Toshiba Surrenders in DVD Wars

TOKYO -- Japan's Toshiba surrendered in the high-definition home movie war on Tuesday, giving up on its HD DVD format after losing the support of key studios and retailers to the Blu-ray technology backed by Sony.

The decision by the electronics maker ends the battle with a consortium led by Sony over who would set the standard for the next generation of discs, a fight that confused shoppers and stalled a move to the new technology in the $24 billion home DVD market.

The Blu-ray win means consumers no longer have to choose between rival incompatible formats and run the risk of being stuck with a 21st-century equivalent of Betamax, Sony's videotape format that lost out to VHS in the 1980s.

Toshiba, which had hoped HD DVD would drive growth in its consumer electronics business, said it would aim to end its HD DVD business by the end of next month.