Sony’s CEO led his company to victory in the high-definition sweepstakes

Howard Stringer made history in 2005 for being the first non-Japanese executive to take the helm at Sony Corp. But he may be better remembered as the one who won the high-definition war, erasing the stain on the electronics firm's image ever since it lost the videotape war two decades earlier.

Although celebrated yesterday, the victory was sealed last month when Sony swayed Warner Bros. to back Sony's Blu-ray technology and quit producing movies using Toshiba Corp.'s rival HD DVD format.

What remains a mystery is just how big a push Warner needed to pick sides. Analysts say Sony only prevailed following a heated bidding war against Toshiba, with the reward reaching as much as $400-million (U.S.). Neither side has confirmed the size of any bids or payments.

It was supposed to be the technology equivalent of First World War trench warfare: A prolonged battle to the death between Toshiba and Sony for global domination in high-definition DVDs.

(Source: The Globe and Mail)

DVD, Film Business

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