It looks High Definition DVD’s are about to go the way of the Betamax and the Laser Disc when Toshiba announced that they would no longer develop, make, or market HD DVD players.

What prompted this decision was that major movie studios such as Warner Brothers, Disney, Sony, and Twentieth Century Fox decided to exclusively release their movies with the Blu-ray format. In addition to movie studios, retailers such as Wal-Mart, and Netflix also decided to only carry Blu-ray DVDs and hardware. Toshiba plans to phase out HD DVDs by reducing the amount of shipments to retailers and ceasing production by the end of March.

Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios, both of who signed to produce HD DVDs, probably will cease production of the format around the same time.

What does this mean for college students? The first answer is if you bought an HD DVD player your screwed. Toshiba says they will still provide product support for the format but once movies stop being produced in the format will it even matter? But you could always sell it on eBay to hardware collectors.

As for the rest of us, this could have a positive impact because it will allow Toshiba to divert the funds spent to produce the hardware into other areas such as research or marketing which will hopefully lower costs for consumers. For college students this might mean cheaper DVDs, which would be a blessing because we won’t have to rely on Used CD stores for cheap DVDs.

Finally, the cost of Blu-ray players and DVDs may go down due to the amount of money saved by no longer producing HD DVDs. This will make the format more affordable and of course more appealing to college students. At least until a higher quality format is announced.

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