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Toshiba Corp., the developer of HD DVD format, is rumored to launch its own-branded Blu-ray disc (BD) player by the end of the year. The entering of BD market by Toshiba marks the final end of the format war between Blu-ray and HD DVD.

According to Yomiuri web-site, Toshiba has finally changed its mind concerning Blu-ray disc format and intends to release its BD player by the end of 2009. Details about the player are unclear and it is not certain whether Toshiba aims to release BD profile 2.0 player or a device with other profile.

It is necessary to note that apart from the optical disc drive itself as well as firmware difference, virtually all Toshiba’s HD DVD players are truly similar to the yet-to-be-made-available Blu-ray profile 2.0 players. All HD DVD players feature two video decoders to enable picture-in-picture (PiP) capability, Internet connectivity as well as up to 1GB local storage. As a result, Toshiba can easily migrate to Blu-ray or universal HD DVD/Blu-ray players by changing optical disc drive and loading a new firmware version.

Toshiba has not commented on the news-story.

Tags: Toshiba, Blu-ray, HD DVD

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