Wednesday, December 14, 2005

HD-DVD launch delayed

After signs that all may not be well in the HD-DVD camp back in September, Toshiba has now confirmed that the next-gen HD-DVD optical standard will not be seeing the light of day this year.

The reason for the delay has nothing to do with negotiations and deals with Hollywood this time; instead, it's a technology issue, with the problem coming from the Advanced Access Content System (AACS) copy protection. The details have not been given out, but it seems the problem lies with the actual HD-DVD players and problems they are having with the AACS copy protection. AACS is integrated into both the players and the discs themselves to prevent copying. Toshiba's official line is that "Various industry participants are in the process of finalizing the last details for implementation of AACS."

Until this problem is rectified, the initial Japanese launch will be delayed, meaning it will no longer happen in 2005 as planned. A new launch date has not been announced, but Toshiba is still aiming for a U.S. release in the first quarter of 2006.

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