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Sony, Samsung Defeats Toshiba in HD DVD War

Posted February. 18, 2008 03:01,   

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In the long-drawn war between rival next generation DVD formats, HD DVD and Blu-ray, Japanese electronics maker and chief supporter of the HD DVD format Toshiba has conceded defeat. It is now planning to give up on the format, according to the Japanese newspapers on Sunday.

The format war, reminiscent of the Betamax-VHS battle in the mid 1980s, is finally over, to the great relief of the Blu-ray backing consortium comprising electronics giants such as Sony, Samsung, and Matsushita.

A high-level executive at Toshiba said the company is pondering over several pullout options: to completely withdraw HD DVD format, to keep producing HD DVD players without a recording feature, or to concentrate on the European market and end its operations in America and Japan, where the sales of HD DVD machines have been sluggish, according to the Japanese Nihon Keizai Shimbun.

Toshiba has suffered several setbacks recently when Warner Bros. Entertainment decided last month to release movie discs only in the Blu-ray format and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the largest retailer in the world, said on Friday that it would sell only Blu-ray DVDs and hardware and no longer carry HD DVD offerings.

Next-generation DVDs can hold 4-5 times more data in a single disc. Though first made commercially available in 1999, the new technology has confused customers with two vying formats.

“This will be a significant boost to the Blu-ray format,” said Lee Seung-il, head of the marketing team of Samsung Electronics Digital Media Unit. “DVD player manufacturers, however, are likely to keep producing machines that play discs in both formats for customers at least for now.”



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