Onkyo suspends HD DVD support
HD DVD has had a difficult time attracting CE manufacturers. Toshiba has been the only company to consistently provide HD DVD hardware. RCA was the first to re-badge a Toshiba player, but they later dropped their support to “focus on DVD.” They later picked up the support of Canada’s Venturer who was supposed to be the price-leader for HD DVD but by the time it hit the market the Toshiba was even cheaper still. Some retailers were reporting that they had shipments of Venturer players they couldn’t sell as the customers opted for the name-brand Toshiba player. And finally, Onkyo joined the HD DVD cause late last year along with their high-end Integra line finally bringing another well-respected name to the HD DVD banner.
It appears this support is waning in the wake of Warner’s early-January blow. An Onkyo spokesperson told Home Cinema Choice, “Given the current, multiple uncertainties surrounding the Blu-ray vs HD DVD issue, Onkyo has decided against bringing any further DV-HD805s to the UK.” There was no comment on North America, or if this also applied to the Integra model.
The main cause for each of the companies HD DVD ennui stems from Toshiba’s “race to the bottom” by cutting prices over and over, edging them out of the market. An Onkyo representative echoes this saying, “If a category becomes commoditised – as this sector shows signs of becoming – there’s less reason to commit huge resources to it when they may be better employed elsewhere.” This does indicate that Toshiba’s aggressive pricing strategy is central cause behind Onkyo’s decision.
Now, you might have noticed how this article’s title says Onkyo has “suspended” their support. You might wonder what that means considering a halt to their current plans seems indefinite, but the Japanese manufacturer has hinted at a new high-def player coming later this year. The representative said that they would “unveil a new HD source later this year, but cannot confirm at this stage whether it will be an HD DVD, Blu-ray or combo device.” So I’m being a little generous by suggesting they may resume their HD DVD plans in the future, but it’s also possible they go with Blu-ray as well.