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Writeable HD DVD drives shipping

by on19 December 2007


Toshiba Qosmio models to offer it first

Toshiba will be offering two notebooks in their Qosmio Series 2 product family that will offer writeable HD DVD drives. So far, the high definition writeable format will only be available in Blu-ray drives offered in a variety of notebooks and desktops from several vendors.

Toshiba has been fighting what some are describing as an uphill battle against Sony and their Blu-ray high definition format. Still, the adoption rate of high definition drives in the Blu-ray format for use in computers has been somewhat slowed by prices for the drives hovering at close to the $600+ mark.

The HD DVD camp has been slower to move into the writable format market space with their HD DVD drives. While the HD DVD readers have been available for some time, the HD DVD writers are only now starting to rear their heads. The Toshiba announcement is the first major vendor to announce a writable HD DVD drive that will be shipping in a notebook. We expect to hear more about the HD DVD writers at CES in January along with some additional announcements.

Both the HD DVD and Blu-ray writers do face issues with media availability and cost. Even if you can afford the drive, the cost of the media is still very expensive! And that is assuming that you can even find the high definition writeable media. Lack of availability of media is still a problem, as most media vendors are sitting on the fence as to which format to support, and/or they have yet to spend the money on equipment necessary to produce the writable high definition discs. As one vendor told us, “currently the cost of the writers is too high and the market for the media is too small to justify the investment necessary to produce media in the numbers necessary to bring the blank media prices down.”

While Toshiba continues to push forward with HD DVD, they will need to flood the market at attractive prices in order to gain ground in the computer market space for the HD DVD format. Still, many consumers do not have the elements necessary to make use of a HD DVD drive in their computer due to their lack of a video card and monitor that support it. While the ability to store vast amounts of data on an optical disc might be attractive to some, the cost is high and the time it takes to burn the disc will still turn many consumers off.

Last modified on 19 December 2007
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