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Toshiba to give up on HD DVD, end format war
poster_boy




msg:3577197
 1:44 pm on Feb 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

TOKYO (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp is planning to give up on its HD DVD format for high definition DVDs, conceding defeat to the competing Blu-Ray technology backed by Sony Corp, a company source said on Saturday.

The move will likely put an end to a battle that has gone on for several years between consortiums led by Toshiba and Sony vying to set the standard for the next-generation DVD and compatible video equipment.

The format war, often compared to the Betamax-VHS battle in the 1980s, has confused consumers unsure of which DVD or player to buy, slowing the development what is expected to be a multibillion dollar high definition DVD industry.

Toshiba's cause has suffered several setbacks in recent weeks including Friday's announcement by U.S. retailing giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc that it would abandon the HD DVD format and only stock its shelves with Blu-ray movies.

Reuters [news.yahoo.com]

 

engine




msg:3577827
 12:30 pm on Feb 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

"There have been media reports that Toshiba will discontinue its HD DVD business," a Toshiba spokesman said.

"In fact, Toshiba has not made any announcement or decision. We are currently assessing our business strategies, but nothing has been decided at the moment."

[news.bbc.co.uk...]

I guess, until there is the definitive statement, it's pure speculation, so I felt we should balance messages.

Rugles




msg:3577855
 1:34 pm on Feb 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well, that is interesting. I knew it was in the wind when I walked into Blockbuster and the Blu Ray discs were out numbering the the HD discs 3 : 1.

There was a discusion about this a month or two ago here:

[webmasterworld.com...]

grelmar




msg:3577944
 3:51 pm on Feb 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

From Wired: [blog.wired.com] (a couple of days ago)

This leaves Blu-Ray as the presumptive victor in the irrelevant optical disk format war. It now must face up to the real competition: the continuing success of DVD and the growing popularity of downloads, both on the internet and on-demand cable TV.

A couple of people have been making this point since the format war began. It's an irrelevant war - DVD's will hang on as a defacto standard until the whole industry changes to being bits in the pipe.

[edit: add] Well, when the price of the burners comes down to planet earth, they'll make a good data format. 50GB presently, (dual layer), with the possibility of multi layer disks pushing that to 200GB. (source [blu-ray.com])

sgietz




msg:3577985
 4:45 pm on Feb 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

I saw a story yesterday about Walmart dropping support for HD-DVD. That would be the final nail in that coffin.

Call me a snob for having purchased a $200 paper weight :(

dakuma




msg:3578047
 6:03 pm on Feb 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

If there was ever a generation to skip this is it. I will not be paying $300 plus for a player, and $30 per movie when used DVD's go for as little as $5.

I recently purchase a sweet 47inch LCD, and stardard DVD was not what I expected. So I picked up an upScaling DVD player for all of $99 bucks and the difference is incredible. So I'll keep buying used DVD's thank you very much.

Besides with all the DRM issues that BlueRay has, forget it, digital media should resemble a book (as in old school paperback), I should be able use without restriction, lend it out, and sell it at the end of my driveway on some future Saturday afternoon. And there is no reason that digital downloads cannot adapt this "fair use" model as well.

sgietz




msg:3578071
 6:31 pm on Feb 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Does anyone think the holographic disk format will ever make it to market? It's been very quiet in that camp. Makes me wonder if they waited for a winner to emerge, and now they can focus on the enemy (Blu-ray) much clearer?!

I agree that digital downloads will probably be the future, but I still like the idea of having a box with a disk on my shelf, so I'm looking forward to it, if the technology ever gets here. And honestly, we will always need some type of media for storage, anyway.

Just a thought :)

[edited by: sgietz at 6:36 pm (utc) on Feb. 18, 2008]

mikedee




msg:3578073
 6:33 pm on Feb 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Besides with all the DRM issues that BlueRay has, forget it, digital media should resemble a book (as in old school paperback), I should be able use without restriction, lend it out, and sell it at the end of my driveway on some future Saturday afternoon.

You realize that your DVD's also have DRM 'issues'?

[en.wikipedia.org...]

dakuma




msg:3578183
 8:26 pm on Feb 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Mike:
Yes I do realize this, sorry for not being clear when I say "DRM Issues" I mean causing issues for "honest" customers, such as outlined here:

[arstechnica.com...]

hannamyluv




msg:3578191
 8:45 pm on Feb 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

You know, it is funny. I don't know anybody who has switched to blu-ray None. Nada. Everyone is perfectly happy with DVD.

I am confused why the industry seems to feel that consumers want Blu-Ray. No one I know care to "upgrade" their collection to Blu-ray. They see it as a hassle.

ebound




msg:3578198
 8:56 pm on Feb 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Whatever, I say let's just decide already so we can go one way or the other!

Rugles




msg:3578213
 9:25 pm on Feb 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

You know, it is funny. I don't know anybody who has switched to blu-ray None

I know people who bought Playstation 3's because it can play Blu Ray discs.

np2003




msg:3578355
 12:59 am on Feb 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

If anyone has ever seen a Blu-ray movie on a 1080p HD TV, you will not be saying "Standard DVD is fine". The resolution is MUCH more crisp, its like going from 800x600 res to 1024x 768.

More pixels on screen means smoother images. Blu-ray is the future. Remember the good old days when people were complaining that CDs were "good enough", then DVD came along and opened a whole new world of storage capabilities? Well Blu-ray is going todo the same.

mikedee




msg:3578373
 1:40 am on Feb 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yes I do realize this, sorry for not being clear when I say "DRM Issues" I mean causing issues for "honest" customers, such as outlined here:

I see, yes, DRM will cause problems if the format is updated but the player is not. It is not limited to blu ray though.

[arstechnica.com...]

kaled




msg:3578472
 3:30 am on Feb 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

I don't see more than 5 years of life for any optical disk format. Solid-state (memory) devices will take over eventually, it's just a matter of time.

I did the maths a few months ago, and whilst cost might be an issue, they could start making the rom chips tomorrow (DVD quality) but HD/Blue-Ray quality might take a little longer.

If people don't believe me consider this...
Chip manufacturers are used to creating perfect chips (without any flaws whatsoever). If a broadcast-style format (with error detection/correction) was used to store the data, yields would effectively be 100% with current manufacturing methods, and they could quickly move to higher densities.

Some TVs already include memory card readers to display photos. The attraction of playing movies the same way will be too much to resist. Manufacturers are not geared up to for this right now, and there are no players or contracts with movie studios, but five years from now, or thereabouts, it is surely inevitable. If I were a betting man, my money would be on Toshiba to make the first move.

Kaled.

tictoc




msg:3578538
 5:28 am on Feb 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

I agree that memory devices will take over. Memory sticks or cards will be the future of movies.. they don't scratch and take up less space! Why would anyone want to deal with big disks?

poster_boy




msg:3578540
 5:35 am on Feb 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

Updated: Apparently, the "official" notice is due tomorrow.

Toshiba to announce HD DVD pullout on Tuesday: report

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Toshiba Corp will announce plans to cease production and sales of HD DVD players on Tuesday, the Nikkei business daily said.

Toshiba, the world's No.2 maker of NAND flash memory, will also announce plans to build new NAND factories in a bid to overtake South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, the paper said.

Reuters [news.yahoo.com]


bill




msg:3578592
 7:43 am on Feb 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

They've been shooting themselves in the feet for years with this silly standards war. Had a standards body of some sort been allowed to arbitrate a single standard back when all this started we would already have next generation players at reasonable prices on the market.

Now I agree that it is a bit too late. Who wants to be burdened with discs anymore. I'd rather stream the data from my home server.

Robert Charlton




msg:3578645
 9:41 am on Feb 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

Apparently official....

BBC News - Business [news.bbc.co.uk]

Toshiba drops out of HD DVD war

Toshiba has said it will stop making its high definition DVDs, ending a battle with rival format Blu-ray over which would be the industry standard.

I was watching a Blu-ray disk on a 52" Sony the other night... I believe on an XBR4 LCD... and it was quite amazing, and extremely expensive. Assuming we're not in a massive recession, I think the big shift to Blu-ray and hi-def will happen when all US TVs go digital in just about a year.

I also think the mass market will prefer disks over downloads for some years to come. It's going to take a while for downloads to catch up to the quality of Blu-ray. You've got to see them to understand the quality difference.

sem4u




msg:3578648
 9:50 am on Feb 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

Until recently I worked in the CD/DVD duplication/replication industry. No-one ever wanted HD-DVD discs and all of the duplication devices were for Blu-ray. At least Toshiba have dropped out now...it gives them a chance to improve their core products and not waste more millions on a dying format.

Rugles




msg:3578767
 1:53 pm on Feb 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think there are millions of people like me, who have the HD TV and were just waiting for a winner in the battle. I expect Blu Ray sales to skyrocket and be the big item this coming Christmas.

From what I have seen its even better than HD television.

Sounds like and SEM opportunity;-)

sgietz




msg:3578823
 3:08 pm on Feb 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well, I guess I make my way to Walmart's discount bin and get some HD movies for five bucks to give my player at least a little bit of a workout.

I told my wife to not buy it for Christmas. Grrrrrr! :0)

poster_boy




msg:3579665
 4:11 am on Feb 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think there are millions of people like me, who have the HD TV and were just waiting for a winner in the battle.

I'm in that very group - and, now that a winner has been crowned, I just bought one today. Looks beautiful!

swa66




msg:3580015
 2:26 pm on Feb 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

A pity Toshiba lost out, cause in the global world they were visionary with dropping the region encoding in HD DVD. Now we're stuck with goign back to breaking region coding.

Sony hardware being notiously hard to remove the region encoding, we're in for a long wait outside the US to get it to take off.

But the blueray fanboys can gloat for a bit longer.

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