Toshiba abandons HD DVD

Toshiba announces it will stop producing HD DVD products.

Toshiba will discontinue its HD DVD products, it said Tuesday, handing victory to rival high-definition disc format, Blu-ray Disc.

The company will no longer develop, manufacture and market HD DVD players and recorders.

It will reduce shipments of HD DVD players and recorders to retail markets and aims to cease the businesses altogether by the end of March.

But the Japanese electronics giant pledged to provide full product support and after-sales service for owners of Toshiba HD DVD products.

Recent changes in the market prompted the decision, Toshiba said. Early this year, Warner Bros. said it would stop issuing movies on HD DVD in the coming months and rely exclusively on Blu-ray Disc. The Hollywood studio was one of three major studios remaining in the HD DVD camp, and its defection created widespread belief that the battle between HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc was now over.

More recently, major US retail chain, Wal-Mart, announced it would phase out the sale of HD DVD products, moving to exclusivity with Blu-ray Disc. Electronics retailer Best Buy also said it would back Blu-ray Disc, but it did not say it would stop offering HD DVD.

Warner made its decision based on consumer confusion and indifference to high definition movies, an indifference that cost Hollywood in lost revenue, it said. Wal-Mart said US customers preferred Blu-ray Disc movies and hardware. Blu-ray Disc is the high definition disc format championed by Sony.

"This once again shows why incompatible and mutually exclusive formats should be avoided at all cost by the industry," a senior analyst at Ovum, Carl Gressum, said. "It reduces profitability and delays customer adoption."

"The big question is, however, the impacts on Toshiba as an electronics company," he added. "It has after all bet its disc media business on HD DVD, as well as gone for HD DVD integration into some of its laptop PCs. The channel has inventory to clear, and demands from owners of HD DVD players."

Toshiba said its decision came after careful analysis of the long-term impact of continuing the format war, and said a swift decision was called for to help the high definition market develop.

The company also pledged to remain a player in the high definition market. Developing HD DVD created many assets for Toshiba and its partners, which include Microsoft, Intel, HP, and Universal Studios, the company said. Toshiba plans to work with these companies to seek future business opportunities.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Dan Nystedt

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?