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20 May 2024

Toshiba plans HD DVD pull out

By Agencies



Japan's Toshiba, which has led the HD DVD video disks format, plans to withdraw from the business as it is losing the battle against rival Sony's Blu-ray format, a report said on Saturday.


The company is in the final stage of deciding the pullout, public broadcaster NHK said without naming sources.


The report came after top US retailer Wal-Mart on Friday drove another nail into the coffin of HD DVDs by announcing it would shift to exclusively selling movies on Blu-ray.


Toshiba would take HD DVD machines off store shelves and cease production and research for future models, NHK said.


Losses could reach tens of billions of yen if the company decides on the pullout, it said.


No comment was available from Toshiba on Saturday.


The HD DVD camp also includes Microsoft, Intel, Universal Home Studios, and Paramount Home Entertainment.


Wal-Mart's announcement came in the week that major electronics seller Best Buy and online video rental giant Netflix declared their allegiance to Blu-ray, a new high-definition format promoted by a coalition led by Sony.


The death of HD DVD has been heralded since January, when Warner Brothers studio – Hollywood's largest distributor of DVDs – pulled out of an alliance with Toshiba and switched to Blu-ray.


Industry analysts and electronics makers maintain the format war has stifled sales of high-definition DVD players because consumers are waiting for a victor before plunking down money for the expensive new technology.


The loser of the battle will become a mere footnote in consumer electronics history, much the way Betamax was forgotten after VHS became the technology of choice for home video players, according to industry analysts. (AFP)