Toshiba Readying New HD DVD Players

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Toshiba is getting ready for the end-of-year holiday buying season by ratcheting up the stakes in the HD DVD versus Blu-ray format war. Toshiba has announced plans to being a second generation of its HD DVD high-definition disc players to the U.S. market.

The HD-A2 and HD-XA2 will replace Toshiba’s initial HD DVD offerings, the HD-A1 and HD-XA1. The entry-level HD-A2 will support output resolutions of 720p or 1080 via HDMI and hit U.S. markets in October for an estimated $499.99 retail price.

The real action seems to be in the new HD-XA2, which will support the video portion of HDMI 1.3, doubling the available bandwidth for video display, enabling the devices to support 32-bit color at 1080i or true 1080p (1,920 by 1080 pixels) resolution. The HD-XA2 will also sport a 297Mhz/12-bit Video DAX with 4× oversampling and picture setting functions which enable users to optimize settings for color, contrast, brightness, edge enhancement, and noise blocking, along with other parameters. The HD-XA2 also picks up a $200 price hike from its predecessor, moving to a $999.99 price point.

Otherwise, spec information on Toshiba’s new units is slim: both are expected to support Ethernet for accessing additional content via a home broadband connection, and both support 5.1 audio at 24-bit/96Khz in Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, and DTS-HD formats.

“We are very pleased with the launch of our players and the progress we have made in the past six months,” said Jodi Sally, Vice President of Marketing for Toshiba America’s Consumer Products Digital A/V Group in a statement. “I am confident that our HD DVD players, which provide stunning HD image quality with a variety of advanced high resolution audio options, offer a great value for consumers today.”

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