Game over: Toshiba pulls plug on ailing HD DVD format

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Following a thorough review of its overall strategy, Toshiba Corporation said Tuesday that it will no longer develop or manufacture HD DVD players, marking an end to the battle against Blu-ray for supremacy as the next-generation optical disc format.



The move comes just days after mega-retailers Wal-Mart and Best Buy, as well as movie rental service Netflix, abandon support of the format in favor of Blu-ray. Earlier in the year, major motion picture studio Warner Bros. announced similar plans, with Paramount and Universal rumored to eventually follow.



"We carefully assessed the long-term impact of continuing the so-called 'next-generation format war' and concluded that a swift decision will best help the market develop," said Atsutoshi Nishida, President and CEO of Toshiba Corporation. "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."



As a result, the Tokyo-based firm said it will focus its efforts on technologies that will drive mass market access to high definition content, such as high capacity NAND flash memory, small form factor hard disk drives, next generation CPUs, visual processing, and wireless and encryption technologies.



Toshiba will begin to reduce shipments of HD DVD players and recorders to retail channels immediately, aiming for cessation of the businesses segment by the end of March 2008. The company 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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 88
    Quote:

    Earlier in the year, major motion picture studios Warner Bros., Paramount, and Universal announced similar plans.



    Huh? Either I've been comatose, or Paramount & Universal never made an announcement about ditching HD DVD prior to today.
  • Reply 2 of 88
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post


    Huh? Either I've been comatose, or Paramount & Universal never made an announcement about ditching HD DVD prior to today.



    Yeah, I thought it was the other way around.



    Hopefully they'll release Star Trek Remastered on Blu Ray soon.



    Good Riddance HD-DVD
  • Reply 3 of 88
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post


    Huh? Either I've been comatose, or Paramount & Universal never made an announcement about ditching HD DVD prior to today.



    I'm with you. There was mass speculation and a rumour about a clause if Warner were to leave the HD-DVD camp, but no official word that I recall.



    Note: I was in a coma.
  • Reply 4 of 88
    kasperkasper Posts: 941member, administrator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post


    Huh? Either I've been comatose, or Paramount & Universal never made an announcement about ditching HD DVD prior to today.



    Corrected, thanks.



    K
  • Reply 5 of 88
    lafelafe Posts: 252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Toshiba will begin to reduce shipments of HD DVD players and recorders to retail channels immediately, aiming for cessation of the businesses segment by the end of March 2008. The company 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.



    Ripped from next week's headlines:



    Angry, Early HD DVD Adopters Placated With

    US$100 Credit at Toshiba's Online Store.



    You read it here first!
  • Reply 6 of 88
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DeaPeaJay View Post


    Good Riddance HD-DVD



    Don't be so smug. It'll be good riddance Blu-ray sooner than you think. Now that Apple has downloadable HD movies , this is only the beginning. There should be a total convergence of HD over the internet in five years at which time the general public will finally have HDTVs and skip Blu-ray enitirely. People are not going to double dip their collections for yet another format that will eventually loose to downloads.
  • Reply 7 of 88
    You fought a good fight, Toshiba. Your consumer players were technically superior from day 1, offering picture-in-picture support, ethernet connectivity, and advanced interactivity....something that no Blu-Ray player even came close to doing until October 07 (and even then, only a single player--the Panasonic BD30).



    You offered a superior product at a lower price (even before all the deep discounts leading up to Xmas), but unfortunately, Sony's Playstation 3 trojan horse strategy put considerably more Blu-Ray players in the market, which led to considerably higher Blu-Ray disc sales, which led to Warner's decision to go Blu-Ray exclusive, which led to the Netflix, Best-Buy and Walmart defections, which led to the death in the format.



    Had Microsoft built HD-DVD in the Xbox 360, this story would have ended a different way...
  • Reply 8 of 88
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    Don't be so smug. It'll be good riddance Blu-ray sooner than you think. Now that Apple has downloadable HD movies , this is only the beginning..... People are not going to double dip their collections for yet another format that will eventually loose to downloads.



    Yeah, you're totally right. Just the other day I was in Best Buy/Target/Wal-Mart and just couldn't believe how barren the isles in the CD section were. I actually saw some tumbleweed go by...



    Seriously... look at the number of people who have iPods, and who use iTunes to buy their music. It's a huge number. Yet, it seems as though major retailers are still stocking their shelves with tangible medium. It's silly to think that because tv finally allows the user to rent an HD movie that movie studios will throw up their hands in surrender and never print another Blu-Ray DVD. I am still weary that the tv will be a huge success (although I own one, because now they're just so freakin' cool) because they still don't do much.



    Oh, and of course, the biggest movie industry of them all, one that rivals MGM, Disney, etc, is that of the porn industry. I don't think you'll see any of that content become available through iTunes every.
  • Reply 9 of 88
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    Don't be so smug. It'll be good riddance Blu-ray sooner than you think. Now that Apple has downloadable HD movies , this is only the beginning. There should be a total convergence of HD over the internet in five years at which time the general public will finally have HDTVs and skip Blu-ray enitirely. People are not going to double dip their collections for yet another format that will eventually loose to downloads.



    I don't really understand why people are looking so desperately to a day when downloadable content trumps everything else. Don't get me wrong, it has its place: I would gladly rather "rent" a movie online than wait for Netflix to ship it to me, but for the content I want to OWN, physical media will always be better. First of all, DL Blu-Ray discs hold 50 GB - and I really don't think Apple is going to be piping 50GB downloads into homes anytime soon. Right now, we get heavily compressed videos (that aren't even offered in 1080p, I might add) that pale in comparison to their disc-based counterparts. What about portability? It's easy as pie to bring a movie to a friends' house or on a trip with a disc... just pop it in a player and you're good to go. Once the DRM-laden file is downloaded to your computer, however, what are you going to do with it? Burn it to Blu-ray? Haha... And lastly, you're entrusting your media to a hard drive, which, I dunno how much success you've had, but mine tend to die in an average of 3 years or so. Someone will likely bring up a SSD solution as an alternative, but those options are going to remain extremely expensive for a good while and even then won't match up capacity-wise. Like many movie enthusiasts, I have hundreds of DVDs... that's going to require a mammoth amount of space in a 1080 format, even if it is mildly compressed. One disk failure and you've lost everything. It's just not a good solution.



    Don't get me wrong - I'm all about convenience. But I do care very much for quality, for portability, and for the longevity of the media I own. "Downloading" movies is not the way to accomplish this.
  • Reply 10 of 88
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by k2director View Post


    Had Microsoft built HD-DVD in the Xbox 360, this story would have ended a different way...



    Woulda been shoulda been.



    Sony learned plenty from the Betamax - VHS war which *they* lost despite having a technically superior product. Sony management didn't forget that the company with a strategy which clearly recognizes market share rules will be the victor; thus, history didn't repeat itself.
  • Reply 11 of 88
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    Don't be so smug. It'll be good riddance Blu-ray sooner than you think. Now that Apple has downloadable HD movies , this is only the beginning. There should be a total convergence of HD over the internet in five years at which time the general public will finally have HDTVs and skip Blu-ray enitirely. People are not going to double dip their collections for yet another format that will eventually loose to downloads.



    Thats hysterical, pot meet black kettle, black kettle meet pot...
  • Reply 12 of 88
    tbagginstbaggins Posts: 2,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by k2director View Post


    Had Microsoft built HD-DVD in the Xbox 360, this story would have ended a different way...





    Maybe, but MS wasn't about to do that, as including HD-DVD on every 360 would've boosted the price and cost them sales early on. They were focused on the short-term.



    Long-term, it would've paid off, if HD-DVD had ended up winning the format war... but MS didn't, and HD-DVD didn't, and now Sony, the Blu-Ray camp, and the PS3 get to reap the rewards.



    Toshiba is a good company, it's sad that someone had to lose...





    .
  • Reply 13 of 88
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    People are not going to double dip their collections for yet another format that will eventually loose to downloads.



    I'd agree with that for the most part. But since bluray is compatible and the players upscale well, many people will likely keep their existing dvds but buy new titles in the HD format.



    I don't know if bluray will ever get as big as DVD (many people will just stick with that indefinitely), but I don't see disks getting killed off by downloads for a while.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by k2director View Post


    Had Microsoft built HD-DVD in the Xbox 360, this story would have ended a different way...



    It would have helped HDDVD, but it would have increased the price of the 360 substantially, which would have slowed adoption of the platform. Using brand new optical tech may have delayed the release as well.
  • Reply 14 of 88
    banchobancho Posts: 1,517member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    Don't be so smug. It'll be good riddance Blu-ray sooner than you think. Now that Apple has downloadable HD movies , this is only the beginning. There should be a total convergence of HD over the internet in five years at which time the general public will finally have HDTVs and skip Blu-ray enitirely. People are not going to double dip their collections for yet another format that will eventually loose to downloads.



    Who needs to "double dip" at all? My DVD collection plays fine on my PS3 and I can re-buy a couple of the ones that really are worth it in BR. For stuff I don't want to own I have Netflix.



    So, I can buy a device that only lets me "rent" HD content and won't play my existing DVDs? Yeah, my entertainment center is safe from being polluted with an aTV for the forseeable future. Maybe when aTV is re-re-released next year with a more than just a new software upgrade it'll be worth it but I'm taking the "wait and see" approach with that.
  • Reply 15 of 88
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    Don't be so smug. It'll be good riddance Blu-ray sooner than you think. Now that Apple has downloadable HD movies , this is only the beginning. There should be a total convergence of HD over the internet in five years at which time the general public will finally have HDTVs and skip Blu-ray enitirely. People are not going to double dip their collections for yet another format that will eventually loose to downloads.



    10GB to 25 GB down;loads for a single movie, takes several hours minimum, depending on broadband service provider, most people don't even use the internet all that much.



    Retail chains going away? Nope.



    Brick and morter or mailorder rentals going away? Nope.



    Budget Blu-ray players will drop below the $200 price point by this holiday season.



    Blu-ray movies are already at the same price points as DVD movies.



    In 5 years, Blu-ray burners (and by default players) will be at the same price point DVD burners are at today, ~$30.



    Oh, and HDTV's will penetrate the market, much quicker than 5 years from now, heck 1080i ATSC is only a year away (2/17/09) in the USA. Check out any Wal=Mart and see how much shelf space is devoted to CRT TV's versus HDTV's.



    Is the iTunes online store outselling Wal-Mart in music sales? Nope. And that's with music tracks at a few MB's each. \
  • Reply 16 of 88
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    Don't be so smug. It'll be good riddance Blu-ray sooner than you think. Now that Apple has downloadable HD movies , this is only the beginning. There should be a total convergence of HD over the internet in five years at which time the general public will finally have HDTVs and skip Blu-ray enitirely. People are not going to double dip their collections for yet another format that will eventually loose to downloads.



    First, Apple TV is NOT true HD. Second, with the bandwidth required for downloading 25 to 50GB (which a Blu-Ray can hold,) it will take forever, even with the best download speeds available now or in the forseeable future.



    Now the only question, when is Apple going to put a Blu-Ray burner in iMacs and MacPros so we can do 50GB backups and author/master our own Blu-Ray discs?...
  • Reply 17 of 88
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member
    Great! The war is over. The best wins. More bitrate, more capacity for extras and backup (read R and RW disks). Now, be prepared for a great 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels) experience!
  • Reply 18 of 88
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Felix01 View Post


    Woulda been shoulda been.



    Sony learned plenty from the Betamax - VHS war which *they* lost despite having a technically superior product. Sony management didn't forget that the company with a strategy which clearly recognizes market share rules will be the victor; thus, history didn't repeat itself.



    Who are these people that always think Betamax was technically superior? Why? Because it offered 10 more lines of resolution? Great. I'll take 10 LESS lines of resolution and have a medium that I can use for more than an hour.



    Not that it matters much now...
  • Reply 19 of 88
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kasper View Post


    Corrected, thanks.



    K



    Good man!
  • Reply 20 of 88
    Well, it's not that much of a "win" for Sony, since SJ already declared all optical media is antiquated. Apple TV already has 720 HD video for download.. wont be that long before higher resolutions are possible as well.



    The HD from AppleTV IS in fact HD quality. (and better than Comcast HD!)



    And are you telling me that a BluRay disc takes 50GB to hold just a movie???!! Or is it a movie, extras, outtakes, menus, etc...



    ...So downloading a higher resolution HD movie WILL come to pass, and BlueRay will pass as well.
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