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Toshiba to Drop HD DVD?

The official end may come soon.

By Jarrod Sarafin, News Editor     February 15, 2008
Source: Hollywood Reporter


Toshiba HD DVD player.
© Toshiba

Unofficially, this race between HD DVD & Blu-Ray ended a few weeks back when some studios and major retailers sided with the latter format. Earlier this week, Best Buy dealt another blow by announcing its loyalty to Blu-Ray as well. Officially, it's not over until Toshiba decides to drop the format altogether and from the latest news at Hollywood Reporter, that may be coming very soon.

Toshiba is widely expected to pull the plug on its HD DVD format sometime in the coming weeks, reliable industry sources say, after a rash of retail defections that followed Warner Home Video's announcement in early January that it would support only the rival Blu-ray Disc format after May.

Officially, no decision has been made, insists Jodi Sally, vp of marketing for Toshiba America Consumer Products. "Based on its technological advancements, we continue to believe HD DVD is the best format for consumers, given the value and consistent quality inherent in our player offerings," she said.

But she hinted that something's in the air. "Given the market developments in the past month," she said, "Toshiba will continue to study the market impact and the value proposition for consumers, particularly in light of our recent price reductions on all HD DVD players."

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COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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videocide 2/14/2008 10:17:14 PM
Doesn't surprise me. A friend of mine saw the HD-DVD add on for 360 for 120 at best buy today even though the price was dropped to 130 last week. Still might pick one up even thought its dying. would like to experience HD and simply don't have the space or the cash for a ps3. Maybe the hd dvds will be discounted soon.
sportwarrior 2/14/2008 11:57:40 PM
The PS3 really paved the way for this... It put a bluray player in the homes of millions of people. The Warner decision and the others like it simply reflected that. But it's good to hear we're going to have some resolution to the HD format war soon.
Miner49er 2/15/2008 12:32:59 AM
I can see a Simpsons episode in the works now. Snake is robbing a house, he runs off with what he thinks is a Blu-Ray player, but stops and exclaims, "Oh no! HD-DVD!"
Wildstar 2/15/2008 4:32:31 AM
This can all be traced back to Microsoft's insistance that they beat Sony in the console wars. Microsoft wanted to keep the price down for the 360 by leaving out some features not all gamers would want (wireless capability, HD DVD player). Microsoft had won the initial battles, but it looks like Sony is going to win the war. If the 360 had come packaged with the HD DVD add-on, the HD format war would still be full swing...most likely with HD DVD winning.
hanso 2/15/2008 5:23:27 AM
I think Netflix also sided with Blu Ray and will drop HD films soon. They can reduce the price for HD DVD all they want, if people think/know that Blu Ray is the winning format I doubt they will pay for HD DVD when it will be a dead format soon. Videocide - if you aren't a gamer then just a wait a few months, blu ray players have been dropping in price so there isn't a need for you to buy a PS3 if all you want to do is watch movies.
Wiseguy 2/15/2008 5:49:15 AM
mdschultz is completely right about MS being the major culprit for HD's downfall. HD-DVD should've been built in on the 360 from the beginning and it would be a different story now. Hate to see Sony win out. That being said I'm glad this war is coming to an end and when it officially does then I'll buy a player, but not until it's official.
crazay 2/15/2008 7:32:09 AM
I've been saying the same thing as Wiseguy and MDSchultz since they announced the 360. I was both perplexed and disappointed in MS' decision to omit the new technology that they wanted to be the defacto standard until I sat back and thought about it. All the while this battle has been waged, MS has very quietly and efficiently developing and honing thier Live on Demand system. They didn't want either format to win because they wanted to be the big dog on campus with thier DCDS...Bandwidth speeds are there now the only thing holding it back is the rural areas but as wireless communication becomes more prevalent, it become a more viable option.
Knightshader 2/15/2008 9:02:08 AM
I don't think Microsoft lost the war, they are profitable, unlike Sony and still selling more consoles than sony and more titles too (where the true pofit is [along with online subscriptions]). If anything Toshiba lost the war. M$' mistake was in not offering the Elite and Halo3 editions in HD-DVD format after the initial offering of the non-equipped models. For M$ HD-DVD still is better in the computer segment with much cheaper media costs which will likely make it a winner in that segment once things take off. But for HD movies it's not a viable format. Too bad though as dual layer dual format disks are still probably the easiest and best way to get people to make the transition. As for Blu-Ray players droping in price, don't count on it anytime soon. The minute it was decided that the war was over prices of Blu-Ray players went up, and the media of both went up, only the potentially defunct HD-DVD players went down in price. Expect prices to remain high, and if players do drop at all that will be because they are deficit financed like consoles and the media prices will go up to off set them. With the millions spent on currying studio's favour on formats, we are the losers in the end since that $500 million comes out of somewhere, and Sony's not making enough money elsewhere to afford that. It's good the war is over, but it may have taken too long, with more HD content available elsewhere, and the relatively capable abilities of upconverting DVD players, Both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD shot themselves in the foot by taking so long and not releasing killer titles like LOTR, StarWars, Aliens, etc. Watching Casablance in HD really doesn't push the envelope as to why HD-DVD or BR are better than standard DVD. Similar to what Crazay mentioned, Wireless, Sattelite and FIOS (and to a less extent mediocre cable) are likely going to be the delivery method that wins out, not BluRay, the only thing BluRay got was an extension on their death sentence, however HD-DVD is eating their last meal right now. PS, if you like any of the free titles offered, HD-DVD players still make a solid upconverting DVD player with 7 titles thrown in that also just happen to be HD. I wouldn't spend alot on them, but with most selling for $89-129 for the 1080i and $20 more for the 1080P models, it's easy pickings for people not bothered about the war itself.
dragonrift 2/15/2008 9:06:35 AM
Wiseguy... How much more "official" does it need to get for you? Fox, Columbia/MGM, Disney/Touchstone/Miramax/Dimension, and Warner Bros./New Line are now all blu-ray exclusive. Universal is letting its exclusive contract with HD-DVD expire in three months, and Paramount does have an early-termination clause in their contract if they decide to go back to being neutral to both formats. People hate Sony just as much as Microsoft. They're both big bullying corporations that show no mercy to the spending public. However, Sony was successful in pushing the Walkman. They literally conquered the CD front in the early 90s. They gave DVDs an accelerated boost with the PS2 almost a decade ago. Now they're winning with blu-ray. All stores need to do is paint a sign saying "Blu-ray wins" with lights and whistles and it can't get anymore obvious than that.
Knightshader 2/15/2008 9:37:32 AM
Don't forget though on the CD front it was also Phillips, and when it comes down to it I'm glad Phillips was involved, they kept alot of crap DRM stuff from going on CDs because of their position that CDs should just be CDs. I would prefer that it was them pushing an HD format rather than two companies known for $crewing over consumers for things like DRM and anti-competitive stuff. Gotta love the Dutch! >B~)
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