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Toshiba to axe HD DVD in weeks?

updated 08:40 am EST, Fri February 15, 2008

Toshiba Axes HD DVD Soon

Toshiba may be ready to pull the HD DVD format entirely after suffering a series of key defeats, says a claimed source of Hollywood Reporter. A tip reportedly from a person close to the HD DVD faction says Toshiba has not seen the expected surge in player sales from large-scale price discounts instituted for its movie players to compete with Blu-ray -- a decision which may have cost "several hundred dollars" per unit -- and is reportedly reeling from its format being marginalized at retailers such as Best Buy. The losses are such that Toshiba is said by the source to be announcing a complete withdrawal of HD DVD in a "matter of weeks."

Publicly, Toshiba continues to maintain support for HD DVD and has often issued statements touting the "value" of the format, though in recent releases it has shifted attention to its devices as upscaling DVD players rather than high-definition playback.

HD DVD's troubles began when movie studio Warner Bros. said it would drop HD DVD from its releases starting from June, effectively handing a clear majority of HD movie releases to Blu-ray. The decision had an almost immediate impact on HD DVD sales that has largely been sustained since and has led to moves by Best Buy and other retailers to either downplay HD DVD or sell Blu-ray alone. Several smaller, more regional movie studios have since opted for Blu-ray exclusivity as well, including ADV Films and National Geographic.

The succession of losses may also have led to damage at Microsoft, the Reporter adds. Having been Toshiba's closest non-studio supporter, the company and its chief HD DVD evangelist Kevin Collins have reportedly been inaccessible for comment on the alleged HD DVD shutdown. The Windows developer has often been heavily involved in promoting the standard but last week cut its Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on price to $130 to mirror Toshiba's cuts.

Aside from Toshiba, most computer builders have not followed Microsoft's endorsements, either offering Blu-ray drives as options alongside HD DVD equivalents (as with HP) or relying on Blu-ray alone as the sole HD disc reader format, as with Dell and Blu-ray's primary supporter Sony. Apple, Lenovo, and other larger computer builders have largely refrained from committing to any HD disc format with their systems.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. climacs

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2001

    0

    silver lining

    you could end up picking up a nice HD DVD player really cheap. Not for playing HD-DVD, but for playing standard def DVD.

  1. climacs

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2001

    0

    ha, ha!

    "The succession of losses may also have led to damage at Microsoft, the Reporter adds. Having been Toshiba's closest non-studio supporter, the company and its chief HD DVD evangelist Kevin Collins have reportedly been inaccessible for comment on the alleged HD DVD shutdown."

    Have they talked him down from the ledge?

  1. MacScientist

    Junior Member

    Joined: Feb 2000

    0

    Good Riddance 2 Bad Trash

    HD-DVD was not an innovation. It was a corporate attempt to blunt the superior technology known as Blu-ray.

    Many have compared the HD-DVD/Blu-ray conflict to the Beta/VHS battle. I never subscribed to this comparison, but it is worth noting a difference. VHS prevailed in the consumer market, but many consider Beta to be superior, particularly in professional applications. Beta remains with us for professional applications. OTOH, HD-DVD's claim to fame is that it is cheaper to produce. Having lost in the consumer space, it falls like a house of cards.

  1. Bartman

    Junior Member

    Joined: Oct 1999

    0

    cnet?

    but cnet claims that HD-DVD is superior to blu-ray,, i guess we, the consumers, are the big losers.... rolls eyes.. everything on cnet is c***

  1. climacs

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2001

    0

    Beta

    indeed, Betacam SP is still a widely-used standard def analog videotape format for professional video, and its digital cousin, Digital Betacam, is around and with us as well. The cassettes look just like Betamax tapes. Betacam will be around for a while even after superseded by hard drives and DV formats, because it's uncompressed and there's so dang many of the tapes around.

  1. UberFu

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2002

    0

    @macscientis

    Well actually the Blu-Ray/HD DVD vs VHS/Beta Comparison is dead on_

    - Sony spear-headed Blu-Ray as it did with BetaMax__ - Both superior products when compared to the alternative_

    Except that in the 80's the Betamax lost out as the standard consumer choice - no matter how much Sony pushed it_

    So yeah it is a viable direct comparison - except this time Sony happens to be on the winning side of the format war_

    Beta died out - Sony stopped production as of 2002_

    You really might want to go reeserch stuff before you simply slap words into a text field_

  1. UberFu

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2002

    0

    and MacNN?

    Why is this article on yore site?

    Is it because Apple is mentioned sitting on the fence for a format they helped develop?

    'Cause otherwise this is a streatch and barely inside the sphere of Apple that you should be reporting on_

  1. JeffHarris

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999

    0

    It's about time

    Finally this format war is over and the best one won!

    Now let's hope that prices of Blu-ray players and disks start dropping a bit. i suppose that more companies will start offering Blu-ray options, which should help.

    The difference between the BetaMax/VHS war is that Sony learned from their failure with Betamax and didn't try to go it alone and gouge for licensing fees. JVC was smart with VHS, they licensed the format liberally for reasonable fees. This time around Sony partnered with lots of companies and in true Japanese business style, looked at the long view, not the next quarter's profits.

    Now we all win!

  1. slider

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Oct 1999

    0

    Timing

    I had just started to look at the two formats a few months back just before it started to lean heavily in Blu-ray's favor. From my very limited understanding it seemed BR was superior in every way except for price. Plus, even then it seemed to have more backers. This whole thing with HD-DVD has probably unnecessarily prolonged the higher costs of BR simply b/c of lower numbers produced; that plus the surge of players that I'm sure will now be purchase by all the holdouts waiting for fight to end. Can't really feel for those that invested in HD-DVD either, it's not like the competing technologies conflict was not known. I suppose the dual format players just came too late unlike the DVD-R and DVD+R.

  1. MacnTX

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2004

    0

    Good riddance...

    I can get a nice upscaling DVD player for only $60 anyway, so I don't need an HD DVD player for that. The consumers have spoken, and the consumers want Blu-ray.

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