Saturday, February 16th 2008

Toshiba to Give Up on HD DVD

Following closely on the heels of news that both Netflix and Wal-Mart plan to drop HD DVD support, it looks like Toshiba, one of the key firms behind the format, is planning to do the same. A company source is being reported as saying:
We have entered the final stage of planning to make our exit from the next generation DVD business.
An official announcement is expected to come within the next few days, and it is estimated that the move could see Toshiba suffer losses of hundreds of millions of dollars. This is likely to put an end to the HD format war, with Blu-ray, backed largely by Sony, looking almost certain to overcome HD DVD, which had powerful names including Toshiba and Microsoft supporting it.

Update: Toshiba denies the reports:
"The media 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."Source: Reuters
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81 Comments on Toshiba to Give Up on HD DVD

#1
bretts31344
RIP Format Wars. Finally anyone wanting to entering the HD format knows their hardware/movies won't be obsolete within a few years.
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#2
Ravenas
:laugh: ...And who was it who said I never looked at the big picture? :slap: :p
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#3
pentastar111
With risk of sounding like a complete neanderthal...Why does it have to be one or the other? Can't they make a machine that plays BOTH media?:wtf: Not that I really care...yet. I'm still watching regular dvd's from netflix.:D
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#4
Ravenas
by: pentastar111
With risk of sounding like a complete neanderthal...Why does it have to be one or the other? Can't they make a machine that plays BOTH media?:wtf: Not that I really care...yet. I'm still watching regular dvd's from netflix.:D
Because that is the nature of big buisiness and competition.
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#5
pentastar111
by: Ravenas
Because that is the nature of big buisiness and competition.
Understandable and regrettable, yes...But don't they (Sony) run the risk of having a "monopoly" if they are the only ones with "blu-ray" and that happens to be the only high-def option?
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#6
Silverel
by: pentastar111
With risk of sounding like a complete neanderthal...Why does it have to be one or the other? Can't they make a machine that plays BOTH media?:wtf: Not that I really care...yet. I'm still watching regular dvd's from netflix.:D
They could, but that'd defeat the purpose of having a proprietary setup in direct competition with someone. When the "win" we all lose by playing whatever price they feel like dropping on it. With only one choice, the standard becomes more expensive. Think about how many years have gone by that MS and Intel stood unchallenged? Right, just about all of them. Expensive, whereas the competition is cheap as hell trying to get on the market.

By crushing a competitor, they no longer have to pussyfoot around with what kind of royalties they set on their hardware. The "winner" gets a bigger paycheck, and everyone else kinda eats up the losses. I personally feel like there should have simply been two formats for high definition. IMO, we're all pretty screwed. Prices could have been so much better...
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#7
Ravenas
by: pentastar111
Understandable and regrettable, yes...But don't they (Sony) run the risk of having a "monopoly" if they are the only ones with "blu-ray" and that happens to be the only high-def option?
No because they license the product out to other manufactures. If they didn't let other people use the technology then yes. I would expect Toshiba to begin production of Blu-Ray players. Toshiba has had then same grip hold on VHS and DVD for say um, the past 20 years? It's time to give let go.

Siverel: That's actually not true, and is a misconception. Companies are reporting record Blu-Ray sells and more and more revenue is being reported from companies everyday. Sony isn't going to rip people off, and that's what people are scared of. It just won't happen that way.
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#8
MrW
If they can, they will.
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#9
EastCoasthandle
by: MrW
If they can, they will.
That's the truth...this is the nature of big business and how they compete in the market. If they didn't lower prices during competition why should they when there is no competition...Folks don't believe in fanboy nonesense. I honestly believe that a lot of folks will return back to DVD if this turns out to be true. I've seen some of the movies on BR and they aren't worth the premium over DVD.
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#10
Ravenas
by: MrW
If they can, they will.
You must not realize that they have to price products competitively. Other manufactures will also lower the costs of production.

You guys are just speculating about what could happen instead of talking about WHAT IS REALLY HAPPENING. Total nonsense, time will tell.
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#11
beyond_amusia
Sony must have figured out what they did wrong with BetaMax... :laugh: Well, kinda... the cost of a BluRay player is completely insane... Sony >>> :nutkick: <<< Us.
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#12
Silverel
Bottom line, whoever owns the license makes the most cash. With only 1 set of licensing, there's no competition, therefore overall prices are higher. Royalties are what makes Sony money, not hardware. They sell it to everyone else at a cost to use the tech, but it doesn't cost them a thing.

If there were choices, those initial costs would end up lower over time as both companies promote their tech, and try to outsell each other. Therefore lowering prices on the manufacturers not having to pay out as much, and in return lower prices for everyone.

One license, one cost. No wiggle room.

We all get screwed.
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#14
pentastar111
by: EastCoasthandle
That's the truth...this is the nature of big business and how they compete in the market. If they didn't lower prices during competition why should they when there is no competition...Folks don't believe in fanboy nonesense. I honestly believe that a lot of folks will return back to DVD if this turns out to be true. I've seen some of the movies on BR and they aren't worth the premium over DVD.
Interesting point... I have a regular DVD player...a fairly big TV and a surround sound system. I'm pleased with the set-up I have. It's enjoyable to watch movies at home...DVD's are always much clearer than...say TV channels...I mean if DVD is already real good, does one really need "blu-ray"?:twitch:...How much clearer and crisper can clear and crisp get???:wtf:
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#15
EastCoasthandle
by: pentastar111
Interesting point... I have a regular DVD player...a fairly big TV and a surround sound system. I'm pleased with the set-up I have. It's enjoyable to watch movies at home...DVD's are always much clearer than...say TV channels...I mean if DVD is already real good, does one really need "blu-ray"?:twitch:...How much clearer and crisper can clear and crisp get???:wtf:
If the movie is mastered, transfered and encoded properly those fuzzy areas will look shaper and clearer then DVD. The people in the movie will appear more life like, etc. Those areas usually give the appearance of being out of focus or blurry on DVD movies. In essences, this is what you are paying a premium for. Paying $400+ for a br player and nearly $30 (movies that are not on sale that week. After you include sales tax or shipping) a movie you expect perfection (or close to it) but that's not always the case.

But wait, HDM experience is not just higher definition picture quality but also the artistry, presentation and creativity that brings the whole HDM experience together. For example PiP, creative on demand menu screens that interact with the movie, downloadable content, etc. This is what makes buying a high definition movie more enjoyable over DVD movie. Don't let some fanboy dictate corporate mantra that has nothing to do with you as a consumer.

After you concluded your own research and realize that all BR offers is movies with higher definition that may or may not be on par as a true HDM expereince. Is it worth the premium of $400+ at $30 a movie?
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#16
Triprift
It comes down to the individual for me seeing hd on my sisters plasma theres a big difference between hd and dvd in terms of quality with dvd being the equivelant of vhs to dvd.
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#17
EastCoasthandle
You know what's funny. I invited a few friends over for some movies on BR and overall were not impressed enough to buy into HDM. Sure they liked the idea that the movie's picture quality seemed clearer then DVD. But after 3 movies they became accustom to how they looked and begin asking "what else is there". When I wasn't able to offer any other incentives they took it as a learning experience. Not a "I most buy one" experience. Why?
-they weren't willing to pay that much just to watch a movie
-they would simply come to my house to watch it (ironic...I know)
-there wasn't much difference when all they were interested in is the movie itself more then how it looked.

The last one is a big eye opener for me since I consider them the average joe. They aren't interested in HDM because of the eye candy but wanted to see a particular movie they liked. So, what does that mean? If they aren't interested in a particular movie, regardless if it's on DVD or HDM it's not going to sway them into buying BR if it's not of interest to them. Also, if all they want to do is just watch the movie...HDM offers very little incentive to go out and buy a $400 (thereabout) dvd player just to watch it.

Therefore ultimately, in the minds of how consumers think, they may in fact lose the war. Remember, HDM is still around 1% of the entire movie market on disc. Their hope is to eliminate competition for better brand recognition. However, they fail to realize that consumers are aware of them but just not interested. As with anything, time will tell how all of this turns out.
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#18
CarolinaKSU
Another big issue I have with Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD is region support. With HD-DVD, region 1 and 2 etc became a non-issue. I have a bunch of rare movies that had a very limited release here in the US for DVD (1984 a major one) that you just can't find anywhere. People sell them for 100s of dollars on Ebay since they are "collector's items." However, you can pick up a region 2 disc of 1984 for example for 15 bucks on Amazon. But good luck getting it to work on your American TV and DVD player. I re-encoded mine to region one so it will work but that raises another issue:

The copy protection and paranoia of Sony is ridiculous. I am of course not advocating piracy of any kind but why can't I make a legal backup of a movie I already own? I have a CD wallet that has nothing but burnt copies of the movies I already own simply to keep my originals from getting damaged and for travelling. I also encode them to watch on my Zune as well. Sony on the other hand would rather you pay for the same movie 3 or 4 times: 1 $40 BD, 1 $10 Zune encoded copy, 1 $10 copy to work on a laptop, and I could go on... This copy protection and how Sony feels the need to change it whenever they want thereby bricking some players and causing newer discs to not work with others is also a big concern. Remember this was the same company who was installing rootkits onto people's computers when they ripped CDs...

Sony wants to keep absolute control of the market and push their moral agenda onto everyone. They refused to allow the porn industry to release videos on BD at first (Im not sure if they have allowed them to now or not) which was a big reason HD-DVD stayed around at first that no one liked to talk about. The same thing happened with VHS and Beta, the porn industry was the one who tipped the scales in favor of VHS because of Sony's moral agenda.

I think Blu-Ray's war isn't over. Digital downloads are the wave of the future IMO. They will become their biggest threat in the long term. SD-DVD will be around for years to come and BD will be there too, but eventually digital downloads will be replacing physical media.
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#19
happita
Well, it looks like a painful slow death for HD-DVD. One of the formats was bound to go under.
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#21
Hawk1
by: happita
Well, it looks like a painful slow death for HD-DVD. One of the formats was bound to go under.
Painfully slow? At the rate of HD-DVD news the past couple of weeks, they'll be dead by the end of the month.
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#22
mandelore
hmmm.. i aint fussed either way.. but the ammount of news being posted, its almost as if someone is buying out companies to support blue-ray over HD-DVD
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#23
spacejunky
by: bretts31344
RIP Format Wars. Finally anyone wanting to entering the HD format knows their hardware/movies won't be obsolete within a few years.
You mean like this?
More to thank Sony for.
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#24
spacejunky
by: Ravenas
:laugh: ...And who was it who said I never looked at the big picture? :slap: :p
The fact that you say that means you still don't have a clue. Tell me how this is going to be so good for the consumer.
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#25
EastCoasthandle
by: spacejunky
You mean like this?
More to thank Sony for.
It's amazing how people downplay the class action law suit on the very problem that prevent most knowledgeable people from buying br. If HD holds out until the class action matures this could actually turn the tides...big time. IMO, this is why so many people want this war to end sooner then later, the class action law suit was inevitable.
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