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Toshiba Dropping HD DVD as Wal-Mart Backs Blu-Ray

The battle of the high-definition DVD format is coming to a close, according to sources from within Toshiba. The past several weeks have been a headache for the company and owners of HD DVD players. The format was put on life support after a string of bad news that started in January with Warner Bros.’ announcement that they would go exclusive to Blu-Ray, the rival format made by Sony.

Since then, things have gone downhill for Toshiba considerably. Best Buy announced this week that they were siding with Blu-Ray, as did Netflix, the online movie rental service which was going exclusively Blu-Ray. Previous to the Warner Bros. announcement in January, Target pulled HD DVD players from their stores last year.

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The final nail in the HD DVD coffin came Friday, February 15, 2008, when mega-retailer Wal-Mart announced on their company blog that they would back Blu-Ray exclusively starting in June. Wal-Mart, of course, is the largest retailer of DVDs. With the largest retailer (Wal-Mart) and the largest electronics retailer (Best Buy) now firmly behind Blu-Ray, Toshiba has literally no choice but to call it quits.