Following months of hints and peeks, Onkyo has finally made the details of its first HD DVD player official. Available this fall, the $900 DV-HD805 is a return to the high-end for the HD DVD format, which has seen prices dropping as low as $250 this year. In addition to the Ethernet port, Web connectivity, and built-in memory found on all HD DVD players, the DV-HD805 looks to have all of the bleeding-edge HDMI 1.3 features of the newly announced third-generation Toshiba players, including support for 24-frame 1080p video, Deep Color compatibility, and lossless Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master … Read more
It's no secret that we have a soft spot for supersmall laptops. Ultraportables, as they're called, generally have 11- or 12-inch screens and weigh in at less than four pounds--perfect for lugging around all day or hanging at the local coffee shop with. Unfortunately, these guys are usually plagued by the twin devils of high prices and poor battery life (not to mention occasionally underpowered processors).
This, however, has clearly been the summer of the ultraportable, with a generous handful of exciting new systems generating heavy buzz. But with all these new choices, which one is right for … Read more
When a trio of new HD DVD players popped up on Amazon.com last week, the question wasn't so much, "Are they real?" as "How are they different from the existing models?" Toshiba clarified the issue today by officially announcing the three new models in a press release that trumpeted a handful of new features that will appeal to enthusiasts. But some key questions about those step-up features remain unanswered.
First, the basics. All three of the new models boast new, slim cases that are only 59.5mm high (less than 2.5 inches). And unlike many Blu-ray players--including models that cost hundreds more--the new HD DVD players each include active Ethernet ports and upgradeable firmware, so they can take advantage of the growing number of HD DVD titles that make use of interactive online features. The new lineup breaks down as follows:HD-A3 ($300, October 2007): With its output resolution limited to 1080i, the primary appeal of the entry-level model is its affordable price tag. Except for the slimmer case, this looks to be nearly a clone of the current HD-A2, which is currently selling online for as little as $200.
HD-A30 ($400, September 2007): An extra $100 buys you 1080p output, HDMI CEC compatibility (which allows for control between other CEC-enabled AV products when connected via HDMI and using a single remote control), and 24-frame video support (1080p/24).
HD-A35 ($500, October 2007): In addition to the same features as the HD-A30, the top-end model in the fall 2007 lineup adds 5.1-channel analog audio outs, support for Deep Color video and HDMI passthrough audio.
Sounds great. Of course, there's a secret about those cutting-edge features that all those other blogs aren't telling you. … Read more
Toshiba hasn't made any official announcements, but some early Amazon product pages seem to indicate there will be three new HD DVD players released on October 1: Toshiba HD-A3, Toshiba HD-A30, and Toshiba HD-A35. From the admittedly limited details available on the Amazon pages, there doesn't seem to be any big shakeups to Toshiba's HD DVD line--there are three models, with the entry-level model lacking 1080p output. Interestingly, there's no HD-XA3, which would be the logical successor to the current HD-XA2, so perhaps Toshiba has ditched that naming scheme or maybe there's an additional flagship … Read more
Rounding out this week's wireless USB news is Toshiba and its Wireless UWB Port Replicator.
The Portege R400 series is one of Toshiba's high-end laptops (with a twisty screen!), which can now be paired with a wireless port replicator docking station that needs no cables to connect with peripherals like a printer, monitor, projector, mouse or external hard drive.
The dock uses an ultrawideband technology that will stream uncompressed video wirelessly to a monitor at 1280X1024 resolution. It's available now for $499 and can be purchased separately.
It's been a big week for Wireless USB. Earlier … Read more
First Blockbuster, now Target's going Blu-only. Or at least that's what it appears from an AP report that was filed late yesterday. According to the story, "Target Corp., the nation's second-largest retailer, will start selling a Sony Blu-ray high-definition DVD player during the critical holiday shopping period and feature the player along with Blu-ray discs in store displays, dealing a potential blow to the rival HD DVD format."
The story goes on to say that the move will formally be announced Thursday and is designed to help cut through the confusion that's kept consumers … Read more
Toshiba announced today they its latest version of the Gigabeat U, the U202, is now available in the United States through direct order. Crave reported on an earlier, Japan-only version of the Gigabeat U (the U201) back in March, when we marveled at its high-quality 1-bit DAC and built-in FM transmitter. This latest version of the Gigabeat U has an updated look, but it seems to have dropped the Gigabeat U201's nifty built-in ability to broadcast playback over FM. We're kinda bummed.
Sure, Toshiba was able to shave about $50 from the Gigabeat U's price, but the … Read more
The oddly named Qosmio series of laptops from Toshiba has always been a favorite of high-end home theater types, combining big, bright screens with HD DVD drives and Harman Kardon speakers.
The latest update, the Qosmio G45-AV680, adds a recordable HD DVD drive (not as common as recordable Blu-ray drives) and keeps the line's built-in Dolby surround-sound technology and high-resolution 1,920x1,200 display. The G45 returns to Toshiba's glossy white "piano finish," unlike the recent G35's matte gray look, and has both a large, circular volume wheel and an AV control wheel.
Other highlights … Read more
If a picture's worth a thousand words, a pie chart has to be worth at least 500. Well, Ken Pierce over at Pixel Perfect Productions has cooked up five pie charts' worth of data on why the HD DVD/Blu-ray war is over--and as James Carville would say, it's all about the content, stupid.
To give credit where credit is due, I first noticed this link in Bill Hunt's "My Two Cents" column on Digital Bits. (Sorry, the item was from a couple of days ago, but I've been on vacation). Says Hunt: "… Read more
With all the excitement over the new color-coordinated Dell Inspiron laptops (and the groovy 13-inch XPS m1330) last week, the guys over at Toshiba must have been kicking themselves. Instead of just giving their laptop lineup a new paintjob and some upgraded processors, they've got a whole stack of new and revamped systems, emphasizing the company's commitment to the HD DVD format (which may or may not be the best long-term plan, but that's another story).
We've always liked the Qosimo line of high-end media center laptops, and the new 15.4-inch Qosimo F45 is no … Read more