Surrender Ahead for HD DVD?
HD DVD proponent Toshiba is expected to wave the white flag in the next few weeks, according to an article in The Hollywood Reporter. The move would surprise few following the announcement by Warner Home Video last month that it would support Blu-ray exclusively beginning in May.
That decision set in motion a domino effect at retail and rental outlets. Online DVD rental service Netflix said it would stock Blu-ray exclusively in the hi-def video disc category, and Best Buy said it would promote Blu-ray over HD DVD in its stores.
Toshiba still touts what it sees as the superiority of the HD DVD format, but marketing vp Jodi Sally told Hollywood Reporter that the company would continue to study the market impact of recent developments.
In response to the Warner announcement, Toshiba slashed prices on its HD DVD players, down to $149 for the HD-A3 leader model and to $199 for the HD-A30. The top model, the HD-A35, now lists for $299, down from $499. But street prices have slid another $50 more on each model at Amazon.com, which is selling the HD-A3 for $119, the HD-A30 for $149 and the HD-A35 for $225.
The Toshiba website is still promoting the format and is currently offering a free Star Trek HD DVD and universal Star Trek Phaser remote control with the purchase of any HD DVD player. Another promotion offers five free HD DVDs with the purchase of an Xbox 360 HD DVD player, Toshiba HD DVD player or Toshiba HD DVD computer. The promo runs through the end of February.--Rebecca Day