Toshiba Sets HD-DVD Standard

Toshiba wins backing for HD-DVD (Financial Times)

DVDToshiba has won a major victory in the battle to determine the standard for next-generation DVDs with the endorsement by four Hollywood studios of its High Definition-DVD format. Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, New Line Cinema and Warner Brothers on Monday announced their support for the HD-DVD format advocated by Toshiba and NEC. Universal Pictures said it would come out with titles in the format during the 2005 holiday season while Paramount committed to bringing content out on HD-DVD in 2006.

The support of the Hollywood studios gives a strong boost to the Toshiba camp, which is competing with a group led by Sony to standardise the next generation of optical recording technology. Sony is working with a group of leading consumer electronics and PC manufacturers to promote the rival Blu-ray Disc format.

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Blu-ray Disc and HD-DVD both offer much more storage capacity than current DVDs, making it possible to record high-definition content. The main advantage of the Blu-ray Disc, according to its supporters, is that it is capable of storing more data than HD-DVDs. But one key advantage of HD-DVD, from Hollywood’s perspective, is that since the discs are similar to current DVDs, it is cheaper to convert existing DVD production lines to making the new discs.

Interesting. HDTV compatible versions of TiVo are now available as well. Now, if they’ll just start charging a reasonable price for the HDTV television sets, this format will be ready to become the new standard.

FILED UNDER: Popular Culture, Science & Technology
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Tig says:

    Yeah, they were comin’ down quickly until the US manufactureres filed suit against the Chinese manufacturers for floodin’ the US market with low-priced products to drive them out of business.

  2. Eric says:

    As usual, the Hollywood Studios pick the wrong side of a technology debate. Up until this decision, Blu-Ray was pulling ahead as the high-density DVD format to bet on. This pretty much completely muddies the waters, which were showing signs of clearing.

  3. McGehee says:

    Eric, please don’t tell me we’re in for another “Beta was better than VHS” legacy.

    Lots of Mac users may not even remember that their “the better product was beaten unfairly” whine isn’t exactly original.

  4. Sam says:

    Eric, I don’t see why you’d think that Blu-ray consortium was in any sense “ahead” of the DVD Forum (in firm control of the DVD standards as well as developing HD-DVD).