HD DVD officially dead

HD DVD officially dead

HD DVD DeadThis past weekend, numerous websites were reporting on an anonymous Toshiba insider who was claiming that the company planned to drop support for the HD DVD platform. It turns out that the anonymous source was correct, as today Toshiba Japan issued an official press release detailing the discontinuation of all HD DVD products. Here are a few selected excerpts from that press release.
Toshiba press release excerpts

“TOKYO–Toshiba Corporation today announced that it has undertaken a thorough review of its overall strategy for HD DVD and has decided it will no longer develop, manufacture and market HD DVD players and recorders. This decision has been made following recent major changes in the market. Toshiba will continue, however, to provide full product support and after-sales service for all owners of Toshiba HD DVD products.”

“Toshiba will begin to reduce shipments of HD DVD players and recorders to retail channels, aiming for cessation of these businesses by the end of March 2008. Toshiba also plans to end volume production of HD DVD disk drives for such applications as PCs and games in the same timeframe, yet will continue to make efforts to meet customer requirements.”

The High Definition format war comes to an end

It has certainly been a long, drawn-out, ugly high definition format war. With Toshiba being the sole manufacturer for HD DVD products and conceding defeat, this war is now officially over.

It has been fun at times reporting on all of the various developments coming from both the HD DVD promotions group and the Blu-ray Disc Association, but it has also been downright pathetic at other times with all of the mud-slinging, exaggerated claims and fan-boy propaganda that has been thrown around. The end to the war will allow high definition enthusiasts, content providers and consumer electronics companies to focus on one unified format, Blu-ray Disc.

What does this mean for Blu-ray?

The Blu-ray Disc Association is no doubt celebrating their victory this week. But what will the end of HD DVD mean for Blu-ray Disc? Will we continue to see sales on Blu-ray Disc content and a decline in prices for Blu-ray hardware? I believe that we will.

The multitude of content providers and manufacturers within the Blu-ray Disc Association should help prices continue to decline. As more and more consumers adopt Blu-ray, economies of scale should also come into play, lowering the overall costs of producing Blu-ray products.

I also hope to see increased quality in high definition content from Hollywood studios. With only one format to focus on, the studios should now be able to maximize their high definition encodes and interactive content for one platform, allowing for new innovations and progression to occur within Blu-ray products. Now let’s all hope that these things actually come to pass. I’m sure that we would all love to see lower prices and more innovative products in the Blu future.

About Wes Novack

Wes is a Technologist working in the software industry, with extensive experience building and managing highly available applications, services, and systems in the public cloud. He has extensive experience with online publishing and building internet communities. Wes enjoys hanging with his family, getting outdoors, skateboarding, hiking, pickelball, tennis, the vegan lifestyle, and a good cup of tea. You can find him on X (formerly Twitter) @WesleyTech.

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3 Comments on “HD DVD officially dead”

  1. It’s sad at the same time from the human perspective. Of of my reps has a daughter that worked for the HD DVD PR Group. Is she out of a job now?

    At the same time, I find it humorous that Toshiba is still pretending to be the advocate doing what’s best for the “consumer.” That’s a joke.

    I can just see now: Bill Hunt, Scott Hendrick, Bob Chapek and the BDA bunch busting open the champagne, getting a little tipsy and hitting on Susan from accounting.

  2. Yeah, I also thought their comment in the press release about the consumer was bull.

    Here it is:
    “While we are disappointed for the company and more importantly, for the consumer, the real mass market opportunity for high definition content remains untapped and Toshiba is both able and determined to use our talent, technology and intellectual property to make digital convergence a reality.”

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