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Toshiba may drop support for its own high-def format

Perhaps not wanting to be the last off a sinking ship, Toshiba could soon be abandoning the HD DVD format it helped bring to market, if the Hollywood Reporter is to be believed.

According to the report’s sources, Toshiba will be pulling the plug on its HD DVD format sometime in the coming weeks. The official word from Toshiba, predictably, is that it is still behind HD DVD as the format of choice.

"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," said Jodi Sally, Toshiba’s VP of marketing.

Interestingly enough, Toshiba didn’t completely put to rest any ideas that the company could change its stance in the format war. "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."

Possibly urging Toshiba to drop HD DVD are the recent events transpired since Warner Bros. announced at CES 2008 that it would go Blu-ray Disc exclusive this summer. Most recently, online rental giant Netflix announced that it too would be dropping HD DVD stock, while Best Buy would begin to push Blu-ray Disc as the preferred format.

In what could be the final nail in the coffin for the format, Wal-Mart today announced its plans to drop HD DVD players and software stock starting this June.

02/16/08 Update: Reuters cites an NHK Japan source that Toshiba will officially pulling the plug on HD DVD as early as next week. "We have entered the final stage of planning to make our exit from the next generation DVD business," said the source, who asked not to be identified.




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