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Toshiba still mum on HD DVD future, investors happy in hope of format dénouement

Following speculation last week that Toshiba would soon abandon the HD DVD format that it had helped bring to market, onlookers were waiting with bated breath for a follow-up statement from the Japanese company on Monday morning.

Even with apparent industry insiders claiming that Toshiba would drop HD DVD support, a company spokeswoman told the AFP that it is still considering its options.

"We have not made any official decision yet," a Toshiba spokeswoman said, though acknowledged that Warner’s move to Blu-ray Disc did have a ripple effect. "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."

According to one unnamed source, "a complete withdrawal" is one of the options Toshiba is considering. If it were so, it would leave the format without any major maker of hardware, effectively terminating HD DVD quicker than through studio support loss.

Fuelling Toshiba’s possible action to pull the plug on HD DVD are the recent losses of Wal-Mart, Netflix and Best Buy support in the U.S.

Last week, Jodi Sally, Toshiba’s VP of marketing in the U.S. gave the statement, "Based on its technological advancements, we continue to believe HD DVD is the best format for consumers, given the value and consistent quality inherent in our player offerings."

"Given the market developments in the past month," continued Sally, "Toshiba will continue to study the market impact and the value proposition for consumers, particularly in light of our recent price reductions on all HD DVD players."

While HD DVD fans will be unhappy to see the end of the format, Toshiba’s investors appear optimistic. Shares of Toshiba rose 6.4 percent Monday morning on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, according to Bloomberg.

"Quitting would be positive for Toshiba in the mid- to long-term as it can back out of the business before the wound gets any deeper," said Mitsushige Akino, CEO at Ichiyoshi Investment Management Co. in Tokyo.

Update 2/18/2008: Toshiba Japan made an extremely brief comment on the HD DVD situation this morning, stating, "The media reported that Toshiba will discontinue its HD DVD business. Toshiba has not made any announcement concerning this. Although Toshiba is currently assessing its business strategies, no decision has been made at this moment."


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Paramount and DWA?
By doctat on 2/18/2008 12:31:51 AM , Rating: 2
So when Toshiba bails, does that nullify the contracts Paramount and Dreamworks Animation signed with them?

Or are they still screwed into making HD-DVDs for no one? ;)

Wonder if they'll have to give the money back...




RE: Paramount and DWA?
By rockyct on 2/18/2008 12:33:55 AM , Rating: 5
It looks like the war is just about officially over. That's good for all consumers and finally we'll have something else to read about at DT.


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By Marcus Yam on 2/18/2008 12:38:15 AM , Rating: 3
And then I'll have something else to write about.


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By lompocus on 2/18/2008 12:46:40 AM , Rating: 5
Don't worry, soon it'll be...um....mega-purple-ray vs HDDDD-DVD-DD-bluDV-Disc ;).


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By BladeVenom on 2/18/2008 12:31:14 PM , Rating: 2
Holographic discs look to be the next format, at least for data storage.


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By daftrok on 2/18/2008 1:32:50 AM , Rating: 6
RE: Paramount and DWA?
By Trisagion on 2/18/2008 10:48:49 AM , Rating: 2
I nominate that clip for an Oscar. Michael Bay, eat you heart out.


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By cleco on 2/18/2008 11:50:40 AM , Rating: 2
older than dinosaurs but still funny to see


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By saiga6360 on 2/18/2008 11:18:59 AM , Rating: 2
While funny, it would have been more hilarious if the outcome was the other way around. That 'stache fits better on Sony.

On well, it is nice to be on the Purple side during all this but I was rooting slightly for the little guy. Now bring on the fire sales!


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By Xodus Maximus on 2/18/08, Rating: 0
RE: Paramount and DWA?
By EglsFly on 2/18/2008 1:00:33 PM , Rating: 2
Give this person a 6 for finding such a jewel!
That was great! LOL


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By daftrok on 2/18/2008 4:02:14 PM , Rating: 2
Whoa I was not expecting to get a 6! Thats my second one! Sweet!


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By zpdixon on 2/20/2008 4:00:28 AM , Rating: 2
I posted that exact video twice on Dailytech a couple days ago, but I didn't get a +6 rating. I am sad :-(

http://www.dailytech.com/Article.aspx?newsid=10637...
http://www.dailytech.com/Article.aspx?newsid=10652...


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By daftrok on 2/22/2008 3:57:04 PM , Rating: 2
Well I gave one of them a 4 if that makes you feel better. But you have to realize that your posts were very far on the bottom whereas mine was close to the top. Location matters.


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By JoshuaBuss on 2/18/2008 1:15:58 AM , Rating: 4
speak for yourself... i was hoping for the war to continue until blu-ray equipment got a lot cheaper too, personally ;)


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By JSK on 2/18/2008 2:06:34 AM , Rating: 5
No reason it wont. BD's biggest competitor wasn't HD DVD regardless; it was and is DVD.

Until there is mass adoption of HD players, TV and content there is no reason the prices shouldn't drop in the face of its much higher selling older sibling.


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By omnicronx on 2/18/2008 2:28:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Until there is mass adoption of HD players, TV and content there is no reason the prices shouldn't drop in the face of its much higher selling older sibling.
I guess thats why prices on amazon for BD players have actually gone up a few dollars since January... BD is still a high margin niche market, without competition there is less incentive to lower the price.


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By Strunf on 2/18/2008 4:44:44 AM , Rating: 4
Blu-ray is made by more than one brand so they'll keep reducing the price if they want to sell.

When the DVD was out we had the same thing and yet the price went down regardless of not having any competition... today the situation is even better for the consumer as the HD is not even a "must have" technology, I mean there was a greater difference between the DVD and the VHS than between the DVD and the HD.


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By eye smite on 2/18/2008 6:43:37 AM , Rating: 3
Yeah, thinking back to Y2k, I bought my first dvd player for $220. It's in a landfill now, it finally played out in 2k6. At that point I went to walmart, got this nifty $40 dvd player and I picked it because it would play divx format. Now, being a cheap SOB and enjoying what I have, why would I need any format for HD when it comes to dvd since they probably won't play the divx format. lol


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By PresidentThomasJefferson on 2/18/2008 1:18:07 PM , Rating: 2
playstation 3 plays DIVX, mp4,etc -its #399..or $299 if signing up for sony's credit card visa


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By mcnabney on 2/18/2008 10:08:26 PM , Rating: 3
That is a pretty bold statement to make...


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By xsilver on 2/18/2008 8:33:48 AM , Rating: 3
Actually i think the current situation is nothing like that of the dvd situation. At the time, every man and his dog was selling dvd media and all the shops were trying to get rid of vhs tapes. I remember buying a bunch of vhs movies about 5 years ago for $1 each at target.

That however will not happen with the adoption of high def.
Only tech-heads will be carrying around HD and they will know it so if they are going to bring anything around with them, they are not going to expect aunty jean to have a HD player. If you went to a lan party then yes, you'll bring your HD collection; so its going to be a much slower process... Im guessing 3 years before you can have any confidence that most locations will have a HD player


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 2/18/2008 8:55:14 AM , Rating: 1
Given the HDTV market adoption I would say 3 years is highly optimistic. Most people still dont have a high-def capable TV (720p or greater).


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By Spivonious on 2/18/2008 9:11:46 AM , Rating: 2
I think once the DTV switchover occurs a lot more people will be buying HDTVs. At that point the adoption of HD players will skyrocket. I'm thinking by Summer 2009 the majority of households will have a BD/HDDVD player.


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By Bioniccrackmonk on 2/18/2008 9:36:28 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I think once the DTV switchover occurs a lot more people will be buying HDTVs.


I think this will have no impact on people buying new HDTV's. HDTV's will continue to be luxury items until the cost of them reaches the prices of buying a SDTV today. A lot of families out there don't have a couple hundred bucks to drop on a TV, even though the prices for them are no where near what they were when they first came out. the lower the cost, the more widely adopted they will become.


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By mcnabney on 2/18/2008 10:14:03 PM , Rating: 1
Why would you think that?

Bluray player prices have only gone up in since the Warner Brothers announcement.

BD has to prove that it is substantially better than DVD. Right now J6P has invested in a fair number of DVDs and isn't really in a hurry to buy his/her favorite titles all over again. BD may become the next Laserdisc. Remember, those big shiny discs were expensive and provided a much better image. They also were only bought by the technophiles and film buffs. Now they are roadkill. BD has to seal the deal quickly. Downloadable HD and 4K are not that far off. Unless Sony can get players down to $125 in a hurry I don't see any major push for the broader consumer market to embrace a new format.


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By xsilver on 2/18/2008 9:53:52 AM , Rating: 2
yes I too think 3 years is a bit optimistic, but had I estimated 5-7 years I think the tech fanboys that visit here would have flamed me back to hell ;)

Its all really up to the producers such as sony if they want to really "push" hd.
From the producers point of view though, I think it is actually beneficial to have a 2 tiered system such as we have now. dvd = volume. BD/HD = profit! Well of course he consumer gets left in the dust


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By othercents on 2/18/2008 10:42:15 AM , Rating: 1
We might never get past 50% adoption because of the technology on the horizon. I expect to see more and more downloadable content and players with harddrives.

Other


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By PitViper007 on 2/18/2008 2:35:35 PM , Rating: 2
I keep seeing this comment be repeated, but I really don't think it bears up. The reason is there are still SO many people that don't have access to good high speed connections. Not only that but you have many people (me included) that want to have that physical disk. I still can't quite wrap myself around the idea of buying something that I can't physically touch.


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By rum on 2/18/2008 2:48:59 PM , Rating: 2
I believe it has more to do with Broadband speeds than people not having it. Though rural people are the main people who do not have access to Broadband at reasonable rates. No I don't consider sattelite ISPs as reasonable.

I believe when the US gets to, at least, 50meg download speeds, reliably, and can download a full HD movie in an hour or less, movies on disk will still thrive, and be the main medium.

Once you can download the movie, I hope, they'll be smart enough to allow you burn it to HDDVD/BD whichever you wish, and keep it like that.

While internet distribution looks good, it won't get traction at current download speeds and with current ISPs throtteling traffic.


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By Xodus Maximus on 2/18/2008 11:38:59 AM , Rating: 2
I really wonder if Blue-ray is destined to be the laserdisc of this generation. Sure it exist, not that hard to find, and has enough content, but I am wondering if people will purchase it at the rate of DVDs.
Being trapped in the tech bubble my perspective is the same as most people on this site, so I wonder what it would look like from an "average" man, you know family, job, and only turns on the TV to fall asleep, would he buy BlueRay? would he buy an HDTV? eventually but with all the problems the world is looking upon I doubt its very soon, so you are right that 3years seems way too short.


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By timmiser on 2/18/2008 7:33:22 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think we can compare the VHS-DVD move with the DVD-HD move just because the major difference is that in addition to buying a HD player, the consumer must also purchase a new TV. That major element did not exist in the VHS-DVD era.


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By JoshuaBuss on 2/18/2008 10:30:53 AM , Rating: 2
true, but you can't deny the war greatly amplified the price drop


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By Behlal on 2/18/2008 11:32:02 AM , Rating: 2
Is it good for the consumer? I realize that confusion in the market place is a negative and I'm sure many people have been confused by HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. At the same time, the format war has driven down the price of this item far faster than we might have seen otherwise. Sony and Toshiba have had to compete at the hardware level, bringing affordable players out very quickly and the studios have had to compete on price. On top of that, we've seen deals such as buy a player, get 5 movies free, something I don't recall ever seeing when DVD was first released.

I just hope this isn't a signal that the monopoly is set and competition less necessary.


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By rockyct on 2/19/2008 1:20:23 AM , Rating: 2
VHS was the only "competitor" to DVD and the prices of DVDs and DVD players dropped very fast. Certainly the format war drove down the price of HD-DVD players, but I think the Blu-ray players cost was more related to the PS3 and it's Xbox 360 competition. Many consumers were holding off until the war was decided. Now, more people will be willing to spend the money for an HD player now that they know the player won't be a paperweight in a couple years. That demand will lower the prices of players and media.


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By OAKside24 on 2/18/2008 12:47:45 AM , Rating: 2
I just hope all of these studios pick up the pace on their HD releases when this "war" is over. With a clear successor to DVD in Blu-ray, I hope and expect an impressive release schedule ASAP. Tons of my favorites (everyone's really, according to IMDB) would make excellent HD releases. Can't wait.


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By masher2 (blog) on 2/18/2008 1:18:56 AM , Rating: 2
With HD-DVD out of the picture, and DVDs still selling strong, I expect most studios will consider HD to be a means of increasing margins. That means BD discs will remain priced substantially higher than standard DVDs.

In a few years, when consumers begin refusing to buy releases which aren't HD, the situation will change...but by then, standard DVDs days will be numbered.


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By Lifted on 2/18/2008 1:32:36 AM , Rating: 2
Don't fool yourself. DVD will be outselling any HD format for the next decade, at least. VCD's still outsell DVD's buy a landslide in Asia, and even in the states most people don't care about moving to HD, they'll just buy a "flat" TV when their current one starts acting up.


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By masher2 (blog) on 2/18/2008 1:54:05 AM , Rating: 2
The relative size of the two markets isn't what's important; what matters is when a substantial number of consumers begin refusing to buy releases that aren't HD, rather than simply buying the DVD version.

Right now, even those of us with both BD and HD-DVD players still tend to buy the majority of our releases in SD. But in 4-5 years time, there's going to be a huge number of folks who will simply choose to pass on a release if its not available in HD. At that point, studios are going to have to start competing on price.

> "VCD's still outsell DVD's buy a landslide in Asia"

True 5 years ago certainly, but I don't think it is any longer, not for Asia as a whole.

Probably still so for places like mainland China...but there, sales of legal releases are so low as to be negligible in any case. N.A. and to a lesser extent Europe drives the market in any case.


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By System48 on 2/18/2008 8:52:14 AM , Rating: 2
The only movies I've ever been able to fit on a VCD were ones that I downloaded on Bittorrent.


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By Strunf on 2/18/2008 1:25:08 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think so, if they keep the price of the BD discs substantially higher than DVD less people will buy the HD version of a movie rather than the SD version of it, and most people that buy the SD version won't be buying the HD version of it ever.

Lets take this you sell 10 copies of a movie

9DVD-$20(-$1 for the production -$4 marketing)
1BD-$30 (-$2 for the production -$4 marketing)
Total profit $159

6DVD-$20(-$1 for the production -$4 marketing)
4BD-$25 (-$2 for the production -$4 marketing)
Total profit $166


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By sgtdisturbed47 on 2/18/2008 2:06:23 AM , Rating: 2
Well, Toshiba is not the owner of HD DVD tech, they are simply the manufacturer of the players. If another manufacturer, like Phillips or Sharp had decided to make HD DVD players as well, then maybe the HD DVD format wouldn't be falling as fast as it is.

I expect Toshiba to make HD DVD players until the company in charge of the technology and the "HD DVD" name (HD DVD Group?) decides to just sell of it's stock or something, and the format itself dies out. Same thing happened with the Betamax vs VHS format war, where players were available until the Betamax format itself died in about 1988, but remember, the Sony Betamax sold its last Betamax in 2002 so expect the HD DVD format to be around a while.

There really is no immediate end in sight. If Toshiba decides to stop making players, there will still be players already sold, players still in stock and in warehouses. There are dual-format burners now available, and HD DVD drives for PCs and for the XBox 360. The format is still out there, is still here and will still be available for a few years, at least. We ALL want to see a fast end to the war, but like the Sony Betamax vs JVC VHS, it will last a while and both formats will be available for a while. Maybe not on the same scale, but close enough for us to notice its existence.

After the Beta vs VHS war, we never want to go through that again but it's bound to happen. There will eventually be another format war after this, and another after that. Blu-Ray will win this war, but what about the next? Maybe a revolutionary format jump like when DVDs started appearing, and there was no war between VHS and DVD, people just went straight to DVD and didn't look back (although we all still have VCRs and blank VHS tapes for various uses). Maybe a format that offers something totally different? Maybe instead of discs we switch to solid-state media cards? Simply hook up our cable boxes to our internet and stream HD content and save them to built-in hard drives or media cards that are removable and interchangeable between different cable boxes?

Newer and better format options will always come out, and when they do there will always be a choice between 2 or possibly 3. It's just the nature of technological advances. It's pretty much sink or swim.


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By nemrod on 2/18/2008 2:31:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Well, Toshiba is not the owner of HD DVD tech, they are simply the manufacturer of the players. If another manufacturer, like Phillips or Sharp had decided to make HD DVD players as well, then maybe the HD DVD format wouldn't be falling as fast as it is.


lol

quote:

Who developed Blu-ray?

The Blu-ray Disc format was developed by the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA), a group of leading consumer electronics, personal computer and media manufacturers, with more than 180 member companies from all over the world. The Board of Directors currently consists of:

Apple Computer, Inc.
Dell Inc.
Hewlett Packard Company
Hitachi, Ltd.
LG Electronics Inc.
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
Pioneer Corporation
Royal Philips Electronics
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Sharp Corporation
Sony Corporation
Sun Microsystems, Inc.
TDK Corporation
Thomson Multimedia
Twentieth Century Fox
Walt Disney Pictures
Warner Bros. Entertainment


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 2/18/2008 8:31:28 AM , Rating: 2
The majority of the companies sitting on the BDA board of directors has nothing to do with the Blu-Ray format or its development. Any company that chooses to support the format is sitting on that board.


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By Strunf on 2/18/2008 6:47:14 PM , Rating: 2
hmm No the board members are a selected few, the others are just members.

On the contrary I think the majority of the members have at a moment or another be a major player on the "game", either by strongly support the BD on the movie industry or by making it progress on the hardware level.


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By aftlizard01 on 2/18/2008 9:49:32 AM , Rating: 2
I guess I do not understand why you put an LOL in response to him. He didnt say that Phillips and Sharp were part of the HD_DVD coalition, he said IF they decided to do HD DVD.


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By theapparition on 2/18/2008 10:28:08 AM , Rating: 2
But Phillips and Sharp are members of the DVD forum, and hence allowed to manufacture HD DVD.


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By theapparition on 2/18/2008 10:23:52 AM , Rating: 2
Funny you put spin on it like you did.

I suggest you go over to the DVD forum, which also controls HD-DVD. Phillips and Sharp are also memebers of the DVD forum.
http://www.dvdforum.org/about-memberlist.htm

In fact, more companies are on the DVD forum, than on the BDA.


RE: Paramount and DWA?
By theapparition on 2/18/2008 10:26:40 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I expect Toshiba to make HD DVD players until the company in charge of the technology and the "HD DVD" name (HD DVD Group?) decides to just sell of it's stock or something, and the format itself dies out.

The HD DVD specification is controls by the same group that controls the DVD specification.
http://www.dvdforum.org/forum.shtml


Time to slap on some huge fines
By crystal clear on 2/18/2008 5:07:28 AM , Rating: 2
Whilst you guys are busy announcing its all over here,now comes the E.U !
(sic crocodile-referring to one ignorant poster) to slap on some heavy fines in the future.

They are preparing all the material needed for just that.

Read it carefully !

According to the Wall Street Journal, the European Commission recently sent letters to Hollywood movie studios asking for communication records and agreements between the movie studios and HD-DVD and Blu-Ray DVD format representatives. The EU wants to know why so many studios are exclusively backing Blu-ray at the expense of HD-DVD; it seems they suspect that Sony is leveraging its moviemaking business in inappropriate ways.
Last August, the European Commission was interested in the business practices of Sony and Toshiba—specifically Sony, who owns Sony Pictures and also markets the Blu-ray-capable PlayStation 3 gaming system—because of its involvement in Hollywood and wider reach in the entertainment industry. Toshiba, on the other hand, does not have an in-house movie studio, nor does it have a gaming system that solely and natively supports HD-DVD playback, though the HD-DVD player for Microsoft's Xbox 360 can be purchased separately.

The European Commission appears to be most interested in why movie studios have generally accepted the Blu-ray standard over HD-DVD, wondering "whether improper tactics were used to suppress competition and persuade the studios to back [Sony's] format." There's no word on what the "improper tactics" might be, but it doesn't come as a surprise that the European Union's executive body is looking into the legitimacy of the format battle. After all, the Blu-ray standard is currently backed by Walt Disney, Sony, Twentieth Century Fox, Lions Gate Entertainment, and MGM. Compare this roster of backers to that of HD-DVD, which is backed solely by NBC Universal Pictures. The European Commission is likely looking into how and why five studios decided to back Blu-ray exclusively while only one exclusively backed HD-DVD. They may also be investigating why Blu-ray devices are typically priced much higher than their HD-DVD counterparts.


http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070703-euro...

Europe Steps Up Probe of New DVD Formats


In a move that could be key to determining the future of home cinema, European antitrust regulators are stepping up their probe into possible anticompetitive practices in the format war over high-definition DVDs.

Hollywood's studios are racing to dig up files, emails and records of telephone conversations related to the competing Blu-ray and HD DVD formats after the European Commission sent out letters last month demanding evidence of their communications and agreements on the new generation of DVD formats.

The European Commission, the European Union's executive body, appears to be particularly interested in the activities of the Blu-ray group because ...

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118341745768555943...

Focus on this-

"The European Commission appears to be most interested in why movie studios have generally accepted the Blu-ray standard over HD-DVD, wondering "whether improper tactics were used to suppress competition and persuade the studios to back [Sony's] format." There's no word on what the "improper tactics" might be, but it doesn't come as a surprise that the European Union's executive body is looking into the legitimacy of the format battle."

Good luck ! the E.U. has set their eyes on their next target after Intel.




RE: Time to slap on some huge fines
By martinrichards23 on 2/18/2008 6:22:46 AM , Rating: 2
Enforcing fair competition is the cornerstone of free markets. The fact that the EU keeping an eye on things is only a good thing.

Also, remember that historically the US anti-trust laws have been way more heavy handed than the EU is, and that is a major reason the US economy has been so successful.

Don't confuse "free markets" with "do whatever the f**k you want".


RE: Time to slap on some huge fines
By crystal clear on 2/18/2008 7:29:47 AM , Rating: 2
Ok then lets see how they handle this one & its implications.


RE: Time to slap on some huge fines
By crystal clear on 2/18/2008 8:03:35 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder whats in this response that deserves to be voted down-anyway enjoy voting it down.

"It is easy to be tolerant when you do not care."


Thats me !


RE: Time to slap on some huge fines
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 2/18/2008 8:43:11 AM , Rating: 2
True enough, I would be surprised to see the EU not slap Sony with massive fines or worse. It's no real secret that with Sony holding all the cards they could push the format by themselves if necessary.


RE: Time to slap on some huge fines
By EglsFly on 2/18/2008 1:17:59 PM , Rating: 3
They can also consider fining Toshiba for its $150 million in incentives for "exclusive HD-DVD support" from Paramount.


RE: Time to slap on some huge fines
By Boushh on 2/18/2008 10:08:25 AM , Rating: 2
That news is soooo 2007...

Besides, the EU would never be able to resurrect HD DVD, even if some parties where bought out (and the only party that was bought to my knowledge is Paramount/Dreamworks to go HD DVD) that will not change the current market situation. Some parties may get slapped on their wrist. But that will not change a thing.

Infact, I (as a EU citezen) would be much more happy if the EU drops this total investigation after the current events.

Oh, and I do own both formats ;-)


By crystal clear on 2/19/2008 2:13:29 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
That news is soooo 2007...


Yes but it gets the real attention NOW and in future even MORE,if Blu Ray becomes the exclusive format & Toshiba decides to give up on the HDDVD format.

As for current market situation-

The content providers & retailers have gone B.R. exclusive,
but the buyers have NOT gone B.R. exclusive.

Prices for B.R. players & movies are still very high as per the consumers or prospective buyers.
They are not in a big hurry to BUY !

Experience shows Sony is not & never was so anxious to cut its prices.
They cut prices like in the case of PS3 only when its a "do or die situation" or when its the last & the only option to survive.

So after all the excitement comes the doom & gloom situation
of NO BUYERS !

As for the E.U.dont expect them to stop,rather expect them to intensify the momemtum once Toshiba gives up on HDDVD.

Since you are a E.U. citizen,you are well aware Europe has quite a substantial amount of local content producers-France,Italy etc who are on HDDVD format
There are currently 20 + HDDVD authoring labs in the E.U.

France has a notorious reputation of being very tough on American companies.

The microsoft experience in EU is a scary reminder of what these commissions can do to comapanies.

You never know.....


RE: Time to slap on some huge fines
By Murst on 2/18/2008 10:27:03 AM , Rating: 2
I think the EU will have some problems proving anything here. I believe all exclusivity contracts were sold for the US, and not for Europe.

Then again, Sony and the large movie publishers aren't EU companies, so creating unreasonable fines won't cause any backlash in a member country.


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 2/18/2008 11:17:59 AM , Rating: 2
They all do business in the EU, which is why the EU is bothering to look into this. If your company pillaged the market yet you sold nothing in the European market, the EU would ignore you and could do nothing. Kind of like you want to sell your product in China, you submit to their laws in that country.


By crystal clear on 2/19/2008 2:41:36 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I believe all exclusivity contracts were sold for the US, and not for Europe.


As per your reasoning then the E.U can say-

Do what you want in the USA,if you want to sell in the E.U. then you abide by our laws.

What if E.U. insist for the sake of competition,movies be sold in the E.U. in both the formats.

Then what do you do-back again to 2 formats.

Movie publishers are not financial giants like Microsoft or Intel,they will collapse if fined heavily.
Dont expect Sony to bail them out as they(Sony) themselves will be fined heavily.

They finsihed with Microsoft,now they take on Intel,then Sony & their friends with B.R.

Dont under estimate the E.U. they can make life very hard for companies.


RE: Time to slap on some huge fines
By Owls on 2/18/2008 11:22:58 AM , Rating: 1
Out of the mist the great HD-DVD troll appears!


By crystal clear on 2/19/2008 3:22:58 AM , Rating: 1
"What is the hardest task in the world? To think."


Yes think of better & an educated response.

Get lost & dont bother to respond to my comments.

This is not the first time you make such a comment aimed at me.
I warned you earlier to stop it.

Are you shameless


HD-DVD is finished now, regardless
By PrinceGaz on 2/18/2008 12:56:11 AM , Rating: 3
Even if Toshiba said they will continue to support HD-DVD, the loss of major labels and retailers recently, along with the widespread report of them abandoning it leaves it dead in the water.

For all their initial failings, Sony seemed to have made the right choice by including a Blu-Ray drive in the PS3. It may have crippled the console's introduction (and possibly crippled it fatally in this generation of game consoles), but looks set to make Blu-Ray the next generation of video disc.




RE: HD-DVD is finished now, regardless
By JAB on 2/18/2008 1:26:16 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
For all their initial failings, Sony seemed to have made the right choice by including a Blu-Ray drive in the PS3. It may have crippled the console's introduction (and possibly crippled it fatally in this generation of game consoles), but looks set to make Blu-Ray the next generation of video disc.


Sony looked pretty stupid when the PS3 came out a year late and with a less capable GPU despite the wait. PS3 sold more consoles than Xbox this month and I expect that to be repeated with the win for the Blu team.

Blu ray is now a huge selling point and it plays games very well as an added bonus! If they are programed right and not just a Xbox port. I just got my first console ever, a PS3 and could not be more happy. The games look great even though I am used to playing on a overclocked quad core and GTX.

My only regret is that I did not get the PS3 sooner the games are more fun and better looking than I believed possible. If xbox had an integrated HD DVD or blu-ray and HDMI at the same price I would have bought that instead.


RE: HD-DVD is finished now, regardless
By kilkennycat on 2/18/2008 2:19:48 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
For all their initial failings, Sony seemed to have made the right choice by including a Blu-Ray drive in the PS3. It may have crippled the console's introduction (and possibly crippled it fatally in this generation of game consoles), but looks set to make Blu-Ray the next generation of video disc.


Let me rephrase this as follows:-

'For all their intial success, Microsoft seems to have made the wrong choice in offering a HD-DVD drive as an accessory instead of integrating a HD-DVD drive at the beginning on a top-end Xbox360 SKU and deliberately undercutting the PS3 with that version by at least $50 at PS3 introduction. With Microsoft's huge bundle of cash on hand and the ability to support this loss-leader for a few years, this was the only chance of crushing the PS3 out of the gate and would pretty well have guaranteed HD-DVD as the HD disc standard of choice. As it is, Microsoft has now fatally crippled the future of the Xbox360 as a combo home media-center and game-console.'

In other words Microsoft's mean approach to the Xbox360 with a cheesy cheap core (plus a free dose of RROD) and overpriced peripherals has finally shot them in the foot. Wanna buy a Blu-ray peripheral for your Xbox360? Don't expect Microsoft to offer you anything significant for your HD-DVD drive. Oh, by the way, that Blu-ray peripheral will cost you a pretty penny - about as much as a stand-alone Blu-ray player - as unlike the fully-integrated drive in the PS3, it has to have all the built-in smarts and programmability to track the evolving Blu-ray standard. And of course it can't handle any Blu-ray-capacity games. Well, you had better hold on to your wallet anyway. If Microsoft wants to hold on to the dream of the Xbox360 being the media core of the living room, they are going to have to hurry a version of the Xbox360 to market with a fully-integrated Blu-ray drive (a la PS3 ). They might as well also refresh the (3-year-old-design) graphics chip for both DX9 and DX10 support and redesign the packaging to completely avoid the thermal meltdowns still plaguing the Xbox360 ( 16% failure rate per year at last count ). And make it 100% backward compatible with current Xbox360 games. And undercut the PS3 by $50 or so. Call it the Xbox720. Microsoft might have to give up the really stupid idea of acquiring Yahoo to ensure that there is enough cash on hand to support the early production costs. Going into debt to buy Yahoo, while the US economy teeters at the brink of a recession does not seem to be the product of a very bright light-bulb. But, hey, who said that Steve Ballmer was bright??


By GeorgeOu on 2/18/2008 2:57:38 AM , Rating: 2
I think I might actually have to agree with you there. How much does a stupid bare BD-Drive cost? The cost of a BD player is mostly the expensive computer and 1080p output. Including a BD drive can't raise the price by more than $50 at the kind of quantities we're talking about over the existing DVD drive. Microsoft makes a lot more than $50 in profits on the console alone before you include the massive attach rate they get on it. So what if they sell the console at a wash by keeping a BD version of the 360 the same price? I think Microsoft could make the switch without bleeding any money within their console division.


RE: HD-DVD is finished now, regardless
By Belard on 2/18/2008 7:31:16 AM , Rating: 2
eh? if Microsoft included a HD-DVD drive into the each XBOX 360, it would have added $150+ to the price of each console... and would have delayed the introduction of the console as well and making it a weaker position against the PS3. The FIRST HD-DVD players were $500 and up and didn't have 1080p.

So the XBOX would have been $550~600 with 20B HD and $450~500 without an HD. And people would have complained about the price as they did for the PS3. So Microsoft choose the Christmas holiday before, giving them over a 1 year head-start over the PS3. Remember, the XBOX(original) came out after the PS2, and Microsoft scraped it all together. Screwing their user base and developers. Yet, PS2s are still being built and software still being released.

If the XBOX-360-HD-DVD unit came out as a all in one unit to begin with, there would have been about 5-7 months ahead of SONY and that would have made more people QUESTION which console to get... means lower 360 sales.

Microsoft was looking out for themselves. The made an ADD-ON which in turn made the 360 cost more than the PS3...

But yes, if possible to do it cheaply, the 360 with a HD-DVD drive could made this war last a lot longer... don't know if it would have won it. Disney and FOX (and especially SONY pictures) were firmly behind Blu-Ray from the beginning. That's 40%+ of the market right there.


By Hiawa23 on 2/18/2008 8:19:25 AM , Rating: 2
Remember, the XBOX(original) came out after the PS2, and Microsoft scraped it all together. Screwing their user base and developers. Yet, PS2s are still being built and software still being released.

come on, Ms was getting killed by Nvidia's licensing fees on the chips for each console, which is one of the main reasons they put the Xbox to bed so soon, which is why they really never made any significant money on it.

MS, did not screw over anyone with the Xbox, cause most devs were making PS2 games, then porting those low res, jaggy, shimmering games to the Xbox, which unfortunately was the norm last gen. The Xbox was my favorite console last gen as I have never been a fan of the PS2's assy hardware & even though I still own both my Xbox & PS2, I was happy when this gen started, as that console was put to bed.

Noway was Ms going to release the 360 with a HD DVD drive as price & availability just wasn't there in 05, so to me MS made the right decision cause it was clear they wanted the 360 out first, & the console gives them a better chance this gen to make some money on it.

Yes, PS2's are still being built, why cause it was the leader last gen & offers a cheap alternative to the next gen consoles, is still selling, plus it's lineup of overall games are good & cover every genre as for as software being made for it, no big games are being made for it & mostly crappy 3rd party stuff is coming out. My last PS2 game bought was GOW2.


By WileECoyote on 2/18/2008 11:35:51 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think MS could have included a HD-DVD in the 360 without delaying the launch. The 360 launched in 11/05. I don't remember any HD-DVD players until early 2006. Microsoft would have missed the holidays if they would have delayed.


By JustTom on 2/18/2008 10:15:33 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
( 16% failure rate per year at last count ).


I've read those reports claiming to state what the XBOX 360 failure rate is and to say the least the methodology is severely suspect.

Even accepting Squaretrades contention that it is 16%, the source of that number, no where did Squaretrade claim it was 16% an year. They claimed that 16.4% of the XBOX 360 warranties sold by Squaretrade were utilized to repair the 360.

The only thing that can be said truthfully about XBOX 360 failure rates is "Too damn fucking high"


Good run, HD-DVD
By rudolphna on 2/18/2008 12:46:20 AM , Rating: 5
It was bound to happen, one would win, one would lose. I have been rooting for Blu-ray over HDdvd, out of the simple fact that it has higher storage capacity,and a laminative protective polymer coating, that is extremely difficult to scratch. I have put off buying equipment until i was sure who would win. It is not over yet, but it is very nearly so. I would be very surprised if HD-DVD can pull off a miracle, but i dont see it happening. Once BD 2.0 is released, and mandatory, Blu-ray will be the superior format. Lets face it, Toshiba gave sony a great run for the money.




RE: Good run, HD-DVD
By ioKain on 2/18/2008 4:01:06 AM , Rating: 3
Indeed, let's all celebrate. DRM, Region Locking, and high prices for one and all!!!

WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE


RE: Good run, HD-DVD
By Ren01 on 2/18/2008 5:14:59 AM , Rating: 4
Do you mean, "One shall stand, one shall fall." I can't wait to get Transformers on Bluray.


RE: Good run, HD-DVD
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 2/18/2008 8:33:44 AM , Rating: 2
Have a seat because it won't be until the fall time at the earliest.


By crystal clear on 2/18/2008 3:08:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Even with apparent industry insiders claiming that Toshiba would drop HD DVD support, a company spokeswoman told the AFP that it is still considering its options.


In short stop believing those unamed sources & await an official announcement about the future of HDDVD from Toshiba.

This could be days or weeks or months....who knows when.

We frequently read/heard about unamed sources at AMD in 07 putting out some news that was only vague/untrue/guess work/etc call it what you like.

So what do you do ? simple Wait & Watch...the wise & mature way to deal with this news item.

So whats all the big noise & excitement about ?

All about those B.R. supporters announcing death & victory-

Do they earn a living supporting/selling B.R.?

if NOT they should be more concerned with themselves & encourage competition for lower prices.

We saw what intense competition did to prices in the case of AMD/Intel.

So you should be promoting a Price & Format war to bring about lowest prices,& not those format promoters.

YOU are the winner-the winner takes it all.


Remember ! YOU commentators are buyers & NOT format promoters/neither paid to promote a format ,so support the buyers/consumers/users.

The format wars gave you low prices & frees from Toshiba &
Free B.R. players for a Sony HDTV purchase etc etc.

No wars-gone all those low prices & frees etc & why should they give you.

Support a format that gives you an price advantage because both the formats are just about the same.

I have PS3 & a Toshiba HDDVD player-its all the same when you watch it on HDTV.

All those high expectations/hopes of lower prices in the future from B.R.& content providers is wishful thinking.

No quarrantee you will get lower prices if & when B.R becomes an exclusive format.

The content providers compel you to buy a format at their prices-Take it or leave it,thats the only options you have.

Where is the competition ?

You have PS3 as an example of high prices,this in a very highly competitive console market.

They are more concerned with themselves making a huge profit,they really dont care about you-they only want your money thats all.

Sell us a B.R. player & quality contents at affordable prices,then you do NOT need to promote your format.

We do it for YOU by buying it.




By crystal clear on 2/18/2008 4:25:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
In short stop believing those unamed sources & await an official announcement about the future of HDDVD from Toshiba.


Just an addition to this-

Update: Many of you have written in saying that the announcement is already official. Yes, we know that many sites have said as much. They are all wrong. It's not official until Toshiba says so on the record. It's a small point, but an important one.



http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080217-offi...


By trinibwoy on 2/18/2008 8:17:30 AM , Rating: 2
In the war between AMD and Intel the format (x86) is the same and the same software runs on both platforms. It's only the hardware that's different. Poor analogy.


Come on Toshiba! Just get it over with...
By SiliconAddict on 2/18/2008 1:06:57 AM , Rating: 2
I want to get BSG Season 1 on HD DVD for $40. :-D




By The Sword 88 on 2/18/2008 1:42:44 AM , Rating: 2
Shoot, if they pu tout all the BSG seasons for $40 on HD-DVD I'd buy one just for that


Toshiba should give away
By jeromekwok on 2/18/2008 8:56:25 AM , Rating: 2
Toshiba should give away a HDDVD player to every Wii owner for free. Learn a lesson from Sony.




RE: Toshiba should give away
By IceTron on 2/18/2008 1:40:57 PM , Rating: 2
Umm...ok


Fire sale?
By KenGoding on 2/18/2008 9:41:08 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder if we will see a short run of the HD DVD equipment and movies dirt cheap as they try to get rid of everything. Even with a dead format it would be a nice chance to pick up some stuff.




RE: Fire sale?
By rudolphna on 2/18/2008 12:30:26 PM , Rating: 2
Probably. I wasn't old enough to remember when VHS and Betamax were competing, but it seems like that would happen. The stores would have to sell off all their extra stock, and would probably just sell at rock bottom prices to make room for the new stuff.


By xphile on 2/18/2008 3:14:56 AM , Rating: 3
There are many technological benefits to HD-DVD. And several things Sony will now do that Toshiba did first.

The capacity issue was really neither here nor there - go backup your 1 TB drive on either - its gonna be a bIaRch no matter how many layers you have, or how big each disc is - they just aren't fast enough yet. So this wasn't won in any way on PC support - it was ALL down to media support and market penetration.

Toshiba had MS support and a willingness to sell through the nose price wise (maybe also with tacit MS funding). Sony had the PS3 to boost the numbers. (We'll never know what difference it might have made if MS had gone a round or three with an HD-DVD drive as standard)

In the end as above it was ALL down to the movie studios. Either could have won if the fight was just based on PC compatibility and purpose. But even the best price in the world can not save a media format that has no marketable media. Not when you're in a media war.

Each of those production company's took a side (or two) and it's been nothing but dictated by the shifts those parties have taken - and that's just the same as it was all those years ago - go figure. If you were in the know you knew recording TO Betamax was best - but the production companies got swayed by VHS and the horse had bolted.

Sure the Walmarts and Best Buys and Netflix have played a part - but only in being smart companies that saw what writing was on which wall, how big it was written and in what color.

Since 2000 or even a year or two earlier I have hated Sony with a passion for many things they did to me and the marketplace. And in recent years they have done little better (and often worse) in many self serving proprietary ways.

I remember when buying Sony meant you were guaranteed excellent technology, excellent performance AND excellent reliability at above average prices. Even then you KNEW it was still the best value for money and people in the know flocked to it.

When they started making crappier products for the same over-the-odds pricing we bought it for a while and then realised we were being ripped off. In short order not only had the quality gone but the innovation and market leadership headed south as well in many areas.

They have indeed fought back in many ways. Their TVs are stronger and getting better and better in this new digital age; they've sucked it in over the PS3 disaster and it might just come right in time there too overall. It seems like maybe the damn consumer is the one to please again - and if thats where even some of the focus lies in the future they could actually come back to where they were. But that's not a given by any means.

Nonetheless, competition is a great thing though. I can only begrudgingly respect them for sticking this one out. It is a big time comeback after all - VCD was going to be a VHS killer and it never happened. They'd already lost on Betamax in the tape format and internally that really killed them as they KNEW it was the better format technically by miles.

Since they even started the CD format in 1979 with Philips this must have been massively important to finally nail a digital video format win to go along with the audio one. Their strategy and tenacity pretty much proves that though - they have nailed pretty much every pair of Sony balls to the wall here over the last 2 years.

In the end this is all just history now. This was has been over for a good 6 to 8 weeks now. Toshiba have to totally pull the plug - how long would you keep piling money into a car to fix tires and insurance etc when you knew the engine was about to die and nobody could fix it?

If you're still with me here, yes this has been a long and considered speel - I only hope that in this end the consumer is the winner. Sony have this habit recently (last 12 years) of taking wins on a tangent and letting the consumer pay to ride them out. Only here this time the studios may have the biggest say, though what scares me is that after making their choice Sony may have them by the proverbials.

We all want the best features at the best price and only time will tell if Sony finally have the business sense to realise that giving those things willingly to all involved will not only make their win in Blu-ray great, but make the company in name and profit far far greater overall as well.




By InternetGeek on 2/18/2008 2:33:33 AM , Rating: 2
Is it safe to assume that another cheap option into HD content would be to get a HD PC Drive?

You can get a cheap external HDD for about the same money as a HD drive and you can store a lot more. What I mean it might not be good to get a HD writer.

Giving up that capacity might not be a good idea though.

What do you guys think?




Well.
By Alias1431 on 2/18/2008 3:23:05 AM , Rating: 2
The fat lady has sung.




"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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