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Toshiba Delays HD DVD Launch

13 Dec, 2005 By: Erik Gruenwedel

As expected, Toshiba Corp. today said it would postpone a previously announced year-end Japanese launch of high-definition-format HD DVD products. The Tokyo-based electronics giant cited ongoing concerns regarding implementation of copy protection software AACS (Advanced Access Content System) for the delay.

“Various industry participants are in the process of finalizing the last details for implementation of AACS,” said Toshiba in a statement. “Because the DVD Forum has adopted AACS as an integral part of the HD DVD format, Toshiba will launch its HD DVD products only after AACS is finalized.”

The company said it remained on schedule to launch HD DVD in the U.S. in the first quarter 2006 — apparently at the same time or prior to a Japanese launch. A Toshiba spokesperson told Reuters said she couldn't imagine a U.S. launch superseding one in Japan.

Toshiba had hoped to bow HD DVD by the holidays and prior to rival format Blu-ray Disc, which observers believe won't materialize until Sony Corp. launches the PlayStation 3 video game console (with Blu-ray).

Both formats will showcase extensive product and software demonstrations at the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show Jan. 5-8 in Las Vegas.

Separately, TDK Corp. said it had commenced shipping mass-production samples of its write-once (BD-R) and rewritable (BD-RE) single and dual-layer Blu-ray Discs.

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