Toshiba President Says Let’s Talk About DVDs

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The new president and CEO of Toshiba wants to sit back down with Sony and talk about HD-DVD and Blu-ray.

Here we go again.

Only scant weeks after walking away from discussing a possible compromise on the fight between supporters of two potential standards for next generation DVDs, Toshiba says everyone should talk.

“I think the three parties need to sit down together and we need to be willing to integrate,” Atsutoshi Nishida said at a news conference late Monday.

The announcement by the technology firm’s leader gives faint hope to consumers, who now face the prospect of DVD content being released in two different formats. That would mean either purchasing two separate blue laser DVD players, or foregoing DVD releases in one format.

Sony and Disney support Blu-ray, while New Line, Universal, Warner Brothers, and Paramount support the HD-DVD format. Toshiba claims HD-DVD will be an easier manufacturing transition for DVD manufacturers. Microsoft and Warner Brothers have been working together on HD-DVD titles since April.

But Sony and Matsushita, another Blu-ray supporter, tout the greater storage capacity of Blu-ray technology. High definition movies and other content will need that extra storage in the future, they argue.

Mr. Nishida may feel he is in a stronger position now. On Monday, he and software legend Bill Gates announced the companies would jointly develop HD-DVD players containing Windows CE software.

The backing of Mr. Gates and his Microsoft empire could also hint at the playback standard on board the forthcoming Xbox 360 gaming console. Microsoft and Toshiba have cross-licensed their patents since April, and it is not unreasonable to believe early access to HD-DVD technology could be incorporated into Xbox 360 by its November release date.

Further, HD-DVD movies will reach the marketplace later this year, and Toshiba had already announced its intent to begin manufacturing HD-DVD players despite the ongoing fight with Blu-ray backers.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

Toshiba President Says Let’s Talk About DVDs
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