Over the weekend, reports began popping up in various news channels that Toshiba Corp is planning to give up on its HD DVD format for high definition DVDs, conceding defeat to the competing Blu-Ray technology backed by Sony Corp. It was reported that a source at Toshiba confirmed an earlier report by public broadcaster NHK that it was getting ready to pull the plug.
“We have entered the final stage of planning to make our exit from the next generation DVD business,” said the source, who asked not to be identified. He added that an official announcement could come as early as next week.
Just a few weeks ago, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group. announced that they will release their high definition DVD titles exclusively in the Blu-Ray disc format beginning later this year. It will be no surprise if Toshiba is truly raising the white flag in surrender to the format war between its own HD DVD format and Sony’s Blu-Ray HD format. After all, 3 top retailers, Wal Mart, Best Buy and NetFlix, recently announced that they have plans to support the Blu-Ray format.
Is this the end for Toshiba’s HD DVD? Some skeptics are still hanging on to the notion that the format was is not over. Just as Paramount previously denied that it was dropping HD DVD, Toshiba announced this morning that, “The media [has] reported that Toshiba will discontinue its HD DVD business. Toshiba has not made any announcement concerning this. Although Toshiba is currently assessing its business strategies, no decision has been made at this moment.”
So, is this the nail in the coffin for Toshiba’s HD DVD format? With the recent Blu-Ray backing announcements from major movie studios and retailers, even if this is not the final blow, it will be extremely tough for Toshiba to fight back. My advice to all HD DVD player owners is to keep enjoying your HD movies. But know that by this time next year, if you wanted to watch a new release in HD, it will probably be under a Blu-Ray format.