Toshiba's official press release:

Company Remains Focused on Championing Consumer Access to High Definition Content

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.

And Universal's official statement announcing blu-ray support:
"The path for widespread adoption of the next-generation platform has finally become clear. Universal will continue its aggressive efforts to broaden awareness for hi-def’s unparalleled offerings in interactivity and connectivity, at an increasingly affordable price. The emergence of a single, high-definition format is cause for consumers, as well as the entire entertainment industry, to celebrate. While Universal values the close partnership we have shared with Toshiba, it is time to turn our focus to releasing new and catalog titles on Blu-ray."
Just cut them up like regular chickens

Re: HD-DVD discussion

MP3newswire wrote:HD-DVD Outselling Blu-Ray? Dead Format Flies Off Discount Shelves

By Richard Menta 3/23/08

NPD recently predicted that Blu-Ray unit sales will make gains by the end of this year and that is a very reasonable statement considering that Blu-ray won the high definition DVD wars. Of course, NPD also found that most people are happy enough with their standard DVD and are in no hurry to switch to an HD format. Maybe, Sony should not have celebrated its victory by raising Blu-ray prices. That's one reason. Here is another.

A March 21st news story we picked up from TG Daily is quite interesting. Among the percentage of consumers who are investing in high definition today many are choosing the dead format. Demand is so strong for HD-DVD, thanks to steep price drops, that supplies on remaining HD-DVD player stocks and HD-DVD discs are drying up very quickly. They may be within a week of a selling out and demand for some HD-DVD units are so strong prices are jumping back up again. From the article:
If you are interested in purchasing the flagship model HD-A35, you will have to scour the market and you are likely to see a steep price: One month ago, the HD-A35 was sold by 267 retailers. Now there are only eight retailers offering the player, according to Pricegrabber.com, while only six have the device actually in stock. The average retail price is currently $466.62, with a low of $239.95 and a high of $499.

Of course, these numbers have to be taken with a grain of salt. But if Pricegrabber.com in fact reflects true market conditions and you are still interested in buying one of those HD DVD players, you may want to start looking rather sooner than later.

In our March 7th article "HD-DVD Players, Films Dumped on eBay - Buyers Flock" the price for the then ample number of Toshiba HD-A35 units was hovering at the $150 mark. Still, the difference between the cheapest Blu-ray player ($400) and cheapest HD-DVD player (the HD-A3 is running $59.99 at several retail stores) is significant. The post-mortem HD-DVD buyer can buy a lot of HD-DVD discs for that difference, particularly with HD-DVD discs selling for a third the cost of Blu-ray titles.

Frankly, the math definitely favors buying HD-DVD today only to chuck it for Blu-ray two years down the road. By then Blu-ray players will all be Profile 2.0 and selling for under $100. Right now all those pricey Blu-ray players are Profile 1.1 and are not upgradeable. That mean they won't be able to access all the features on future Blu-ray titles. Yep, the Blu-ray player you buy today itself will be somewhat obsolete in several months.

Toshiba probably had over 100,000 finished players in the retail pipeline before they stopped production. Discarded formats tend to linger on shelves for ages like a bad cold, but HD-DVD units are selling out extremely quickly. Even if most buyers are simply picking one up as a cheap up-converter for their standard DVDs, that's 100,000 people who are not buying Blu-ray for the time being. Even though it is probably inevitable that they will go Blu-ray at some point and even though the remaining HD-DVD players will be gone very soon this is a problem for Sony. That's because those 100,000 people are lost to Blu-ray for the short term and the long term could bring another technology that will appeal to customers more.


Re: HD-DVD discussion

so, uh... CH-DVD??
Ars wrote:Chinese HD format: It's blue, but not "Blu-ray"

A Chinese industry consortium is moving forward with plans to launch its own high-definition disc format, and the group has announced the beginning of volume production by the end of the year, DigiTimes reports. The whole venture, however, seems unlikely to succeed due to cost issues and lack of studio support.

Last September, the Optical Memory National Engineering Research Center announced that it was developing a new disc format called CH-DVD, to be released by the beginning of this year. Although remarkably similar to HD DVD, the new format purportedly would incorporate novel Chinese-derived technologies to separate it from the other technology. These technologies included "advanced copy protection technology" and Chinese-owned codecs for video and audio. China's manufacturers and its government seemed to be trying to minimize use of foreign intellectual property for cost saving and mercantilist reasons.

At the same time, though, they didn't hesitate to build on the progress of other HD technologies to the maximum extent possible, and the group ended up with a format similar to HD DVD. Chinese concerns had tried this trick in the past with other technologies, ranging from SD video discs to WiFi to office documents.

China would, the reasoning went, become a mecca for making HD DVDs and equipment because of manufacturing synergies between HD DVD and CH-DVD. Some even thought the Chinese would try to launch their disc format elsewhere in the world. The demise of HD DVD makes this kind of three-way slugfest sadly impossible, however.

Blue, but not "blu-ray"
In the meantime, OMNERC and its partners are plugging away with plans to release what has been renamed China Blue High-definition Disk, or CBHD. Shanghai United Optical Disc has completed its first plant for producing CBHD discs, and a number of other Chinese optical drive manufacturers have announced similar plans.

They cite the low cost of converting DVD production facilities to CBHD and the low licensing fees charged by the CBHD group, compared to Blu-ray, as reasons for the switch. Converting a DVD production line to CBHD costs only $800,000, they claim, instead of some $3 million to convert to Blu-ray disc production. Used HD DVD equipment may lower this number further.

Meanwhile, the Chinese group has pegged player license fees at $8, much less than the Blu-ray group. Chinese drivemakers think these advantages add up to a coup for their new format. Their Taiwanese counterparts are bearish on the idea, though, saying CBHD will be unable to compete with Blu-ray even in its home market.

They have reason to think so. HD DVD offered very similar advantages, including volume shipments of low-priced players, and it met with failure. In the mean time, Blu-ray has advanced and can be manufactured more cheaply, making a price war in China more feasible for Blu-ray purveyors if CBHD ever becomes competitive. No major Hollywood studio has announced distribution on CBHD, barring American movies from appearing legally on the format. With these problems, CBHD seems as likely to fail as HD DVD did.

Beware the pirates

Pirated content could change this. China is known for massive piracy of movies, and if CBHD offers the pirates a cheap and easy way to produce and distribute pirated movies in high definition, these movies could drive sales of CBHD players. The Chinese government may also subsidize the format on mercantilist reasoning. This combination of factors, if it emerges, could be the bane of antipiracy efforts in China.

The prospect of a renewed format war is not an encouraging one. Although prices haven't continued their downward plunge, Blu-ray adoption is rising, and widespread HD adoption is a good thing. Continuing format wars would probably be undesirable for consumers in other countries, but for Chinese-language and other licensed CBHD content, the prospect of a cheap HD format using cast-aside HD DVD technology might be a pleasing one.

Blu-ray purveyors may be pleased to segment Chinese piracy into a Chinese sandbox, while allowing BD to reign with licensed content. At any rate, the continuing adventures of CBHD will provide fascinating entertainment for the duration of the format's existence.

if recent history is any indication, each disc should only cost sixty-teen bajillion dollars.

maybe teh Ø consortium could invent our own standard as well.

Re: HD-DVD discussion

This well be used for pirates and that's it.
I don't feel like chasing down the article, but Toshiba is also creating their own new format (again) that is sort of a super upconversion of SD DVD. They refuse to play the blu game so they're going it on their own again. I suspect after it fails their next big idea will unconverting VHS players. :dunno:
Just cut them up like regular chickens

Re: HD-DVD discussion

[url=http://www.techtree.com/India/News/Nobody_Wants_Blu-ray_—_Study/551-91814-581.html]Techtree[/url] wrote:Nobody Wants Blu-ray -- Study

Consumers do not want Blu-ray, says a research firm. A consumer survey done by ABI Research revealed that over half of the 1000 respondents had 'other priorities,' to buying a Blu-ray player, saying that they had no plans to purchase one; a further 23% are likely to buy, but not until sometime in 2009. ABI Research principal analyst Steve Wilson said that there wasn't much value proposition seen in a Blu-ray player or in content "Consumers were happy to embrace standard DVD when that format arrived because the improvement in quality over VHS videotapes was dramatic. Standard DVD didn't require the purchase of a new TV either. In contrast, while half of the respondents to our survey rated Blu-ray's quality as 'much better' than standard DVD, another 40% termed it only 'somewhat better,' and most are very satisfied with the performance of their current DVD players." Another reason cited was that a Blu-ray investment also dictates an HDTV purchase, something consumers are reluctant to do.

ABI Research suggests that the bright spot for Blu-ray is the Sony PlayStation 3 gaming console -- that the installed base for Blu-ray players continues to climb with increasing sales of the PS3. "While you might think gamers purchase fewer movie discs that others, we didn't see any significant evidence of that in our results," says Wilson. "PS3 console shipments will go a long way to help bring down manufacturing costs and drive down Blu-ray player prices."

Incidentally, a study done in the month of June [PDF attachment] this year showed that Blu-ray adoption had outpaced DVD adoption, due largely to the rate at which PS3 consoles were selling.

Blu-ray has won the hi-definition war against HD-DVD, it remains to be seen whether it can now win the hearts of consumers everywhere.

Re: HD-DVD discussion

Haven't bought Blu-ray, have no intention to. Perfectly happy with cheapy, plain old DVD for now.
This is a snakeskin jacket. And for me it's a symbol of my individuality and my belief in personal freedom.

Re: HD-DVD discussion

O-dot wrote:Haven't bought Blu-ray, have no intention to. Perfectly happy with cheapy, plain old DVD for now.

with a good TV, it makes a HUGE, very discernable difference. that's the issue we're facing with this, though - not many want to/can afford to upgrade both at once, plus a $100 cable. i personally got lucky - free = nice.

Re: HD-DVD discussion

TC wrote:
O-dot wrote:Haven't bought Blu-ray, have no intention to. Perfectly happy with cheapy, plain old DVD for now.

with a good TV, it makes a HUGE, very discernable difference. that's the issue we're facing with this, though - not many want to/can afford to upgrade both at once, plus a $100 cable. i personally got lucky - free = nice.

Maybe when I upgrade to a larger set, but that's not anywhere in the near future.
This is a snakeskin jacket. And for me it's a symbol of my individuality and my belief in personal freedom.

Re: HD-DVD discussion

I think blu-ray is going to be a more gradual shift-over than dvd. They keep comparing things to DVD, which was the fasted adopted technology in history. For some reason anything slower than that now is seen as a "failure." What will most likely happen is as HD sets take over more and more and continue to get cheaper and cheaper, we'll see people upgrading their disc player at the same time. It's already almost to the point where you can't buy a new TV that's not HD. By the same token, since blu-ray players play dvd's as well, as player prices get cheaper and cheaper over the next few years, eventually we'll get to a point there when someone goes to replace their dvd player they'll buy a blu-ray one by default.
The other factor they don't account for in that survey is that with the economy in the current shape it is, people are reluctant to spend any amount of money on extra goodies such as consumer electronics, especially at the current price point. Feeding their 20 kids and keeping their subprime mortgaged house are higher priorities than buying new tv's and players.
Just cut them up like regular chickens


klimov wrote:I'll keep Miami Vice given it's a combo...
I gather that the blu ray is only the unrated director's cut, not the theatrical. Lame.
This is a snakeskin jacket. And for me it's a symbol of my individuality and my belief in personal freedom.

Re: HD-DVD discussion

_Marcus_ wrote:A lovely thread to go back into, exactly five years later :)
Still have my HD-DVD player. There are a few titles believe it or not that actually haven't made it to Blu-ray yet but were released on hd-dvd. But I haven't turned it on in ages.
Just cut them up like regular chickens

Re: HD-DVD discussion

_Marcus_ wrote:A lovely thread to go back into, exactly five years later :)
Hah, completely unintentional on my part. Just couldn't find a more proper thread to gripe about the absence of a Blu ray of the MV theatrical edition.
This is a snakeskin jacket. And for me it's a symbol of my individuality and my belief in personal freedom.