The sole flagbearer for HD DVD in the UK, Toshiba, has just announced its third-generation players for the US market. And among all the new things about them – such as 24-fps support, HDMI Link remote control and HD audio decoding - the most striking thing is the price: the top-end HD-A35 is $500 (or £250), while the entry-level model, the HD-A3, is just £300 (or £150).
The HD-A35 (above) shares with the less expensive HD-A30 (£400) 1080p/24-frame output capability and CE-Link for remote control of a TV via HDMI. The more expensive model adds 5.1-channel analogue outputs as well as the ability to output HD audio through the HDMI connection, bypassing the onboard decoder and feeding a suitable AV amp or receiver.
The budget HD-A3 model has 1080i video capability, and like the pricier machines comes in a new slimline form - at just under 6cm tall, the new players are little over half the height of the first-generation Toshiba HD DVD players.
No date has yet been set for a European launch of any of these models.