Toshiba Confirms Blu-ray Notebook PCs And Players Coming This Year

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News Posted: Mon, Aug 10 2009 3:55 AM
We already knew as much, but today Toshiba has made it extra official:it's joining the Blu-ray camp. For those unaware (yes, all six of you),Toshiba was far and away HD DVD's largest supporter during the format'sboom years. After a long, hard-fought battle with Blu-ray that spannednearly 24 months, HD DVD finally folded after too many studios devotedtheir attention (and future releases) to the Blu-ray Disc format. Manystill wonder why HD DVD fell and Blu-ray won, and even today theBlu-ray adoption level is exceedingly low for a next-generation format.HD DVD was always the cheaper option, and while its disc held lessinformation (30GB compared to Blu-ray Disc's 50GB), it was first withonline-based interactive content. Today, Blu-ray is still struggling toget anyone to really pay attention to BD-Live, it's version of thatvery feature.

At any rate, we always knew that resistance was futile for Toshiba, andfrankly, bad for business. No profits are gained by sitting out on thesidelines pouting, and we figured that the company would only briefly sit idlyby as Sony, Onkyo, Pioneer and others raked in millions on the loneremaining HD movie format. Today, Toshiba has affirmed earlier reportsfrom Japan that is indeed interested in making peace with the Blu sideand delving into the wide, thriving world of Blu-ray. In a brief pressrelease pushed out this morning, Toshiba Corp. proclaimed that it hadapplied for membership in the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA), which isthe main governing body surrounding the promotion and standardizationof the format. Potentially more important was Toshiba's assertion thatit was now planning to introduce an undisclosed amount of products thatsupport the Blu-ray format.


Older Toshiba HD DVD deck, a thing of the past

Toshiba currently sells a wide range of gizmos. From notebook PCs toHDTVs to DVD players, the company can do most anything. Thus, there'scertainly potential for Toshiba to integrate Blu-ray into a vastmajority of its gear. Just think, it may not be long before we seeHDTVs with built-in Blu-ray players, particularly when you considerthat Sharp is currently the only outfit doing it. The timing of thisalso couldn't be better. With the holiday shopping season just aroundthe bend, Blu-ray desperately needs another heavy-hitting competitor inthe ring. Prices for standalone players are still far out of reach formost (especially in a down economy where luxuries are being eyedcarefully), and the only way those prices will ever drift downward atmore than a glacial pace is if another mega company steps in to forcethe hands of others.

Toshiba wasn't shy in selling its own HD DVD players for low, lowprices. So, we're cautiously optimistic that its Blu-ray players willalso be within the realm of "affordability." The company isn't yetsaying what products exactly it plans to launch, and it's not sayingexactly when or where they'll be released. All we know is that it hopesto integrate Blu-ray drives into its notebook PC lineup and to productstandalone Blu-ray decks for home theaters "in the course of thisyear." The company's full statement is posted below.



Toshiba Corporation announced today that the company has applied for membership of the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) and plans to introduce products that support the Blu-ray format.

As a market leader in digital technologies, Toshiba provides a wide range of advanced digital products, such as DVD recorders and players, HDTVs and notebook PCs that support a wide range of storage devices, including hard disk drives (HDD), DVD, and SD Cards. In light of recent growth in digital devices supporting the Blu-ray format, combined with market demand from consumers and retailers alike, Toshiba has decided to join the BDA.

Toshiba aims to introduce digital products that support the Blu-ray format, including BD players and notebook PCs integrating BD drives, in the course of this year. Details of the products, including the timing of regional launches, are now under consideration. We will make announcements in due course.

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Guess they finally caved.

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News:
Toshiba wasn't shy in selling its own HD DVD players for low, lowprices. So, we're cautiously optimistic that its Blu-ray players willalso be within the realm of "affordability."

This is what I really hope for from all of this.  I'd love to see a quality brand name standalone BD player for $150 or less.  The brand "Insignia" makes them that cheap but I'd have no faith in a company I've nary heard of.

Hello

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