Toshiba Plans First Blu-ray Player for Holidays

Toshiba, the chief proponent behind the HD DVD disc standard that lost out to Blu-ray to become the dominant HD disc standard after a pitched and expensive battle, has not unveiled its first Blu-ray product following more than a year of doing virtually nothing on the Blu-ray front.

Toshiba's first 1080p disc player (model BDX2000) will emerge in time for the all-important holiday sales seasons starting in November, and likely start with a MSRP of about $260. While that's generally in the ballpark of competitors' Blu-ray players, its price points are still noticeably higher than progressive-scan standard DVD players.

But unlike DVD players, Toshiba's first Blu-ray unit includes what it hopes will be seen as added value by consumers — notably BD-Live Profile 2.0 capability for online interactivity, and the option of buying (with an SD card) up to 1GB of storage memory. (BD-Live requires a connection to an in-home broadband system via a built-in Ethernet port.)

Although sales figures vary from month to month, Blu-ray titles generally continue to represent about 15 percent of all video discs sold, according to Rentrak and other data firms,