The war officially ends today
After two years, the war is finally over. I’m talking, of course, about the format war between rival high-def next-generation DVD formats HD DVD (manufactured by Toshiba) and Blu-ray (Sony).
The writing has been on the wall for about a month now, as media companies — some that had remained neutral until recently — have been slowly aligning themselves into Blu-ray’s camp and tipping the scales of the stalemate. But today Toshiba made it official with their announcement that they will discontinue all manufacturing operations for HD DVD players.
The dominoes have fallen and the implacable truth has arrived: HD DVD is dead, and Blu-ray is the future.
Paramount and Universal are still officially supporting HD DVD, but announcement of a reversal of that position is inevitable and likely to happen in a matter of weeks, if not days.
Toshiba’s surrender marks a major victory for Sony, which will have finally won the war they were determined not to lose. As you may remember, of course, they were also determined not to lose the other major home video format war … in the 1980s when their Betamax went up against (and ultimately lost to) JVC’s VHS. For Sony, vengeance, at least today, is theirs.
So if you’ve been sitting on the fence, go out and buy yourself a Blu-ray disc player. If you even have an HDTV, that is. The format should be good for a while — until on-demand downloads render disc-based video media irrelevant. But that looks to be a ways down the road.