Toshiba to Join Blu-ray Disc Association
Technology company Toshiba,
which lost a protracted high-definition DVD format war with rival Sony (Toshiba
backed HD DVD technology, but Sony's Blu-ray player prevailed) is getting ready
to produce Blu-ray players of its own, according to a company statement.
Toshiba announced the company has applied for membership of the Blu-ray Disc
Association (BDA) and plans to introduce products that support the Blu-ray
"In light of recent growth in
digital devices supporting the Blu-ray format, combined with market demand from
consumers and retailers alike, Toshiba has decided to join the BDA," the
statement read. "Toshiba aims to introduce digital products that support the
Blu-ray format, including BD players and notebook PCs integrating BD drives, in
the course of this year. Details of the products, including the timing of
regional launches, are now under consideration. We will make announcements in
Toshiba declared on February 19
that it would no longer manufacture or market HD DVD players. Support for the
format had been steadily eroding as major film studios like Warner Bros.
announced that they had chosen the Blu-ray format, developed by Sony,
Panasonic, Philips and others, to release their films in high definition.
Toshiba President Atsutoshi Nishida announced at the time, "We concluded
that a swift decision would be best [and] if we had continued, that would have
created problems for consumers, and we simply had no chance to win."
However, Toshiba continued to
supply retailers with machines until the end of March 2008, and the company
then continued to provide technical support to the estimated 1 million people
worldwide who owned HD DVD players and recorders. While the suggestion that
Toshiba would cross over to its former competitor's side and support a format
it once fought against may sound strange, hard media formats are facing
competition from rapidly proliferating digital download options from companies
like Netflix and cable operators such as Comcast.
Comcast announced on July 13
a partnership with Time Warner television programming subsidiaries Home Box
Office and Cinemax, two subscription cable channels, to offer content online
for the first time. At launch, the HBO and Cinemax broadband services on
Comcast's On Demand Online will include popular films and television series.
On July 9, online movie rental service Netflix announced a partnership with Sony Electronics that will enable Netflix subscribers to instantly watch movies streamed from the rental site on Sony's Bravia Internet video-capable high-definition televisions and on previous Bravia models compatible with Sony's Bravia Internet video link module.