Being an Audio/Visual Early Adoptor is getting cheaper

Since the late 90s I have been something of an early adoptor for AV gear. With the imminent [I hope] arrival of my HD DVD player, along with the discovery of an old receipt I started calculating exactly how much early adoption has cost me, and how quickly (or otherwise) my gear fell in value (and rose in mainstream popularity).


Item Year Price Value Now Loss/yr Loss/yr %
DVD 1999 $1,000 $30 $139 14
TiVo 1999 $1,500 $25 $211 14
HDTV 2000 $7,500 $900 $1,100 15
HDTiVo 2004 $1,000 $600 $200 20
HD DVD 2006 $500 $500  n/a  n/a


I'll admit I was slow to move to DVD: I was a Laserdisc fan, and held off getting a DVD player until I felt there was sufficient content. I got the Sony DVP S7700 which remained a reference quality player for a number of years (until progressive scan became the norm really). The player is solid, and still in use today: the only downer was the lack of region-free capability.

I bought a ReplayTV within two months of the first ads, but due to audio issues changed it for a TiVo. Hard to believe that a 10hr model cost that much. Of course I soon became addicted and subsequently bought two more.

My HDTV was a gorgeous Pioneer Elite Pro-610HD, a 56" CRT RPTV. DVDs looked great and HDTV (via antenna and DirectTV) was outstanding. The CRT is dead now for RPTVs, and I consider myself lucky to sell it recently for as much as I did. This remains the most expensive thing I have ever bought that did not have windows.

I got the 4th HDTivo that Magnolia HiFi ever had, and still loving it. The price has come down a bit now, and its future remains murky due to the slow switch to MPEG4 for HD at DirecTV.

Which brings us to this week: I consider $500 for the very first ever HD DVD player a positive bargain, and look forward to many happy years with it. It will likely fall in value probably 15% a year if history is anything to go by, but I'll be smiling all the way.