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Friday, March 31, 2006
Toshiba Launches HD DVD Player in Japan


Japanese electronics maker Toshiba on Friday started rolling out its high definition DVD players in Japan, becoming the first company to offer next-generation optical disc players worldwide.

The HD-XA1 HD DVD player supports reproduction of HD DVD, DVD, DVD-R/-RW/-RAM, CD, CD-R/-RW. It is equipped with an HDMI output, offering HD contentin the native format of the HD DVD disc content of either 720p or 1080i. In addition, the device is able to scale the standard definition DVD's video to an output resolution of 720p or 1080i to match the HDTV's performance. The conversion takes place in the player so the signal remains free from excessive digital-to analog conversion artifacts.

The device uses a 192KHz/24bit DAC for audio and a 11bit/216MHz DAC for video.

The HD-XA1 can pass digital information to a surround sound processor/receiver with either S/PDIF or HDMI. For Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks, the bitstream will be pased through both connections just as in a standard DVD player with the same interfaces. Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD soundtracks will be converted to a standard bitstream (i.e. Dolby Digital) output through S/PDIF or HDMI.



Additionally all the HD-XA1's supported audio formats can be decoded to PCM and output via HDMI in either stereo or 5.1 multi-channel, depending on the original soundtrack.

HD-XA1 also goes beyond the capabilities of standard DVD with support for advanced navigation and interactive features. The player's "pop-up menu" displays movie chapters with thumbnails while the movie plays, and allows users to navigate menu features without pausing playback. Picture in Picture (PIP) with motion video functions include the ability to play supplementary video over the main program, allowing viewers to watch bonus content, such as a superimposed director's commentary or a documentary about the making of the movie, while the movie plays. However, updates to player firmware may be required for some interactive features, depending on content, which may also require an always-on broadband internet connection. Some features may require additional bandwidth.

Toshiba said it would aim to sell 600,000 to 700,000 of the new machines globally in the fiscal year ending in March 2007.

It added that it would aim to launch HD DVD-equipped PCs in the April-June period.

Sony said its Blu-ray disc players will hit the shelves in the United States in July, but it has not decided its launch schedule for other regions.

Basic specifications:

Video

Disc Playback: HD DVD-ROM, DVD-ROM, DVD-R/-RW/-RAM, CD, CD-R/-RW
HD Content Output via HDMI (Disc Native Resolution)
11-bit / 216MHz Video DAC
Video output 480i/480P/1080i/720P
Video Up-Conversion for SD DVD (720p/1080i)
Enhanced Black Level (0IRE / 7.5IRE Selection)
Letterbox / Pan & Scan Support

Audio

Built-in Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS and DTS-HD Decoders
Dolby Pure HD Compatible (2 Channel)
Four 32-bit Floating Point Digital Signal Processors
Multi-Channel 24-bit/192kHz Audio DACs
HDMI Audio support up to 5.1 L-PCM
5.1 Channel Bass Management
- Speaker Size
- Speaker Distance
- User Selectable Crossover (80Hz, 100Hz, 120Hz)
- Channel Level Adjustment
Dynamic Range Control
MP3 and WMA Playback

Convenience

Motion Activated Backlight Remote Control
Tri-Lingual OSD (English, French/Japanese)
Bit Rate Display
FL Dimmer
Fast Forward
Fast Reverse
Slow Play
Step Play
Time Search
A-B Repeat
Screen Saver
Parental Lock

Connections

Front Panel:
2 USB Terminals

Rear Panel:
1 High Definition Multimedia Interface (ver. 1.1)
1 ColorStream Pro Component Video (gold plated)
1 S-Video (gold plated)
1 Composite Video (gold plated)
1 Stereo Analog Audio (gold plated)
5.1 Multi-Channel Analog Audio (gold plated)
1 Coaxial Digital Output (gold plated)
1 TosLink Optical Digital Output
1 Ethernet 10/100 Port
1 RS-232C

Dimensions (W x D x H): 437mm x 354mm x 115mm
Weight: 8.9Kg
Power consumption: 79W (Standby power 0.8W)

Accessories:

Remote control
HDMI cable, power cable, Video/audio connecting cord, user manual


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