Toshiba said there's less to love with its second-generation HD DVD player, the HD-A2, but that's a good thing. The follow-up to the HD-A1, Toshiba's first HD DVD player that launched last spring, the new HD-A2 is noticeably trimmer in design than its predecessor.
Most importantly, the HD-A2 will boot up faster. (Players of both new HD disc formats can take a minute or more to get going, according to several product reviewers.) Set for release by the holiday selling season (and as early as next month), the new model comes with a newly designed remote to control an eight-way cursor for mostly special features.
Technically and creatively speaking, consumer options for special features on next-gen DVD can be noticeably more sophisticated than standard DVD, although virtually no titles released so far in HD DVD (or Blu-ray) reportedly take advantage of that.
The HD-A2 is backward-compatible for standard CDs and DVDs, and made its first public appearance at CEDIA Expo 2006. Price points for the A2 will remain about the same as for the HD-A1.
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