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AVRevForum.com 02-19-2008 01:19 PM

Toshiba Finally Pulls Plug on HD DVD Format
 
Seemingly the only people who couldn’t see this coming after Warner Bros.' “Blu-Friday” announcement was Toshiba, who in a post Consumer Electronics Show press release said they would continue to fight on in the HD disc format war. Today, only a little more than a month after those supposed fighting words, Toshiba pulled the plug on the HD DVD project, leaving early adopters and loyalists to the format stinging with betrayal. They did little other than run a multi-million dollar Super Bowl TV ad and slash already low prices on players to keep their format afloat in their most troubled times.

As recently as this past December, HD DVD had the upper hand in the consumer-unfriendly HD disc format war when they slashed the prices of their players. As soon as word hit the enthusiast forums, 90,000 units sold out nationwide in a matter of a day or two. These players would certainly yield software sales, and were half or less than the price of a Blu-ray player. HD DVD had the lead but that lead didn’t last long. Sony was surging with success with their now-profitable Playstation3 Blu-ray-based game console. HDTVs were selling like hotcakes and the tides quickly turned.

Warner Bros. suggested they were upset at “consumer confusion,” however the studio most responsible for fueling such confusion by releasing discs on both sides put their support up for sale. HD DVD, with the better name, the cheaper players and head of steam came in and made their offer. Sony, still sore from the days of VHS and Beta, came in and blew their offer absolutely out of the water. And this one move decapitated the HD DVD movement only days before the Consumer Electronics trade show. Their booth was like a morgue while Blu-ray’s booth only a few paces away and down a few stairs was packed. The media noticed. CNN.com even pronounced Blu-ray the winner during the show.

HD DVD could have been saved in a way that would have allowed it to coexist with Blu-ray as Xbox 360 does with Playstation, but Microsoft and Toshiba would have had to ante up more than a billion dollars to start buying studio support. There were serious rumors this was going to happen in early 2008. Even the mighty Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett was supposed to step in (note: Buffett is very close with Bill Gates thus the tie to the HD DVD camp) but that never materialized. In fact, nothing of significance materialized and the likes of Netflix and Best Buy jumped off the bandwagon.

The moral of the story, and this story has a long way to go with DVD still being the standard for home video entertainment and downloadable HD media only weeks away from the market, is consumers do not want AV format wars under any circumstances. No matter how bitter an electronics company gets, they must remember that the consumer has been burned one too many times with Beta machines, SACD or DVD-Audio players and now HD DVD units. All a waste of money for the mainstream consumer. If a new audio or video format is going to make its way to market it needs widespread content and technical support. Without that, consumers will sit on the sidelines. While I pray that the big boys overseas understand this as I type, I fear they will not. For now, Sony, Panasonic and the Blu-ray studios should enjoy their victory as the battle will rage on with downloads sooner than they know.

by: Jerry Del Colliano

glocksout 02-19-2008 02:15 PM

Re: Toshiba Finally Pulls Plug on HD DVD Format
 
HD DVD never had the upper hand except for the first 6 months of their life when Blu-ray wasn't fully on the market.

Ken S 02-19-2008 02:30 PM

It's Official: HD DVD Is Dead...
 
From ExtremeTech Tuesday 02/19/2008:
http://www.extremetech.com/article2/...2264981,00.asp

Finally, we now have only one HD disc format.

PRO-630HD 02-19-2008 02:41 PM

Re: Toshiba Finally Pulls Plug on HD DVD Format
 
Well put Jerry, the question to me is has bluray already lost in the big picture due to the fact they didn't unite when they had the chance in late 2005. All Toshiba wanted out of the gate was a 2.0 player and HDi. Sony CEO Stringer admits this in retrospect was a huge mistake. HP in am 11th hour attempt tried to get the BDA to accept HDi which has worked flawlessly to no avail on hddvd. So the bluray SAP consumers up till now with the exception of 1 model are stuck with obsolete players, movies that will not play, an association that will not guarantee playback of future titles and lawsuits galore as 1.1 and 2.0 titles hot the market. We have already seen class action lawsuits from angry consumers and 1.0 players and unplayable titles due to the ever changing BDJ interface. This will simply sour the mix even more. In the words of Stringer at CES " We have a lot of work ahead of us to get people to embrace bluray". Ain't that the truth.

narcoticprayer 02-19-2008 03:54 PM

Re: Toshiba Finally Pulls Plug on HD DVD Format
 
I guess this will put an end to the forum format wars... unless there is some HD DVD equivalent of a Japanese Soldier hiding on a south pacific island until 1973 refusing to surrender.

TheMoose 02-19-2008 04:07 PM

Re: Toshiba Finally Pulls Plug on HD DVD Format
 
I'm just glad it's over.
Yea, I lucked out & picked the "winning" format but this had to end for HDM to have a chance.
I'll hand it to Toshiba they didn't string it out as long as I thought they would.
I thought they'd hold on kicking & screaming to the bitter end.
It seems they would have liked it to go on a few more months to clear out stock but Wal-Mart busted them on that one.

This war should have ended last year but the pay off for Paramount & Dreamworks strung it out a while longer

I was shocked by this from the press conference this morning,
Q: How many HD DVD players and recorders, exactly, did you sell?
A: 600,000 players in the US and 300,000 Xbox 360 HD DVD drives. 100,000 units were sold in Europe. And about 10,000 players and 20,000 recorders in Japan. So about 1,030,000 units worldwide.

Only 600,000 players in the US & half of them were xbox 360 add ons, & just 1,030,00 units total world wide!
They never had a chance against all the PS3's out there.

I hope Blu-Ray can go on to get widespread acceptance so we can continue to get our movies in full 1080p & with lossless audio & not have to depend on watered down HD downloads.
I don't think Blu-Ray has to beat SD-DVD the same way they did hd-dvd, the DVD market is huge & with 25% of that total market I believe HDM will be big enough to survive a long time.

While some will hang on decrying how the better format lost & continuing to spin the hd-dvd party line most will just move on & start buying Blu-Ray.
So let's get over the war & just enjoy the HD goodness! :D


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