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Thursday, May 26, 2005
Toshiba sees eventual unified DVD format

The president of Toshiba said on Thursday producers of the next generation of discs will eventually use one format, although products based on two competing standards may be around for a limited time.

Toshiba and Sony Corp., leading rival camps, have waged a three-year battle to have their standards adopted for new DVDs, which promise much greater capacity for high-definition movies.

"We may actually have a situation where merchandise from both sides is put on store shelves. But the market would not allow that situation to last very long," Toshiba President Tadashi Okamura told Japanese business leaders.

The two sides have been engaged in a last-ditch effort to forge a common format, but no substantial progress has been made so far.

Despite these statements from Toshiba and Panasonic last week, it is more likely that none of the rivals will give in. Two (or more) different HD formats that would cover different markets, (i.e. Movie Industry - PC market) would offer potential profits to both Sony and Toshiba. Sharing the market would also save each company's reputation since they would both end up with their own "leading-edge" technology without having made any compromise.

Toshiba plans to launch HD DVD-based players by the end of 2005, and Sony plans to put a Blu-ray disc drive in its new PlayStation game console next year.

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