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Toshiba Networks DVD Recorder

Beyond launching the first HD-DVD player later this year, Toshiba’s A/V group used its annual dealer show to unveil the company’s first network-equipped DVD recorder.

The Gigastyle RD-XS54, which will ship in August at a street price of $699, is a DVD recorder/DVR combo incorporating a 250GB hard disk drive and an Ethernet port.

Using the Ethernet connection the deck can be linked to a PC or another RD-SX54 to stream stored content between devices for playback on a TV or home theater system.

The deck also can be connected to a second RD-XS54 to dub content from one unit to another.

As with other Toshiba DVD recorders, the unit can be networked and is compatible with DVD-RAM, DVD-R and DVD-RW discs.

The RD-XS54 incorporates a TV Guide On Screen program guide, HDMI interface with up-conversion to 720p or 1,080i, and a DV input for transferring camcorder recordings.

In DVD players, Toshiba unveiled the SD-6980, which will ship in July at a $199 suggested retail, as one of its first to support DiVX format playback. The unit will include an HD JPEG image viewer, will support 10 different flash memory card formats, and also offers DVD-Audio and SACD multichannel music playback and HDMI output with up-conversion to 720p and 1,080i.

Among the other DVD models in Toshiba’s line is the SD-V593 ($179, May), which is a DVD/VCR combo with HDMI output and video up-conversion, HD JPEG viewer and a memory card slot for nine different formats.

In DVD portables, Toshiba announced the SD-P2800 ($499, October), which will feature a 9W-inch LCD with In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology to provide a 170-degree viewing angle both horizontally and vertically. Resolution is listed as 800 by 480, and digital-to-analog conversion is handled with a 14-bit/108MHz DAC. The unit supports the DiVX video format, and includes a four-in-one memory card slot for digital still image viewing.

In other news, Tina Tuccillo, Toshiba’s marketing communications VP, said Toshiba’s ad campaign this year will focus on building the company’s image as a digital TV company, especially 1,080p DLP and flat-panel TV-LCD combo TVs.

Ads this year will also focus on the ease of use of Toshiba’s DVD recorders and its new Gigabeat portable music players, in addition to an extensive media program to support the launch of HD DVD.