Toshiba announced at CeBIT a new HD DVD player for the European market, the HD-EP10. The mid-range model features 1080p output.
The new player, priced at 699 Euros, will be available in May 2007.
The HD-EP10 supports upscaling of video at 1080p and comes with an HDMI output. The supported audio formats include DTS-HD, Dolby NR TureHD (5.1ch) in addition to the Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus and linear PCM 5.1ch. Other outputs include component, S-Video, composite, 2ch analogue audio and an optical digital out. Unlike the top-end HD-XE1 model, there are no analogue 5.1 audio-out connections.
The player supports reproduction of DVD video, DVD-R/RW (VR mode) in addition to the HD DVD video, and CD and CD-R/RW.
Toshiba showcased at CeBIT a live demo of HD DVD's new advanced interactive features, working on both multiple PC platforms and consumer electronics based players.
HD DVD titles with advanced interactivity will take advantage of HD DVD's mandatory specifications for network connectivity, secondary video decoders and persistent storage.
Titles using player memory as well as the secondary video encoder for picture-in-picture were shipping throughout 2006, and titles using network connectivity are expected to be available in 2007.
Using Microsoft's HDi interactive technology, the live demo showed how to download HD trailers and other content from the Internet, synchronized storyboard playback switching between full screen mode and story board and subtitle download.
HD DVD in the PC
HD DVD representatives also said that in 2006, HD DVD won a clear edge in the PC market. According to Techno Systems Research (TSR), a major Japanese market research company, 60 percent of the high definition optical disk drives for PC applications produced worldwide were HD DVD. In slim HD DVD drives for portable PCs, the advantage increased to 70 percent, according to the HD DVD promotion group.
Among the manufacturers that have recently added to the breadth of the HD DVD family are Samsung, Lite-On, Alco, Jiangkui/ED Digital, Meridian, Onkyo, and Shinco.