According to credible news sources like the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, the battle of the next generation DVD format is over. The much touted, though not much purchased HD DVD format is going the way of the 8 Track, Betamax, the Edsel, and the Dodo, it is going to be extinct really soon. Hardware manufactures are rumored to be leaving the sinking ship faster than Hertz dropped OJ Simpson from their TV adverts.

Reliable sources are claiming that early next week Toshiba will be announcing their dropping of the HD DVD format, thereby leaving the rival Sony Blu-Ray technology the only high definition format still standing.

The victory seems to have been achieved not in the technology department, but in the retail sector. Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Net Flix have all made statements recently about their preference for the Blu-Ray format.

These announcements were not unexpected. HD and Blu-Ray were sharing about the same popularity until some of the heavy hitters in the movie industry, like Warner, part of the Time Warner empire, announced that they were ceasing duplicate production and releasing only in Blu-Ray format. The cost and complexity of supporting two formats was making it not economically viable. Essentially this skewed the market, giving Blu-Ray 75% of the sales.

For those hardy souls that purchased the over priced HD DVD players there is scant condolences to be made. Maybe hang on to them for 20 years and then try selling them on eBay as a collectors item is about the only theory I have.

Simon Barrett 

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