Print 53 comment(s) - last by Guyver.. on Aug 7 at 11:12 AM

Toshiba HD-A35  (Source: AV Watch)
The third time's a charm with Toshiba's HD DVD player lineup

Toshiba isn't standing still when it comes to the development of HD DVD players. The company announced today that it has revamped its entry-level, mid-range and high-end players and that all three will retail for under $500.

"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, VP of Marketing for 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."

The first new model is the entry-level HD-A3. Toshiba didn't divulge many details on the HD-A3 other than the fact that it features 1080i output. The mid-range HD-A30 adds support for 1080p output along with what Toshiba calls "CE-Link" or HDMI-CEC. CE-Link allows for a two-way connection between the HD DVD player and TV over HMDI.

The high-end HD-A35 also features 1080p support and CE-Link, but also adds support for Deep Color over HDMI, 5.1 channel analog audio output and High Bit Rate 7.1 Audio over HDMI.

All three players feature a slimmer exterior design with rounded edges and a high-gloss black finish. According to Toshiba, the third generation players are half as tall as the first generation units.

Toshiba's HD-A30 will be available in September at a price of $399.99. The HD-A3 and HD-A35 will be available in October with price tags of $299.99 and $499.99 respectively.

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close but no cigar
By Gul Westfale on 8/6/2007 2:53:44 PM , Rating: 2
for $300 they look quite appealing... but not as appealing as the $150 HD DVD/BluRay combo player we will have next year...

RE: close but no cigar
By Gul Westfale on 8/6/2007 9:23:05 PM , Rating: 2
i've been reading up a bit now...

bluray does have higher capacity of course, but HD DVD has an advantage too: there is apparently no regional coding. for some of you that might not matter, but to me it does.

there is one thing i wanted to know though, and i hope someone here can give me answer: it appears that sony \did not use the DSD audio coding in the bluray spec (DSD is what's used on SACDs), i wonder why that is, isn't DSD technically better than other sound systems (or at least equal)?

also, i heard that the PS3 cannot play back bluray audio at full quality but rather samples the sound down to DVD-like levels. is it true, and why is this done? are sound chips that expensive? and if they are, what do lower-end bluray players use?

RE: close but no cigar
By Guyver on 8/7/2007 11:12:24 AM , Rating: 2
I recollect that both Sony and Toshiba have said that you only need 25GB to do a HD movie.

The extra capacity is great if you use it on a computer or if the movie studios want to add filler for the disc. Outside of that, the only biggest reason why you would need such capacity on a disc would be a 3 hour movie or a "Super-Bit" Blu-Ray disc to clearly show some sort of visual and auditory superiority on the Blu-Ray format.

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