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Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Toshiba Launches Second Generation HD DVD Players in Japan

Toshiba today announced the launch of its second generation HD DVD players in the Japanese market. The company will roll out two new players, HD-XF2 and HD-XA2, from late December.

The new HD DVD players are smaller and offer improved speed in loading and response times over the HD-XA1, the world's first HD DVD player, brought to market by Toshiba in March 2006. The new high-end HD-XA2 supports Deep Color technology, an optional standard under HDMI that improves representation of color tones and achieves finer color gradation. HD-XA2 also provides support for the superior high-definition images of 1080p output.

The two new players can playback pre-recorded HD DVD sources.

Both players offer advanced navigation and interactive features. A Picture in Picture (PIP) function 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. The players' "pop-up menu" displays movie chapters with thumbnails while the movie plays, and allows users to navigate menu features without pausing playback.

The new HD DVD players incorporate Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD, advanced surround-sound formats. Both players support PCM5.1ch output through HDMI output, and HD-XA2 integrates analog 5.1ch output, allowing consumers to enjoy surround sound by connecting the player to an AV amplifier.

Through the HDMI interface, high-definition pictures stored on a disc can be displayed digitally in HD, on digital TVs and displays that incorporate HDCP capable HDMI input. Through the HDMI interface, standard definition DVDs can be up-converted to an output resolution of 720p or 1080i (1080p for HD-XA2), to complement the performance of a HDTV.

HD-XA2 integrates a 1080p compatible up-scaler and a high performance IP converter that supports Deep Color technology to achieve finer color gradation.

Toshiba took the home video experience to the next, high definition level in March 2006 when it launched the world's first HD DVD player HD-XA1, and built on this achievement in July 2006 with the introduction of RD-A1, the world's first hard disk recorder with HD DVD drive. Toshiba launched a high-end HD DVD player HD-XA1 and mainstream model HD-A1 in the US in April.

The availability of HD DVD content continues to increase, with more titles expected within this year from various content providers including Paramount Home Entertainment, Universal Pictures and Warner Home Video.

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