CeBIT 2007: Toshiba Launches 3rd Gen HD DVD Player

Probably the defining moment for the format.

The battle of Blu-ray/HD DVD is getting ever longer in the tooth and while Sony looks to be pulling ahead courtesy of the PS3, Toshiba used CeBIT to show it won’t be giving up without a fight.

The ‘HD-EP10’ – launched in the US in January as the HD-A20 – is the company’s third gen HD DVD player and, though we may feel slightly short changed to be receiving a product long out across the pond, it bears all the signs of an established product line.

Critical example number one: the EP10 is capable of delivering output at 1080p (and naturally 1080i and 720p), a feature lacking from previous models and, significantly, is so future proof that many current market HDTVs still have to downgrade the signal to handle it.

Example number two: Price. With an RRP of just 699 euros – around £475 – the EP10 is infinitely more affordable than first and even second generation machines. Expect this figure to also be cut heavily once it gets in the hands of online retailers.

HD DVD, DVD, DVD-R DVD-ROM, DVD-RW and CD formats are all supported and Ethernet connectivity means additional HD DVD feature content can be garnered online once this feature becomes more commonplace on the discs themselves (see… futureproof). Audio support is equally comprehensive with Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD, DTS, DTS-HD and Linear PCM all able to blast out and on the back you’ll find HDMI, composite, S-video and component video inputs.

Finally, the EP10 is far slimmer and, dare I say it, more DVD-like than anything that has gone before it. This format war isn’t over yet…

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