Toshiba falls on sword, exits HD DVD

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Toshiba falls on sword, exits HD DVD

No more HD DVD players, recorders, PC drives from March, but no mention of Blu-Ray option by Toshiba.

- Production of HD DVD recorders, players, PC drives to cease
- Fate unclear for HD DVD notebooks
- Support, service to continue
- No word on BluRay option from Toshiba
- Local announcement expected today


Toshiba has confirmed rumours it will end production of HD DVD players, saying all shipments will cease by the end of March this year.

"Disappointed" executives blamed the "next generation format war" in a statement released overseas, citing recent market changes for the decision. The recent decision of US retailer Wal Mart and online disc business Netflix to stop stocking HDDVD weren't mentioned, but likely affected Toshiba's plans. Universal also joined the HD DVD exodus this week, leaving only Paramount Pictures and Dreamworks Animation supporting the disc format.

While the fate of set-top players is sealed, it's not so clear for HD DVD notebooks. While there will be no more new HD DVD players, recorders, and PC drives, Toshiba was curiously coy about the future of HD DVD notebooks such as the Qosmio line. The fate of HD DVD notebooks will depend on "future market demand", said a statement.

Toshiba is yet to answer the obvious question of whether it switch to offering Blu-Ray players and notebooks. In fact the only thing curiously absent from today's statement was any mention of Blu-Ray.

The news can’t be good if you've recently shelled out for one of the set-top players, though Toshiba assured customers it will honour product support and after sales service. A local announcement is expected today, which will hopefully clear up these questions for Australian customers.

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