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HD-DVD format on life support

The Register writes (opens in new tab) that Toshiba will apparently put an end to the production of HD-DVD devices, according to Japan's National Broadcaster NHK, which is also a firm backer of 33-megapixel Ultra High Definition Television (opens in new tab) format.

NHK also reports that the board of Toshiba may also decide to abandon HD-DVD altogether in a move that might cost the company tens of billions of dollars.

Shares of Toshiba (opens in new tab) rose significantly as the Japanese market learnt about the speculation that could end Toshiba's financial troubles.

The decision comes after two years of intense marketing, technological and financial battles which pitted HD-DVD against Blu-ray, in a war that divided the media and technology sector between backers of both sides.

The turning point (opens in new tab) came at the beginning of the year when Warner Bros announced its decision to shift sides, moving to the Blu-ray camp, which started a snow-ball effect.

Soon after Netflix and now Wal-mart said that they would stop supporting HD-DVD. Furthermore, Sony's PS3 gaming console which is incidentally a blu-ray console, is gaining in momentum and cheaper blu-ray players have been announced.

This also means that HD-DVD sales will soon plummet to zilch as the second format war, after VHS vs Betamax, finally gets a winner.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.