Monday, February 18, 2008


Right after seeing a few blu-ray writers in the Singapore market like Lite-On LH-2B1S 2X Blue-ray/DVD ReWriter (SATA) and Sony BWU-100A 2x Blue-ray/DVD ReWriter costing over S$1100++, I have a slight idea that Blu-Ray is plotting its assault well in the battle wtih Toshiba's HD-DVD. When no.1 computer maker Dell started to offer Blu-Ray Disc Drive on both its desktop and laptop lines, I am sure that Blu-Ray is going to dominate more. The latest piece of news below will roughly confirm that HD-DVD may lose the war against Blu-Ray once and for all. It is surprising that with the support of Microsoft and Intel, HD-DVD may still be not good enough to win the war. If Blu-Ray does win the war, they will dominate the price and it will take some time for it to drop.

Toshiba considering abandoning HD-DVD format

TOKYO: Japan's Toshiba is considering abandoning its HD-DVD format as it is losing the battle for market dominance against rival Sony's Blu-ray format, an industry source said on Monday.

Toshiba is reviewing its HD-DVD business and "a complete withdrawal is one of the options it is considering", the source said.

The move 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.

Weekend reports said losses for the company could reach tens of billions of yen (several hundred millions dollars) if it decides on the pullout.

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

The battle between the two incompatible DVD formats for next-generation DVDs is often dubbed as a replay of the VHS-Betamax battle between two types of video cassette tapes in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Wal-Mart's decision came in the same week that major electronics seller Best Buy and online video rental giant Netflix declared their allegiance to Blu-ray.

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.

The electronics giant said on Monday it was assessing demand for its format but has not reached any decision.

"We have not made any official decision yet," a Toshiba spokeswoman said.

"We are cautiously assessing market movements as it is true that Warner Brother's decision to sell titles exclusively on Blu-rays affected our sales in January," she said, while declining to give further details.

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 putting down money for the expensive new technology.

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

Posted: 18 February 2008 0738 hrs


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