HD DVD will be launched in Europe in the fourth quarter of this year, according to the HD DVD Promotion Group representatives.
Olivier Van Wynendaele of Toshiba Information Systems UK told delegates at the MEDIA-TECH Expo in Frankfurt (June 30) that Toshiba?s 12-month European launch strategy for HD DVD, beginning before Christmas, will have two distinct halves: the first six months will target early adopters, predominantly male, who like to have the latest technology and are likely to own an HD Ready TV set.
After six months, the number of titles on the market is expected to be large enough to convince consumers to switch from DVD to HD DVD, he added. The format will then be aimed at a mass audience, less likely to own HDTVs but more interested in being able to watch the latest movies. Toshiba predicts that a million HD DVD players will be sold in Europe by the end of 2007, giving the format 4% penetration among European HD Ready TV owners.
Currently, 21 HD DVD movies are available in the U.S as of May 23, 7 more titles will be released by July and approximately 150 titles are expected to be available before Christmas.
A more detailed launch schedule for HD DVD will be revealed at IFA, which takes place in Berlin on 1-6 September.