Blu-Ray and HD-DVD: The End Game

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR287
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 2006-2008
Pub Date : 2008
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Large
Industry : Consumer Electronics
Countries : USA, Europe and Japan

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Death by a Thousand Cuts

Toshiba had a headstart when it launched its HD DVD players (Refer Exhibit III for a photo of the Toshiba brand HD DVD player and Exhibit IV for HD DVD disks) in April 2006. The rival camp was able to launch their players only in June 2006.

In mid-2006, Toshiba together with Microsoft, Universal Studios Home entertainment, Paramount Home Entertainment, Warner Home Video, HP, and Intel, formed the North American HD DVD Promotional Group (NAHPG).

The Group unleashed a US$ 150 million communication campaign, called "The Look and Sound of Perfect"...

Will Toshiba Have The Last Laugh?

According to some analysts, Toshiba's withdrawal from the HD player market did not mean that Sony and its partners would have a smooth ride establishing Blu-ray as the next-generation format in the coming years. To start with, there were lingering issues of quality with respect to Blu-ray players. For example, according to a T3 review of Sony's entry-level Blu-ray player, the BDP S300, in February 2008, the player took a long time to read the content on the disks and also had problems playing some kinds of disks...


Soon after Toshiba made the announcement that it would stop production of HD DVD players, sales of Blu-ray players saw an increase. In the UK, online consumer electronics retailer,, reported a seven-fold increase in the sales of Blu-ray players on the very day the announcement was made.

"People have been waiting a long time to move into the Hi-Def era and now they have the confidence that this is going to be the format," said Stuart Rowe (Rowe), chief operating officer,


Exhibit I: Toshiba's Product Portfolio
Exhibit II: A Comparison of the Features of Blu-Ray, HD DVD, DVD
Exhibit III: A Toshiba HD DVD Player
Exhibit IV: HD DVD Discs
Exhibit V: Toshiba's Financials
Exhibit VI: CD Album Sales between 2000 and 2007 in the US
Exhibit VII: A Photo of the Apple TV

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