Survey: How Do You Evaluate Toshiba's Decision on HD DVD?

Feb 22, 2008
Takuji Imai, Tech-On!

"Toshiba should have made its decision around 2005, when it attempted to negotiate the standardization of the formats."

It has become clear that many of our readers are considering Toshiba should have made its decision earlier through interim results of a survey conducted by Nikkei Electronics and Tech-On!

To a question asking, "At what point do you think Toshiba should have decided to withdraw from the HD DVD business? (select one answer)," 43% of all respondents chose "Around 2005, when it began negotiations with Blu-ray Disc supporters to standardize the formats."

Amid the fierce competition over next-generation DVD formats, Blu-ray Disc supporters' leader Sony Corp and HD DVD supporters' leader Toshiba Corp sat at a table, where they were to discuss the standardization of the formats, in the spring of 2005.

However, negotiations broke down when their opinions differed on which of the two formats, which were fundamentally different in disc structure, they should choose. If they had agreed on the standardization at that time, both manufacturers and consumers would not have suffered serious drawbacks.

To the same question, 29% of all respondents chose "Now was the best time," which was the second most common response. This was chosen more than "In the second half of 2007, when Blu-ray's lead in Japan gradually became apparent" at 12% and "In February 2002, when the Blu-ray Disc format was announced" at 11%.

In fact, to another question asking, "How do you evaluate Toshiba's decision to withdraw from the HD DVD business? (select one answer)," an equal number of respondents (47% each) chose "Toshiba should have made the decision earlier" and "Toshiba made the appropriate decision at the right time."

This result seems to represent the fact that our readers have found certain significance in the format competition.

Asked "What do you think about the significance of the competition over next-generation DVD formats? (multiple answers allowed)," almost half (47%) of all respondents chose "It helped lower prices and facilitated diffusion." The second most common answer was "The format competition accelerated technical progress" at 44%. Both of these answers were chosen more than "The industry shouldn't have competed over the formats because it caused consumers inconvenience" at 42%.

The number of samples is 909.