updated 02:50 pm EDT, Fri September 1, 2006
Toshiba Europe HD DVD
While movie viewers in North America still have no replacement in sight for the Toshiba HD-A1 as their sole HD DVD player for televisions, European enthusiasts will soon have a second-generation unit that addresses many of the complaints about the initial model. Both the HD-E1 (pictured) and HD-XE1 are considerably slimmer than the box-like American original. More important are the features of the high-end XE1: unlike the A1, it supports the native 1080p output of the disc format and includes HDMI 1.3 with deep color support for an accurate picture. The base E1 version more closely resembles the A1 in terms of features, matching the 1080i output and standard HDMI of the original player. Toshiba did not mention whether disc load times had been improved in these new models. The HD-E1 will be the first to arrive in November for €599 ($769 US), while the XE1 should appear the following month for €899 ($1154 US). A North American equivalent is likely, but remains unannounced.