Toshiba said on Tuesday it would stop promoting its HD DVD format for the next-generation DVD after losing the support of key studios and retailers to the Blu-ray technology backed by Sony.
The decision ends a war between rival consortiums led by Toshiba and Sony vying to set the standard for high-definition movies on DVDs. Toshiba said it would begin to reduce shipments of HD DVD players and recorders and aim to end the business by the end of next month. The Blu-ray win means consumers no longer have to choose between rival incompatible formats and run the risk of being stuck with a 21st century equivalent of Betamax -- Sony's videotape technology that lost out to VHS in the 1980s.
Having one format should also help accelerate the shift to the new technology in the $24 billion home DVD market as shoppers faced with rival machines that played only one type of disc or the other, have previously held back.
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