While Toshiba lost the format war, they aren't giving up on the consumer electronics market. In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Toshiba Chief Executive, Atsutoshi Nishida, stated that the company plans to work on bringing content from the PC to the television and focus on "upconverting" DVD players.
"What people don't realize is that Hollywood studios are going to release new titles not just for Blu-ray but for standard DVDs as well, and there are a far greater number of current-generation DVD players out there. If you watch standard DVDs on our players, the images are of very high quality because they include an "upconverting" feature. And we're going to improve this even more, so that consumers won't be able to tell the difference from HD DVD images. The players would be much cheaper than Blu-ray players too. Next-generation DVD players are in a much weaker position than when standard DVD players were first introduced."
Toshiba's HD DVD players were very good at upconverting standard DVD's. It will be interesting to see if they can improve the image quality to deliver near HD DVD quality on their DVD players. If you'd like to read more, the entire interview can be found here. Add a comment
Broadcom has announced that it has acquired Sunext Design, Inc. By purchasing Sunext Design and licensing technologies from its parent company, Sunext Technology, Broadcom hopes to integrate Blu-ray Disc capabilities into its next generation consumer electronics products.
Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), a global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, today announced that it has acquired Sunext Design, Inc. ("Sunext Design"), a wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary of Sunext Technology Company Limited ("Sunext Technology"), and has licensed certain optical disk reader and writer technology from Sunext Technology. Sunext Technology is a privately-held fabless semiconductor company that specializes in optical storage technologies.

High definition optical disc players are emerging as a popular platform for in-home entertainment worldwide by combining the benefits of a high definition viewing experience with the convenience and familiarity of DVD media. Sunext single-chip front-end technology is a strong complement to the industry-leading Broadcom system-on-a-chip (SoC) back-end Blu-ray Disc platform, and key to an integration roadmap that will drive the cost of these devices down to levels that enable widespread consumer adoption of high definition optical disc players and recorders.
If you'd like to read more, Broadcom's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
If you've been looking to score a cheap HD DVD player at Best Buy, you're out of luck. According to Punch Jump, the retailer has already sold their entire stock of players.
Best Buy Co. Inc. this week sold out of two HD DVD player SKUs following Toshiba Corp.'s announcement that it will exit the HD DVD business.

The HD-A3 HD DVD Player and the HD-A35 HD DVD Player held a sold out status at Bestbuy.com after the retailer price cut the hardware to as low as $99.99.
While Best Buy may be sold out, my local Walmart still has plenty of players in stock. I keep checking, in the hope that they'll clearance them out for $50. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment
DivX, Inc. announced today that Panasonic's Profile 1.1 Blu-ray Disc player has been certified for DivX playback. The DMP-BD30EG/EE will be released to the European and Russian markets beginning in March.
DivX, Inc., a digital media company, (NASDAQ:DIVX) today announced the DivX Certification of Panasonic's Blu-ray Disc (BD) Player (PN: DMP-BD30EG/EE).

The Panasonic Blu-ray Disc player, which joins a number of existing DivX Certified products from Panasonic, is scheduled to be released beginning in March and is expected to be the first DivX Certified Blu-ray Disc Player available in Europe and Russia. Like Panasonic’s existing DivX Certified DVD players, the latest DivX Certified Panasonic Blu-ray disc player enables users to enjoy high-quality DivX video playback.

“In order to give our users access to the extremely popular, high-quality DivX format, we have introduced the first DivX-Certified Blu-ray Disc Player for Europe and Russia,” said Yuki Kusumi, Group Manager of Product Technology, Video Business Unit, Network Business Group, Panasonic AVC Networks Company, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. “The timely launch of this strategic product is a direct response to the strong demand for DivX playback among consumers. We are very confident this product will be very popular in the European and Russian markets.”
if you'd like to read more, DivX's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
While Universal and Paramount have announced plans to release titles on Blu-ray, DreamWorks is still locked into an exclusive agreement with Toshiba. According to Reuters, Dreamworks is waiting to hear from Toshiba before breaking their agreement and releasing their titles on Blu-ray.
DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc said on Tuesday it was locked in an exclusive deal to distribute DVDs on Toshiba Corp's HD DVD format even though the Japanese electronics maker plans to quit the technology.

"We have a partnership with Toshiba and have an obligation to see this through," DreamWorks Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg said on Tuesday.

"As you know, we have been well-compensated for our support. It really is in their court at this point to really declare what the next step will be. We're poised either way to jump into the marketplace when the conditions are right to do so," he said.
Hopefully, Toshiba lets DreamWorks break their agreement. If not, we won't see any of their titles on Blu-ray for another year. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment