Sunday, February 17, 2008

HD-DVD dead

Well, it looks like the format war is over. Like the guy at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, I chose unwisely.

From Reuters:

TOKYO (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp (6502.T: Quote, Profile, Research) is planning to give up on its HD DVD format for high-definition video, conceding defeat to the competing Blu-Ray technology backed by Sony Corp (6758.T: Quote, Profile, Research), a company source said on Saturday.

Japanese public broadcaster NHK had earlier reported that Toshiba would suffer losses in the tens of billions of yen (hundreds of millions of dollars) as it scrapped production of HD DVD players and recorders and took other steps to exit the business.

The company source told Reuters that Toshiba was in the final stages of planning to exit the HD DVD business and that an official decision would be made soon.

It's still "being decided," but with all the nails in the coffin, it looks like it's over, and we'll be stuck with Sony's region-coded, DRM-friendly, and unfinished format. I'd buy a Blu-Ray player, but the only one that currently supports Profile 2.0, the new format that has all the best extras, is the PlayStation 3. I don't want a console system. I do not play video games. It's a long story, but after a 2-year addiction to EverQuest I swore off games after selling my accounts for a tidy profit (not counting labor, I think I spent enough hours on that game to count for 2 years of work). So no PS3, thanks.
If Samsung releases the nifty dual-format player I may switch over. I have about 40 HD-DVDs, picked up on sales. I'd rather get a dual because if the player needs repair it is more likely to be under warranty than Toshiba's player, if they phase them out.

Sony finally beat the BetaMax curse, and they are screwing us by changing the format after release- I wonder how many times we'll have to upgrade Blu-Ray players now that they have dominance.

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