Toshiba America Consumer Products, L.L.C. (”Toshiba”) unveiled today the market launch details for its line-up of the first High Definition DVD players for the U.S. market. The new HD DVD players, models HD-XA1 and HD-A1, will take advantage of the superior capabilities of the HD DVD format, including outstanding visual quality supported by leading-edge video compression technologies, the high resolution audio specifications and the capability for enhanced functionality including, Advanced Navigation, also referred to as “iHD.”
As a logical evolution of the DVD market to high definition, the HD-XA1 and HD-A1 have backward compatibility, allowing users to continue to enjoy their libraries of current DVD and CD software*. Supporting the leading-edge efficient video compression standards of MPEG-4 AVC and VC-1, as well as MPEG2, both models will utilize the new video decoder chip developed by Broadcom. To meet the latest advancements in Audio/Video interfaces, both models connect to HDTV sets via a High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI(TM)). HDMI is the first industry-supported all digital A/V connection providing the transmission of uncompressed digital video and multi-channel audio on a single cable. The new HD DVD players will output copy-protected HD content through the HDMI interface in the native format of the HD DVD disc content of either 720p or 1080i. Through the HDMI interface, standard definition DVDs can be upconverted to output resolution of 720p or 1080i to complement the performance of a HDTV. As the conversion takes place in the player, the signal remains free from excessive digital-to-analog conversion artifacts.
Toshiba’s HD-XA1 and HD-A1 support a variety of HD audio options to complement HD video offerings. The mandatory audio formats for HD DVD include both lossy and lossless formats from Dolby Labs and DTS(R) — including the newly developed Dolby(R) Digital Plus and DTS-HD.
Toshiba HD-XA1 HD DVD
The lossless mandatory formats include Linear PCM and Dolby TrueHD (only 2 Channel support is mandatory). The TrueHD format is bit-for-bit identical to the high resolution studio masters and can support up to eight discrete full range channels of 24-bit/96k Hz audio. Another lossless format (specified as an optional format) is DTS-HD. This employs high sampling rates of up to 192k Hz.
Both models feature built-in multi-channel decoders for Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD (2 channel), DTS and DTS-HD. The HD-XA1 employs the use of four high performance DSP engines to decode the multi-channel streams of the wide array of audio formats. These high performance processors will perform the required conversion process, as well as the extensive on-board Multi-Channel Signal Management including: User Selectable Crossovers, Delay Management and Channel Level Management.
The new HD DVD players can pass digital information to a Surround Sound Processor/Receiver via S/PDIF or HDMI. For Dolby Digital and DTS, the bitstream will be passed through both connections just as in a standard DVD player with the same interfaces. Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD content will be converted to a standard bitstream format that is compatible with any processor equipped with decoders of the respective formats and output through S/PDIF and HDMI. Additionally, all the audio formats for either DVD or HD DVD will be decoded to PCM and output via HDMI in either stereo or multi-channel.
The HD-XA1 will cost $799.99, while the HD-A1 will “only” cost you $499.99. Both will be available in March 2006
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