Toshiba Introduces New $599 1080p HD DVD Player

Toshiba not only provided more details on its recently released second gen HD DVD players, the HD-A2 ($499) and HD-XA2($999), it shocked the throng of press by announcing the HD-A20, a $599 1080p player that will be available later this year.

The HD-A2 that is in stores now at $499 is limited to 1080i output and does not have multichannel analog outputs. The HD-A20 will offer 1080p and DTS-HD decoding in addition to multichannel Dolby TrueHD. It's not yet clear if the A20 also features multichannel analog output, which is important if you want to hear the hi-res sound from Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD but don't have HDMI 1.1 (or later) switching.

The already fascinating upscale HD-XA2 just became even more compelling. In addition to featuring 1080p output and HDMI 1.3, Toshiba confirmed the player will also feature Silicon Optix HQV video processing for upconversion.

All of the players feature a much slimmer profile and the promise of improved disc loading and access times. We've been told our HD-XA2 review sample will arive right after CES so keep your eye out for the full scoop at UAV!