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Old 02-18-2008   #334
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Default Re: HD Disc Format War Not Over By a Long Shot

From Reuters

Toshiba nears HD DVD surrender

By Nathan Layne

TOKYO (Reuters) - Consumers and investors cheered an impending end to a format war for next-generation DVDs on Monday, with share gains for both Toshiba, on the verge of abandoning its HD DVD discs, and Sony, the leader of the rival Blu-ray camp.

Toshiba Corp shares jumped 6.3 percent as analysts praised its move to cut its losses, while Sony Corp, whose technology is set to become the industry standard for high-definition home DVDs, rose 2.1 percent.

"It doesn't make sense for Toshiba to continue putting effort into this," said Koichi Ogawa, a chief portfolio manager at Daiwa SB Investments. "It needs to cut its losses and focus its resources on promising businesses."

Both formats have the space to hold high-definition movies, but growing support from Hollywood and big U.S. retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores has given Blu-ray a crushing lead.

However, overall sales so far have made up only a small portion of the $24 billion (12.2 billion pound) home DVD sector, as shoppers, faced with machines that played only one type of disc or the other, have held back.

"I was expecting Blu-ray to win but I was kind of waiting it out," said Masahiro Taniwaki, a 26-year-old systems engineer shopping for a Blu-ray recorder at electronics retailer Bic Camera in Tokyo.

Toshiba said on Monday that no decisions had been made on HD DVD, but a company source told Reuters on Saturday that the company was in the final stage of planning its exit.

It looks like the stock market & Toshiba investors are pressuring them to get out now.
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