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Toshiba Paid Off To Drop HD-DVD? 229

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the murky-dealings-of-international-business dept.
TripleP writes "Was Toshiba paid-off to concede the HD battle? There are some signs that may point to this as a direct result of the ended format war. Reuters has reported that Sony has agreed to sell its Cell and RSX fabrication plants in Japan to Toshiba. The WSJ is reporting that is is a joint venture in the form of 60% Toshiba,%20 Sony and %20 Sony Computer Entertainment Inc."
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Toshiba Paid Off To Drop HD-DVD?

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  • Who cares (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CastrTroy (595695) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @10:55AM (#22526660) Homepage
    Who really cares. At least the war is over. I was tired of the format war. Neither format really had a real reason to choose one over the other. They were both pretty evenly matched. I just hope that they don't try to kill off DVD now. I'm perfectly happy with DVD, and don't feel like spending more money just to watch movies.
    • Re:Who cares (Score:5, Interesting)

      by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Saturday February 23, 2008 @11:01AM (#22526688) Homepage
      Blu-ray has higher storage and (I think) slightly more DRM, while HD-DVD has no region codes. I'm sure a lot of people won't be affected by region codes, but those of us who get international stuff would have prefered HD-DVD.
      • Re:Who cares (Score:5, Informative)

        by CastrTroy (595695) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @11:04AM (#22526716) Homepage
        Actually, the latest 3 layer HD-DVD had 51 GB, which is just ahead of BluRay. I'm not sure if any players ever supported 3-layer, but from what I know, they actually had it working. Both formats had pluses and minuses. I don't think either player had a really compelling reason to buy one over the other.
        • Re:Who cares (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 23, 2008 @11:23AM (#22526812)
          A few years back someone demonstrated a 200GB BluRay disc. It had many many layers (after some googling, it looks like it has 8 layers), so just like you I don't know if it was supported by all players, but it existed.

          This is why I've always favored BluRay. From my limited understanding of the subject, I can see that it is a little bit more modern of a technology, so it has higher potential.
          • Re:Who cares (Score:5, Informative)

            by LBArrettAnderson (655246) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @11:30AM (#22526856)
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray_Disc#Ongoing_development [wikipedia.org]

            That's a good explanation or the capabilities of the two formats.
            • By the way the additional DRM was optional, and has only recently been implemented.
              • Yes and no! (Score:5, Informative)

                by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 23, 2008 @03:57PM (#22528752)
                additional DRM was optional? Yes and no:

                BD+ optional? Yes. But it's still an extra layer of DRM we now have to live with. And with HD DVD, AACS was also optional. With Blu-Ray, AACS is MANDATORY (Most recent PowerDVD switched to profile 1.1, and won't play AACS-less movies anymore!)

                Nevermind HD DVD also:
                -had no region codes
                -didn't need bullshit profile updates, 1.0 to 1.1 now, and 2.0 soon
                -supported all codecs out of the box (TruHD and DTS MA support not optional)
                -didn't need BD-J updates
                -often had a plain old DVD compatible layer (so the same disc will also play in the car/bedroom or such -- i'm not getting a blu-ray player for the car anytime soon, nor buying the same movie twice for that, nor reencoding them)
                -cost far less (even before price cuts, and sony is also losing money on PS3 sales)
                -from what i've seen, the titles played faster (damn slow BD-J crap, damn slow players, etc) -- it can take seen several minutes of wait to play a Blu-Ray disc... (HD DVD used simple html-like markup, with free dev tools/full docs and all)

                The *ONLY* advantage Blu-Ray had was more disc space, which is unnecessary -- just look at the DVD9-sized x264 reencodes from many groups out there... They look as good as the retail disc to me (on a fairly high end TV, and I'm not blind either). On a 25GB disc, that would still leave you with 14GB left for extra audio tracks and extras. From a computer storage/backup standpoint, that DOES make Blu-Ray better, but as for a entertainment/video format, not.
          • Re:Who cares (Score:5, Informative)

            by Wdomburg (141264) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @01:54PM (#22527840)
            Modern has nothing to do with it. Both formats are based on identical 405nm blue-violet lasers. The difference in capacity comes from BD using a wider apeture, which allows greater storage capacity but moves the data closer to the surface. The trade-off is higher manufacturing costs since existing production lines need to be retooled and discs require an additional protective coating.

            Proponents of the HD DVD format (myself included) argue that because both formats have ample capacity for a full length feature film in 1080p/24 with lossless audio the trade-off wasn't worthwhile. For most titles the additional spaces simply isn't used or is wasted with inefficient encoding; for example, the majority of titles that contain lossless audio forego compression entirely because the BDA made lossless compression (TrueHD or DTS-MA) optional instead of mandatory like the HD DVD spec. And since the overwhelming majority of standalone players don't implement them the titles which do use advanced compression will simply default back to DD 5.1 sound (i.e. no better than bog standard DVD).

            The additional capacity makes it more attractive as an optical storage format for computers, but I question whether that's particularly important these days. Now that USB hard drives are so cheap the consumer market is largely shifting that direction for archive and backup. Software distribution is likely to remain CD and DVD for a good long time, since very little software requires more space and very few computers had BD drives. File transfer is likely to remain a mix of DVD and (increasingly) flash storage. USB drives are cheap and far more compact and convienent than any optical media.

            Home video mastering is a potential market as well but given that the capacity of AVCREC (i.e. Blu-ray content on a standard DVD) is about two hours of high definition video, I suspect most of the market will stick with the media that costs a nickel a disc instead of the one that costs twelve dollars a disc. :) Prices will certainly drop as time goes on, but there's a chicken and egg problem here - prices won't drop with mass adoption, mass adoption won't happen without a price drop.

            (By the way, yes - TDK created a prototype of a 200GB disc about two years ago. No existing player supports them and there's been no indication that they're pursuing commercial production. They also showcased a 100GB disc at CES 2006 but have yet to bring anything to market. Hitachi has also demonstrated 100GB media and stated last quarter they were working on bringing it to market "soon" and is also working on 200GB but has yet to create a prototype.)
          • Re:Who cares (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Znork (31774) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @02:04PM (#22527912)
            A few years back someone demonstrated a 200GB BluRay disc.

            I recently saw a 1000GB SATA-RAY disc demonstrated. Actually I even saw it for sale. Slightly thicker than the plastic, but I can live with that.

            Seriously tho, judging from the development, sale and prices of ordinary multilayer DVDs, I expect the new optical formats to remain permanently impractical and inferior as a storage medium as compared to simply buying more harddisks. They haven't been designed as data storage, they've been designed with the primary purpose of gathering shelf-dust in stores and at home. With the rapid spread and expansion of USB drives and memory sticks I doubt they'll manage to gather as extensive use as backup and transportation medium as the older optical formats.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by IrquiM (471313)
          No players supported the format. No discs where ever made - it was all on paper, so you could say that since there actually has been made BD100 discs, HD DVD was only ~50% of the size

          Also, the 3rd layer couldn't be used for anything else than data storage. It had no value as a multimedia layer.
        • Both formats had their plusses and minuses. HD-DVD is cheaper to implement, but doesn't have the ultimate bit rate that is the final determination of the picture quality ceiling.

          I really am glad the format war is over. Now I can start looking at the technology and maybe open up my wallet for some hardware without worrying about the format war. Manufacturers will now focus on the one technology, and getting costs down.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by TheRaven64 (641858)

            HD-DVD is cheaper to implement

            Not exactly. The players cost about the same amount - the expensive part is the blue laser which is used in both. Toshiba had been heavily subsidising their players to counter the PS 3, but it looks like that will be ending soon. More to the point, you could convert a DVD factory to manufacture HD-DVDs more cheaply than converting it to BD. This isn't a huge advantage, however, since the market for DVDs is still huge (and growing) so no one has DVD plants that they want to convert. New plants cost a s

        • I remember reading back in early 2006 that they had 6-layer Blu-ray working in the lab, with 200GB on a disc. I'll try and dig up the article.
        • I always wondered whether the HD DVD people (it'd have been them rather than Sony, given HD DVD was "next generation DVD" from the DVD Forum, whereas to some extent Blu-ray was Sony et al looking for an application for blue-laser technology) could have saved a lot of time and money by continuing to use red lasers and designing a six layer red-layer DVD. The drives would then have cost about the same as existing DVD drives, and only the rest of the hardware (an HD DVD or Blu-ray player is pretty much an ent

        • by mgblst (80109)
          ....but from what I know...

          Translation: From what I have read on the odd internet site. So I don't really know anything, I just read it somewhere.
      • Re:Who cares (Score:5, Informative)

        by Gr8Apes (679165) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @11:10AM (#22526748)
        BD requires AACS and ROM-Mark, IIRC. BD players won't play home burned disks, only commercially pressed ones, due to the Rom-Mark and AACS requirements. BD has region codes. BD lacks (still) many of the features already present in HD DVD. BD also costs about twice as much, even before the firesales. And last but not least, BD has BD+, essentially a back-door into your player that can brick it if some content provider's BD+ code decides your player doesn't match up with their expectations.

        To be fair, BD also had more space. (Yes, had, the proposed 51GB triple layer HD DVDs evened that score as well, even though BD could have layered one more on top of that, but that's a never ending game of one-upmanship.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          BD requires AACS and ROM-Mark, IIRC. BD players won't play home burned disks, only commercially pressed ones, due to the Rom-Mark and AACS requirements.

          Even more reason to wait a few years before going to Blu-Ray. Wait a few years and we will have our players with 'debug' menus that were accidently left it :)

          The only place I am tempted to use Blu-Ray is for my home computer, since the extra storage makes for a great back up solution.
          • Even more reason to wait a few years before going to Blu-Ray. Wait a few years and we will have our players with 'debug' menus that were accidently left it :)

            So I can wait for my grandmother to say "Why can't I watch your movie at Ethyl's house? Can you come and fix it?" I think I will pass...
          • The only place I am tempted to use Blu-Ray is for my home computer, since the extra storage makes for a great back up solution.

            Why? 500GB harddrives can be had for $100, and a SATA/PATA->USB connector and HDD power cable kit for $25. That will purchase you about 4 Blu-ray dual layers, assuming you invested in the burner. So, 200B for $125 and you get to write those discs once, or 500GB for $125 and you get to write as much as you want. Oh, and you can take that harddrive+usb dongle to your friend's any day and he can get data off it. Good luck doing that with your bluray.

          • by Znork (31774)
            since the extra storage makes for a great back up solution.

            As far as I can tell it wont be a great backup solution anytime soon. BD-R disks are twice the cost per gigabyte compared to SATA disks, rewritable even more. And that's excluding the writer. Further, they're so small in comparison to todays storage that just the pain of changing disks would be reason enough to use USB disks instead. And that's only going to get worse.

            So personally I haven't been tempted to use either Blu-Ray or HD-DVD anywhere, nor
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Lehk228 (705449)
              hard drives are NOT suitable for long term backup, they just don't do well enough sitting idle for years. i know that BD does include physical protection from scratches, if it also includes specs for chemical resistance it could very well be a good archive format.
        • by vidarh (309115)
          The space is meaningless. What would they fill it with? Sure, boxed sets of multiple movies would require fewer disks. Who cares.

          The other things are things I care about, though, and essentially means I'll stay away from buying any BluRay disks until all the security measures have been properly broken.

      • by ccguy (1116865) *
        There are multiregion blu ray players available as well. Still expensive as the original models need hardware modding, but available nonotheless. Besides, it's just a matter of time that some chinese manufacturer starts selling a model with a hidden menu that allow switching regions.
      • by Z00L00K (682162)
        Region codes are effectively affecting everybody since they also are a way to keep prices up and limit the availability of movies to the types they "think" is the right for the given market.

        I wonder if not the region coding could be considered an unduly limitation of freedom of speech?

      • by CSMatt (1175471)
        True, but Blu-Ray's regions are more encompassing than those of DVDs. Americans can't play discs from Europe, but they can play discs from Japan.

        Also, Wikipedia's BD article [wikipedia.org] says that about 2/3 of all released BD titles are region-free, so there's a slim chance the regions might not even be used in the long run.
      • BD also has a higher transfer rate, which is more important than some of the other issues that get so much notice.

        A higher transfer rate means being able to use higher maximum bitrates in whatever codec you choose, meaning higher quality in high-motion scenes for example.

    • by Luthair (847766)
      I imagine people who bought the HD-DVD players are none too pleased. I wonder if they would have any recourse in a situation where the manufacturer was paid to pull out.
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        They knew it was risk when they bought the player. Even without buyout, it was inevitable that one of the formats would lose out.
    • by timeOday (582209)
      Who cares indeed. While it sometimes rises to the level of a religious issue on slashdot, this deal shows that to Sony and Toshiba, it's just business. They'll fight on one front while wheeling and dealing on another, whatever makes money.
    • I just hope that they don't try to kill off DVD now. I'm perfectly happy with DVD

      I don't miss this "war". Clearly, both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD both hold much less than a regular size hard disk you can buy for $100, and that kind of money buys very few Blu-Ray recordable disks. That only means there should be an even better recordable disk technology to come and the war might have existed only long enough to deter people from throwing their money at a technology that is going the way of the 8-track.

      DVD is much m
    • but the point is that I made my choice because HD was being price competitive to the old DVD format and Blu-Ray wasn't even trying.

      So now we have a standard. Big deal, Blu-Ray/Sony isn't trying to compete with DvD and unless other makers join in I doubt it will come down anytime soon. Plus as others have posted BluRay has all sorts of issues with drm/restrictions/etc...

      at least with HDDVD I could play the freaking movie when I wanted to...
  • Surprised? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Gr8Apes (679165) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @11:02AM (#22526698)
    This was known or rumored already for weeks and weeks, even prior to the WB announcement IIRC.

    Along with the $120M paid to Fox at the last minute to get them to stick with BD, and the reputed $400-500M WB received, I'm not shocked at all.

    Sony bought the win in the format war, and that alone would be enough of a reason to not buy into the inflated BD format. (Inflated as in cost)
    • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JordanL (886154) <jordan.ledoux@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Saturday February 23, 2008 @11:19AM (#22526796) Homepage
      I find it remarkable that people honestly believe a company like Sony can hide payments of over a half billion dollars fromt heir financial statements to shareholders.

      Sony won. Get the fuck over it.
      • Re:Surprised? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by blair1q (305137) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @12:17PM (#22527168) Journal
        They sell something worth $11.38 billion for 10.75 billion, but never booked it at 11.38 billion in the first place.

        Sony shows $10.75 billion in cashflow, no appreciable decrease in assets, and covers it with profits from its new hi-def disc monopoly.

        90% of its shareholders are fund, anyway, whose managers won't care as long as their funds still sell, and since SNE is only going to be 0.8% of any one fund, the effect of the graft is a tiny splash buried in the roaring surf of the market.

        Sony bought your future. Get the fuck over it.
        • by feepness (543479)

          Sony bought your future. Get the fuck over it.
          My future is my own. Whether it includes BluRay is also my own choice. It's just a media for movies for chrissakes!
      • by feepness (543479)

        I find it remarkable that people honestly believe a company like Sony can hide payments of over a half billion dollars fromt heir financial statements to shareholders.
        Stringer just kind of put it in his pocket one day from petty cash as he walked out the door to a business meeting...
      • by westlake (615356)
        I find it remarkable that people honestly believe a company like Sony can hide payments of over a half billion dollars fromt heir financial statements to shareholders

        The problem can be defined even more simply:

        You cannot be a significant player in home video without being backed by Disney.

        Ratatouille alone brought home a Golden Tomato award for best-reviewed feature. 10 Annies, a Grammy, Oscar nominations for best screenplay and best feature animation.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 23, 2008 @11:32AM (#22526870)
      This move is part of setting up a new joint venture between Toshiba and Sony that will be in effect next fiscal year (from 1. april 2008). They allready operate a similar joint venture today, where Toshiba owns 51% and Sony 49%. But since the current joint venture deal expires this fiscal year (31. march 2008), its just a continuation.

      So this has nothing to do with the lost HD DVD battle. It was actually announced back in october of last year :

        http://www.eetimes.com/rss/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=206800618 [eetimes.com]
    • by DrXym (126579)
      I'm not saying Sony didn't money hat studios, but do you have evidence they actually did? The last /. story alleging $400m payoff didn't present any evidence at all. It was just speculation of a bidding war, which if true meant both sides were at it.. And even if they did pay off studios how is this any different at all from what Toshiba / Microsoft already did for Paramount & Dreamworks? The doctrine of unclean hands etc.
    • by uncoveror (570620)
      If you want to understand anything, just follow the money. Bribery and graft are how the world works.
  • money flow (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MassiveForces (991813)
    Toshiba was "paid off" by Toshiba deciding to buy a risky venture for $835 Million... what?
  • in other words (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Were they paid to make the same decision that any businessman in the world would have made? Well, maybe the Sony guys picked up the check for the sukiyaki this time, but that's about it.
    • by gruntled (107194)
      Except that paying your only competitor to stop competing, and paying that competitor's "suppliers" (movie studios) to stop making critical assets for that competitive product (pre-recorded movies on HD-DVD) is a clear violation of antitrust laws in the United States and Europe (maybe Japan too, but I know nothing about that). This is going to be hilarious. Sony, of course, being a Japanese company, can ignore US antitrust law. As long as they're willing to stop doing business in the United States. I'm lite
      • by Tony Hoyle (11698)
        Oh get over yourself. Toshiba were already in a firesale in January. They knew that it was over the day Warner made their decision.

        When Walmart (followed by everyone else) dropped HDDVD suddenly Toshiba couldn't sell their players any more... why the hell would they keep making something when only a few specialist shops would stock them? Toshiba ended it for one reason and one reason only - because their shareholders would have gone nuclear if they didn't.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 23, 2008 @11:29AM (#22526844)
    The problem with the world is we've let the wrong people set the standards. Business should build to standards, not build standards to produce psuedo profits.

    What going around these days is crap, and it's come right back at us!
  • by MattGS (898687) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @11:39AM (#22526912)
    ... that HD-DVD is dead. With all those articles claiming "shady business practices" that led to Blu-Ray winning the format war. I don't care. At least it's over. Yes, I would definitely have prefered no region codes but the end of the format war is a victory for the consumer in any case. And yes, I know that having multiple options to choose from basically means more freedom for the consumer - but what good is this freedom if you had to buy multiple players in the end just to be sure that you would have been able to watch your favourite movie? There would always have been "exclusives" for Blu-Ray or HD-DVD. I, for one, am glad that this is over.

    So now please just stop those "Blu-Ray only won because they cheated" articles. If Microsoft *really* wanted to push HD-DVD over downloads what do you think they would have done? They would have shoved it down our throats as well. And our rectums just to be sure. That's just how these things go. It's a dirty business. Liars, thieves, backstabbers, greedy bastards. We all know that. Now let's just be glad that *they* paid for the war and not us.

    Well at least not all of us. I am very sorry for those who bought HD-DVD players and feel cheated but come on, early adopters should damn well know the risk. Especially since it was obvious that sooner or later one format would bite the dust.

    Disclaimer: I might not be totally neutral since I've wanted to buy a PS3 for quite some time now and Blu-Ray winning was the final reason for me to go for it. But if the format war would have continued I would have waited a while longer I guess.
    • by mickwd (196449)
      Now let's just be glad that *they* paid for the war and not us.

      Oh yes, of course.

      No way that the customer will end up paying, no siree.
    • by Enahs (1606)
      Having followed it for a while (and I have to say I'm not neutral either, since I own an HD DVD player) and it does sort of suck, especially given that HD DVD was ready to fly in 2006 and Blu-Ray still isn't 100% there yet, but give it a few months and the BDA members will figure out they have to get the prices down and have to compete to get the thing to take off. People like me will make out like bandits. The people I feel sorry for are the people who bought early Blu-Ray players and couldn't really aff
      • by Lehk228 (705449)
        i'm actually considering going on ebay and picking up a dirt cheap HD DVD player to watch DVD's on.
  • by Enleth (947766) <enleth@enleth.com> on Saturday February 23, 2008 @11:53AM (#22526986) Homepage
    But what, for the $(DEITY)'s sake, is going on with this damn "it's"!? It's the THIRD TIME in the past 24 hours and hell knows which in the past few weeks that the editors can't spot such a basic, common mistake. I'm not a native English speaker - not even a near-native - and I can see them, hunderds of slashdotters see them, they look just silly, if not discrediting, yet they are still there. Maybe the submission system should highlight every "it's" in red for the editors reviewing the stories, just in case it's a mistake, or something like that?
  • Sony supposedly paid off Toshiba by making Toshiba pay $835 million for production facilities that Sony would still be able to use (as part of the joint venture)? I sure hope Sony never tries to pay me off for anything. Oh, and the deal was made in October (just the price was made public now). And TFA (yes, I read it) never even suggested there was a tie between this and the death of HD-DVD. It mentioned it to provide some context for the companies' current positions but never implied that there was a link
  • Frankly, I agree with the concept that class-action lawsuits only make the lawyers rich, but it does often change a company's behavior for the better. If Toshiba was paid off and left its HD-DVD customers in the dark, they should be sued so some of those early adopters get some remuneration.

    Here's a hypothetical example... Let's say HD-DVD won the format war, and Sony gave up and started including HD-DVD drives with their PS3s. To add, it's confirmed that Toshiba paid off Sony. Sony says all new games wou
    • by yabos (719499)
      People buying either HD-DVD or Blu-Ray before a few weeks ago knew eventually one format would be dead. If it turns out to be the format they bought then tough for them. If they didn't want to be stuck with a useless piece of hardware(for future movies anyways) they should have just waited until the format war was over.
    • by mh1997 (1065630)
      "I call anti-trust violation here"

      I am not sure, but I think the ant-trust violation you would be refering to is based on US law.

      Although at has been several years since I've been out of the US, I also think that there are other countries in the world, in this case Japan. Since this has already happened in the possibly ficticious country of Japan and nobody went to jail, this action has probably been deemed legal in Japan.

      I apologize to anyone, real or imagined that lives in the real or imagined country o

      • by BUL2294 (1081735)

        Although at has been several years since I've been out of the US, I also think that there are other countries in the world, in this case Japan. Since this has already happened in the possibly ficticious country of Japan and nobody went to jail, this action has probably been deemed legal in Japan.

        Aaaah, so just because nobody gave it a second glance in Japan, we're all subject to Japanese law regarding competition, collusion, etc. So, under your logic, the EU has no basis for an antitrust complaint against

  • by voss (52565) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @12:40PM (#22527334)
    Reasons for DVD staying around for a long time...

    1) There are 500 million dvd players versus maybe 12-15 million blu-ray of which 10 million are ps3
    2) For most people for the time being, DVD is "cheap and good enough"
    3) Cheapest blu-ray $250, cheapest dvd player $18

    • Reasons for DVD staying around for a long time...

      1) There are 500 million dvd players versus maybe 12-15 million blu-ray of which 10 million are ps3
      2) For most people for the time being, DVD is "cheap and good enough"
      3) Cheapest blu-ray $250, cheapest dvd player $18

      4) Since many "High Def" movies are just upscaled DVD video, a upscaling player does the same thing for a lot less. Blu-Ray just doesn't look that much better than a good software algorithm. (Other than a very few exceptions)
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Enahs (1606)
        Well, you hit the nail on the head there; most movies just aren't high-def quality even if they're scanned in at a high resolution. Until studios start using HD equipment, or start springing for the process used for the classic Star Wars trilogy, people will feel a little ripped off.

        It's equivalent to early DVDs, though. Remember getting some of those early discs and seeing excessive film grain? That was the first thing I thought of when I got my HD DVD player. I've seen the same thing on other peoples'
  • This is old news (Score:2, Informative)

    by rickward (25813)
    The agreement to sell the plants to Toshiba was made back in Oct/Nov 2007. It was one of the things that IMHO prolonged the format war, because it really looked like Sony was giving up on their flagship platform and taking greenmail. I remember distinctly thinking that maybe I should bite the bullet and get an HD DVD player because of that.
  • Oh, please let Toshiba return the favor by selling a PC with Cell and RSX to compete with Sony's Playstation, without the Sony Hypervisor lockout (and with RAM expandible beyond 512MB).

    If it's got both Blu-Ray and Firewire, then the revenge will be complete. And I will support it in every way.
    • by Lehk228 (705449)
      do you hate programmers? did a programmer kill your family or something?

      I can't think of any other reason to support the proliferation of such a "Unique" hardware architecture.
      • by Doc Ruby (173196)
        No, I'm a programmer with a PS3 running Linux who's stopped by Sony's artificial limits.

        Do you think you're doing programmers any favors by limiting us to only x86, and keeping us from screaming fast, cheap, and fascinating new parallel HW?

        If it proliferates (and there are already several million PS3s out there, while IBM, Toshiba and others are marketing Cell machines - if only a few, at the high end) it will hardly be "unique".
  • First off, Toshiba was the third main company in on the Cell from the start (first two being Sony and IBM) - if I recall, the processor fabrication plants were Toshiba's to begin with (Sony contracted IBM to design it and Toshiba producing the Cell). Anybody that thinks this is some kind of payoff must have been too young to read the news 3 or 4 years ago when the Cell was first announced...

    Blu-Ray won - get over the fact that you spent thousands to be an early adopter only to see your choice not make it
  • The price was even set before the format war even started in earnest. It did change about 10% since then, but if you think that represented a payoff to Toshiba, it was less then $60M. If all the conspiracy nutters believe Warner got $500M to stop supporting HD-DVD, would they think Toshiba needs only $60M to drop out of the race completely?
  • I expect Blu-Ray profile 4.0 to require a Cell chip -- which would be a huge win for Sony, Toshiba and IBM (who developed the chip). Profile 5.0 might need the RSX, so that everyone's buying a PS3...

What hath Bob wrought?

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