Toshiba gets the Blu(e)s, Ray

Toshiba's finally given in and will support Blu-Ray. It only took seven years. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers look forward to BD drives on their Tosh laptops.

By Richi Jennings. August 11, 2009.

Your humble blogwatcher has selected these bloggy morsels for your enjoyment. Not to mention Helldog...

Martyn Williams summarizes:

Toshiba is planning to launch players and laptops with support for Blu-ray Disc later this year, it said Monday. The company was the primary backer of the HD DVD optical-disc format that had been battling Blu-ray Disc until last year. ... Toshiba said it had applied for membership for the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA).


The move ends an almost seven-year journey for Toshiba that began in August 2002 when it and NEC proposed a blue-laser format to the DVD Forum as a replacement for DVD for high-definition movies. Sony and a group of other companies had announced their intentions to unite with Blu-ray Disc earlier in the year and the stage was set for a battle between the two.

Ben Patterson barks, like the gadget hound he is:

Nearly 18 months after it stuck a fork in its doomed HD DVD format, Toshiba has formally announced that it's finally ready to get with Blu-ray program. ... It was an inevitable move on Toshiba's part, although the staunch HD DVD pioneer dragged its heels about it for months, even going so far as to unveil a DVD player that it claimed could "breathe new life" into standard DVD.


Toshiba execs must have recognized that they'd be cutting off their noses to spite their faces by sitting out the format. ... Meanwhile ... the dormant HD DVD format is actually undergoing a rebirth—well, sort of—in China, with a new and cheaper high-def format (CBHD, or "China Blue High-Definition Disc") based on Toshiba's HD DVD standard. Go figure.

Rob Kerr told you so:

[We] first brought you news that Tosh was going to knock out a Blu-ray player before Christmas without any official nod from the Japanese outfit, so we can now proudly say that we told you so.


Toshiba's ... press release ... comes across like a white-flag waving, tail-between-its-legs admission of defeat. ... Toshiba is also set to include the BD drives inside its upcoming notebooks as well.

Tony Bradley gazes wistfully:

Ultimately, HD-DVD went the way of Betamax video tapes, IBM OS/2, LS floppy drives, and other technologies that came out on the short end of the marketing and technology war.


Toshiba ... may strengthen the position of Blu-ray overall. Toshiba, the maker of the first commercially available laptop in 1985, has frequently held the position as the number one laptop manufacturer. They are currently in fourth place and hoping to be able to catapult ahead of Acer to take the #3 spot this year. Including Blu-ray drives or recordable Blu-ray drives will boost interest in Toshiba's laptops and help them achieve that goal.

Harry McCracken wonders why it had to be this way:

Sometimes it takes tech companies an amazingly long time to confront the inevitable. The whole war betwen Blu-Ray and HD-DVD was a rotten idea from the start. ... But all parties involved in both camps insisted on wasting billions developing two competing HD formats. Then it took ages before HD-DVD prime mover Toshiba accepted that it had lost.


A panel of relatively well-informed consumers could have figured out the likely outcome years before Toshiba ditched HD-DVD and embraced Blu-Ray. Wouldn’t it have made sense for everyone involved to get here more quickly?

Matthew DeCarlo counts the pennies:

As awesome as Blu-ray may be, it's still a pricey endeavor for media junkies, so the more competition the merrier.

So what's your take?
Get involved: leave a comment.

Previously in IT Blogwatch:

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

And finally...

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 24 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him as @richi on Twitter or richij on FriendFeed, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon