Toshiba says HD DVD has not lost out to Blu-ray

Mon Jan 7, 2008 3:59am EST
 
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By Franklin Paul and Mayumi Negishi

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp said on Sunday its HD DVD high-definition video format is not dead despite being dealt a big setback by Warner Bros studio's decision to exclusively back Sony Corp's rival Blu-ray technology.

Akiyo Ozaka, president of Toshiba America Consumer Products, told a briefing at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that HD DVD "has not lost."

Ozaka declined to comment on Toshiba's next steps, which he said Toshiba's HD DVD partners would have to discuss, after Time Warner Inc's Warner Bros, one of the world's largest film studios, said it would back Blu-ray, an optical disk format for storing high-definition video.

Toshiba's remarks were the latest salvo in a long-running battle over which format will dominate the next generation of technology for delivering high-definition movies to consumers.

The winner is expected to inherit a multibillion-dollar industry, although consumers so far have been confused by the standards war. Some analysts say they have also failed to see the attraction of high-definition.

Toshiba, the main backer of the HD DVD format, defended the technology on Sunday after the HD DVD consortium, a group of companies of which it is a part, cancelled plans to hold its own press conference at the Las Vegas trade show, the industry's largest U.S. gathering.

"We were very disappointed with Warner Brothers' announcement," Ozaka said. "Sales of HD DVD were very good last year, especially in October to December."

That was in contrast to the mood among Blu-ray technology promoters, who held their own reception at CES and congratulated themselves on the Warner decision.   Continued...

 
<p>A model displays a Sony Corp's new 50 gigabyte (GB) Blue-ray disk during an unveiling in Tokyo September 12, 2007. Toshiba Corp said on Sunday its HD DVD high-definition video format is not dead despite being dealt a big setback by Warner Bros studio's decision to exclusively back Sony Corp's rival Blu-ray technology. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao(</p>