HD DVD format is not dead, Toshiba says.
January 8th, 2008 by Maxim · 2 Comments · 4,873 Views
Toshiba marketing executive Jodi Sally told the audience at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) HD DVD remained the best technology, but acknowledged the Warner Bros announcement on Friday took her by surprise.
“It’s difficult for me to believe when all the pundits declare that HD DVD is dead,” Sally said. “Clearly, the events of the last few days have led many of you to that conclusion. We have been declared dead before. The reality is we ended 2007 with a majority of the year-to-date market share.”
BluRay movies outsold HD DVD movies almost 2:1 this holiday season, while the best BluRay player, Sony’s PS3 console, sold 2.1 million units.
These numbers should be put in perspective, however. PS3 had been very popular, but Sony’s older PlayStation2 had sold 10 times as many units – just goes to show the adoption rate. Also, while HD-DVD player sales at regular retailers had not been great compared to PS3, Amazon and Buy.com had sold record quantities of Toshiba A2 and XA2 players in 2007.
Studio support remains critical for the survival of a format, be it HD-DVD or BluRay. Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures today denied a newspaper report that the studio is poised to follow Time Warner Inc. in abandoning Toshiba Corp.’s HD DVD technology.
“Paramount’s current plan is to continue to support the HD DVD format,” Brenda Ciccone, a spokeswoman for Paramount, said in an e-mail today. Financial Times is reporting that Paramount has a clause in its HD DVD exclusivity contract allowing them to bail from the sinking HD DVD ship if Warner defected to Blu-ray, and they are “poised” to do so.
The HD-DVD press conference at CES was cancelled, and the Blu-ray conference on Monday evening had one solid message: “We won.”
For those who missed the news, Warner Brothers announced that it was breaking rank and defecting from HD-DVD to produce Blu-ray only, despite the large possibility of a lawsuit for breach of contract by the HD-DVD group and the format’s main hardware producer, Toshiba.
** Update (Feb 16, 2008) **
Following defection from HD-DVD by several studios, Netflix, BestBuy joned by WalMart on Friday, it has become known that Toshiba will abandon HD-DVD format.
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