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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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Where are the cheap HD-DVD drives?
By borowki on 8/6/2007 3:10:04 PM , Rating: 2
I don't understand why there are still no inexpensive (~$100) internal HD-DVD or Blu-Ray ROM drives available. I don't want HD in the living room, since DVD is quite acceptable when view at a distance. The computer is where I would really appreciate the higher definition.

RE: Where are the cheap HD-DVD drives?
By Cobra Commander on 8/6/2007 3:17:04 PM , Rating: 2
Supply and Demand. Super-low supply + Super-low demand = high prices.

By Cobra Commander on 8/6/2007 3:17:30 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, this previous post did not reply properly. :(

RE: Where are the cheap HD-DVD drives?
By shamgar03 on 8/6/2007 3:28:41 PM , Rating: 3
Umm low demand leads to low prices. Low quantities lead to higher overhead = higher prices. So revised:
Super low supply + small-scale production = high prices.

By Cobra Commander on 8/6/2007 4:50:07 PM , Rating: 2
Well, the low demand does not drive the production up so that's why I said that. They're not going to produce large quantity of something nobody wants, so yes, low demand does directly affect its high price.

RE: Where are the cheap HD-DVD drives?
By clemedia on 8/6/2007 3:18:57 PM , Rating: 2
I too wish there would be a cheaper internal drive. I don't really need the ability to burn blue ray discs, a reader would be more than enough for me. Right now about the only option is the external XBOX360 HD-dvd reader that I've been eying.

By v1001 on 8/6/2007 3:46:36 PM , Rating: 2
There is an internal drive out right now. I dont think it costs all that much. I'd liked to pick up an internal one also some day. But right now the x-box 360 drive works quite well too. And it's been seen at bestbuy for $150 plus 6 free movies. I think that's a pretty dang good deal. I had the x-box drive for a while and it was great. But my PC wasn't quite strong enough so I had to sell it. But yeah some day when I build a new PC I'd like a nice internal one.

By Gastrian on 8/6/2007 6:13:47 PM , Rating: 2
Well the sooner HD-DVD and Blu-Ray ROM units and writers make it into the mainstream the sooner HD piracy becomes mainstream.

Its a double-edged sword really, piracy bites into profits but its the £5 knock-off copies that push the medium forward.

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