Toshiba Gen2 HD DVD Players
Today marked the debut of Toshiba's second-generation HD DVD players (yes, even while the first generation Blu-ray players are still coming to market). The HD-A2 entry level model ($499) and the top of the line HD-XA2 model ($999) were set up but not running at the booth. Overall, the improvements seem to center around 1080p capability (on the HD-XA2 model) and HDMI 1.3 capability for handling the newest audio and video formats. With a high gloss, black acrylic face plate and a slim chassis design, both new HD DVD players have a refined, sleek appearance which happens to complement Toshiba's extensive flat panel TV line-up.
The new high end Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD player is designed to output 1920 x 1080p via HDMI version 1.3, adding support for Deep Color technology. The HD-XA2 also incorporates a 297MHz / 12 bit Video DAC with high-quality, 4x oversampling for increased bandwidth of HD picture playback. The HD-XA2 comes with a picture setting function allowing customers to optimize picture quality with user adjustable settings for color, contrast, brightness, edge enhancement and block noise, among others. The new HD-XA2 HD DVD player's 1080p output capability also complements Toshiba's new Cinema Series Pro LCD TVs which provide true HD 1080p input capability via HDMI.
Since the HD-XA2 will be one of the first next generation players to support the "Deep Color" or 36-bit RGB/YCbCr portion of HDMI 1.3 I suppose we shoudl be on the lookout for compatible displays coming from Toshiba next year.
These new HD DVD players continue to support efficient video compression standards including MPEG-4 AVC and VC-1, as well as MPEG2.
To 1080p or Not to 1080p, That is the Question...
> The HD-A2 supports 720p and 1080i, while the HD-XA2 is also fully compatible with 1080p. Several Toshiba reps indicated that this was the largest difference between the players (which have a $500 price gap). The other difference involves the 297MHz / 12 bit Video DAC which is found on the more expensive player. As an upconverting player, the HD-XA2 should also have a greater level of video performance.
> The lossless mandatory formats include Linear PCM and Dolby TrueHD. The Dolby TrueHD format supports audio tracks that are bit-for-bit identical to the high resolution studio masters and in the new models can support up to 5.1 channels of 24-bit/96kHz audio. Both new models feature built-in multi-channel decoders for Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD (5.1 channel), DTS and DTS-HD (core only).
Pricing and Availability:
> The HD-A2 has an MSRP of $499.99 and will be available in October 2006. The HD-XA2 has an MSRP of $999 and should eb available in December 2006.
For more information please visit www.toshiba.com .