After Hours

CES 08: Toshiba puts on a brave face for HD-DVD

The most highly-anticipated session of the morning was the Toshiba press event at 10am. It was an invitation only event; however, that didn't stop an overflow line of a couple hundred people from forming outside the conference room. Everyone was eager to see how one of HD-DVDs biggest proponents would respond in the face of Warner Bros. announcement to drop support for the format.

Toshiba HD-DVD

It really looked like someone thought about peeling the HD-DVD logo from the Toshiba backdrop

After a brief introduction from the Akio Ozaka, CEO of Toshiba America, who touted the REGZA HDTV line and HD-DVD players as two of Toshiba's successes in 2007, all attention turned to Jodi Sally, VP of Marketing for the Digital A/V division at Toshiba.

At first, she seemed quite shaken and mentioned that it had been a "tough day for me." However, she quickly recovered and started off her defense of HD-DVD by saying, "We've been declared dead before."

Without mentioning the word "Blu-ray," Jodi ran through some of the key consumer benefits that only HD-DVD offers with a heavy emphasis on web connectivity and the rich interactive experience that offers.

She also pointed out that HD-DVD is the only next-gen format that is approved by the DVD Forum. This means that every player offers the same set of features and functionality, like a built-in ethernet port, so consumers know what to expect from which HD-DVD product they choose.

It was definitely a stronger response that I was expecting. It will be interesting to see where this format war goes next.

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