Toshiba talks HD DVD and Warner Brothers, while also announcing lots of new TV tech.
Jodi continued by making it very clear that HD DVD had been a very successful format in 2007, with almost one million players in American homes. She also hammered home the fact that HD DVD players have offered a full feature set since day one, while we’re only starting to see fully functional Blu-ray players now, two years after the retail launch. Of course all this is true, and the fact that HD DVD was a fully ratified standard from the off definitely made it a more compelling option, as did the cheaper hardware, but as we saw with VHS and Betamax, the best format doesn’t necessarily win. Ultimately, the one key problem that HD DVD has always had is manufacturer support, with Toshiba being the only major manufacturer of players around the world.
Toshiba insisted that it wasn’t giving up on HD DVD, but with one of the format’s biggest supporters walking away, the situation is not looking good. As things stand, Paramount is still solely supporting HD DVD, while Universal is also continuing its support of the format, but only time will tell how long that continues. It also doesn’t bode well that the HD DVD consortium decided to cancel its Press conference in light of the Warner announcement. I am due to have a meeting with the HD DVD consortium later this week, so hopefully I’ll get some more information then.