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Toshiba, a big supporter of HD DVD standard, said late last week it was in talks with the entertainment industry as well as retailers about setting commercial launch date for HD DVD content as well as devices. The possibility of later-than-expected release of the technology is not ruled out and it is possible that the company may delay shipments “in order to maximize the demand”.

“We are now in talks with Hollywood studios and large-scale retailers to seek the most effective timing of the launch and best way to launch. We originally aimed for the year-end launch in the United States. But we have not really decided on that,” a Toshiba representative is reported to have said, Reuters news-agency claims.

Exact reasons behind the move to delay shipments of HD DVD players as well as content are unclear, but Toshiba insisted that the change in the launch schedule was intended to “maximize potential demand for the new products”. Usually companies tend to release certain advanced products before holiday season, as customers usually spend more before Christmas.

NEC, another backer of the HD DVD, recently indicated that numerous leading entertainment industry enterprises had announced that they plan to market films on HD DVD. According to a statement by the company, almost 100 films had been selected for HD DVD format, such as “Batman Begins”, “Million Dollar Baby”, “Alexander”, “Ocean’s Twelve” and “The Bourne Supremacy”. Classic movies such as “12 Monkeys”, “Forrest Gump” and “Harry Potter” are also among the chosen films. NEC, who will release its HD DVD optical drives for personal computers in October, 2005, did not unveil when those films become available.

HD DVD is the next generation DVD format being standardized at the DVD Forum, which represents over 230 consumer electronics, information technology, and content companies worldwide. HD DVD can store up to 15GB of data on one layer. HD DVD players and HD DVD video software were originally expected to come to market in late 2005. The development of HD DVD is headed by NEC and Toshiba.

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