HD DVD: 2003-2008

This eulogy is going to be pretty short because, like many people, I didn’t really care about the high-definition DVD format wars. But according to Reuters and (somewhat less conclusively) Kyodo news (via Bloomberg), HD DVD developer Toshiba will give up its hundreds-of-million-dollar HD DVD player and recorder business. That means Sony-backed Blu-ray is going to be the high-definition DVD format of choice, going forward.

Reuters’ Toshiba source said the effort would not be a total loss for the company, as it learned it would have to improve its marketing efforts. Toshiba had only just run a Super Bowl ad two weeks ago. The company had (along with NEC) its HD DVD format approved in 2003, and in 2006 released its first HD DVD player.

Blu-ray has emerged victorious in this year’s skirmishes, with everyone from Netflix to Best Buy to Wal-Mart taking its side, following Warner Home Video in January.

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