March 04, 2008 by Rachel Cericola
The Wall Street Journal has a very interesting Q&A with Toshiba’s Chief Executive Atsutoshi Nishida—the man behind the plan to pull HD DVD.
There are a some neat nuggets in there, and I’m not talking about Nishida’s list of hobbies. It seems that the company has no plans to pile on to the Blu-ray bandwagon anytime soon. Instead, they plan to push standard DVD players, claiming that’s still where the action is at. While you may be crying over your format decision, Toshiba is not; Nishida says they still have 44 other businesses flourishing, including TV and PC segments.
They will still offer DVD, however—just not high-def. Instead, Toshiba will focus on the art of upconverting. “And we’re going to improve this even more, so that consumers won’t be able to tell the difference from HD DVD images,” Nishida said. “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.”
Nishida also said they knew the HD DVD ship was going down as soon as Warner made its Blu-ray announcement back in January. “We were doing this to win, and if we weren’t going to win then we had to pull out, especially since consumers were already asking for a single standard,” he said.
One other interesting revelation: Toshiba is hoping to get into video downloads. “We’ve been developing technologies in this area already, but now that we don’t have the HD DVD business, I want to put even more energy into that,” Nishida said.
Toshiba first announced its plans to withdrawal from the high-def DVD market last month. All production and shipments are expected to end by the end of this month.
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Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.
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