Toshiba Considers Scrapping HD DVD

By Yuri Kageyama
Associated Press
Tuesday, February 19, 2008

TOKYO, Feb. 18 -- Toshiba appears ready to ditch its HD DVD business, positioning Sony's Blu-ray technology as the likely winner in the format battle for the next generation of DVD players.

Toshiba said Monday that no decision had been made but acknowledged it had started a review of its HD DVD strategy. The comments follow a flurry of Japanese media reports over the weekend that the company was close to pulling the plug on the business.

A company official, speaking on condition of anonymity because she isn't authorized to speak on the matter, said a board meeting could be held as soon as Tuesday, where a decision is likely.

HD DVD has been competing against Blu-ray technology, which is backed by Sony, five major Hollywood movie studios and others.

On Friday, Wal-Mart Stores said it will sell only Blu-ray DVDs and hardware. That announcement came five days after Netflix said it will cease carrying rentals in HD DVD. Several major U.S. retailers have made similar decisions, including Target and Blockbuster.

Toshiba's stock rose almost 6 percent in Tokyo on Monday as investors speculated that the HD DVD business would be scrapped.

© 2008 The Washington Post Company