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Toshiba to drop HD DVD

BBC News is reporting that shares of Toshiba have risen over speculation that it will scrap the HD DVD format. Toshiba was one of the pioneers of the format and has stood by it even after it was eclipsed by Blu-ray.

The article states that Toshiba is "reviewing its business strategies" but no decision has been made about HD DVD's future yet. This reflects a change in Toshiba's attitudes as it used to answer a firm "yes, the format will continue" when asked.

I hope Toshiba kills it sooner rather than later, as not only are they hurting themselves and the industry, but they are prolonging the inevitable. I think the major complaint about Blu-ray - price - will become a non-factor in the future as the industry can now focus its resources on one format to bring down prices, instead of splitting them between two. Also, technological improvements over time and increased demand will lower production costs and bring down prices as well.

Some people are wondering if it will all be in vain, as the download industry is just starting to take off. That remains to be seen but I don't think they are ready to directly compete with discs yet though.

Update 2/19/08: It's official. Toshiba has now suspended production of HD DVD players and recorders but will continue to clear out its inventory until March. This is a lot earlier than I had originally expected, so well done Toshiba for not drawing it out.
Posted by Jon Chappell on Feb 18 2008 to Analysis, DVD, Industry