HD DVD: We Hardly Knew Ye

The format war between HD DVD and Blu-ray officially ended today, with HD DVD mortally wounded by Toshiba’s announcement that it would cease its development and manufacturing of HD DVD players and recorders. With most of the major film studios and companies such as Netflix either already solidly in the Blu-ray camp or having announced their support for Blu-ray over the past few weeks, HD DVD’s days were clearly numbered.

Both HD DVD and Blu-ray were able to bring out the exceptional qualities of HDTVs, displaying superb images augmented by cutting-edge audio formats such as DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD. Unfortunately, the format war confused consumers, many of whom decided to wait to see which side would win the battle before making a purchase, slowing sales of both formats. At Abt, we believe Toshiba’s announcement should alleviate this confusion and allow Blu-ray sales to take off.

It’s not often that you see a format suffer such a quick demise, especially one that was as viable and relatively well-received as HD DVD. But it’s hard to survive when your allies start defecting to the other side. Abt had anticipated this development, and we will continue to sell the one model we still carry (the Toshiba HDA3) until our existing inventory runs out. Toshiba remains a solid partner for Abt, and the company has told us there are no immediate plans to offer a Blu-ray machine.        –by Graham W.

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