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Toshiba says still wants unified DVD format

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CIOL Bureau
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TOKYO - Toshiba

Corp
. said on Tuesday it would still like to develop a unified format for

advanced optical DVD discs, but two competing and incompatible products are

likely to hit the market at first.

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Toshiba is a leading proponent of next-generation HD DVD optical disc

technology, which competes with the Blu-ray standard promoted by Sony Corp. and

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., a maker of Panasonic brand electronics.

"We have not given up on a unified format. We would like to seek ways

for unifying the standards if opportunities arise," Toshiba President

Atsutoshi Nishida told an annual shareholders' meeting.

The failure of the two groups to settle on a unified format has resulted in a

costly battle similar to the VHS-Betamax war that caused widespread consumer

confusion in the late 1970s and mid-1980s.

Toshiba, Japan's second-largest electronics conglomerate behind Hitachi Ltd.,

in March started rolling out the world's first HD DVD players in Japan.

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