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Toshiba Gives More Details On New HD DVD Decks

Wayne, N.J. — Toshiba America Consumer Products provided more details on its HD DVD players for the U.S. market, which TWICE reported on last week.

The decks in the new line, which are all priced under $500 at retail, have selected features such as 1080p/24 fps support, 1080p, CE-Link connectivity and high bit-rate audio capabilities, the company said. Movie films are traditionally captured at 24 fps and select Toshiba third-generation HD DVD players will be able to maintain this frame rate allowing consumers to enjoy movies in their native frame rate. 

The CE-Link (HDMI-CEC) connectivity is featured in the line and offers the capability to communicate with and control another CE device in a whole new way, Toshiba said. For instance, using CE-Link with “One Touch Play” consumers will be able to turn on a CEC capable HDTV and a Toshiba HD DVD player, and start playing a movie, with a single touch of a button on the player remote.

As reported previously the HD-A3 will be priced at $299 and shipping in October; HD-A30 at $399 will ship in September; and HD-A35 priced at $499 will begin shipping in October.

Toshiba’s third-generation starts with the entry-level HD-A3 player featuring 1080i output capability. The other two new models, Toshiba’s HD-A30 and HD-A35, will output 1080p resolution (1920 x 1080p), the highest HD signal currently available. Both models are capable of outputting signals at 1080p/24fps so consumers can enjoy movies in their native frame rate, the company said. The HD-A30 and HD-A35 models also feature CE-Link, allowing two-way control between the HD DVD player and a TV through an HDMI connection.

The top-of-the-line HD-A35 also adds support for Deep Color via HDMI allowing compatible display devices to deliver outstanding video quality — displaying millions of possible colors to billions of possible colors, the company said.

Additionally, the HD-A35 offers 5.1-channel analog output and High Bit Rate Audio (up to 7.1 channel) via HDMI. With content encoded in 7.1 channel, this advanced surround sound is achieved through the HDMI connection bypassing the player’s internal audio processor and sending the signal to a 7.1 capable A/V receiver. High bit-rate audio will allow the consumer to integrate the HD-A35 with the latest multichannel A/V receivers and enjoy a whole new dimension of high definition home entertainment.

“With a majority market share in unit sales of next-generation DVD players, consumers are speaking loud and clear, and they are adopting HD DVD as their HD movie format of choice,” said Jodi Sally, marketing VP, Toshiba’s digital A/V group. “Because of the proven manufacturing efficiencies of the HD DVD format, Toshiba can bring this level of innovation in technology to a new generation of players with cutting-edge functionality at affordable prices.”

All of Toshiba’s third-generation HD DVD players are refined with new cosmetic designs. Rounded edges, slim chassis (only 59.5 mm — nearly half as tall as first generation players) and high-gloss, black acrylic face plates complement to Toshiba’s REGZA HD LCD televisions, the firm said.

Starting with 1st generation players, all of Toshiba’s HD DVD players support the enhanced features of the HD DVD format mandated by the DVD Forum including picture-in-picture video, audio commentary and the ability to allow Web-enabled network capabilities. Using the Ethernet ports found on all Toshiba HD DVD players, once connected to the network, users can access bonus features, as available, from a movie studio’s server. This data is then saved in the player’s persistent storage and can be accessed by the user, the company said.

“Consumers will always have a consistent experience with HD DVD as we have an established platform to keep the players updated to ensure the ultimate HD movie experience,” said Yoshi Uchiyama, group VP, Toshiba’s digital A/V group. “A mandatory Ethernet port in all HD DVD players ensures that consumers can receive updates to their units to support the latest offerings from the studios and maximizing their investment in the format.”