CES, LAS VEGAS, Jan. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- 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."
To coincide with the rapid market penetration of HDTV devices in U.S.
households, Toshiba's new HD DVD models will offer consumers a feature rich,
high definition media format for the home, building upon the great features of
today's DVD -- one of the most successful A/V products ever. Both the HD-XA1
and the HD-A1 will start shipping to retailers in March, 2006.
"As a leader in home entertainment and a pioneer in DVD technology, we are
very excited to introduce our first HD DVD players for U.S. consumers," said
Jodi Sally, Vice President of Marketing, Toshiba America Consumer Products
Digital A/V Group. "With the support of some of the hottest films, we can
confidently say that Toshiba's HD DVD players will come to market with
important industry backing in time to meet the HDTV transition."
An Evolution in Video Home Entertainment and a Revolution in Technology
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
High Quality Audio
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.
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
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.
High Definition Design
The design of both new HD DVD players was developed to complement the
newly designed DLP(TM) Projection TV models as well as Toshiba's extensive
flat panel TV line-up. Specifically, the construction of the HD-XA1 was
developed not only for advancements in performance, but also for the
refinements expected of a high performance player. It features a motorized
door which conceals the disc drawer, function buttons and two front USB ports,
for convenient connection of gaming controllers. The HD-XA1 also includes
three different user selectable interfaces to further enhance customization
and a backlit remote control that is conveniently motion activated.
Because HD DVD Discs spin at higher revolutions than a standard DVD,
accurate mechanical engineering went into the chassis design of both models. A
double chassis construction is employed to add stability and strength against
vibrations and the HD-XA1 adds insulated stabilizing feet to provide a
steadfast foundation for the device.
High Definition Market Launch
Toshiba also unveiled an extensive integrated marketing communications
campaign to support the launch of its first HD DVD players. The multi-tiered
campaign is designed to create consumer awareness for HD DVD and to support
retailers with promotional and training activities.
A teaser micro-site was recently launched with the release of a full
micro-site to follow. The current teaser micro-site has been designed to
educate consumers on HD DVD, and the launch of the full micro-site will
include pertinent product and software information with links on where to buy,
options for pre-ordering players, as well as listings of where to see product
Toshiba also announced a retail demonstration plan which will target the
top 38 TV viewing markets in the U.S. beginning in February, 2006. In advance
of the actual product launch in March, Toshiba's 38-city "road tour" will
include consumer demonstrations and retailer training at many of the top
electronics retail outlets nationwide.
Beginning this Spring, an extensive advertising campaign titled, "So real
you can feel it," will target the HDTV consumer. This campaign will be
supported by continued consumer education through the use of HD DVD collateral
materials to help make consumers aware of the benefits of HD DVD.
To support retailers, Toshiba will offer an HD DVD in-store product
display designed to enhance retail presence and to provide valuable
information regarding HD DVD. The display also offers the retailer the
flexibility to add HD DVD software to surround the display. These displays
will work in conjunction with Toshiba's HDTV in-store presence, and Toshiba
will also add retail incentives to encourage attachment of a HD DVD player to
the sale of Toshiba's HDTV products.
Pricing and Availability
HD-XA1 ($799.99, March 2006); HD-A1 ($499.99, March 2006)
About Toshiba America Consumer Products, L.L.C.
Toshiba America Consumer Products, L.L.C. is a limited liability company,
owned by Toshiba America, Inc., a subsidiary of Toshiba Corporation, a world
leader in high technology products with subsidiaries worldwide. Toshiba
America Consumer Products, L.L.C. is a pioneer in DVD and DVD Recorder
technology and a leading manufacturer of a full line of home entertainment
products, including flat panel TV, rear projection, direct view televisions,
combination products and portable devices. Toshiba America Consumer Products,
L.L.C. is headquartered in Wayne, New Jersey with production facilities in
Lebanon, Tennessee. For additional information please visit
Dolby is a registered trademark of Dolby Laboratories.
DTS is a registered trademark of DTS, Inc.
HDMI and High-Definition Multimedia Interface are trademarks of HDMI
DLP(TM) is a trademark of Texas Instruments.
* Some discs may not be compatible.
Viewing some high definition content may require an HDMI or HDCP capable
DVI input on the display device. While Toshiba has made every effort at the
time of publication to ensure the accuracy of the information provided herein,
product specifications, configurations, prices, system/component/options
availability are all subject to change without notice.
SOURCE Toshiba America, Inc.