Toshiba heads toward HD DVD launch

By Derek Sooman on August 23, 2005, 8:33 PM
After failing to reach an agreement on merging the two next generation DVD formats, Toshiba and Sony are almost ready to launch their two competing standards. And so we will have war. Any hopes for a resolution now seem quite over, and the consumer is destined to be as baffled as ever. One can quite clearly picture hoards of people trying to decide which format to go for, and being hideously confused. And the sad thing is, for a moment it really looked like Toshiba and Sony might shake hands over next generation DVD. But no.

Toshiba said this week it will move its HD DVD standard towards a launch, after talks with Blu-ray backer Sony proved fruitless. Sony, presumably, will shrug off the failure of the talks and press on with its own launch. According to reports, both companies have suggested talks can restart, but with both formats due to appear late this year, corporate name-calling appears more likely.
Let's hope that someone has the sense to make some good multi-standard devices that can handle both formats. But that will be little comfort really - this is all a big mess and it is likely to get messier till itís over and we have one format standing alone. That could take time.

User Comments: 2

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smtkr said:
How many failed formats has Sony pushed? I hope Sony loses this one was well.
cold_storage said:
Amen to that!I'm sick of this whole Next Gen DVD thing, just hurry up and get them out, fight for a while and leave us with a winner. Personally I think that HD-DVD will win the public vote just because the name uses two acronyms that Joe Public already understand. Blu-Ray is a little non-descript from a consumer brand point of view. I also dont see movie studios staying with Blu-Ray through the fight, since who ever is on Sony's side will have higher costs associated with producing the Blu-Ray DVD's meaning less profit than if they sold the same number of HD-DVD's. Shareholders wont like that at all and the extra cost associated with Blu-Ray wont go away unless it was the only format, otherwise it just wont have the market penetration to make the mass production reduce the costs. Another thing that no one seems to have picke dup on about Blu-Ray, the specification states that the distance between the outer surface of the disc and the portion of the **** where data is held should be 0.1mm, compared to (I think) 0.7mm for DVD and HD-DVD. The reason for this being that the thinner this section the less interference to the laser etc etc. Downside of it is, right now if you scratch a DVD, the scratch can be up to 0.7 mm deep before it damages the information layer of the disc (which would make it unreadable and unrepairable), the same applies to HD-DVD, blu-ray on the other hand, the slightest scratch would render the disc useless and no amount of CD repair kits would fix it. Big downside to anyone who has any form of child/teenager anywhere near their DVD collection, and lets not forget the PS3 games.......I know one thing for certain though, I wont be buying either until I see a definate winner.
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