Reuters, the NYTimes, and other sources report that Toshiba is about to give up on HD-DVD. The combination of Wal-Mart, Netfix, and Warner moving exclusively to Blu-ray seems to have done the trick. As a consequence, the studios will be able to rely on superior anti-piracy technologies incorporated in Blu-ray, include the BD+ programmable security layer.
Reasons given by some for the end of the HiDef optical disc format war now include a concern that net distribution of HiDef video may supplant optical discs of whatever format in several years and the studios , consumer electronics companies, and others need a decent period before that happens to recover their respective investments. Matt Richtel and Eric Taub's NYT article noted:
Any celebration over the victory may be tempered by concerns that the DVD — of any format — may be doomed by electronic delivery of movies over the Internet. The longer HD DVD battled Blu-ray, the more the consumer market has had an opportunity to gravitate to downloading movies. Such a move, coupled with the growth of technology that makes such downloading easier and cheaper, has threatened to cut into the long-term sales of physical movies in the DVD format.
Mr. Doherty [Richard Doherty, research director of Envisioneering[, like Mr. Parsons [a spokesman for the Blu-ray Disc Association], argued that digital downloads are not yet affecting the DVD market and that they would not for some time. They said that movie downloads face a host of challenges, chief among them that many consumers have insufficient bandwidth to download movies or move them from device to device on a wireless home network.