Toshiba Says to Quit HD DVD, Ending Format War

Posted by Dave Cowl on February 19, 2008 
Filed Under: Format War, HD DVD

hddvd.thumbnail.jpgMuch as we all expected, the press release came from Toshiba today stating that it would stop promoting and producing its HD DVD format for the next-generation DVD.

The decision ends a war between rival consortiums led by Toshiba and Sony
vying to set the standard for high-definition movies on DVDs.

Toshiba said it would begin to reduce shipments of HD DVD players and recorders
and aim to end the business by the end of next month.

With this now official, it will be interesting to see how the studios react in the morning…

Related posts:

  1. Latest VideoScan Market Share and Toshiba to Drop HD DVD?
  2. How HD DVD Almost Won The Format War
  3. Toshiba Reaffirms Blu-ray Stance
  4. Target to Announce Sony Blu-ray Standalone Player End Caps In Store
  5. Sony Unveils Blu-ray Recorders With “Toshiba Killer”


22 Responses to “Toshiba Says to Quit HD DVD, Ending Format War”

  1. Felix on February 19th, 2008 12:52 am

    I love what I see at exactly 5PM….. Toshiba press release came out, and engadget declaring it over.

    Finally BD wins. My investment over 3 BD players and 64 BD discs are safe.

  2. Jonsson on February 19th, 2008 12:58 am

    Finally they got the message !!!

    So Para and Uni, time for you too to finally accept reality and start to churn out those Blu disks.

  3. Dave Cowl on February 19th, 2008 1:04 am

    It will be interesting to see how timely the missing studios join in with Blu-ray. In a lot of ways there is not too much incentive to release rapidly since there is no format war forcing competition.

    On the other hand they might not want to get too far behind and also having HD day and date with DVD has proven very advantageous in the past.

    Personally I am looking forward to picking up a few key Universal titles moving forward.

  4. Jesterrace on February 19th, 2008 1:15 am

    I am looking forward to the HD-DVD clearance sales. Nothing like cheap high-def titles. ;) Should keep me busy until Blu-Ray is finalized and affordable.

  5. Belard on February 19th, 2008 1:34 am

    RIP HD-DVD, today it it is buried… The 16th was death on the table.

    I think we can forget about the other 2 nails, they just need to bury the coffin and then bury the shovel.

    So what are the plans for this site… ? Some of the info here is quite helpful and could be for quite a while for both HD-DVD owners and Blu-Ray with the stats and such.

    Toshiba should have new Blu-Ray players by Sept to be ready for the new Christmas season.

  6. Tyler Pruitt on February 19th, 2008 3:28 am


    I really haven’t decided on the site’s future… have though about shifting it to a Discs vs. Downloads site, But who knows….

  7. Belard on February 19th, 2008 3:39 am

    Well… I don’t think HD-Downloads are even close. If you check out some direct comparisons between Blu, AppleTV, HD cable and DVD, they all look like junk compared to Blu.

    But as long as this site isn’t costing much or in the black for ads.. :)

    There is still a few months of sorting out the mess as HD-DVD dissappears from stores, inventory and such. When I go to Costco tomorrow, I’ll bet that ALL the HD-DVD players are gone OR sold Special clearence of $50. Cosctco has a rule that you have 90 days to RETURN anything electronic. They sure don’t want this.

  8. The Guardian on February 19th, 2008 4:22 am

    Tyler, what about a three-way war between BD, Downloads and SD DVD?

    Obviously SD DVD will lose in the long run but who knows how long it will hold out?

  9. Ralf the Dog on February 19th, 2008 7:01 am

    What happens if Toshiba does not unleash Paramount and Universal? It is starting to look like Toshiba is just washing their hands of HD and walking away. They are not backing Blu-ray.

  10. Jared on February 19th, 2008 7:42 am

    Good, its over! Also, Para and Universal are not bound to there contracts with Toshiba anymore.

  11. Jonsson on February 19th, 2008 7:56 am

    I certainly hope that Universal and Paramount comes out with a clear and un-ambigous statement sone.

    Wouldn’t suprise me one bit if those moorons try to squirm around for a while longer trying to find some way of saying they they wheren’t really wrong and why they shouldn’t start to publish their films on Blu :-(

  12. Juan on February 19th, 2008 8:28 am

    I’m surprized that this was announced before the release of a few good HD DVD movies like Beowolf & Bee Movie but I guess Toshiba cares more about thier own losses. It would be nice to see Paramount, Universal & Warner Brothers all adopt a format exchange program to trade HD DVD for Blu-ray versions of the same movie (when they are released in time). I feel that buying a movie on HD DVD for the same price as Blu-ray media should show the Hollywood studios that the purchase (which was obviously recently) was the customer saying “I am supporting/paying for a 1080p version of this movie”. It could be an exchange that would promote the studio that produces the movie and get HD DVD adopters to support Blu-Hardware. It would prompt those who supported the losing format to give thanks and embrace the winning camp’s generosity. The individuals who supported HD DVD are the people who are more likely to puchase more 1080p content anyway and probably the ones who own 1080p sets ready to make use of thier home theatre and go Blu (like me). The people who never bought Blu-ray or HD DVD get nothing because they were never willing to shell out hundreds. But people who already spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars (on HD DVD) would probably continue to spend hundreds of dollars (now on Blu-ray) if their support for specific 1080p titles can be compensated by the studios who produced them. Or how about a $5 dollar trade in so the studio could make more money directly as opposed to distributing it through retailers? HD DVD only has about 400 titles so it shouldn’t be too difficult. It’s just wishful thinking.

  13. Belard on February 19th, 2008 9:06 am

    Hey guys… need to update your hardware a bit. On the Samsung 5500 – put “Canceled” ;)

    I expect we’ll have double the BR players in 6 months.

  14. Merrick97 on February 19th, 2008 9:15 am

    Now Universal has publicly commented that they will join the bluray fray.

  15. Belard on February 19th, 2008 9:45 am

    Okay… that leaves Parmount. I’d have thought they would have a press release ready to go by now considering that HD-DVD has been dying hard for the past few days.

    And kind of odd, the day of the release of the LAST Universal HD-DVD disc is the day the format dies. ouch.

  16. Dave Cowl on February 19th, 2008 10:01 am

    @Belard: For my part I think we still have a lot to talk about. Moving forward we have perhaps a war within the format between the studios as well as the progress against DVD.

    I will also be writing on my site where I have just started a news log, , with perhaps news more regarding releases and such, as well as site news.

    In any case, as long as there are people interested in news and discussion, I am sure that we will be happy to help out :D

  17. Marc Kenig on February 19th, 2008 10:24 am

    HEY TOSHIBA: How about putting your HD-DVD player repair manuals online?

    HEY TOSHIBA: How about putting the instructions for HD-DVD players to be non-region encoded for SD discs?

    HEY TOSHIBA: How about a firmware upgrade to allow HD-DVD players to play non-native format SD disks? (If the player *knows* the SD-DVD is PAL, why not play the damned DVD like my other players?).

    HEY TOSHIBA: How about putting the (non-licensed)HD-DVD player firmware/softwre architecture into open source?

  18. Mehar on February 19th, 2008 2:16 pm

    RIP HD DVD, I knew things were going down hill when Toshiba bought that DAMN CELL FACTORY from Sony in December. I hope the small handfull of releases aren’t cancelled.

    Tyler: THe format wars aren’t over, Blu Ray, DVD (Upscaled), HD VMD, Digital Downloads, and mabye CH DVD. I think this site will be around for a while.

  19. Abriael on February 20th, 2008 12:16 am

    Victory is where it belongs.
    And as much as the press spent the whole 2007 slinging mud at the PS3, Blu-Ray enthusiasts can probably thank Sony’s apparently kamikaze, but on the long term winning decision to delay PS3′s release to include a blu-ray player in it.

    Without Sony’s console, the format war would definately be still going on now.

  20. Scott on February 20th, 2008 8:58 am

    I’m not bothered either way i own both blu ray and hd dvd players and have films for both, just hope i can get hold of some cheap hd’s now and i really hope blu ray take their time on releasing their movies now as they have been completely rushed out and i must admit some of the hd dvd titles do look far better than some of the blu rays picture quality wise.
    How can Blu Ray release Terminator 2 on blu ray a 50gb compacity disc with no extras yet there has been about 5 sd versions out previous with discs and discs of extras :( .
    Rant over.

  21. Dave Cowl on February 20th, 2008 3:03 pm

    Aside from T2 being a BD25 wit MPEG2 encoding, I think you have a point.

    Personally I expect we will see a BD release on BD50 with both theatrical and extended using seamless branching, AVC codec and 7.1 LPCM or DTS-MA.

    Actually I kinda hope they do… even though T2 has been like the most released movie of all time..?

  22. Belard on February 20th, 2008 10:24 pm

    Mehar says: ” THe format wars arenít over, Blu Ray, DVD (Upscaled), HD VMD, Digital Downloads, and mabye CH DVD.”

    CH-DVD = Doubt it. It’s based off HD-DVD tech & media manucturing (low cost to them). But with HD-DVD gone that will have an effect. CH-DVD is not in format war because its ONLY for the China market. Chinese people will not exactly be thrilled to buy a player that won’t play anything from the west. Its also designed to limit piracy, right. The last China-DVD format took a few years to get off the ground, it lastest less than a year – the same goals as CH-DVD.

    HD-VMD: LOL! Er NO! This thing: (It looks cool, physically – $150~200) No Movie support from USA, Japan, China or Europe. Its a multi-layer Red-laser DVD player. 4 layers = 20gb. 40GB requires 8 layes. Each layer means more issues and costs. If you love Bollywood movies, grab this player! This seems to be only usable in India or people from India living in the USA.

    Upscale DVD: No again. Already have $35~75 upscale players. Upscale DVD movies on a 60″ DLP looks like… crap (and thats saying it nicely) Upscale on a 15~27″ LCD should look fine… blah.

    HD-Downloads: Refer to other posts by me that I have repeated to you or others. $15 to DL a move, $5~10 for storage on a HD. No portability, locked to the device it was downloaded to, no extras.

    Gee Mehar, if there was only a clear standard that has the support of major Hollywood studios, like ALL of them as well others around the world. Porn companies support it. And that is built by several top brand companies… hmmm, does anything like that exists?

    Oh wait… I think I remember.

    Oh yeah! It’s CALLED BLU-RAY!

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