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Toshiba responds to Warner Blu-ray move

Toshiba, the key player behind the HD DVD format, has released a statement reacting to last week's news that Warner Bros has decided to exclusively back its rival Blu-ray in the next generation DVD market.

Toshiba, the key player behind the HD DVD format, has released a statement reacting to last week's news that Warner Bros has decided to exclusively back its rival Blu-ray in the next generation DVD market.

"Toshiba is quite surprised by Warner Bros' decision to abandon HD DVD in favour of Blu-ray, despite the fact that there are various contracts in place between our companies concerning the support of HD DVD," it read.

"As central members of the DVD Forum, we have long maintained a close partnership with Warner Bros. We worked closely together to help standardize the first-generation DVD format as well as to define and shape HD DVD as its next-generation successor."

The company went on to express its disappointment in the decision, and point to apparent gains that the format had made in both the US and other regions last year, specifically that HD DVD players outsold Blu-ray players in the US.

However, according to previous reports Blu-ray discs outsold HD DVD equivalents by two-to-one in the US in the first nine months of 2007, while in Europe Sony's format accounted for 73 per cent of next-gen DVD sales.

The statement ended with a circumspect comment that Toshiba would discuss possible future moves with its partners, while restating its belief that HD DVD was a better format than Blu-ray.

Warner Bros chairman and CEO Barry Meyer had previously warned that "the window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger," while the president of the Entertainment arm, Kevin Tsujihara noted: "Consumers have clearly chosen Blu-ray, and we believe that recognising this preference is the right step in making this great home entertainment experience accessible to the widest possible audience."

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