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Toshiba to Enter Blu-ray Market

20 Jul, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Toshiba Corp. reportedly will unveil its first Blu-ray Disc player later this year, nearly 18 months after pulling the plug on rival high-definition format HD DVD.

Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun last weekend reported that Toshiba is entering the Blu-ray player market in an effort to support sales of its HDTV models. Many CE manufacturers of Blu-ray players are aggressively promoting the devices as free value-adds with the purchase of an HDTV or home theater system.

No model information or pricing for a Toshiba BD player has been released. The newspaper reported that Toshiba has no plans to enter the BD recorder market despite third-party data from BCN Inc. that suggested more than 66% of video recorders sold in Japan were Blu-ray.

The Japanese consumer electronics giant, which reportedly spent about $1 billion on HD DVD in a failed effort to win the format war, said increased consumer adoption of the high-definition format and more attractive unit pricing (many BD players retail for less than $200) underscored the need to enter the BD market in an official capacity.

At a shareholder meeting last month, current Toshiba chairman Atsutoshi Nishida reportedly denied allegations the technology company had deliberately avoided entering the Blu-ray market due to bitterness over HD DVD.

“It's not that we won’t do it because we’ve lost [the format battle],” Nishida said. “We’ll deal with the issue flexibly.”

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