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Toshiba to deliver HD DVD in March; Blu-ray comes on strong

Toshiba America Consumer Products will begin shipping its much-anticipated first HD DVD players in March, the company announced last week at the 2006 International CES in Las Vegas.

The new HD-XA1 and the HD-A1 are being positioned a logical evolution of the DVD market to high definition.

Both will offer backward compatibility, allowing users to continue to enjoy their libraries of current DVD and CD software. Both will support MPEG-4 AVC and VC-1, as well as MPEG-2.

The Blu-ray Disc Association, the market rivals of the HD DVD format, announced at the convention that Blu-ray Disc products will begin appearing in the first quarter of 2006. The association pointed to the breadth of support for the Blu-ray format, including more than 20 companies that have announced Blu-ray Disc products, including players, recorders, high definition computer drives, recordable media and PC applications, and more than 100 movie and music titles, as a sign of the format’s strength.

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