HD DVD Chief Backer Toshiba Joins Blu-ray Camp

Toshiba, the prime proponent of the defunct HD DVD format for HD video discs, ended weeks of online speculation by acknowledging this week (Aug. 10) that it will soon join its CE competitors in manufacturing Blu-ray products, notably players and laptops.

As part of the firm's hesitant nod that its proposed 1080p standard was bested in the marketplace by Blu-ray (a turning point that occurred nearly a year and a half ago), Toshiba said it will soon add its name to the Blu-ray Disc Association.

For more than a year, a lot of CE bloggers and other industry observers speculated that Toshiba wanted to leapfrog Blu-ray by quickly introducing a newer, superior disc standard. Whether that strategy might still continue behind closed lab doors (if indeed it ever existed) is anyone's guess.

Toshiba was pressured into pursuing what many considered the inevitable — accepting Blu-ray as the lone HD disc standard — by both a growing awareness that Blu-ray continues to grow, and the fact that the firm lost about $3.5 billion in its last fiscal year (its biggest one-year loss on record).

Yet HD DVD will live on, at least in part, in one country that has declared its own HD disc "standard" for its potential 1.3 billion consumers. China's CBHD format relies partly on HD DVD technology (HD Notebook, Aug. 5, 2009).