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Toshiba to halt HD DVD by March?

updated 03:30 pm EST, Mon February 18, 2008

HD DVD Stopped by March

Toshiba is readying a quick end to HD DVD that may come as early as March, according to a report by Japan's Nikkei BP (subscription needed for full access). The business publication claims that Toshiba chief Atsutoshi Nishida will announce the end of Toshiba's contribution to the format as early as tomorrow, all but ending HD DVD's viability as a disc standard. In the reported plan, Toshiba will cease sales of all its own hardware by March, including its stand-alone movie players as well as optical drives for desktop PCs and notebooks. Optical disks made by Toshiba itself will also be discontinued.

No third parties are yet known to be following suit, though are expected to follow Toshiba's actions without significant support.

Although the announcement is likely to be followed by news of additional factories for Toshiba's more successful semiconductor business, the cancellation is expected to represent one of Toshiba's most significant defeats in consumer electronics and will cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars in expenses as well as abandoned production and marketing efforts. Toshiba has been HD DVD's key proponent and was often the sole provider of HD DVD devices, though other device markers have frequently used its technology for computer drives and multi-format players.

Toshiba has not officially announced any plans of its own but provided support to claims over the weekend by saying it would review its options for its HD DVD business, expressing its first public signs of doubt over the viability of the format. HD DVD has seen a rapid decline in its marketshare and influence since Warner Bros. announced it would produce movies only in Blu-ray, leaving few movies available on HD DVD and many retailers withdrawing the movie discs from their store shelves.

by MacNN Staff



  1. manleycreative

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Now I wonder...

    Is Blu-ray the better technology? Or is it another case of the better technology losing out to an inferior technology just because it had better tie-ins?

    Alternate Current vs. Direct Current Mac vs. Windows Beta vs. VHS d*** York vs. d*** Sergeant Star Trek vs. Star Trek Next Generation

    I haven't played wih either of these formats because I was waiting to see which one won out. Which is truly better?

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: now I wonder

    From what I have read, it goes like this.

    Blu-Ray: Pro: More storage (25/54GB) - Single/dual layer Con: Thinner protective layer Con: More expensive

    HD-DVD Con: Less Storage (15/30GB) - Single/dual layer Pro: Same protective layer as DVD's Pro: Less Expensive

    I think the cost will be irrelevant in time so there's not much difference. THo I will say the larger capacity will benefit everyone in the long run!

  1. MisterMe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: now i wonder ...

    manleycreative wrote: Is Blu-ray the better technology? ...

    Yes. Blu-ray was a commercial product in Japan before HD-DVD was even conceived. It was delayed to the US because it scared the pants off commercial content providers. They delayed Blu-ray until adequate DRM measures were incorporated into the format.

    At any rate, HD-DVD is a johnny-come-lately technology with one explicit advantage over Blu-ray. It is cheaper. However, that is an advantage that was bound to diminish over time. Blu-ray holds more content. It is also physically more robust.

    The better technology prevailed.

  1. Waldo Rivera

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: now i wonder

    Blu-Ray: Con: Thinner protective layer

    that's technically incorrect. the data is closer to the surface so based on the actual thickness of the media you'd be correct, but blu-ray has a protective coating which makes the discs much harder to scratch. DVD and HD-DVD do not.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Grounds for Class Action

    If Toshiba knew weeks ago that they were phasing out HD-DVD, and sold players and HD-DVDs using deceptive business practices (a.k.a defrauding consumers), there may be grounds for a class-action suit.


    "An inside source at Technicolor has informed us that a few weeks ago Toshiba canceled the work they were doing on Star Trek Season 2. Toshiba had been the one paying for the re-mastering/encoding of Star Trek: TOS, which was part of their exclusive deal with Paramount."

    Had I known about this weeks ago, I would have brought back the HD-DVD player I received for Christmas, rather than mail in the UPC code for 5 free HD-DVDs I may never receive.

    People have filed lawsuits under more frivolous grounds than this.

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