Toshiba officially releases entry-level 1080p HD DVD player

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Wayne (NJ) – The high definition battle is going into the next round: Toshiba’s previously announced HD-A20 HD DVD player promises a high definition quality that is on par with Blu-ray – for significantly less money.

The HD-A20 is based on the almost one year old HD-A2 model and offers the same feature set with the exception of added 1080p output capability. The player has been advertised for some time on the Internet, but is now officially available in retail stores, Toshiba said.

The HD-A20 carries a suggested retail price of $500, while the MSRP of the HD-A2 has been dropped to $400. However, at the time of this writing, there were numerous online stores that were offering the new player for about $400, while its predecessor could be purchased for $300. The XA2 remains Toshiba’s high-end HD DVD player with an MSRP of $800.

The cheapest way to get a Blu-ray player is still Sony’s Playstation 3, which is available from about $500. Samsung’s BD-P 1000 player is – at least in terms of its official price – the least expensive Blu-ray family room player with a suggested retail price of $800. Online merchants such as Buy.com, however, have been offering the device for substantially less than $600 in recent weeks. Sony’s own BDP-S1 player has still a list price of $1000, but is currently selling in the $700 - $800 range through many online stores.

Toshiba said that 900,000 HD DVD discs have been sold to date and the company aggressively pushes HD DVD content to make its technology more attractive. The firm said that 70 new titles are scheduled to be released between now and July of this year. Until the end of July, buyers of a Toshiba HD DVD player are offered to receive five HD DVD discs.