Toshiba ditches HD-DVD as Blu-Ray triumphsBlu-Ray wins the high definition DVD format war

19 February 2008

Blu-ray high definition

Blu-ray is the high-definition DVD format

Toshiba has finally conceded defeat in its battle for supremacy of the high-definition DVD market.

The Japanese manufacturer had been locked in a format war with Sony’s rival Blu-Ray disc for dominance of the next-generation DVD business. But now it seems that Blu-Ray has won.

Toshiba’s HD-DVD format had been left reeling in recent months after entertainment industry heavyweights such as Warner Bros said they were backing Blu-Ray.

Now Toshiba has said it will no longer develop, manufacture and market HD-DVD players and recorders.

DVD players

President and chief executive of Toshiba Corporation Atsutoshi Nishida said: ‘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.’

Toshiba will continue to supply retailers with machines until the end of March this year.

After that, Toshiba will continue to provide technical support to the estimated 1 million people worldwide who own an HD-DVD player.

High definition movies

Some major Hollywood studios, including Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation, had signed up to produce HD-DVD movies

It is unclear how they will react to Toshiba’s withdrawal from the market but analysts predict there will be a reduction of new high-definition movies available in the HD-DVD format.

Toshiba's decision to ditch HD-DVD should also lead to a growth in popularity in high-definition DVD technology as it clears up confusion over which would become the dominant format.

Which? technology expert Lizzy Payne said: 'Some consumers have been reluctant to invest in high-definition DVD technology because of the rival formats from Toshiba and Sony. Toshiba's decision to exit the market will make it easier for consumers who wish to upgrade their DVD player as they know if they opt for a Blu-Ray player, they won't be left with a piece of obsolete equipment.'