Toshiba announcement and aftermath
On February 19, 2008, Toshiba announced it would cease developing, manufacturing and marketing HD DVD players and recorders. On that same day, Universal Studios announced it would release its titles in the Blu-ray Disc format, following two years of exclusive HD DVD support. The studio subsequently released its final two HD DVD titles: Fletch on March 13, 2008 and Atonement on March 18. On February 20, 2008, Paramount Pictures announced it would back Blu-ray, becoming the last of the major studios to do so. Paramount ceased HD DVD production on February 28, 2008, with Things We Lost in the Fire and Into the Wild becoming the studio's last HD DVD releases, both released March 4, 2008. The studio scrapped the HD DVD version of Bee Movie, which, on May 20, 2008, joined Face/Off and Next in becoming the studio's first Blu-ray releases since becoming HD DVD exclusive. In April 2009, Warner Home Video announced it would trade up to 25 HD DVDs for the Blu-ray equivalents, charging only for shipping and handling.
Microsoft ceased production of Xbox 360 HD DVD players while considering how its HDi and VC-1 technologies could be applied to other platforms. Microsoft's VC-1 codec is already in use in Blu-ray titles; Warner Bros. encodes the main features of all titles in the format but encodes supplements and bonus content in MPEG-2. Microsoft has since entered into talks with Sony regarding Blu-ray, although Windows Vista has supported basic filesystem and shell functionality for both Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD since launch, relying on third parties to implement movie playback. Rumors of a Blu-ray drive for the Xbox 360 have been officially denied by Microsoft.
Toshiba's pull-out did not have an immediate significant effect on stand-alone Blu-ray player sales, which rose 2 percent from February to March 2008, after falling 40 percent between January and February, according to NPD Group. NPD noted that upconverting DVD player sales rose 5 percent in the first quarter of 2008 over the same quarter of 2007 but did not release a comparison of first quarter Blu-ray sales compared to the same quarter of 2007. At the time of the report, upconverting DVD players cost around $70 versus $300 for Blu-ray players. But in spring 2009, the number of Blu-ray players nearly doubled its year to date 2009 sales over the same period 2008: about 9 million high-definition units sold in the U.S. from January through March, up from the 4.8 million that sold during first-quarter 2008, according to Adams Media Research. In April 2008, the firm estimated a total of 10.5 million Blu-ray households, including Blu-ray consoles and Blu-ray-enabled PlayStation 3s.
Date: 2015-02-16; view: 332