Toshiba announces third generation HD-DVD players

The ridiculous high definition format war rages on and today Toshiba of America announced three new HD-DVD players to hit retail stores in September. But don’t get too excited just yet, the players are more of a let-down than an improvement, it seems.

The HD-A3 is a low-end player that offers 720p output – which in our view doesn’t even qualify as high definition, really – for $299.99. Then there is the mid-level player HD-A30, offering 1080i video output for $399.99, followed by the high-end HD-A35 model which delivers 1080p output for $499.99. Woohoo!

Frankly, I find it ridiculous that any company would not only release players with anything less than 1080p video output, but to turn this deficiency into pricing tiers is almost berating. Selling half-assed high definition players certainly won’t do the format any good, especially not if they are as overpriced as this. It will be interesting to see if Toshiba has finally gotten a grip on their boot times, a problem which a halfway decent software designer could have solved over a year ago.

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