Saturday, February 16, 2008

Toshiba pulling the plug on HD DVD already?

Japan's NHK has followed up The Hollywood Reporter's earlier indications Toshiba was ready to dump its money-losing HD DVD business, with news that the company is prepared to cease manufacturing software and hardware, at a loss of hundreds of millions of dollars. This caps the worst week ever for red, when HD DVD was dumped by Netflix and Wal-mart.This kind of closes the book on my wading out in to the HD format war. I picked up one of the $100 HD DVD A2 players in November, and despite the over all outcome, I am pretty happy with it. Total amount invested - $140, which includes 4 HD DVD's that I picked up on Amazon's BOGO *Buy One Get One free) and a top notch up-scaler. I am disappointed, but I felt the writing was on the wall once Warner went Blu. My initial plan once that went down was to hold on to my DVD player, and pick up cheaper HD DVD's. A year or two down the road, I would picking up a dual format player and presto, I've already got a good start on my HD library and then I could start back up on my Blu catalog. Plus, since I would have time for the market to settle, prices on blu-ray disks should have dropped, and items that were brand new today, would have moved to the bargin bin. The biggest reason for the wait would be for blu-ray to sort out its formating problems. Regardless of which side you were rooting for, a big point in the HD DVD's camp was the format was settled and they were ready out of the gate. Blu-ray is still trying to work the kinks out, and only the latest generation blu-ray players can now present a polished presentation on the additional content that HD DVD has had for quite some time. But none of that matters now, and I have seemed to hit another stick in the mud with this latest development. With Toshiba pulling up stakes in this fashion, I don't think there will even be dual format players around. They may be here and there, but more than likely I would have to search out for a used model from this time frame. Alas, I took a risk and ended up with the short end. But, on the bright side, I have a player that presents a fantastic picture, I will be able to enjoy HD DVD movies from Netflix for a little while longer, and I will be able to smile just the smallest bit when I pick up a movie on HD for $10-12 while glancing at the exact same movie going for $35 as a blu-ray disk.

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