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Star Trek - Reports Say HD DVD Format To Be Discontinued; 2nd Hi-Def Trek Season Cancelled

Nothing is official yet, but these reports sound awfully convincing!

Posted by David Lambert
Following the early-January Warner Bros. pullout of HD DVD support, there has been much speculation about how this would soon spell the end of the format, giving the high definition home video war's victory to Sony's Blu-ray Disc format. Now reports have been popping up all over the internet this weekend that Toshiba is planning to officially discontinue their HD DVD format, possibly as soon as tomorrow. Among the reports you can read about this is at the Wall Street Journal's website. A formal press conference is scheduled by Toshiba in Tokyo at 5PM Tuesday (roughly midnight Los Angeles time).

What is the "TV-on-DVD" impact of this change? The folks at have posted a report stating that there is one fast victim of Toshiba's defeat, and it's everyone's favorite Starfleet vessel. You probably remember that early this past December we had the scoop that a planned March release of Star Trek - Season 2 on HD DVD DVD hybrid was delayed, supposedly until Summertime. Now Format War Central's new article states that the release is completely canceled. Here is a quote of the most important portion of their story:
    An inside source at Technicolor has informed us that a few weeks ago Toshiba cancelled the work they were doing on Star Trek Season 2. Toshiba had been the one paying for the re-mastering/encoding of Star Trek: TOS, which was part of their exclusive deal with Paramount.
There's more there worth reading, including more particulars on what Paramount was to provide as part of this arrangement, so head on over and read it for yourself. Our thanks to our friend Bill Hunt at The Digital Bits for this info.

One question that immediately springs to mind, of course, is whether this release (or the already-out-on-HD DVD Season 1) will come out on Blu-ray Disc? That's probable, but it remains to be seen. First of all, Paramount is expected to re-institute their support for the BD format, which was withdrawn last summer, but hasn't officially done so yet. Secondly, if Toshiba was funding the project, then new funding will need to be arranged (yes, that funding could come internally from CBS DVD and/or Paramount, but they would need to re-arrange their budgets to provide for this). And finally, I'm not up on all the tech aspects of these formats when it comes to coding the video, but the story at Format War Central makes it sound like some work done for the HD DVD coding may need to be re-done for Blu-ray Disc format. All that translates to "need more time." So stay tuned and we'll keep you informed of any further developments about high-def Star Trek.

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