updated 10:05 pm EST, Sun February 17, 2008
Toshiba Mulls HD DVD Pull
Toshiba is reviewing whether or not it will continue the HD DVD format, the company said Monday morning in a public statement. The Japanese electronics firm neither confirmed nor denied claims by national broadcaster NHK that it would halt HD DVD production outright but has admitted that it is reconsidering its position on the HD movie disc standard. The comment is the first public acknowledgement by Toshiba that it may need to discontinue the format after a succession of key studio and retail losses.
Before Toshiba's statement, multiple claims by American publications and the Reuters news agency had suggested that Toshiba would retire its HD DVD efforts within weeks.
Doubts began to rise in earnest for HD DVD's future when Warner dropped HD DVD from its movie catalog at the start of January, explaining that it would phase out the format in favor of Blu-ray by June. This triggered a rash of moves by smaller studios and retailers who echoed Warner's position. The most damaging move since Warner's announcement was Wal-Mart's move to Blu-ray exclusivity, which effectively cut HD DVD from the largest movie sales outlet in the US.
While Toshiba is not the only firm involved in promoting HD DVD, it serves as the primary manufacturer of HD DVD hardware and would leave the format with virtually no distribution should it leave the market.