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Toshiba Execs Declare HD DVD Not Dead Yet 516

Posted by Zonk
from the they're-doing-science-and-they're-still-alive dept.
Lucas123 writes "HD DVD proponent Toshiba remains defiant that its format will not succumb to the mounting tsunami of support for Blu-ray Discs. Akio Ozaka, head of Toshiba America Consumer Products, said at CES today that he was surprised by Warner's decision." It should also be noted that the HD DVD group has cancelled many of their meetings at CES.
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Toshiba Execs Declare HD DVD Not Dead Yet

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  • by JustShootMe (122551) * <rmiller@duskglow.com> on Monday January 07, 2008 @12:06AM (#21938594) Homepage Journal
    ...In-con-CEIV-able.
    • by Divebus (860563) on Monday January 07, 2008 @02:00AM (#21939324)

      Not dead yet: Toshiba execs standing there with stopwatches saying "Wait for it... wait for it..."

      • by xENoLocO (773565) on Monday January 07, 2008 @02:46AM (#21939560) Homepage
        It's a shame they haven't been like... advertising for it. Compared to Blu-Ray, hardly anyone has even heard of it.

        Regardless, I'm holding out until the next big thing (tm).
        • by Fred_A (10934) <fred@freIIIdshome.org minus threevowels> on Monday January 07, 2008 @05:55AM (#21940516) Homepage

          It's a shame they haven't been like... advertising for it. Compared to Blu-Ray, hardly anyone has even heard of it.
          I know it sounds silly but BluRay has a catchy name and people remember it. HDDVD just looks like a bad day at Scrabble. The naming decisions may be what sealed the fate of both standards.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by kundziad (1198601)

            It's funny because I would personally choose HD DVD if I were to judge by names. It gives the impression of being just another rock solid format like CD-R or DVD-RW.

            Blu-ray, on the other hand, sounds like just another marketing invention, without any serious consideration of the implications of its widespread usage, etc.

            • by Tony Hoyle (11698) <tmh@nodomain.org> on Monday January 07, 2008 @07:49AM (#21941000) Homepage
              HDDVD always suffered from brand confusion. Walk into any electronics store and you'll see HDMI upscaling DVD players marketed as 'HD Compatible DVD Play' or even sometimes just 'HD DVD Player'.

              Then sitting lonely on a shelf is a Toshiba HD-E1 'HDDVD Player' at £200 - 5 times the cost of all the others - and nobody buys because they assume it's more of the same.

              OTOH Bluray is clearly different, so people are more likely to ask questions and consider it to be something different.
          • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07, 2008 @11:15AM (#21942710)

            I know it sounds silly but BluRay has a catchy name and people remember it. HDDVD just looks like a bad day at Scrabble. The naming decisions may be what sealed the fate of both standards.
            It's funny how the Slashbots were saying the exact opposite before HD DVD's apparent demise. They were claiming HD DVD would win with Joe Consumer because "HD DVD" sounds like a better DVD, while Blu-ray is "WTF?"

            Good to see that conventional "wisdom" is as useless as ever. :)
    • by sm62704 (957197) on Monday January 07, 2008 @09:05AM (#21941506) Journal
      "I'm not dead!"


      "What?"

      ""Nothing -- here's your nine pence."

      "I'm not dead!"

      "Here -- he says he's not dead!"

      "Yes, he is."

      "I'm not!"

      "He isn't."

      "Well, he will be soon, he's very ill."

      "I'm getting better!"

      "No, you're not -- you'll be stone dead in a moment."

      "h, I can't take him like that -- it's against regulations."

      "I don't want to go in the cart!"

      "Oh, don't be such a baby."

      "I can't take him..."

      "I feel fine!"

      "Oh, do us a favor..."

      "I can't."

      "Well, can you hang around a couple of minutes? He won't be long."

      "Naaah, I got to go on to SCO's -- they've lost nine today."

      "Well, when is your next round?"

      "Thursday."

      "I think I'll go for a walk."

      "You're not fooling anyone y'know. Look, isn't there something you can do?"

      "I feel happy... I feel happy.

      [whap]"

      "Ah, thanks very much."

      "Not at all. See you on Thursday."

      "Right."

  • by flyingfsck (986395) on Monday January 07, 2008 @12:07AM (#21938606)
    So watch out when they release classical operas on HD DVD.
  • by stox (131684) on Monday January 07, 2008 @12:09AM (#21938608) Homepage
    to follow.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    There are some 10-15 million rabid Sony hating Xbox/Microsoft fans in the US. They will support any 'not Sony format' with a fanatical commitment that is easily mistaken for broad consumer support.

    Toshiba fell victim to believing HD-DVD was going to ever be supported by anyone beyond that niche demographic. And it cost hundreds of millions in their losing battle against BluRay.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Aren't I allowed to hate *both* MS and Sony?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Stormwatch (703920)

        Aren't I allowed to hate *both* MS and Sony?
        Yes. Buy a Wii (if you can find one).
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Since when is the BRD vs HDDVD battle video game related? if I hate Sony AND MS how exactly will a Wii aide me in purchasing a HD movie format? Honestly that's why Toshiba had my support... why Supporting Toshiba somehow makes me an MS fanboy I don't really understand.

          Despite how much I like the HD-DVD format more than Blu-Ray Toshiba really needs to just throw in the towel at this point and do the consumer market a favor...
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by LordZardoz (155141)
            Blu-Ray is a Sony invention, and the primary means by which Sony has promoted the technology was to integrate it into the PS3. The consumer base for videogamers who are willing to spend huge amounts of money is easier to leverage than people who are content with standard DVD. This strategy has not worked out as well as Sony has hoped, since between Blu-Ray and the Cell Processor, the PS3 is a very expensive bit of consumer technology. Never the less, Sony is starting to make some more progress with the P
      • good start (Score:3, Insightful)

        Aren't I allowed to hate *both* MS and Sony?
        Yep! Hate em both! I do! IMHO both formats are DRM-crippled. I say it's "one down, one to go!"
    • by The Analog Kid (565327) on Monday January 07, 2008 @12:20AM (#21938684)
      Toshiba should have demanded that the 360 carry an HD-DVD drive standard. The addon carries extra bulk, and if you combine that with the cost of the 360, you might as well have just bought a PS3 instead.
      • by dabraun (626287) on Monday January 07, 2008 @12:24AM (#21938708)

        Toshiba should have demanded that the 360 carry an HD-DVD drive standard. The addon carries extra bulk, and if you combine that with the cost of the 360, you might as well have just bought a PS3 instead.


        How would they demand that? Microsoft simply does not care about HD-DVD enough to risk tanking it's game console like Sony did (by forcing the price up for something that doesn't actually help games).
      • I suppose, if you don't mind not having games to play. I bought a 360 and the HD drive at the same time over a year ago, and while i'm disappointed that HD-DVD seems to have lost, I did rent a lot of high-def movies in the past year. The $200 is at least mostly justified. AND I got to play some sweet-ass games that weren't available on the PS3.

        In a year or so i'll be picking up a PS3, and then the ol' HD-DVD drive can go in a closet.
      • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday January 07, 2008 @01:13AM (#21939060)
        Toshiba should have demanded that the 360 carry an HD-DVD drive standard.

        That move would have won the format war outright.

        A little less clear, but I feel just as certain victory would have Microsoft include HD-DVD with the Elite model. That would have been around the time of the Paramount switch, and the momentum of those two moves would have fed off each other to spook people away from Blu-Ray and probably get either Fox or Disney to go neutral in teh same way the Warner move has spooked people off HD-DVD and probably is forcing retailers and consumers to support Blu-Ray exclusively very soon.. It's not like you can really argue at that point it would have made the 360 cost prohibitive since it would only be on the top-line model anyway.

        Just as Sony won the format war through costly initial action, so Microsoft helped destroy HD-DVD through penny-pinching inaction. I guess Toshiba should have tried to wire the HD-DVD contract with the Three Laws of HD-DVD media.

        • Unlikely (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Namarrgon (105036) on Monday January 07, 2008 @02:06AM (#21939352) Homepage

          Toshiba should have demanded that the 360 carry an HD-DVD drive standard.

          That move would have won the format war outright.

          Doubtful. But it would certainly have subjected the 360 to the same cost and time overruns that the PS3 suffered from.

          No-one would argue that much of the 360's current success is due to it launching a year earlier with a cheaper price. Making the HD disc player optional might (in the long run) make it harder for devs to squeeze large games in, but definitely kept the console cheaper and simpler for the so-crucial first couple of years of its life.

          As for putting it in the Elite, its sales weren't large enough to make much difference to Toshiba, and increasing the cost would not have helped that. Armchair analysts can call it "penny pinching", but in the world of business, the user always pays in the end. Sony's decision to sacrifice their Playstation brand on the altar of Blu-Ray success has cost them dearly [variety.com], at least in the short term.

        • by MarcoAtWork (28889) on Monday January 07, 2008 @02:06AM (#21939354)

          A little less clear, but I feel just as certain victory would have Microsoft include HD-DVD with the Elite model.


          why would microsoft care? They came out with a cheaper console, have a lot more market share (and better games) for now, and since hd-dvd has lost I bet they will come out with a blue-ray add-on for the xbox before the end of the year. Sony bet everything on blue-ray, MS just stood on the sidelines and focused on the console and games, without caring too much about the blue-ray/hd-dvd angle, knowing that no matter who won they could come out with an external player without risking being on the losing side.
      • by timeOday (582209) on Monday January 07, 2008 @01:41AM (#21939216)
        Which reminds me, Sony execs must be popping corks and slapping high-fives about now for their decision to build Blu-Ray into the PS3. I still happen to believe putting Blu-Ray into the PS3 was a purely strategic move that hurt PS3 customers by delaying shipment and jacking up the price, but if PS3 sales (though diminished) are what put Blu-Ray over the top, it doesn't really matter, does it? Big bonuses all around for root-kitting, format-pushing, technology-bundling Sony. This victory will make them a stronger company and increase their power to set technology standards, which given their close ties to content producers (they are content producers) is bound to be good for everybody but the customer. I hate it when the bad guys go long and win big.
        • Not just Sony! (Score:5, Informative)

          by closer2it (926190) on Monday January 07, 2008 @07:35AM (#21940924) Homepage
          This is *NOT* just a Sony Corporation technology! It's an Association of company's [wikipedia.org]

          From wikipedia:

          The current 18 board members (as of December 2007) are:
          * Apple Inc.
          * Dell
          * Hewlett Packard
          * Hitachi
          * LG Electronics
          * Mitsubishi Electric
          * Panasonic (Matsushita Electric)
          * Pioneer Corporation
          * Royal Philips Electronics
          * Samsung Electronics
          * Sharp Corporation
          * Sony Corporation
          * Sun Microsystems
          * TDK Corporation
          * Thomson
          * Twentieth Century Fox
          * Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group / Buena Vista Home Entertainment
          * Warner Home Video Inc. (Exclusively as of January 4 2008)
        • by MojoStan (776183) on Monday January 07, 2008 @09:11AM (#21941546)

          Sony execs must be popping corks and slapping high-fives about now for their decision to build Blu-Ray into the PS3. I still happen to believe putting Blu-Ray into the PS3 was a purely strategic move that hurt PS3 customers by delaying shipment and jacking up the price, but if PS3 sales (though diminished) are what put Blu-Ray over the top, it doesn't really matter, does it?
          Maybe. I'm not sure, especially if this kills the long-term profitability of Sony's gaming division. The gaming division used to bring in the majority (yes, more than half) of Sony's total operating income. For those that haven't heard, Sony's gaming division lost a staggering Xbox-like ¥232 billion ($1.9 billion) in 2007 (total operating income ¥72 billion/$608 million). At the PS1's peak in 1999, the gaming division's operating income was ¥136 billion (out of ¥339 billion total). At the PS2's peak in 2003, gaming earned ¥113 billion (¥185 billion total).

          If Blu-ray becomes the dominant video format (over DVD and downloads), how much income (from sales and licensing) does this bring to Sony? I know Blu-ray is primarily "Sony's format," but there's a lot of "partners" in the Blu-ray Disc Association. Will this Blu-ray related income be worth the loss in gaming income?

          Year: Gaming operating income/(loss), total operating income
          2007: (¥232 billion), ¥72 billion
          2006: 9, 226
          2005: 43, 146
          2004: 68, 99
          2003: 113, 185
          2002: 83, 135
          2001: (51), 225
          2000: 77, 223
          1999: 136, 339
          1998: 117, 520

          Sony's Annual Reports (big freakin' PDF files): http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/IR/financial/ar/Archive.html [sony.net]

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by gamer4Life (803857)

          Big bonuses all around for root-kitting, format-pushing, technology-bundling Sony.

          Spoken like a true frothing-from-the-mouth Microsoft fanboy.

          Sony has only "pushed" Blu-ray onto the PS3. Some may argue it was needed for the betterment of next-gen games.

          Sony has allowed the PS3 users to incorporate standard hard drives, headsets, USB keyboards, Linux onto their system. No root-kitting involved whatsoever.

          Were you talking about another product? If so, then it's off-topic, because as we know, Microsoft has

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by squiggleslash (241428)

        That would have destroyed sales of the 360. Microsoft was absolutely right to keep the drive out of the console, it would have pushed prices up with very little net gain for the target demographic. PS3 users have been effectively paying a "Blu-ray tax" thanks to Sony making the opposite decision.

        I think Microsoft went too far in its support for HD DVD. If, as seems likely, HD DVD does cease pushed as a mainstream format before the end of the year, I wonder if they'll reconsider the idiotic "secure path"

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      There are some 10-15 million rabid Sony hating Xbox/Microsoft fans in the US. They will support any 'not Sony format' with a fanatical commitment

      If true, that is by far one of the most alarming statistics I have ever read. If large cooperations marketing has succeeded to the point that there are 10 million people that will not buy a company's product regardless of its technical merits and price point, we've reached a truly low point in society.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by WK2 (1072560)

        There are some 10-15 million rabid Sony hating Xbox/Microsoft fans in the US. They will support any 'not Sony format' with a fanatical commitment

        If true, that is by far one of the most alarming statistics I have ever read. If large cooperations marketing has succeeded to the point that there are 10 million people that will not buy a company's product regardless of its technical merits and price point, we've reached a truly low point in society.

        Large corporate marketing has succeeded to the point that there are millions of people in the US who will buy a product regardless of it's technical merits and price point. (cue MS jokes) The problem is that nobody is an expert in everything, and sometimes we have to make uninformed decisions.

    • There are some 10-15 million rabid Sony hating Xbox/Microsoft fans in the US. They will support any 'not Sony format' with a fanatical commitment that is easily mistaken for broad consumer support.

      Toshiba fell victim to believing HD-DVD was going to ever be supported by anyone beyond that niche demographic. And it cost hundreds of millions in their losing battle against BluRay.

      HD DVD could be a serious competitor if there wasn't MS and their OS fascist media division wasn't involved. They showed signs of "Windows only" from the start, they could sit and write HD DVD.Framework via XCode to support OS X, they could release a not cheap but working fine Quicktime export plugin for VC-1, they could make Roxio (Adaptec) support HD-DVD recorders on their OS X consumer products, they could help Linux guys sort out basic data recording, they could plug into OS X professional tools like F

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07, 2008 @12:13AM (#21938638)
    ..the death of HD-DVD right there.
  • Toshiba (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Moonpie Madness (764217) on Monday January 07, 2008 @12:16AM (#21938658)
    The DVD forum has been a bit of a bully, and while Toshiba made more then ten billion dollars through their involvement, I think a lot of companies are ready to try something else.

    Blu-ray isn't the end of the world for them, as Japanese businesses are kinda incestuous and Toshiba has its own set of investments. Toshiba will make plenty of money, just not as much as they did last round.

    I'm curious how Paramount deals with this. Does their contract (with MS or Toshiba) have an escape clause?

    Anyway, HD DVD is done. Toshi can't be overtly honest about it until they get rid of some inventory. I saw a couple of people returning their HD DVD players, presumably from Christmas, to Target tonight. Are these people picking up PS3s? Probably some are. It's not like HD DVD owners should toss their systems, and I actually think they might be in for a pleasant round of super cheap movies and spare players.

    And the Xbox 360 might even be helped by this. Think about it, the XBOX is not quiet enough to play a disc movie, at least for a lot of people. But it's just fine for downloads. Microsoft may ramp up and accelerate their download service now that this war is ending, instead of gaming each company against eachother like fools to slow adoption. Ps2 owners are slow adopted, but in my opinion 360 owners are fast adopters, and the console is more internet oriented. These people are much more likely to download movies, and I think the 360 is going to continue to do very well.

    Warner did the right thing, and I'm confident there will be much more progress in HD movies. I think these films look much better than DVD, and while DVDs were much more of a revolution in technology, Blu-ray is a real step up that downloads cannot hope to compete with in the US.

    We all knew this was going to end, and most of us realized bluray was going to win out. Warner had no leverage to end Blu-ray, so they used their power very effectively. And may have been planning this out. I expect to see Warner's movies all over Microsoft's system. I bet this was well known to MS, and the announcement the two companies have planned has to do with the 360's downloads.

    In short, this is going to work out fine for everybody.
  • blueray hd dvd? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by timmarhy (659436) on Monday January 07, 2008 @12:17AM (#21938666)
    correct me if i'm wrong but isn't blue ray (i refuse to go with the stupid spelling fad) better on a technical level anyway?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by T-Bone_142 (917711)
      From a technical stand point blu-ray is slightly better then HD-DVD, however HD-DVD's are region free. Either way i wont be buying any discs using either of the new formats any time soon. For me DVDs are good enough and i rip all everything to my had drive anyways.
      • Most non time-crucial movies (read: movies not yet released in the UK) are region free on Blu-Ray as well. The few UK BBC series I could find on Blu-ray currently were also region free. Yes the players support regions, but many fewer than DVD had and in fact we are happily in the same region as Japan which means a lot of Anime fans if they do impose some region coding.

        It's more widely understood by studios that region coding is not as good for sales, they only use it for regional control now. I had also
        • by Pofy (471469) on Monday January 07, 2008 @02:11AM (#21939374)
          >Most non time-crucial movies (read: movies not yet released
          >in the UK) are region free on Blu-Ray as well.

          Yes, now they are, when they are "fighting" versus HD DVD. But who knows about the future and when there is only Blu-ray?

          >It's more widely understood by studios that region coding is
          >not as good for sales, they only use it for regional control now.

          So how come most DVD still have region coding?
    • Re:blueray hd dvd? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07, 2008 @12:41AM (#21938816)
      I work for a museum, and part of my job is to store photographs and news stories from the present day in a safe archive for potential reference in the future. For now, both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray are a long way away from attracting our attention as potential archival storage mediums, but all the same I've been concerned by news that Blu-Ray's data layer is on the under-side of the disc, completely exposed save for a lacquer-like coating of some type. That's different from HD-DVD, which follows the DVD in having the data layer actually sandwiched in the middle of the disc between the plastic top and bottom halves. If that's the case, I wonder if Blu-Ray isn't just another small step towards a throw-away future. The pessimist in me also wonders if there isn't an intentional disinterest in protecting that data layer better, because of course if it degrades over time that just means that, in the case of a movie or video game, the owner is just going to have a buy another copy after some period of time. That's just speculation on my part of course, and the media hasn't been around long enough for any meaningful real-world testing to be done (so far as I know). All the same, I can't see Sony and friends really viewing that possibility as a downside, can you?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Divebus (860563)

      correct me if i'm wrong but isn't blue ray (i refuse to go with the stupid spelling fad)...

      OK, I'll correct you. It's actually spelled Blu-ray [blu-ray.com] and it's not a fad. Stupid yes, but not a fad.

    • by symbolset (646467) on Monday January 07, 2008 @02:19AM (#21939422) Journal

      Basically all media come in two formats: A cheap and popular version and a marginally technically better but far more expensive version that hangs on but never holds sway. The better more expensive version always takes the lead early on because early adopters are willing to pay premium prices for quality products. Then the R&D giant behind it leverages the popularity to ramp the licensing cost at just the wrong inflection of the demand curve, driving consumers to the adequate and cheap version until you can't find content in the high quality version any more and Betamax version buyers lose all their investment in quality equipment and content.

      It's easy know which version is which because Sony is almost always behind the expensive one.

      SCSI, and all the iSAS evolved variants, are examples of the Betamax of hard drives. Notice you can't get one in decent capacity for any price these days?

      It's like watching all the Friday the 13th sequels actually. Each time it looks like it's going to be a new movie, and then it's the same movie all over again.

    • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Monday January 07, 2008 @03:02AM (#21939668) Journal

      isn't blue ray (i refuse to go with the stupid spelling fad) better on a technical level anyway?

      Not really. I thought so too, but in practice, HD-DVD wins. (And I'm not just saying this because of my job; for all I know, our company will be forced into Blu-Ray, or something completely different.)

      What Blu-Ray has going for it (other than this latest blow) is capacity and bandwidth, and a ton of empty promises about features which are mostly not implemented. And capacity, at least, was rumored to be about killed by some triple-layer HD-DVD format, which would beat dual-layer Blu-Ray by a gig.

      What HD-DVD has (had?) is price and features. Since people are pronouncing the format dead, I think I'm entitled to one last rant -- I am an HD-DVD developer.

      So here's how it breaks down: Blu-Ray requires entirely new equipment to press. HD-DVD can modify existing DVD equipment. There have also been (barely) sub-$100 HD-DVD players at some point -- that's yet to happen for Blu-Ray, cheapest I've seen is a $200 drive (not a standalone player).

      The price of the discs is mostly irrelevant, as now is really not the time to be buying discs to keep. But I would expect them to be cheaper, and there was also the strange run of dual-format (HD-DVD and standard DVD) discs -- literally two-sided, side A for HD, side B for DVD.

      Now, as to the actual technologies... Note that I have not actually seen a Blu-Ray disc play, so all of this is from what I've heard my co-workers say, and I don't remember it incredibly well. But the HD-DVD information should be dead accurate.

      To start with, Blu-Ray requires AACS, and supports region coding and something called "BD-Mark". Meanwhile, HD-DVD has optional AACS (though some features are inaccessible to unencrypted discs), and does not support region coding. So even if you hate Microsoft, as a geek, you really want HD-DVD to win, for that reason.

      It also supports standard dual-layer DVDs as a medium. Same HD content, good codecs (VC1, h.264, etc), scripting, but if it fits in 9 gigs, you can burn it to a cheaper disc. I don't know if it actually supports single-layer DVDs (though I imagine it does), or CDs (though I doubt it). So, low-capacity all the way up to the proposed triple-layer makes it more flexible than Blu-Ray in terms of disc format.

      Blu-Ray is Java. HD-DVD is JavaScript. Having used both languages, I'm amazed anyone would argue for Java, but people do. And it almost seemed logical -- I expected the Java to be faster, but it's not.

      Let that sink in a moment. In the actual, real-world use, any Blu-Ray player other than the PS3 is slow as hell with simple menu animations. By "slow as hell", I mean you will actually see it redrawing each frame in blocks, for a tiny menu taking up maybe an eighth of the screen. HD-DVD, on the other hand... Well, I can make it slow, but not that slow. Half-second animations that take up half the screen are, at worst, a little jerky, but never do you see it redrawing in chunks like that.

      Now, just guessing, but I suspect that Blu-Ray hands over more control to the Java itself -- that is, it is actual Java code doing those animations. Not so with HD-DVD -- I just tell it to change some property (x, y, width, height, opacity, etc) by some amount over some duration, and let the player handle the rest -- probably with native code, probably a good chunk of it in video hardware.

      And, from what I've heard through the grapevine, Warner's actual tech people agree with me -- they'd much rather work with HD-DVD and with JavaScript. So this smells like an executive decision, made for strategic reasons, not technical ones, and certainly not with the consumer in mind.

      HD-DVD also has a much stronger base of what's required. Even in those sub-$100 players, you get:

      • An ethernet port
      • 128 megs of flash
      • Picture-in-picture support (muxed into the main video, or downloaded)
      • Dynamic rescaling of video (opening "chapter
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by squiggleslash (241428)

      Nope, Blu-ray has more capacity per layer, but the capabilities are poorer from a consumer point of view.

      Ironically, Blu-ray and HD-DVD had just caught up in terms of maximum capacity per disc - in the middle of November, HD-DVD adopted a system that increased the maximum capacity of an HD-DVD disc to match Blu-ray's (51G HD-DVD compared to 50G Blu-ray, using three layers and two layers respectively), but to date no discs have been made (well, it's been a month and a half) and no players have been update

  • by grapeape (137008) <mpope7 AT kc DOT rr DOT com> on Monday January 07, 2008 @12:30AM (#21938748) Homepage
    Wait for CableLabs, Phillips, Comcast, MS and others to announce the future of Tru2way (formerly known as Opencable) at CES this week. Then the war can begin anew. Tru2way is MS's inroad to the US cable systems and will allow their IPTV to be brought stateside, their launch with British Telecom is scheduled for this week as well. All the major cable providers are onboard including Time Warner. This all may just be playing into MS hands after all.

    • A war fought over cable lines is like Hannibal crossing the alps with elephants. What horrible ground to hold in a pulverizing HD media war.

      I mean, another Microsoft cable box attempt? Are they going to give everyone a Surface table for a penny?
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday January 07, 2008 @12:41AM (#21938812)
    Form both the Toshiba and Microsoft CES keynotes, not a peep of any news that would have helped HD-DVD much even before Warner took out the wind from their sales and the water they were sailing on. Toshiba hardly mentioned HD-DVD at all (focusing on LCD TV's) and Microsoft didn't mention HD-DVD once! What exactly is the magical force that will keep HD-DVD going past this point - with the media generally declaring HD-DVD dead the consumers will believe that as well, and start not buying HD-DVD products and media in droves. There's already a hint Target is dropping HD-DVD (slipped out by a Phillips executive during a CES keynote [engadget.com]).

    Paramount and Universal will be doubly screwed now until they come to Blu-Ray - no-one will buy HD-DVD titles in any numbers to speak of, and lots of people may shy away from any SD DVD's until those studios move to Blu-Ray and produce an HD title to buy. I know I had stopped buying DVD's for over a year now, thinking that anything I liked enough to buy could wait for on HD.

  • The topic (Score:4, Funny)

    by eebra82 (907996) on Monday January 07, 2008 @12:42AM (#21938824) Homepage

    Toshiba Execs Delay the Death of HD DVD
    Fixed that for you.
  • Pissed off consumers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tekrat (242117) on Monday January 07, 2008 @12:49AM (#21938886) Homepage Journal
    So, the warranty on some HD-DVD players isn't even over yet, and the format is already being called dead, and there probably won't be any new content released after today.

    Nice, so, all the people that spent $$$$ on some HD-DVD player or Xbox attachment are going to be mighty pissed off, as they have once again, fallen into what I call the High-Def money pit, where you have to constantly buy some new gizmo because the holders of the DRM willy nilly decide to change things.

    How many TVs were sold as HD-ready, only to not be? How many 720p sets or even 1080i sets still don't have an HDMI connection? And let's not even get into Vista Media Center, or any of the other depricated formats that have lead to technological dead-ends and/or having to re-buy the same media all over again (MLB, anyone?)...

    If I had been stupid enough to even join in the HD revolution, I'd be pissed off enough to start suing every company that dropped the ball. I'd start with demanding my money back, and when they refused, I'd start throwing lawyers into the mix.

    I can't decide who's going to be marching on corporate america first with torches and pitchforks -- the early-adopters of HD, or those screwed out of TV when we switch to digital in Feb of 2009.

    Either way there are going to be some demanding their pound of flesh. I just want to sit back and watch the whole thing -- in regular NTSC of course, because regular TV is good enough when you consider the content available.

    TTYL

     
  • by anandsr (148302) on Monday January 07, 2008 @02:14AM (#21939396) Homepage
    The only way out for HD-DVD is to concede defeat and open the specification in ways that Hollywood cannot handle. By removing the DRM, and removing any RAND licensing. Allowing anybody to produce HD-DVD devices and disks without obtaining license. Only act as a certification agency.

    This will allow cheap HD-DVD devices and disks to be made in China and dumped into the US market. These will be used by people wanting to rip, burn, and trade the BlueRay DVDs available in the market. That would be sweet revenge ;-).

    There is a huge market potential for HD-DVD in backups.

    -anandsr
  • by nguy (1207026) on Monday January 07, 2008 @02:15AM (#21939406)
    Maybe Toshiba should consider opening up the format completely: no royalties at all for implementing any part of HD DVD, high quality open source implementations under Apache 2, etc.

    Of course, it looks to me like disks are pretty much dead anyway; just like there won't be a successor format for the CD, there may not be a successor format to the DVD either.
  • Excellent news (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Weaselmancer (533834) on Monday January 07, 2008 @02:20AM (#21939432)

    As soon as there is a definitive loser in the hi-def wars, the loser will drop their prices to next-to-zero to spite the winner. And either disc would make an excellent data storage medium if the price was right.

  • by Pathway (2111) <pathway@google.com> on Monday January 07, 2008 @03:22AM (#21939784)
    Well, the fact is, Warner Bros. has decided to make the choice for Blu Ray. So, does this mean that the Format War is over?

    Probably.

    With nearly everybody exclusively Blu Ray now, I doubt if HD-DVD Can recover from this blow. Personally, I hadn't made a HD Disc Player purchase yet. I haven't yet seen picture quality above and beyond what my DVD player can produce to warrant the upgrade. Maybe if I got a bigger TV, I might see a difference.

    I was kind of hoping that HD-DVD would continue to win support and edge out Blu Ray for dominance. HD-DVD seemed up to the task, looked cheaper for the players, and seemed stable. Blu Ray, on the other hand, I've heard nasty things about, like that not all the players will play all Blu Ray discs. Also, I've heard that there is a Blu Ray 2.0 which is in the works, and some of the older 1.x discs may have problems... And the HD-DVD players are cheap, too.

    I read somewhere that WB chose Blu Ray because of a recent surge in it's popularity, especialy in December... Uh, can we say Cristmas? Take that number and subtract the number of Playstation 3s sold in the same month. Trust me, Mom and Dad bought that PS3 for Timmy to play games, not to watch Blu Ray DVDs. *sigh*

    Oh well. If HD is Dead, a whole bunch of HD-Players are going to be thrown away this year.

    --Pathway
  • Demographics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DeanFox (729620) * <spam,myname&gmail,com> on Monday January 07, 2008 @07:57AM (#21941040)

    I think this format war belongs to the 35+ demographic. I was talking with a couple tech savy neighbourhood kids to get a feel for where they were at. Their response? "You buy that shit? Why don't you just download it, that's what we do." They're bypassing this entire nightmare.

    $1000 players, $500 HDCP strippers, format "A" vs. format "B", cables, plugs... ad nausium. The generation that matters in the next 10 years are laughing at us 'old' people. They could care less about physical media when on-line on-demand is available.

    The warranties haven't even expired on some of these HD-DVD boxes people spent a lot of money on and the format has already been declared dead. My age group is the last generation used to "owning" physical media. For us the format matters. Remove the media as in download on demand, whatever the source, and none of this matters.

    I'll wait for several reasons. Least of which, is that either format is moot as is DRM so long as the direction is toward downloading. Cable has on demand viewing, Netflix has started the same thing. I don't think the next 5-10 years is going to be about physical media. Corporations are still battling over a format when it's replacement is available and in use. Things are moving quicker then they have in the past. I declare both formats dead or at least very temporary.

    -[d]-
  • by Anita Coney (648748) on Monday January 07, 2008 @10:43AM (#21942396) Homepage
    Let's assume that Sony won the DVD-A/SACD battle. After it was over, no consumer gave a rat's ass. Thus the HD audio war was fought for nothing.

    I'll go out on a limb here, DVD sales are in the dumps for a reason. The vast majority of people don't watch movies over and over again. Thus, they do not see any value in buying DVDs. If people won't buy cheap DVDs they certainly not going to go out and buy expensive Blu-ray movies, especially when you consider the playback machine costs $400 (USD)!

    The future of movies will be streamed. You can call it IPTV or movies on demand, or whatever. But the future of physical media is dead. CDs are dead. DVDs are dying. Blu-ray was dead before the battle even started.

Algol-60 surely must be regarded as the most important programming language yet developed. -- T. Cheatham

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