Toshiba launches first HD DVD player in Japan

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Toshiba has unveiled the world’s first commercially available HD DVD player – the HD-XA1, which, for a limited time, comes complete with two HD DVD titles.

Alongside the playback of pre-recorded HD DVD, Toshiba’s HD-XA1 also offers support for up-conversion of standard DVD to a resolution of 1080i or 720p through HDCP capable HDMI output. Along with L-PCM 5.1ch audio, the HD-XA1 supports Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD.

Other features include a "pop-up menu", which displays movie chapters with thumbnails while a movie plays, allowing you to navigate menu features without pausing playback. There’s also Picture in Picture (PIP) with motion video functions, if you want to play additional video footage (like a director’s commentary) over the main feature. In addition to DVD, the HD-XA1 supports playback of DVD-R, DVD-RW and DVD-RAM discs and is also compatible with music CDs and playback of CDs in WMA or MP3 file format.

Initial purchases of the HD-AX1 (until April 27th) will come with two free HD DVD movie discs – "Resident Evil" and the Japanese film, "Moonlight Jellyfish".

No price is listed, but speculation on the web hints at a price of around  ¥110,000 (£530).

Toshiba website

More HD DVD:
Tosh debuts HD DVD laptop the Qosmio G30
Microsoft and Intel back HD DVD

Dave Walker