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Toshiba Official Says Unified DVD Format with Sony Difficult
May 16, 2005
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A senior official at Toshiba Corp said that establishing a unified format for next-generation DVDs in cooperation with Sony Corp. will be "difficult" under the current circumstances, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported.

Toshiba, which is pursuing its own HD DVD format, had been negotiating with a group of companies led by Sony and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. that supports the Blu-ray Disc format over the possibility of integrating their respective high-definition video technologies, the newspaper reported. The talks focused mainly on what structure the unified disc would have, as the fundamental structures of the rival discs are totally different.

The companies appeared to be making progress at one point when Toshiba softened its stance by saying, "If Sony's technology proves more effective than ours, we would be willing to accept your optical disc mechanism."

However, Yoshihide Fujii, Toshiba's top negotiator, told reporters that "the Sony side failed to provide enough evidence that its format has a clear advantage over ours in terms of cost and range of application."

Mr. Fujii went on to say that further discussion will be a "waste of time" unless Sony makes an effort to examine Toshiba's proposal for a unified technology. However, "We won't give up the idea of forging a unified format," Mr. Fujii said.

Asked about the prospects for the issue being resolved, he said: "Movie companies in Hollywood will soon express their own thoughts on the unification of high-definition DVD formats," indicating that Hollywood will play a crucial role in settling the issue. (Forbes, AFX, Nikkei)

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