Blu-ray beats HD DVD

by billso on Saturday, 16 February 2008

A few weeks ago, my face-to-face IS 7010 stu­dents talked about the high-definition DVD for­mat war. Apple, Sony, Dis­ney and Fox sup­ported Blu-ray. Warner’s defec­tion from the HD DVD camp last month was an indi­ca­tion that Blu-ray was win­ning the bat­tle, accord­ing to this New York Times arti­cle.

The rival HD DVD for­mat was sup­ported by Uni­ver­sal, Para­mount, Toshiba, Microsoft and Intel, accord­ing to this Wikipedia arti­cle.

Of course, Blu-ray discs won’t play in a stan­dard HD DVD player, and vice versa. Engad­get has a chart that com­pares the two for­mats here.

This for­mat war is rem­i­nis­cent of the Beta vs VHS video tape bat­tle in the 1970s and 1980s.

It seems that this for­mat war is over, and Blu-ray has won. Wal-Mart had been push­ing HD DVD in its stores, but the com­pany announced yes­ter­day that they will no longer sell HD DVD movies, accord­ing to the New York Times. The shift was announced on Wal-Mart’s cor­po­rate blog in this arti­cle. Engad­get has sounded the death knell, partly because Wal-Mart sells 20% of the DVD in the USA.

Toshiba made one des­per­ate last attempt to pro­mote their HD DVD tech­nol­ogy with an expen­sive com­mer­cial dur­ing the Super Bowl ear­lier this month. How­ever, Net­flix and Block­buster had pre­vi­ously announced they would sup­port Blu-ray. Now Toshiba is sus­pend­ing their HD DVD marketing.

Com­puter man­u­fac­tur­ers have long wanted a sin­gle stan­dard high-def DVD for­mat. Soft­ware pub­lish­ers don’t really need high-def DVDs and the moment, and game pub­lish­ers have to go along with what­ever for­mat is used in the game consoles.

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  • billso

    Sev­eral sources reported today that Toshiba has halted pro­duc­tion of HD DVD play­ers. See the New York Times, Reuters UK, and PC World.

    The Daily Yomi­uri claims that Toshiba will aban­don HD DVD altogether.

    Japan­ese tele­vi­sion net­work NHK reported that HD DVD will cost Toshiba “hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars”, accord­ing to Reuters.

  • billso

    It’s offi­cial… Toshiba has thrown in the towel on HD DVD. See the Hon­olulu Adver­tiser, Mac­World, and the Wall Street Jour­nal.

    PC Mag­a­zine has an arti­cle on how Sony won the for­mat war.

    And Microsoft? They’ll still sup­port HD DVD for the Xbox 360, accord­ing to Mac­World.

  • billso

    Here’s a good arti­cle from Tid­BITS with spe­cific unit vol­ume and sales infor­ma­tion. Glenn Fleish­man strikes again!

  • billso

    Engad­get has pub­lished a sum­mary of the for­mat war. It’s a good arti­cle, which sur­prises me, con­sid­er­ing how sloppy Engadget’s writ­ers have been on other posts.

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