Amazon, Toshiba Attempt HD DVD Sales Synergy

June 6, 2007 and Toshiba are teaming up to try to stimulate sales of HD DVD players (and film titles) with a promotion that is centered on Toshiba's HD-A2 player and the two recently released multidisc packages based on "The Matrix" motion picture trilogy.

The deal is this: If consumers purchase a Toshiba HD-A2 player (the company's lowest is priced at about $300) and at least one of the two Matrix packages, they will receive a total of seven free HD DVD titles from a limited list of available movies, according to

But the deal also gets a bit complicated. Buying the Toshiba player enables a consumer to receive five free HD DVD titles directly from Toshiba, after a mail-in rebate. (Rebate forms are offered online.) Consumers must choose their five HD DVD discs from only 15 titles listed on the rebate form. Then adding one of the Matrix packages to their online Shopping Cart entitles consumers to choose an additional two HD DVD titles from another limited, but somewhat larger, list of possible choices. (The combined price of these last two titles is subsequently subtracted from the final bill.)

In another unrelated HD DVD development, Toshiba said this week it's releasing its first HD DVD-RW drive for laptop computers that can read, write and rewrite to HD DVD-RW discs, and read and write to HD DVD-R discs. Shipments to retailers are expected to begin later this summer.

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