Toshiba HD-A2 HD DVD Player: First Look

  • $499
  • Digital Video Output: HDMI
  • Video Upconversion: 720p, 1080i
  • Audio Decoding: DD, DD+, Dolby TrueHD, DTS
  • Ins and Outs: HDMI, others TBD
  • Feature Highlights: 2nd gen HD DVD player with full Dolby TrueHD decoding, upconverting HDMI and component outputs for standard-def DVDs

This is Tohsiba's Blu-ray second-gen Blu-ray killer. An HD DVD and upconverting DVD player that retails for about a hundred bucks more than an iPod. What's not to like about that? The new model isn't loaded with new features that its predecessor didn't have- in fact, so far it sounds like an HD-A1 with all the latest firmware updates, including the ability to decode mutlichannel Dolby TrueHD, integrated into the unit. But both new models are slimmer, low(er) profile models and Toshiba is promising upgrade disc access speeds and ergonomics to go along with the picture and sound quality that floored us with the first-gen players. Originally scheduled for release in November, the HD-A2 is now set for an early December debut.