Looks like 2006 is for real the year when HD DVD players will be available on the market. Toshiba announced today that the will start shipping the HD DVD players HD-A1 and HD-XA1 in March in the United States.
The new Toshiba HD DVD players HD-XA1 and HD-A1 will have backward compatibility - yippy! What about Blu-ray support? ;)
Both HD DVD players support video compression standards of MPEG-4 AVC and VC-1, as well as MPEG2, both models will utilize the new video decoder chip developed by Broadcom. Of course they new HD players feature HDMI.
Both models feature built-in multi-channel decoders for Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD (2 channel), DTS and DTS-HD. The HD-XA1 employs the use of four high performance DSP engines to decode the multi-channel streams of the wide array of audio formats. Because HD DVD Discs spin at higher revolutions than a standard DVD, accurate mechanical engineering went into the chassis design of both models, says Toshiba. A double chassis construction is employed to add stability and strength against vibrations and the HD-XA1 adds insulated stabilizing feet to provide a steadfast foundation for the device.
The Toshiba HD DVD Players HD-XA1 will retail for $799.99 and the HD-A1 for $499.99 in March 2006.
See also the Toshiba HD DVD site.