Toshiba Quits HD DVD 'Format War'



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Post Tue Feb 19, 2008 7:34 pm

Toshiba Quits HD DVD 'Format War'

I must say I am very surprised to see this happen. But I must give credit to Toshiba for not prolonging this fight like the Beta-VHS wars of the past. This could have lasted for many more years. Now we can all get down to enjoying a great new life in hi-def.

TOKYO, Japan (CNN) -- Toshiba said Tuesday it will no longer manufacture HD DVDs, effectively ending the long-running battle with the rival Blu-ray for a dominant high-definition format.

Toshiba said it made the decision to cease developing, manufacturing, and marketing HD DVDs after "recent major changes in the market." It promised to continue offering support and service for all existing Toshiba HD DVD products.

"We carefully assessed the long-term impact of continuing the so-called 'next-generation format war' and concluded that a swift decision will best help the market develop," Toshiba President and Chief Executive Atsutoshi Nishida said in a news release.

Toshiba's HD DVD business has been suffering recently with a string of major retailers and rental companies announcing their preference for Blu-ray, developed by Sony.

Last week alone, Wal-Mart and online rental company Netflix said they would abandon HD in favor of Blu-ray. Last month, Warner Brothers Home Entertainment -- which had been the largest media company releasing videos in both formats -- announced it would offer DVDs solely in Blu-ray.

The DVD battle has been reminiscent of the VHS vs. Beta fight in the early 1980s. It has left many consumers confused and waiting to see which technology will emerge as the industry standard.

Sony's Blu-ray is backed by Disney, 20th Century Fox, MGM, Dell, Panasonic, and Philips. Toshiba's HD DVD is backed by Paramount, Universal Pictures, Microsoft, Sanyo, and NEC.

Toshiba said it would continue to work with those companies and study ways to collaborate with them in the future.

Tens of billions of dollars have been at stake as major movie studios battled for a dominant format. But rival game consoles have been part of the struggle, too -- Sony's Playstation 3 plays Blu-ray discs, while the Microsoft X-Box plays HD DVDs.

Both Blu-ray and HD are high-definition DVDs, the successor to ordinary DVDs which show pictures only in standard definition. But Blu-ray and HD involve different hardware and are not compatible with each other, meaning consumers have had to decide which system to invest in.

Both formats have an excellent picture quality with a large storage space. But Toshiba has lost the battle because it lacks a retail presence in many markets, said Carl Gressum, a senior analyst at Ovum, a London technology consultancy.

"They didn't manage to bring on board some of the China vendors, they didn't bring (on board) the retailers, they've failed to develop in the European and Asian markets," Gressum told CNN.

Warner Brothers announced its decision to drop HD DVD right before last month's International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, a significant event for corporate buyers. Gressum said that led to an immediate drop in retail support for Toshiba's format.

Gressum said manufacturers of both formats have made things more difficult for retailers by forcing consumers to make a choice between the gradually-dominant Blu-ray and the much-cheaper HD.

"They're losing money in many cases because of the price war between the two formats as Toshiba -- and also Microsoft, to a certain extent -- has been playing the price card for HD DVD players," he said.

Toshiba said the company would continue to market standard DVD players and recorders.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/BUSINESS/02/19/ ... index.html



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Post Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:13 pm

Re: Toshiba Quits HD DVD 'Format War'

Yeah, I saw an article about this a little earlier as well. I'm just glad I finally know what type of player to buy! ;D


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Post Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:24 am

Re: Toshiba Quits HD DVD 'Format War'

I'm a 360 owner but have avoided buying in to the HD war. Besides, my TV does 480p or 1080i. I figured that I would wait until I replace the tube.
Mike Conway
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Post Wed Feb 20, 2008 5:01 pm

Re: Toshiba Quits HD DVD 'Format War'

Looks like Sony wins this one. Its interesting how they seem to get everyone to conform to their standard. Well except when they tried to force Betamax over VHS.

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