No End In Sight For DVD-format War


The DVD-format war isn’t likely to end anytime soon with both sides pulling tricks one after the other. Blu-ray may be leading retail sales and Blockbuster’s endorsement of Sony’s next-gen technology might trick you into thinking they’re leading, but they’re not. Toshiba is counteracting this claim by pointing out that even Blockbuster admits the war isn’t over, yet. Luckily for Toshiba, HD DVD is still a strong presence with other rental outfits like Netflix and Blockbuster will continue to rent HD DVD movies online. They may be limping, but HD DVD isn’t throwing in the towel just yet.

To make up for the deficiency in sales, Toshiba slashed prices on their HD DVD players to $399 in May, while Sony could only muster a $499 price tag before their latest could even go on sale. Retailers aren’t dead-set on one format either.

The rising sales of HD DVD players are a clear sign that consumers will also be lining up to purchase new HDTVs and sound systems. Feel free to pick a side now, but you’ve got a 50/50 chance of being wrong or both sides could prevail in the end. Yeah, I’m that crazy.

Toshiba may be getting the Chinese government to adopt their format and the promise by two DVD manufacturers to jump on board makes a strong case, but it could hurt them in the end. Chinese manufacturers are more than capable of exporting cheaper players to the rest of world, so Toshiba should be very careful about whom they deal with.

The money is going to be made when Hollywood decides which format to endorse for the rest of time. Blu-ray obviously has the biggest presence, but hackers definitely helped Toshiba when they cracked the encryption. And computer hardware sales haven’t made a dent and aren’t likely to make a big impact anytime soon. It’s a battle that neither can lay claim to until one of them closes their respective factories.

In DVD War, Both Sides Could Lose [Business Week]