HD DVD officially dead
This 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.
HD DVD officially dead