Clearly seeing the writing on the wall, Universal said today it will drop its support for HD DVD and instead produce its high-definition films on Blu-ray Disc.
"The path for widespread adoption of the next-generation platform has finally become clear," said Craig Kornblau, president of Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Universal Pictures Digital Platforms, in a statement.
"The emergence of a single, high-definition format is cause for consumers, as well as the entire entertainment industry, to celebrate. While Universal values the close partnership we have shared with Toshiba, it is time to turn our focus to releasing … Read more
Forget about customer satisfaction or superiority of image quality. The real issue in the war between Blu-ray and HD DVD was about royalties.
With the competition gone, the Blu-ray consortium now has the opportunity to persuade PC makers and consumer electronics makers to adopt Blu-ray drives as their optical drives of choice. It will also get studios and disc makers to deliver Blu-ray discs to consumers. And every time one of those drives or discs leaves a factory, the Blu-ray Disc Association will get a royalty.
The numbers add up quickly. Look at DVD, for example. To make a DVD … Read more
Looks like Jeff Bakalar is out again, HD DVD is finally dead so we're a little sad on this show, but on the bright side Justin Yu, CNET's newest editor, joins us, and MTI fills in for Jeff...which makes the show 2/3rds better. Also, Listen in for Jumper hitting it big and Knight Rider the TV movie. The HOFF makes a guest appearance!
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The two-year war between HD DVD and Blu-ray officially ended Tuesday morning as Toshiba waved the white flag and declared it would stop producing HD DVD products.
The company, which began sales of HD DVD in March 2006 with the HD-A1 player, "decided it was not right for us to keep going with such a small presence," said chief executive Atsutoshi Nishida. The Blu-ray format is now the definitive winner in the war and stands unopposed as the optical media replacement for DVD.
Toshiba's news release goes into a bit more detail: "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 company will continue to assess the position of notebook PCs with integrated HD DVD drives within the overall PC business relative to future market demand."
Three movie studios currently support HD DVD--Universal, Paramount, and DreamWorks Animation--but we expect them to follow suit and announce support of Blu-ray sooner rather than later. Update: All of these studios have indeed followed suit.
Now that Engadget is reporting Toshiba will wave the white flag tomorrow and finally put an end to the high-def format war once and for all, there are a whole new set of questions that must be answered.
Will Toshiba move to Blu-ray? What will the company do with the technology? Will it sell the HD DVD name to the Blu-ray folks?
But perhaps most importantly, what will Microsoft do? The company has been a staunch supported of HD DVD since the beginning and it currently offers an HD DVD add-on for its Xbox 360 console. But now that the format is dead and the rightful winner is ready to be crowned, will Microsoft ignore the format war and go about its business or try to jump on the Blu-ray bandwagon?
Trust me -- within a month, the company will announce a Blu-ray add-on for the Xbox 360.… Read more
Well, that's it. Toshiba appears to be pulling the plug on HD DVD. Toshiba has not commented publicly, but a report on Japan's NHK says Toshiba has made the decision to withdraw from next generation high-definition DVD production.
This news certainly doesn't come as surprise to anyone remotely following HD DVD's format war with rival Blu-ray. HD DVD had suffered a string of defections, with Warner, Netflix, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart all recently pledging their alliance to Blu-ray.
The NHK report says existing HD DVD products will remain on the market for a while, but Toshiba … Read more
Things have gone from bad to worse for HD DVD in the space of one week.
Wal-Mart Stores announced on Friday morning that it, too, has chosen a side in the battle for high-definition video supremacy: by June, it will stock only Blu-ray Disc players.
A buyer in Wal-Mart's video division wrote this morning on her Wal-Mart Checkout blog that the retail giant had made the decision following Netflix and Best Buy's high-profile announcements that they will exclusively stock Blu-ray products.
Wrote Susan Chronister of Wal-Mart: "By June, Wal-Mart will only be carrying Blu-ray movies and hardware … Read more
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Toshiba may be considering dropping HD DVD in the next few weeks. The HD DVD deathwatch has been on since they canceled their CES event after Warner announced its switch to Blu-ray exclusively.
This news got me thinking. Consumers have been waiting on the sideline for one format to win. But what if you end a war and nobody cares? I don't expect the coronation of Blu-ray as the high-definition king will cause consumers to stampede to buy Blu-ray players.
Another thing to consider is the "war" has kept folks talking about … Read more