Toshiba mounted a valiant effort at establishing HD-DVD as the high definition optical disc standard. 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. Ultimately, it was Sony's high definition disc platform, Blu-ray, that won, and now Toshiba is jumping on the Blu-ray bandwagon.
News leaked earlier this summer that Toshiba planned to sell laptops including Blu-ray disc technology by the end of this year. Today Toshiba released a statement that it has applied for membership in the Blu-ray Disc Association.
The move was more or less inevitable. After folding the HD-DVD tent and conceding the high definition video disc market to Blu-ray Toshiba has little choice but to adopt the Blu-ray standard and incorporate it into their laptop computers and component disc players. Consumer demand for high resolution video with high fidelity audio is growing and it could be suicidal to ignore Blu-ray.
However, research has shown that adoption of Blu-ray is moderate at best. Some analysts predict that Blu-ray sales will triple this year. Tripling sounds impressive, but if sales were slow to begin with ‘triple' may not be as impressive as it sounds. Some consumers feel that next-generation standard DVD players offer sufficient quality making the extra investment for Blu-ray a harder sell.
With Toshiba on board though, it 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.
Tony Bradley is an information security and unified communications expert with more than a decade of enterprise IT experience. He provides tips, advice and reviews on information security and unified communications technologies on his site at tonybradley.com.