Tuesday, February 19th 2008

Toshiba Announces Discontinuation of HD DVD Businesses

TOKYO--Toshiba Corporation today announced that it has undertaken a thorough review of its overall strategy for HD DVD and has decided it will no longer develop, manufacture and market HD DVD players and recorders. This decision has been made following recent major changes in the market. Toshiba will continue, however, to provide full product support and after-sales service for all owners of Toshiba HD DVD products.

HD DVD was developed to offer consumers access at an affordable price to high-quality, high definition content and prepare them for the digital convergence of tomorrow where the fusion of consumer electronics and IT will continue to progress.

"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."

Toshiba will continue to lead innovation, in a wide range of technologies that will drive mass market access to high definition content. These include high capacity NAND flash memory, small form factor hard disk drives, next generation CPUs, visual processing, and wireless and encryption technologies. The company expects to make forthcoming announcements around strategic progress in these convergence technologies.

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.

This decision will not impact on Toshiba's commitment to standard DVD, and the company will continue to market conventional DVD players and recorders. Toshiba intends to continue to contribute to the development of the DVD industry, as a member of the DVD Forum, an international organization with some 200 member companies, committed to the discussion and defining of optimum optical disc formats for the consumer and the related industries.

Toshiba also intends to maintain collaborative relations with the companies who joined with Toshiba in working to build up the HD DVD market, including Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, and DreamWorks Animation and major Japanese and European content providers on the entertainment side, as well as leaders in the IT industry, including Microsoft, Intel, and HP. Toshiba will study possible collaboration with these companies for future business opportunities, utilizing the many assets generated through the development of HD DVD.Source: Toshiba Japan
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38 Comments on Toshiba Announces Discontinuation of HD DVD Businesses

#1
Wile E
Power User
Well, looks like I better snap up those few HD DVDs that I wanted before they're gone. I'm too impatient to wait for them to release on Bluray. lol.
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#2
INSTG8R
Im glad I chose Blu-Ray. IMHO HD-DVD seemed to me like the "me too" solution to HD. As in I want to have an HD setup but dont want to pay for the "real deal"
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#4
effmaster
Thank you Toshiba. We still heart you. If you ever make a Blu Ray player I will only buy one from you.
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#5
CH33T03S
Now it is time to figure out which bluray player to buy.
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#6
effmaster
by: CH33T03S
Now it is time to figure out which bluray player to buy.
Im certainly not buying anything from Sony I know that much. i may end up buying a Samsung but even that wont be until they get their issues worked out, And I manage to scrape up enough cash to actually afford one.
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#7
bruins004
by: CH33T03S
Now it is time to figure out which bluray player to buy.
Right now the PS3 is the cheapest and one of the best Blu Ray players out there right now.
It is also the most future proof for Blu Ray profile 2.0.
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#8
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: CH33T03S
Now it is time to figure out which bluray player to buy.
The PS3 is honestly the best solution right now, mainly due to the easy of update when new Blu-Ray standards are released.
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#9
1c3d0g
EGGcellent. Now all I need is Transformers to be released on Blu-ray...hurry up Paramount/Dreamworks!
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#10
ChaoticBlankness
by: effmaster
Thank you Toshiba. We still heart you. If you ever make a Blu Ray player I will only buy one from you.
I hear you there man.. I've always loved Toshiba products. My TV, (1 of my) Laptop(s), and DVD player are Toshiba. They make fine long lasting products, but I could never bring myself to like HD DVD. I too would purchase a Toshiba Blu-Ray player if/when ever released.
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#11
lemonadesoda
I'm sorry Toshiba has thrown in the towel... WHIMPS!... and is locking up the HD-DVD technology and IP. It's a shame they didnt bite the volume bullet and say "HEY, we've decided to make HD-DVD a non premium product. Here you go everyone... OPEN SOURCE... let HD DVD be the new DVD at the same prices as DVD. That strategy would have won. Unfortunately they were too slow off the mark. Some of the Toshiba executives should go and fall on swords.

IMO, if MS had been running the HDDVD show, it wouldnt have failed so easily. Just goes to show that some companies are better market makers than others. (And SONY IS good at that, dispite a few hiccups in the past)

If the industry was clever... it could still use HDDVD for PC use for achiving large volumes of data... backups... data distribution etc... and keep BR strictly for movies. That way they would be more successful in keeping out pirating of movies by ripping from the media using a PC.

As for BR, then I agree with everyone else... go for the PS3. For the same price as a BR player you get a free console. It's also upgradeable.

I wonder if, however, there could be a lawsuit here... if the Toshiba lawyers are clever... just like MS was successfully sued for Internet Explorer and Media Player etc. as "built in features for free crowing out the market for competition", so could the PS3 receive similar complaint.

It's amazing that on a strategic level, HD DVD has failed ONLY due to the PS3... because the other standalone BR players have not sold any significant volume. So SONY has done a fantastic job winning a format war using a games console. Congratulations to them.
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#12
effmaster
by: lemonadesoda
I'm sorry Toshiba has thrown in the towel... WHIMPS!... and is locking up the HD-DVD technology and IP. It's a shame they didnt bite the volume bullet and say "HEY, we've decided to make HD-DVD a non premium product. Here you go everyone... OPEN SOURCE... let HD DVD be the new DVD at the same prices as DVD. That strategy would have won. Unfortunately they were too slow off the mark. Some of the Toshiba executives should go and fall on swords.

IMO, if MS had been running the HDDVD show, it wouldnt have failed so easily. Just goes to show that some companies are better market makers than others. (And SONY IS good at that, dispite a few hiccups in the past)

If the industry was clever... it could still use HDDVD for PC use for achiving large volumes of data... backups... data distribution etc... and keep BR strictly for movies. That way they would be more successful in keeping out pirating of movies by ripping from the media using a PC.

As for BR, then I agree with everyone else... go for the PS3. For the same price as a BR player you get a free console. It's also upgradeable.

I wonder if, however, there could be a lawsuit here... if the Toshiba lawyers are clever... just like MS was successfully sued for Internet Explorer and Media Player etc. as "built in features for free crowing out the market for competition", so could the PS3 receive similar complaint.

It's amazing that on a strategic level, HD DVD has failed ONLY due to the PS3... because the other standalone BR players have not sold any significant volume. So SONY has done a fantastic job winning a format war using a games console. Congratulations to them.
your right about many things lemonadesoda.
I agree that they should still sell HD DVDs cheaper than Blu ray discs if purely for storage capacities, and therfore make it easier for people who have HD DVDs to still play them in dual PC High Def DVD drives.
however I dont think that if Microsoft had been running the show that they would be any beter off. Microsoft was lazy with HD DVD this whole time around while not using any of their money reserves to help advertise HD DVD. All they reall did was release a HD DVD add on for the 360 and Help Toshiba to minimize its costs for HD DVD players. Thats about it.

Sony may have one the Blu ray battle by putting it in every PS3 but can they win the Console wars. I dont think that they can win both. Considering that the PS3 was almost considered to be a falure gamewise but not Blu Ray wise.
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#13
bruins004
by: effmaster
your right about many things lemonadesoda.
I agree that they should still sell HD DVDs cheaper than Blu ray discs if purely for storage capacities, and therfore make it easier for people who have HD DVDs to still play them in dual PC High Def DVD drives.
however I dont think that if Microsoft had been running the show that they would be any beter off. Microsoft was lazy with HD DVD this whole time around while not using any of their money reserves to help advertise HD DVD. All they reall did was release a HD DVD add on for the 360 and Help Toshiba to minimize its costs for HD DVD players. Thats about it.

Sony may have one the Blu ray battle by putting it in every PS3 but can they win the Console wars. I dont think that they can win both. Considering that the PS3 was almost considered to be a falure gamewise but not Blu Ray wise.
I wouldnt say it was a failure gamewise.
Their sales last year werent that great.
But if you look now, they have a lot of hot games coming out this year and on top of that they are beating XBox360 sales currently.
I think the PS3 is going to sell really well now and get more support from game publishers
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#14
effmaster
by: bruins004
I wouldnt say it was a failure gamewise.
Their sales last year werent that great.
But if you look now, they have a lot of hot games coming out this year and on top of that they are beating XBox360 sales currently.
I think the PS3 is going to sell really well now and get more support from game publishers
The only reason their beating xbox 360 sales is due to a shortaage of xbox 360s by Microsoft after not expecting so much demand for its console in January
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#15
Water Drop
It's a sad day for consumers. Now we gotta deal with Sony's DRM-ridden format. Watch as the prices sky rocket and all those "5 free" deals go away no that there is no competition in the marketplace. I was really hoping for a two format industry similar to DVD-R and DVD+R.

I for one will not be buying a Blu-Ray player for a long time. When they are about $100 USD, I may pick one up, and it certainly won't be a Sony. Samsung is alright in my book, I may buy one of their players when they are cheap.
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#16
jocksteeluk
Sony's strategy paid off in the end but I do fear a rapid price increase in Blu-ray media costs, it's Sony so it's inevitable.
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#17
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: Water Drop
It's a sad day for consumers. Now we gotta deal with Sony's DRM-ridden format. Watch as the prices sky rocket and all those "5 free" deals go away no that there is no competition in the marketplace. I was really hoping for a two format industry similar to DVD-R and DVD+R.

I for one will not be buying a Blu-Ray player for a long time. When they are about $100 USD, I may pick one up, and it certainly won't be a Sony. Samsung is alright in my book, I may buy one of their players when they are cheap.
HD-DVD used virtually the same DRM. The Blu-Ray format has the ability to use the same DRM format as HD-DVD or a more secure method. It is up to the actual movie studio to pick the DRM they use on their Discs. Options are always good, not that DRM really affects anyone in the Blu-Ray war. The only people that complain about it are the pirates that don't matter anyway.
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#18
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
for all of you worried about when titles like transformers and the matrix will be out for blu-ray i read that universal already has stacks of these movies in blu-ray format just waiting for the word to release them. im sure universal had a key role in helping toshiba decide what to do. so if i am right we will see those important hd-dvd releases hit blu-ray in stores sometime in march. oh, and congrats Sony you finally won a format war! sony FTW

sony :nutkick: toshiba
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#19
Dr. Spankenstein
Here's how it's all gonna go down:

M$ wanted to get Sony into a format war so that they would expend massive amounts of resources in order to "win". With the (literally) billions that Sony has invested they are kinda "on their heels" (to coin a boxing term) and M$ will deliver the knockout with downloadable content, which had been the business model they have been moving toward before this whole thing started.
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#20
Ravenas
by: Dr. Spankenstein
Here's how it's all gonna go down:

M$ wanted to get Sony into a format war so that they would expend massive amounts of resources in order to "win". With the (literally) billions that Sony has invested they are kinda "on their heels" (to coin a boxing term) and M$ will deliver the knockout with downloadable content, which had been the business model they have been moving toward before this whole thing started.
I think you and Micheal Bay would get along just right. :laugh:

Anyhow, thankfully it's over...Unknowing customer were constantly getting ripped off with dead products. Why do you think retailers had more HD-DVD returns than they actually had HD-DVD products on their shelves.
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#21
ktr
Now that this format war is over, a new one begins...BLU-RAY VS. DIGITAL DOWNLOADS....FIGHT!!!
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#22
suraswami
Can the HD-DVD players be hacked to read Blu-ray disks? Is it the same ray they use? If so that will be fun.
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#23
effmaster
by: suraswami
Can the HD-DVD players be hacked to read Blu-ray disks? Is it the same ray they use? If so that will be fun.
They both use blue laser diodes but the thing is that Blu ray uses a shorter wavelength than HD DVD. Making it very expensive to do. It has to be the other way where Blu ray players can read HD DVDs whch is why the LLG and Sa,msung players were Blu ray players with a secondary capability to play HD DVDs
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#24
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
by: ktr
Now that this format war is over, a new one begins...BLU-RAY VS. DIGITAL DOWNLOADS....FIGHT!!!
i dont know if there will be a format war between those two. that is like saying DVD was in a format war with VHS. i think perhaps digital downloads will be the successor, but will not be in a format war with blu-ray.
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#25
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
So effmaster, did you nod your head in silence at this announcement? :lol: sorry, couldnt help myself. I wish Toshibas Consortium and Sonys Consortium just would have reached an agreement a few years back and none of this would ever have happened. Google it if you dont know what Im talking about.
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