Toshiba takes HD DVD on the road

On Thursday, I had a chance to view a working sample of Toshiba's high-end HD DVD player, the HD-XA1 (announced at CES in January). Last week, Toshiba kicked off a 40-city road show, during which the company is visiting more than 130 retail stores to showcase HD DVD for consumers. The event I attended was at Fry's Electronics, and the content shown certainly looked appealing on the 72-inch DLP Toshiba screen used in the demonstration.

The unit on display is the US$799 model; a lower-cost model, the HD-A1, will sell for US$499. Two of this model's distinguishing features are its motorized front door (press a button, and it opens and closes on its own) and its illuminated, motion-sensor remote (any motion and the it lights up on its own). Of note: the display model has two front-mounted USB ports; as of this writing, though, Toshiba didn't have specific information as to how those ports could be used.

Among the ports on the back of the unit are composite and component video; coaxial, optical, and composite audio; and HDMI.

The player has an RJ-45 LAN connection. However, but this connection will only work to download content (using the movie disc as navigator); you cannot put this device on a home network. The company recently clarified, however, that the unit will handle interactivity.

No actual movies were available for viewing. Instead, we saw movie trailers, including Universal's King Kong and Warner's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; the images, not surprisingly, had depth, and looked quite vibrant. I was even more impressed by the non-studio supplied example of HD MPEG4-AVC-encoded content. The split-screen content purportedly showed the difference between high-definition (at left) and standard def (at right) video.

Toshiba's players will be available for sale at the end of March. According to Toshiba's Tina Tuccillo, vice president of marketing communications, the company expects to sell 30,000 units in the first three months.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?