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CES2006: HD DVD Players Set to Launch, Too

In the wake of CES, Toshiba, too, said it's proceeding full speed ahead with its marketing campaign to present the first HD DVD players for the U.S. market. The new HD DVD players (models HD-XA1 and HD-A1) will take advantage of what the company said in a statement is the "enhanced functionality," among other things, of iHD, or advanced navigation.

Both models will begin shipping to retailers in March, and the less expensive unit reportedly will start with a MSRP of around $500. The initial HD DVD players, such as Samsung's rival Blu-ray units, have backward compatibility for existing standard DVDs and CDs, and support MPEG-4 AVC and VC-1 compression, along with MPEG-2.

Exactly what consumers will choose to do, if anything, with both incompatible DVD formats set to hit U.S. shelves in early spring, is the key question. Even early adopters may be scratching their heads over when to commit, and with whom. Stay tuned.