Toshiba to Release a Blu-ray Player?

Posted by Dave Cowl on February 13, 2008 
Filed Under: Blu-ray, Format War

toshiba.jpgIn the ‘not sure I believe this’ category, 1080Living is reporting that Toshiba has a Blu-ray player in the works.

Apparently the player was originally scheduled for September 2008 but may be moved up to July given the recent events in the marketplace.

One source cited 2 players are in the works with a price target of $250 and $350.00. 

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31 Responses to “Toshiba to Release a Blu-ray Player?”

  1. Marwan Haddad on February 13th, 2008 9:35 pm

    This is the end of times!

  2. Jesterrace on February 14th, 2008 12:15 am

    If this is accurate I wouldn’t mind. Toshiba as a whole has shown that they can produce a fairly stable high-def machine and it would be a very nice cost-effective alternative to the other name brand machines which are either iffy or horribly over-priced.

  3. Kevin Murphy on February 14th, 2008 1:34 am

    I would prefer they offered cheap duals. For them to abandon their HD DVD customers would be a bit of bridge-burning they really don’t need to do right now.

  4. luvincharity on February 14th, 2008 4:04 am

    I hope this is true and that we will be hearing an official announcment soon. This is too coincedental to be all made up and I keep hearing rumor about a ammouncment on the 15th of Feb. Has anyone heard what it is in regards to?

  5. Jared on February 14th, 2008 4:08 am

    They better since the war is over anyway!

  6. Chance Johnson on February 14th, 2008 4:18 am

    I know our Toshiba rep at work mentioned that they were gearing up for some new 4th gen players for HD-DVD. But that was the day before the netflix, best buy announcements…

  7. Jason Kenyon on February 14th, 2008 4:35 am

    If this is a profile 2.0 player, I’ll buy it.

  8. Jonsson on February 14th, 2008 4:50 am

    No rather than “burn the bridges” it’s much better for them to continue to dump out their obsolete hardware and screw people over.

    I mean, people can always use them as door-stops once they discover that their players can not handle the dominant disk format?

    Having said that, even if this would be most welcome news, I have a hard time believing it. At least for the time being.

    For Toshiba to release a Blu-ray player would be the same as putting the final nail in the HD-DVD coffin. If Toshiba so clearly demonstrates that it no longer believes HD-DVD has a chance, well…:-)

  9. Ryan on February 14th, 2008 5:20 am

    Isn’t the “final nail in the coffin” analogy overused by now? Someone needs to invent a new saying for all this …

  10. Jonsson on February 14th, 2008 5:28 am

    Well I would say that a suitable saying for “all this” right now seems to be “The Last Stand”.

    Who plays the role of Custer, Uni, Para or Toshiba?

  11. Blake on February 14th, 2008 5:47 am

    The “nail in the coffin” phrase is getting quite old. How man “final” nails can there be?

    This story would be more believable if it were a combo player. I like Toshiba, and I own a HD DVD player, but if they were to release a BD only player… there’s a snowball’s chance in Hell I’d ever buy from them again.

  12. DS2 on February 14th, 2008 8:31 am

    If Toshi put out a combo player for 350 bucks, that would rule the roost!

    Hey I can dream, right? :P

  13. Dave Cowl on February 14th, 2008 9:09 am

    Perhaps they would have difficulty with the aggressive price points for a dual player.

    Also releasing a BD player doesn’t mean they won’t make HD DVD players anymore… It would just be another revenue stream for them.

    You know that Sony (and Toshiba for that matter) made a lot of VHS decks, even though they started with Beta…

  14. Mehar on February 14th, 2008 10:24 am

    I doubt this, Toshiba has a “monopoly” when it comes to HD DVD players, they even make money off the 360 add on! For them to switch now would be odd, espically since the price points have dropped to a point where people can jump in and not worry about blowing hundreds on a player that isn’t the final winner.

    Their is no denying the 360 add on will have a price drop of under $100, why? Because people see their is a $20 difference between the add on and a standalone player, so more people would just pitch in the $20 and get a player that supports next gen audio.

    With Blu Ray however the phrase “To manny cooks in the kitchen” comes to mind. THeir are so many comapanies producing Blu Ray players that it would make it harder for them to sell their players. No doubt we will see another price drop on the 40GB ps3, and Sony pushes the fact that the PS3 is the only future proof Blu Ray player on the market, if they have a price drop the $350 player will see unppealing, infact if the price points are true it already seems unapealing! For $50 more I could get a PS3, I highly doubt that at these price point’s those players will support anything beyond profile 1.1 or what ever its called.

  15. Dave Cowl on February 14th, 2008 11:27 am

    Perhaps some small percentage of the BD player market will exceed the whole of the HD DVD player market…? ;)

    We have already seen weeks where LG with their Combo has as much revenue as Toshiba HD DVD players.

  16. Mi on February 14th, 2008 11:28 am

    Wow. So keep exclusivity on a format that has no future, rather than sell product that is selling so well that the majority of CE companies are ,making and selling them.

    I don’t think they’ve got one imminent at this point, but none of your logic is logic.

    In any event, it’s too late for me. I’ll never buy another toshiba product because of their belligerent insistence to continue this format war.

  17. Dave Cowl on February 14th, 2008 12:23 pm


    The Feb 15 news is supposedly a studio announcement that perhaps would make Mr Bay happy.

    Last I heard it may be pushed off to Monday…

  18. Mi on February 14th, 2008 2:13 pm

    He sounds a little ‘happy’ already, but I’m intrigued just the same!

  19. lark on February 14th, 2008 2:27 pm

    Link to this announcment please.

  20. Mehar on February 14th, 2008 2:47 pm

    What kind of annoucnment are they planning? Can you link to a source that states what the announcment could be?

  21. Belard on February 14th, 2008 5:17 pm

    I doubt there will ever be any 4th gen Toshiba HD-DVD players. Afterall, the A3 series is STILL NEW, its rather easy to find A2s still (I think the A2/A20 looks nicer and more PRO than the newer A3/A30s)

    It costs quite a bit of money to replace face-plates, etc etc… for a dying format.

    To a degree… There are still 1st gen Blus on the market, mostly 2nd gens…. 3rds are just about to come out now.

    When SONY went to VHS, it was about a month or so between their announcement to concede to VHS and to have actual VHS units on the market… A lot of SONY customers wanted SONY VHS VCRs. I loved all my SONY VHS units.

  22. Kevin Murphy on February 15th, 2008 12:34 am

    Why would a combo player necessarily cost more (for TOSHIBA) than a straight blu-ray. Any drive that meets BD tolerances will easily meet the less demanding HD DVD ones. Processor, video out, buttons, lights, case, etc are all the same.

    They would have to buy the BD software and licenses in either case, but they own both for HD DVD, so where’s the extra cost? Maybe they have to buy a different chipset for something or other, but I really don’t see it costing _Toshiba_ more to make a combo than a BD-only player.

    It would cost more than an HD DVD player, of course. Pretty sure Sony would want their license money. Or maybe not. Maybe Sony would grant them a free perpetual license if they surrender.

  23. Kevin Murphy on February 15th, 2008 12:37 am

    BTW, Sony made Betas (and improved upon them) LONG after Beta was dead in the marketplace. They kept the faith with their Beta customers, so that they could always play their Beta software, and private recordings. Pretty sure you could buy a Beta player well into the 90s.

    Why should Toshiba not do the same?

  24. Mehar on February 15th, 2008 8:22 am

    Kevin you can still buy a Beta player to a certain extent. Sony cam corders have HD Beta or something like that in them, its the succesor to the retunned Beta Max tape.

  25. Dave Cowl on February 15th, 2008 8:55 am

    There would be extra costs since you would have to have the HD DVD HDi licensing as well as the BD side.

    It is apparent that LG and Samsung have been able to create dual players, so it is certainly possible – I don’t see any reason to believe that Toshiba can beat the Koreans on price point (except perhaps that Toshiba does seem to like ‘loss leading’ their players).

    As for the beta scenario, perhaps you should research what Toshiba did when they dropped beta for VHS – probably more realistic a scenario than what Sony did at that time… though I guess Sony was to Beta as Toshiba is to HD DVD…

  26. Kevin Murphy on February 15th, 2008 9:21 am


    Consider the reaction of HD DVD early adopters — folks with 50+ HD DVDs to a complete abandonment by Toshiba. They may be unhappy about the turn in the format war, but they would reserve a special place in hell for Toshiba for stabbing them in the back.

    And, as you know, early adopters typically are the folks that others ask for advice. Toshiba needs to keep *someone* on their side. I don’t think they’re that stupid, although they could always prove me wrong. They did lose a war they should have won on price/performance.

  27. Dave Cowl on February 15th, 2008 10:33 am

    The problem with the HD DVD strategy was the idea that cheaper players was the market driver.

    Content is the market driver. What they should have done was to work harder on the studios – a few more Paramount like deals and it would all look a lot different.

    Perhaps they tried, I dunno, but really the key for the BDA was the content they secured.

    Other advantages like ‘more than one player maker’ that BD has would have changed if the HD DVD content was there to create demand for the HD DVD players…

  28. Mehar on February 15th, 2008 1:15 pm

    That is exactly it Dave, infact if Universal and Paramount get off their asses and start announcing what people want to see, they could actually stand a fight. If all their gonna say is “oh were gonna wait and see what Toshiba says” then they are doomed. Those 2/3 companies released very little of what people actually want on HD DVD, sure The THing, The Mummy, King Kong, etc are good movies, but those were released before Blu Ray was on the market, after Blu Ray was released those comapanies started to slow down their releaes of the good titles that could have changed the tide on this format war. Warner was the only one who was and still is releasing the good titles that people want to show off on HD.

  29. Belard on February 15th, 2008 4:45 pm

    Kevin Murphy:

    Sony was able to continue making BetaMAX VCRs because there were over 15million in the market place after 12years (1988). The last BetaMAX made was in 2002.

    HD-DVD is 2years old, tops. VHS won on recording time, even thou BetaMAX had better technlogoy. I wouldn’t call blu better or worse than HD-DVD, different and longer recording time.

    There isn’t enough users to support it. BetaMAX continued because they were VCRs you could buy blank tapes and record. My VHS tapes are recorded shows, etc and rented some tapes… very few pre-recorded tapes. For most of the market – HD-DVD are just players. No new software = death.

    Personally, I could care less about the GUI on either. Here is what *I* want. Put a disc in, play a movie. Easy access to scenes. Easy click access to extra features.

    Toshiba is not stabbing anyone in the back. They’ve lost dozens of millions of dollars on HD-DVD. They will make a BR only player… But I doubt they’ll make a dual-format player… they may… but I don’t think so. Unless they are able to use a single laser head to do it. But that would cost millions of development money to engineer that. And NEW HD customers won’t buy such a player, only current HD-DVD owners would buy it. But how many WOULD buy it? Toshiba wouldn’t be paying for HD-DVD royalities, but they would pay Microsoft licence for the software… as well as SONY & SUN. At best a Toshiba combo player may cost $100 over a standard BR player.

  30. Mehar on February 15th, 2008 5:49 pm

    Belard, the new Betamax tapes were to my knowledge incompatible with the old technology. I think it would be safe to say that the HD players are nearing a mark of atleast 2 million, since 1 million was officaly reported, add in the price drops and the news that stores were selling out, etc.

  31. jouni on February 24th, 2008 12:07 pm

    I would buy Toshiba BluRay profile 2.0 player in a heart beat. Especially if the UI of the player stays pretty much the same as with the HD players. Would be killer if it was combo HD-DVD/BluRay profile 2.0.

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