updated 08:20 am EDT, Mon August 6, 2007
Toshiba 3G HD DVD Players
On cue with expectations, Toshiba today unveiled the third iteration of its HD-A series HD DVD players. The new models (not yet pictured) are all sleeker than past models and are half as tall at 2.3 inches, fitting them more easily into home theater setups. Most models also have native 1080p, 24-frame playback for movies that haven't already been converted to a TV-native frame rate and have CEC support to control basic functions of a supporting HDTV through HDMI. Like earlier HD DVD players, each also keeps the Ethernet link for Internet-based movie features and upgrades.
Models are split along the familiar lines of the previous players. The entry HD-A3 is capped at 1080i output; moving to the mid-range HD-A30 adds 1080p (with 24-frame support) and CEC, and the top HD-A35 adds HDMI 1.3 output with deep color plus extra audio support for 5.1-channel analog and high-bitrate 7.1 HDMI surround output. Toshiba plans to stagger the releases but will keep today's prices intact: the HD-A30 ships first in September for $400, with the $300 HD-A3 and the $500 HD-A35 arriving sometime in October.