Toshiba is announcing today that their new HD DVD player, the HD-A20 is now shipping to stores here in the USA. The player will carry an MSRP of $499.99 and packs in lots of other features great for the home theater enthusiast. The HD-A20 is entering the Toshiba lineup in the middle of the Toshiba HD DVD player range. Below you have the HD-A2 and above you have the HD-XA2.
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All three Toshiba HD DVD models are backwards compatible with normal DVDs and CDs so you can still watch non-HD movies from your collection. When you connect via HDMI the HD-A20 will upconvert your normal DVDs to near HD quality. I use an upconverting Denon S-301 home theater system and the image quality of normal DVDs when upconverted is much better than on non-upconverting DVD players like my PS3.Toshiba added an Ethernet port to the HD-A20 as well to allow you to download HD content like streaming audio commentary and new HD trailers. I suspect that download isn’t quite the word to use here as the HD-A20 has no hard drive so really the Ethernet port is simply for streaming media, which is still good. Toshiba also points out that 70 new movies are slated for release on the HD DVD format between now and July 31 of this year.