Toshiba's HD-DVD future uncertain

Shares in Toshiba have gained more than 5% as speculation intensified that the electronics giant is set to scrap its high definition DVD format, HD DVD.

The firm said it was reviewing its business strategies, but added it had made no decision over HD DVD's future. The format has suffered from the defection of major US film studios to Sony-backed rival Blu-ray.

Analysts said that an end to the war meant Toshiba could refocus on other areas and the industry would gain too. "There have been media reports that Toshiba will discontinue its HD DVD business," a Toshiba spokesman said. "In fact, Toshiba has not made any announcement or decision. We are currently assessing our business strategies, but nothing has been decided at the moment."

Last month, Warner Brothers became the fifth Hollywood studio to throw its weight behind Sony's Blu-ray format, leaving just Universal Pictures and Paramount Pictures favouring HD DVD. Analysts had seen this decision to switch allegiances as a tipping point.

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