Toshiba and NEC Confirm 2005 Launch of HD DVD Hardware Pony Canyon Announces Commitment to Launch HD DVD discs.
Toshiba Corporation, NEC Corporation and Memory-Tech Corporation today announced a three-day "HD DVD Showcase" that will present the latest advances in the HD DVD format to over 500 key executives from Japan?s entertainment industry. The three companies, proponents of the High-Definition DVD format ("HD DVD"), will host the event from July 26 through 28, 2004 in downtown Tokyo, providing leaders from major Japanese movie studios, animation film creaters, broadcasting, music and publishing industries and the retail sector, with a total venue for experiencing the impressive advances HD DVD has achieved as it moves toward its 2005 launch as the next-generation DVD standard.
The Tokyo showcase will shine a light on the very latest hardware prototypes supporting the format, including HD DVD players and PC ROM drives; demonstration of actual film clips provided by major film studios authored and recorded on to HD DVD discs for technical evaluation purposes; and the update of the disc manufacturing status in preparation for volume launch of HD DVD hardware and discs when they are commercialized in 2005.
Japan?s largest DVD Distributor announces support for HD DVD
On the eve of the Tokyo event, Pony Canyon Inc, Japan?s largest distributor of DVD titles, became the first company in the world to announce its clear support for HD DVD. "HD DVD is a promising format that will secure continuous growth of the DVD industry as well as bringing about fresh innovation to the consumer experience," said Hideki Oyagi, General Manager, Visual Entertainment Headquarters,Pony Canyon "We very much look forward to launching HD DVD titles at an early stage of 2005, in line with the expected launch of HD DVD players and recorders."
Commenting on Canyon ?s decision, Mr. Yoshihide Fujii, Corporate Senior Vice President and President and CEO of Toshiba?s Digital Media Network Company, noted: "We are pleased by this formal announcement of support for the HD DVD format by Japan ?s largest supplier of DVD titles. This is a clear sign of recognition of the benefits and potential this advanced format offers the entertainment industry as the most affordable, the most realistic package media for inheriting and building on the legacy and success of the DVD industry. We are confident we will see a number of major studios and software companies launch titles to coincide with our release of HD DVD products in 2005."
Continuity: Extending the successes of today?s DVD industry
DVD burst on to the market in November 1997. Toshiba introduced the world?s first DVD player in Japan, while a number of international movie studios launched a handful of DVD titles. The rest is history, as the DVD market has grown explosively, to embrace and change the entertainment, consumer electronics and computing industries.
More than 60 million DVD players and recorders were produced worldwide in 2003 alone, and an estimated 800 DVD disc production lines manufacture now more than 240 million discs a month. Digital Entertainment Group of the US reports that 649 million DVD titles were shipped to retailers in the first six months of 2004 in the United States, a huge 52 percent increase over the same period a year earlier. In the US and Japan , DVD revenues exceeded movie theater ticket sales in 2003.
By adopting the same, fully backward compatible design concept as current DVD, the HD DVD is the only practical medium that can secure seamless continuity and the sustained success of the current DVD industry. The new HD DVD format also assures maximization of business opportunities offered by the appearance of high-definition programming and content that is accompanying the transition to digital broadcasting in the United States and Japan and exponential market growth in large-sized flat panel screens.
"HD DVD, the successor of DVD, will further encourage the convergence of PC and audio visual products, as it realizes crystal-clear picture quality in the personal computing environment," comments Mr. Hiroshi Gokan, Executive General Manager, NEC?s Computers Storage Products Operations Unit.
ROM: Key for momentum in the next-generation format
"The success of today?s DVD industry clearly indicates that the timely release of movie and audio titles on read-only memory discs will be key to triggering the take-off of the next-generation DVD format," predicts Mr. Shiroharu Kawasaki, President and CEO, Memory-Tech Corporation, Japan?s leading disc replicator. "We are working with almost every major studio in the United States and Japan to establish the HD DVD format through extensive joint evaluation, and already getting strong, positive feedback from many of these companies."
Memory-Tech installed HD DVD disc mass production line at its Tsukuba plant in Ibaragi Prefecture, Japan in May 2004. The facility has a capacity of 720,000 discs a month, and an authoring system is already available for comprehensive disc creation. Production yields have already reached 90 percent, a level practical for volume production of commercial discs and comparable with the 95 percent yield rate of current DVD discs. The flexible convertible line can switch between standard DVD and HD DVD production in five minutes.
As the pioneer and the leader of HD DVD disc production, Memory-Tech is prepared to disclose and provide its expertise to major disc replicators around the world, in order to support and expedite the early diffusion of this promising format.