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Published: February 19, 2008 at 1:49 PM
Toshiba has finally waved the white flag officially announcing it will cease production of HD DVD players and recorders. The decision comes amidst weeks of speculation that the HD DVD format was doomed as major players including the movie studios, retailers and rental outfits chose to go strictly Blu-ray. So there you have it, go buy yourself a Blu-ray disc player, the format war is officially over. Or is it?
DVD is and will continue to be the market leader in video disc storage mainly because everyone has a DVD player. It's also less expensive than Blu-ray. Entry level Blu-ray players are still in the $250 range and even the cheapest Blue-ray movies will run you $15 a pop. For a mere $12 more you can buy an inexpensive DVD player with progressive scan and 5.1 digital audio decoding. So yeah DVD may not have the discreet 7.1 audio or 1080p resolution of Blu-ray, but how many people really know what that means much less use it?
Conceivably it could take Blu-ray a few years to turn the corner and surpass DVD's penetration levels (remember how long it took retailers to stop carrying VHS?) and by that time we'll be buying movies the same way we buy our music, through digital distributors. In the end, the true winner of the format war will be the one medium that has withstood the test of time; the hard drive.