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Last Updated: Friday, 22 February 2008, 18:16 GMT
The demise of HD-DVD
By Spencer Kelly
Click presenter

Toshiba's HD-DVD player (Photo: Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images)
With the death of HD-DVD, Blue-ray now becomes the industry standard
In a high definition rerun of the VHS/Betamax conflict of the 1970s and 1980s, the two rival formats have slugged it out over the last two years in a battle for our hearts, minds and wallets.

Japanese manufacturer Toshiba launched HD-DVD, confident that the format, which was based on existing DVD technology, would be perfectly placed to take advantage of the rise in sales of high definition TVs.

After all, they reasoned, even though HD-DVDs were not able to store quite as much data as a Blu-ray disc, the discs and players were cheaper to produce than Sony's format, and the pictures and sounds were just as good.

HD-DVD was also, just, first out of the traps and initially had strong support from Hollywood. But the expected sales never materialised, just one million in total, as consumer indifference and confusion set in.

And of course, there was Sony's trump card. The Blu-ray playing Playstation3 may have underperformed commercially as a gaming console, but in the past 18 months they have managed to get six million of them into our living rooms.

CLICK: INTERVIEW
Helen Davis-Jayalath
More and more movie studios got behind Sony's format, and Warner Brothers' announcement at the beginning of the year that it would exclusively support Blu-Ray effectively signalled HD-DVD's demise.

The final nail was hammered into the format's coffin earlier this month, when the worlds largest retailer, Wal-Mart, threw its considerable weight behind Blu-ray.

So, Toshiba and its partners will now cease producing HD-DVD hardware and Blu-ray is left with a clear run at the high definition market.

To find out how this happened, and what it means for the consumer, we spoke to Screen Digest's Helen Davis-Jayalath.



SEE ALSO
Toshiba drops out of HD DVD war
19 Feb 08 |  Business
How the PS3 led Blu-ray's triumph
19 Feb 08 |  Business
Q&A: Death of a format
19 Feb 08 |  Technology

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