Toshiba is to launch two HD DVD models across Europe in Q4 . The entry level model the, HD-E1, is set to retail for between 599-699 Euros which should be about £450 in the UK. It debuts in November. Meanwhile the flagship model, the HD-XE1 is to to launch in December for between 899-999 Euros – about £650 in the UK.
The two models are European only players, so while they are similar in spec to the devices that launched in the US in April, they are slimmer in design and slightly pricier.
Neither model has regional coding. We are waiting for clarification on this but it appears that any HD DVD disc bought in the US will play in the European players. The discs are not regionally coded either.
Features include; backwards compatibility with DVD and CD, Dolby Digital Plus, picture-in-picture with motion video functions and Ethernet terminals for upgrading devices via web.
The top-end XE1 can also upscale and output existing DVD content at 1080p for display on HD ready LCD TVs.
Incidentally the players don’t also have the Manage Copy facility that enables user to copy content for personal use on to a hard drive device. This facility, which is on Microsoft’s shopping list of must-have facilities for HD DVD, will be introduced at a later stage.
So what do you think? Can HD DVD hold its own against Blu-ray?