Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Monday, January 07, 2008

R.I.P. HD DVD

Is Toshiba going Belly up?The war is over. That's right. The 2-year long HD DVD and Blu-Ray war is, for all intents and purposes, over. And the loser? Toshiba.

For the second time no less. And that's gotta hurt.

Warner Bros., the largest movie company with the most titles, announced on Jan. 4 it is abandoning HD DVD in favour of Sony's Blu-Ray. And this announcement came just days after Christmas shoppers spent millions of dollars on 1080p HD DVD equipment. Including my Suz who surprised me with the new player seen at left on Christmas morning.

Three years ago, when information was sketchy at best, I talked about the upcoming HD DVD/Blu-Ray battle, and related it to the BETA/VHS fiasco of the 80s. But then, I think most technodorks did too. Back in the 80s Toshiba was a Sony ally. This time around, Toshiba was one of the primary developers of Sony's rival HD format, which is very unfortunate.

Those perky folks at Toshiba were caught completely off guard by Warner's ill-timed announcement, just before the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, effectively sucking the perk right out of them. In retaliation they softly threatened Warner by mentioning "contractual agreements" in their press release, here, then went running up and down the streets declaring "We're not dead!"

Meanwhile, the Sony guys were jumping up and down, popping the bubbly, and screaming "Konichiwa! Konichiwa!" or something that actually means Yay.

The end result has consumers experiencing these same mixed emotions. There are a lot of upset consumers who banked on HD, or thought their players would be safe as long as the war continued. Warner Bros. primary goal was to end the consumer confusion and get people buying Hi Def instead of waiting it out. They've certainly pleased some consumers, and dealt a harsh blow to the rest, like me, when they turned their backs on HD DVD.

On a more amusing note, this format war was so good Hollywood couldn't write it. "HD DVD: The look and sound of perfect failure."

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15 Comments:

Blogger Patti said...

This is exactly why I shy back and never buy techo-gadgets until they are woefully passe'. I hope you enjoy your HD DVD anyway!

11:10:00 AM

 
Blogger Martini said...

There's definitely some logic to that line of thought.

I've always been an 'early adopter' which is fun, but dangerous, as the unproven technology has a unusually high failure rate, as I experienced with my 16:9 HD Panasonic TV in 2002. (Luckily it was replaced under warranty with a newer model.)

11:36:00 AM

 
Blogger mmat said...

i like to think that i always choose wisely when it comes to these types of things, but my Sega Saturn and desktop computer with RDRAM technology constantly reminds me that i'm wrong.

1:21:00 PM

 
Blogger Martini said...

I hear ya! My old Toshiba Beta and my new Toshiba HD speak volumes.

Even the company that installed a new alternator on my car went out of business (after 70 years!)

1:40:00 PM

 
Blogger Akhor said...

I think Toshiba needs to follow Yoda's advice...

"Do or do not, there is no try".

6:18:00 PM

 
Blogger Techie Guy said...

I always wait for technology to mature a little before buying. New technology is never perfect when first release.

As for the high-def DVD war, it'll be interesting to see what Microsoft and Intel do since they have a big hand in HD-DVD. I have yet to see those two companies back down from anything.

9:53:00 PM

 
Blogger Becky said...

Damn'it now my husband wins the battle and we get his a damn PS3! Damn you warner brothers!

10:05:00 PM

 
Blogger Ms. Creek said...

i still don't have a tv, so i guess i will just keep on going to the theatre!

10:47:00 PM

 
Blogger Martini said...

Microsoft, despite all their negative points, may be the only ones who can save HD DVD.

11:16:00 PM

 
Blogger SJ said...

Make format love not format wars :)

2:36:00 AM

 
Blogger Martini said...

John Lennon would be so proud

9:32:00 AM

 
Blogger Jay said...

I love a good old fashioned throw down.

What will the nerds fight over next? Any predictions?

9:35:00 AM

 
Blogger Katie said...

I was waiting to see what would happen before I made any purchases.

5:43:00 PM

 
Blogger ZoeyBella said...

Nice to know what side I should be on if I ever give in and decide to get one of those new DVD thingies... :)

9:21:00 PM

 
Blogger Martini said...

Oh, the next fight will be over holographic 3DTV for sure, said the Nerd to the bloggers.

You guys were smart to wait.

10:50:00 PM

 

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