RIP (Toshiba) HD-DVD

19 02 2008

Today 02/19/08, Toshiba finally threw in the towel and gave-up their interests in the high definition dvd format war against Sony’s Blu-Ray. Gizmodo covered it up a bit but for the average folks out there, Toshiba and Sony initially developed the high-definition DVD standard but as the two company’s differences grew larger, they decided to split with Toshiba taking the “HD” moniker leaving the more ambiguous term “Blu-Ray” for Sony.

While Toshiba cozied up with big Shao Khan Microsoft and his henchmen in the movie industry, Sony worked hard to ingrain Blu-Ray DVD systems into their next generation gaming platform, the Sony Playstation 3 or PS3. The biggest cosmetic difference between the Blu-Ray and HD-DVD dvds are that the former can hold more than double the capacity of the latter. But to Toshiba’s credit, their disks are cheaper.

So anyway, slowly and steadily, Sony started to garner support as PS3 sales began to drive Blu-Ray player sales and certain notable Hollywood companies switched sides to the benefit of the makers of PrayStation3.

Transformers director Michael Bay made an allegation that Microsoft was simply holding hands with Toshiba to prolong the high-definition DVD war until digital downloads became the acceptable medium for media transfers. Could be saying the truth? It’s true that the add-on HD-DVD player for the Xbox 360 sucks and it can only be used to view HD-DVD movies compared to the PS3’s Blu-Ray player which plays PS3/PS2 games + Blu-Ray movies and doesn’t require you to make an additional purchase for the dvd component. Half-assed work from the big bad MS building credibility to the rumor reported by Michael “awesome” Bay.

So yea, in the end, one must fall. With too many defections from Hollywood studios, it was only a matter of time before Toshiba crumbled saving Sony from an embarrassing Betamax-like failure of the ’80s. To put in the final blow, Sony released an official statement mentioning they were open to the idea of Toshiba joining the Blu-Ray camp. FATALITY!

So what is this High-Definition DVD? Regular DVD videos are formatted for 480p resolutions. On an HDTV, those videos will be stretched to fit and on larger HDTVs, regular DVDs aren’t as impressive. This is where high definition dvds (720p, 1080i, 1080p) come into play as Sony’s Blu-Ray disks let you watch your favorite movies (with huge mark-ups of course) on crystal clear screens. You will require HDMI cables to transmit video/audio from the DVD player to the TV however to get that pristine picture and sound you deserve.


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