I mentioned in my preview that High Definition was likely to be the dominating theme of IFA 2006 and so it proved. As you would expect, Toshiba was making hay with HD DVD while Sony and its Blu-ray brand continue to dawdle.
Available from mid-November and early December respectively, the HD-E1 (above) and its bigger brother, the HD-EX1, will bring high definition media players to the mass market for the first time.
Costing from just 599 euros (£404), The E1 will support HD DVD discs at up to 1080p resolution and will playback DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-R DL, DVD-RW and all types of CD.
The HD-EX1 does all this too but will set you back significantly more (899 euros -£607) because it has the power to output existing DVD content to 1080p while the E1 is limited to 720p and 1080i. In addition, the EX1 is quipped with 297MHz/12bit Video DAC outputs, RS-232C and HDMI 1.3.
Sadly Tosh was only showing off the E1 at IFA but it promised there were no delays with the EX1. With Samsung admitting to me its troubled BD-P1000 Blu-ray player will cost upwards of £900 and won’t play dual layer discs it seems HD DVD – at least initially – is taking the upper hand.