Toshiba Applies to Join Blu-ray Disc Association

Toshiba announced recently that the company has applied for Blu-ray Disc Association membership. In addition, it declared its plans to introduce Blu-ray supported products. This announcement is surprising, since originally Toshiba opposed the Blu-ray format, as it tried to promote the rival HD-DVD format two years ago.
 The Blu-ray disk logo
The Blu-ray logo

Two years ago, two new technologies were released: HD-DVD and Blu-ray. Both offer high-density discs that enable producers to distribute high-quality movies and music. Users could use either format to store data on high-capacity portable media. During that time, some companies have sided with the HD-DVD format, led by Toshiba, and others took sides with the Blu-ray format, created by the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA). Although Toshiba has announced its intentions to develop Blu-ray products a month ago, this latest BDA application formally ends the rivalry between the two high-capacity formats.

The Blu-ray disc offers 25GB of storage (single layer) or 50GB storage (dual-layer), while HD-DVD offers 15GB of storage (30GB dual-layer). However, the technical specifications were not the main reason for Toshiba’s recede; according to the company’s statement, in light of recent growth in digital devices supporting the Blu-ray format, combined with market demand from consumers and retailers alike, it decided to join the BDA. The numbers confirm it: as of August 2009, more than 2500 Bly-ray titles are available in the United States and Canada. In comparison, large labels such as Warner Brothers give their consumers the option to upgrade HD-DVD titles into Blu-ray.

The details of Toshiba’s future products, including time of regional launches, were not disclosed. For the time being, the company decided to remain indeterminate, saying that they “will make announcements in due course.” It might not be a wise choice, since some potential, impatient consumers might choose to buy rival products instead of waiting for Toshiba’s devices.

TFOT has previously covered the Quad Interface Blu-Ray External Drive, made by Other World Computing, and Mempile, a revolutionary optical-storage technology that allows one terabyte (1000GB) of date to be stored on a single disc. Another related TFOT story is the Toshiba 512GB SSD Drive, exhibited during CES 2009.

For more information about Toshiba’s announcement, see their press release.