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12/13/2005
10:06 AM
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Toshiba Delays Next-Gen HD DVD Debut In Japan

The company, which had hoped to beat the rival Blu-ray format to market, attributed the problem to the unavailability of Advanced Access Content System digital rights management software.

TOKYO — Toshiba Corp. said Tuesday (Dec. 13) the introduction of HD DVD players here will be delayed.

Toshiba attributed the delay mainly to the unavailability of Advanced Access Content System (AACS) licensing.

DVD Forum has adopted AACS copyright management as an integral part of the HD DVD format. Toshiba had planned to launch its HD DVD products only after AACS is finalized, Toshiba said in a statement.

Toshiba hoped to introduce HD DVD players by the end of 2005, ahead of Blu-ray Disc players, but decided in September to postpone the U.S. introduction until 2006.

In July, IBM Corp., Intel Corp., Microsoft Corp., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., Sony Corp., Toshiba, Walt Disney Company and Warner Bro. Studio formed the AACS Licensing Administrator (AACS LA) to develop license AACS technology. AACS LA has completed its version 0.9 of the technology.

Toshiba said it had completed the design for its HD DVD players for both the U.S. and Japanese markets and was ready for volume production at its Japanese manufacturing facilities.

The HD DVD group has completed read-only, rewritable and recordable formats, but delayed the introduction of AACS. The Blu-ray group is finalizing ROM, RW and R formats at the meeting this week. The group said it plans to present the finalized format at the CES show in Las Vegas in January.

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