be able to add another high-definition component to my suite.
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