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In spite of reports that Toshiba is set to manufacture its own Blu-ray disc (BD) player by the end of the year, the company’s officials neither deny, nor confirm the intention, at least now. The company also reemphasized that it was looking onto video-download technologies.

According to a news-report from a Japanese news-paper that emerged late last week, 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 might mark the final end of the format war between Blu-ray and HD DVD.

Toshiba ceased making and selling its HD DVD players back in mid-February, 2008, after the largest home video entertainment vendor Warner Brothers announced that it would exclusively support Blu-ray high-definition video format starting June, 2008.

“We know those rumours on the Internet about BD and Toshiba, but we are not in a position to comment on this,” said Frank Eschholz, a spokesperson for Toshiba.

After Toshiba announced intention to discontinue HD DVD, its chief executive officer Atsutoshi Nishida said that the company was hoping on digital video downloads and that the company had been developing technologies in that area. At present there are no video services or players that can download movies from Toshiba, but in future such devices are not excluded from the roadmap.

“Our president Mr. Nishida made some comments regarding video download and we believe that this is a good alternative to packed media in the future. We cannot say when the time will be right in order to have the mass market ready for download but we have started investigating our options,” added Mr. Eschholz.

Despite the rhetoric, Toshiba does need Blu-ray: it already commands 50% of the market in Japan and the company needs to offer premium-class players with its high-definition TV-sets.

Tags: Toshiba, Blu-ray, HD DVD

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