optical discFor those interested in the format war between the next-generation high-definition video disc formats, Blu-Ray and HD DVD, it’s now almost inevitable. Before Christmas, I bought an HD DVD player (on sale for $99!), bought and rented a few titles from Netflix. Within the past few weeks I’d started seeing rumours that the format wasn’t doing well. Then, I received notification from Netflix last week that they will cease to offer HD DVD titles. Finally, word this week that retail giant Wal-Mart is dropping HD DVD: let nobody be in any doubt that this is the death toll for the format! The gossip is that even Toshiba, who invented the damned thing and spent a fortune to develop and promote it, is considering quitting. So, it looks like I’ll either have a collector’s item or an annoying piece of equipment sitting around my house for years. And the winner? Blu-Ray. Everyone will have one shortly.

UPDATE 2/19/2008:  Toshiba have admitted defeat and quit the race.