Flashback 2006: Toshiba Launches HD DVD

Thirteen years ago today, Toshiba introduced the first HD DVD players in U.S. stores with high hopes that the new format would be the high-definition successor to the wildly popular DVD and conquer the rival Blu-ray format championed by a coalition of nine companies, including Sony, Panasonic, Pioneer, and Samsung.

It didn’t turn out that way.

The HD DVD format was short-lived even though Toshiba made a big splash with the launch of not one but two players — the $500 HD-A1 and step-up $800 HD-XA1 (read our original review here) — and beat the rival Blu-ray camp to market by a couple of months. Samsung’s $1,000 BD-P1000 launched in June followed by players from Panasonic, Sony, Pioneer, and others.

Twenty-two months later, Toshiba pulled the plug on the format, ceding the title of DVD successor to the Blu-ray camp, which had much broader support on the both the hardware and software fronts. Toshiba released its first Blu-ray player in late 2009.

For an inside take on the then budding HD DVD vs. Blu-ray format war, see our 2006 report.

Billy's picture

HD DVD was the best choice, the lasers were red, like a DVD, could have been produced with the same equipment that made DVDs, so the costs could have been cheaper. Sony was still stewing about the VHS/Beta fiasco, so they made doubly sure to win. Hey, I liked HD DVD, but I am glad I didn't buy right away and get burned like I did with Beta.

mars2k's picture

So I bought an XBox Hd DVD player just in case...still have it...in a box never used....oh well

Kristealazar's picture

Toshiba dispatches HD DVD, On the off chance that you need to purchase this HD and DVD for you, at that point you should come and get all which you like for you. Expectation you check the essay ninja of this new gadget which is recently propelling this time.