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Toshiba

January 7, 2007

New info from TOSHIBA on its HD-DVD players and new LCD flat-panel TVs:

HD-DVD Players

In addition the second generation HD-DVD players we already knew about, Toshiba today announced a new player in between those two players. Toshiba also says it has increased shipment volume to meet the growing market demand.

The new model is the HD-A20, which is expected to retail at $599.99. It has the 1080p capabilities of the HD-XA2, without the HDMI 1.3 interconnect.

Both the HD-A20 and the high end HD-XA2 HD DVD player are designed to output 1920 x 1080p, the highest HD signal currently available, via HDMI.

As the premium HD DVD player, the HD-XA2 also incorporates support for Deep Color output through HDMI 1.3, and a 297MHz / 12 bit Video DAC with high-quality, 4x oversampling for increased bandwidth for true playback of an HD picture to a video source. Additionally, it comes with a picture setting function allowing customers to optimize picture quality with user adjustable settings for color, contrast, brightness, edge enhancement and block noise, among others.

Expected Pricing and Expected Availability:

  • HD-A2 ($499.99, Available Now)
  • HD-A20 ($599.99, Spring 2007)
  • HD-XA2 ($999.99, Available Now)

Let's not forget the fine print:

"Design specifications and dimensions are not final and are subject to change. Please confirm specific features and exact dimensions by reference to the product itself."

"HD DVD with high-definition content required for HD output. Viewing high-definition content and up-converting DVD content may require an HDCP capable DVI or HDMI input on your display device. Firmware update 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.

"Some recordable media may not be supported. Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD and DTS support for up to 5.1 channels (DTS HD support for DTS core only). MP3/WMA audio files not supported. Some current DVDs and CDs may not be compatible. HDMI audio support for PCM only. Because HD DVD is a new format that makes use of new technologies, certain disc, digital connection and other compatibility and/or performance issues are possible. This may, in rare cases, include disc freezing while accessing certain disc features or functions, or certain parts of the disc not playing back or operating as fully intended. If you experience such issues, please refer to the FAQ sections of http://www.toshibahddvd.com or http://www.tacp.toshiba.com for information on possible work-around solutions or the availability of firmware updates that may resolve your problem, or contact Toshiba Customer Solutions. Some features subject to delayed availability. 1080p capable display required for 1080p output resolution. Deep Color feature as specified in HDMI 1.3a requires compatible Deep Color capable HD display and/or device. Some devices may not be compatible.

"Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby True HD support for up to 5.1 channels. DTS-HD support for up to 5.1 channels of DTS core only. Firmware update 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."

My note: You should be aware that HDMI 1.3 as fully implemented will support at least a full 7.1 channel lossless audio format, so not fully implemented on Toshiba's HD-DVD player.

New Toshiba LCD Flat-Panel TVs

Toshiba announced today its newly enhanced LCD flat panel line at CES 2007. Toshiba is rolling out 13 new "REGZA" models including new high level picture technologies, larger screen sizes and new high-gloss black cabinetry.

Toshiba's REGZA LCD line includes new models ranging from 26" up to 57". The 52" and 57" screen sizes are new and on display at CES.

REGZA 720p HL67 & LV67 Series includes six 720p models ranging from 26" to the new 42". These televisions include advanced 14-bit internal digital video processing for cleaner more natural images by incorporating new enhanced MPEG noise reduction technology. Sets now have a dynamic backlight control that monitors the brightness of the incoming video signal, and then adjusts the backlight intensity to maximize contrast. (dynamic contrast)

For 2007, more inputs: a PC input, and three HDMI inputs.

REGZA 1080p Full HD HL167 Series includes 42", 47", and 52" sizes. These accept 1080p input signals and include enhancements such as ColorBurst, and CE-Link. While a standard LCD TV may only reproduce 72% of the NTSC color gamut, "ColorBurst" is a wide color gamut LCD that can reproduce 90% of the gamut (i.e. more colors). (This would seem to imply some use of HDMI 1.3)

"CE-Link" allows two-way control between the TV and applicable source devices, such as HD DVD, through the HDMI cable. The user can use the TV remote to control the source devices, or the source devices to control the TV, allowing simplified operation.

These 1080p Full HD models include Toshiba's "Native Mode," which provides clean 1080p pixel-for-pixel display without any overscanning. (a very good thing)

"Cinema Series" REGZA 1080p Full HD LX177 Series. There are four new Cinema Series REGZA 1080p Full HD models in 42", 46", and new 52" and 57" sizes. In addition to the features and benefits of all the new REGZA models mentioned above, 2007 Cinema Series REGZA models also feature new ClearFrame 120 Hz anti-blur technology. This advanced technology doubles the frame rate from 60 frames per second to 120 frames per second using Motion Vector Frame Interpolation, virtually eliminating motion blur without adding flicker or reducing image brightness.

The Cinema Series REGZA HDMI connections also include Deep Color and XVycc technology for further enhanced color space. "Deep Color" is a trademarked feature of HDMI 1.3, so these sets will definitely have that state-of-the-art interconnect when they come out this summer.

Availability:

REGZA

  • 26HL67 (March/April 2007)
  • 32HL67 (March/April 2007)
  • 37HL67 (March/April 2007)
  • 42HL67 (March/April 2007)

REGZA LCDVD

  • 26LV67 (March/April 2007)
  • 32LV67 (March/April 2007)

REGZA 1080p Full HD

  • 42HL167 (March/April 2007)
  • 47HL167 (June/July 2007)
  • 52HL167 (June/July 2007)

Cinema Series REGZA 1080p Full HD

  • 42LX177 (June/July 2007)
  • 46LX177 (June/July 2007)
  • 52LX177 (June/July 2007)
  • 57LX177 (June/July 2007)