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Toshiba officially announces third-generation HD-DVD

Written by Dave Horvath @ 06 Aug 2007 9:20 User comments (17)

Toshiba officially announces third-generation HD-DVD Leading the way for the HD-DVD camp, Toshiba has made the announcement of the third-generation HD-DVD player, the HD-A3X official. Once thought to have been put on the back burner until the CEDIA conference, Toshiba has decided to go forward with its best player yet.
Pricing for the player appears to be right in-line with last generation players with the exception of the top of the line model. The HD-A3 will come in at $299, the HD-A30 at $399, and the HD-A35$499. This is in stark comparison to the top of the line HD-XA2 which has an MSRP of $799. The HD-A3 hasn't really changed this time around, but the upgraded versions of it include a few extras including 24p support which delivers a true 24 frames per second with Progressive scanning. The HD-A20 and HD-XA2 are expected to receive an update to their Firmware that will enable 24p support this September. Additionally, these new players will be able to connect via CE-Link to offer even better possible picture quality.

These features will come in very handy if you have a television that will support them. Expected availability for these units are between late September 2007 and October 2007.


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17 user comments

16.8.2007 10:41


The prices will be interesting (also I'd expect HD A2s @ $150 soon?), I expect that RRP of $299 (same as current HD A2) to be down to $200 or less before X-mas
(HD A2's can be had on Amazon right now for $240) .

I'm glad they're keeping the 720p/1080i model too seeing as most HD TVs are to this spec.

I just want a direct replacement for my existing DVD player; I want one machine that plays DVD-Audio & SACD (so analogue 5.1 outputs please) and I want Divx/Xvid support too.
Cap it off with HD DVD excellence at a sane price and I'd be in like a shot.

I paid 120 ($240) for my (IMO, excellent) Pioneer DV696 last summer so it looks like we're getting pretty close to this now.
Here's hoping.

26.8.2007 15:02

So when are you going to focus on movie exclusives HD-DVD because this holiday season is setup real heavy for Blu-Ray.Because out of the top 15 summer block busters Blu-Ray Have them all except 1,9 of them are exclusive not on HD-DVD ex:Spider-man 3 & Pirates of the Carribean 3 just to name a couple.This Holiday season is setup real nice for Blu-Ray to pawn HD-DVD left & right.

37.8.2007 9:43

I'd rather buy a combo drive when the technology becomes cheaper.
That's the best choice as it will have the latest firmware for all the features such as PIP,HDMI1.3a+ and a universal decoder thats flashable to include DivX,Xvid,VC-1,Quicktime/HD,SACD,etc.
By that time there should be a huge library of films that will be far better encoded than todays titles,that include all the features that these HD formats offer.
I'm also waiting for well priced LED HD TV probably from Samsung to go with it.
So I'll just relax with my DVD's for now and save my cash for later.

47.8.2007 12:17

Originally posted by NexGen76:
So when are you going to focus on movie exclusives

You know funnily enough I was discussing elsewhere what the situation is right now with exclusives and the available content.

.......and guess what?

HD DVD has 165 exclusive movies out of a total title list of approx 272, see here

Blu-ray claim to have 172 exclusive titles out of a total list of approx 279 available titles, see here

Then you find out that is wrong and only applies to movies bought within the USA.

If you source internationally (hardly dfifficult these days on-line) it turns out around 60 of those supposedly 'Blu-ray exclusive' titles are available on HD DVD.

So Blu-ray actually has something like 110 exclusive movies out of their 279 available. (largely sequals, kids and adolescents movies too IMO)

It also turn out HD DVD has another 60 movies to add to that 272 and actually
HD DVD has a total content number of 332 of which 165 are HD DVD exclusive.

In case you didn't get that -
HD DVD has far more available content than Blu-ray.

You can find out all about it here -

and here -

You'll find that instead of your amusing wishful 'thinking' it turns out that HD DVD has almost caught up with Blu-ray sales (according to DVD Empire.....and Nielson shows pretty much the same except for a 2 week lag - and Nielson misses out the on-line sales).

The HD DVD players continue to sell very well and your imagined "pawning" is mere illusion and your own obvious day-dreaming.

Blu-ray put all it's eggs in the PS3 basket, shame for them PS3 sales are in decline again (only to fall right off of the cliff when all that is left are the 80gb $599 sku's).
A game console was never going to 'win' the adult a/v market.

(BTW has anyone finally admitted that the PS3 isn't profile 1.1 compliant yet?
I'd love to know how they're going to get around the need for a secondary video decoder to make it be.
Oct approaches fast they can't keep it quiet for too much longer)

......but you just feel free, you keep serving them up and I'll smack them out of the park.

Originally posted by ChromeMud:
So I'll just relax with my DVD's for now and save my cash for later.
- Can't say as I blame you.

But HD DVD (unlike Blu-ray) gets ever closer to sane pricing with a very decent spec.

Personally I'm looking for a player that replaces my existing DVD player.
I want 1 box and I'd like high quality CD, DVD, DVD-Audio, SACD (= analogue outputs), Dix/Xvid support and which plays excellent HD DVD with the new sound standards too.
They're nearly there but not just yet (so the PC & XBox 360 HD DVD add-on linked to my HD TV will have to do a little longer).

If it wasn't for BD+ I might even have bought into Blu-ray but no, they got too stupid & too greedy & have tried to destroy the sharing community, so f*ck em.

I just hope Blu-ray dies an incredibly expensive death for the b*stards.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Aug 2007 @ 13:00

57.8.2007 12:58

@ hughjars

Some people believe all the PR BS but I'm always sceptical,it doesn't wash with me.Sony is spewing a lot of it lately saying that Blu-Ray has already won the HD format war and that is pushing people like me away from the Blu-Ray format who can't stand BS.
Blu-Ray seems to be a beta product because they are tacking on more copy protection,PIP and ethernet connectivity making older players more/less obsolete.
So my money is on a cheap HD-DVD player or a Combo player.
I can't stand these format wars because all they do is stunt the growth of HD and it doesn't help the industry one bit.
I can't imagine the amount of money being lost promoting these formats when the masses sit on the fence,hands in pockets.

67.8.2007 13:05

It's the deliberate anti-consumer intent & the obvious inherent attack on the sharing community (ie just about every 'normal' person out there) that has p*ssed me off so much with them.

Greed and gross stupidity at work as far as I'm concerned.

The fact that they regularly and almost without fail resort to the most crass attempts at manipulating & lying to the general public with their BS sums them up for the worthless fools they are IMO.

77.8.2007 13:28


I'm going to play a little devil's advocate here for a minute.

You have good points and good links there but they completely miss NexGen's point. He's looking forward to this holiday season where we expect the summer movies to be released on HDM. I'm going to quote error5's post from a previous thread regarding this:

HD DVD may have the hardware price advantage come Christmas.

However, content could be another matter.

The holiday season is when the summer blockbuster titles usually come out on disc. According to Variety's US box office numbers - of the top 10 highest grossing films so far, 6 come from BluRay exclusive studios, 3 come from format neutral studios, and only one (Knocked Up at #8) comes from Universal. If you go down the line to the top 25 there's only two other Universal titles - Evan Almighty at #13 and I Now Pronounce You Chuck... at #20. The rest are either BluRay exclusive or neutral.

I think the HD DVD strategists also know this. I also think that further price cuts and low cost Chinese players may not be enough of a strategy.

You know they both have valid points as well. It's been proven before that good box office = good disc sales. Those kids and adolescent movies are the ones making money for the studios. I just don't see how Knocked Up can compete with Spidey and the Pirates. The Bourne Ultimatum is doing well for Universal but I don't expect it to come out on disc until Q1 2008

If you source internationally (hardly dfifficult these days on-line) it turns out around 60 of those supposedly 'Blu-ray exclusive' titles are available on HD DVD.

I sse your point but think how many of those buying the cheap HD DVD players here in the US will be looking to order titles from or even know about Studio Canal?

87.8.2007 14:36

eatsushi; always good to chew this one over with you. Respect. ;)

I think (as I've said often before) that things are far to early in this for anyone to be taking too much notice of the sweeping and generalised claims of the fanclub kind.

Things are not exactly 'rosy' for Blu-ray.

A 'relatively good' holiday season is still only relatively indeed has the Blu-ray lead been to date.

One can;t get away from the fact that it's still a level of sales that's less than 1% of total high def disc sales and so nothing like the huge consequence some are determined to insist it might be (or, to them, must be).

The biggest fly in the ointment for making the kinds of big claims some insist upon is that everybody is making money right now on high def disc sales.
There is no serious incentive for anyone to make any kind of move in the near-term (by which I mean the next 12mths).

Those who day-dream that a 'winner' will be declared or obvious by this X-mas are simply demonstrating their own wishful thinking.
There is at least another 12 - 18mths to go before we even get close to that IMO.

Content will eventually follow the money and as the inexpensive HD DVD players come in (at the price of a decent $100/$150/$200 DVD player that also offers excellent HD DVD) that is where I see the much wider and larger a/v market going.

Downloads too will crimp the expectations of many in this too (and I note the partnerships being formed between Microsoft and several BD studios).

But I think it is obvious and clear that PS3, for all the initial boost it has given Blu-ray, cannot 'win' this war.

It can continue to be a profitable proprietary format (which is still where I see it and BD heading, ultimately) but without PS3 BD died and was buried long ago.

The BD side have a major problem with even finishing their own format as 'profile 1.1' is showing very clearly (IIRC only the $2000 Denon and the pending Samsung dual format player are definitely compliant).
That might mean nothing to many PS3 owners but many of the a/v minded will care.

That 'cheap' Sony S300 Blu-ray player isn't 'profile 1.1 compliant' for example and who knows how the a/v enthusiasts will react when the PS3 is finally openly admitted as non-compliant?

It's far too early and things are far too small right now to be piling anyone's hope upon a holiday season this year
(or as I said in my view even next year).

The fundamental worry for BD must be that with under 400,000 HD DVD players HD DVD has almost caught up with the movie disc sales numbers generated by 3.7 million PS3s.
The HD DVD numbers continue to grow as prices fall and Sony can hardly relaunch the PS3.

I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss imports - particularly on the HD DVD side (region free every-time is a benefit of HD DVD that is widely known and appreciated.....and international on-line buying could hardly be easier).

I was actually surprised to find that HD DVD had the greater amount of content (I expected this to happen later in the year as the '600 HD DVD titles by years end' that was claimed at CES came to be) and that BD actually has so little that is genuinely exclusive.

.....and I really don't think I avoided Nextgen's point; he mentioned exclusives and I gave the facts and figures back.
They probably aren't the ones he was expecting (some were news to me I must admit) but nevertheless there they are.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Aug 2007 @ 14:38

97.8.2007 15:25

"Spidey and the Pirates"

LOL! Sounds like the name of an indie label rock band.

The next few months leading into the holdiay season will indeed be interesting. I think the battle will pit HD DVD pricing vs BluRay content.

107.8.2007 16:32

Blu-ray's supposedly 'exclusive content' is looking a bit thin to me.

Here's some more info -

BTW Fox use Highlight Video as a distributor in Germany which is HD DVD.

'The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer' is coming to HD DVD.

You might have heard of these titles -

August 1:
Hannibal (Universal) [France]

August 29:
Apocalypto (Monolith) [Poland]

September 3:
Underworld (Concorde) [Germany] Info
Silent Hill (Concorde) [Germany] Info
Alone in the Dark (Concorde) [Germany] Info
Brothers Grimm (Concorde) [Germany] Info
The Jackal (Germany)
Tomb Raider 2 (Germany)
Alone in the Dark (Germany)

September 5:
Ghost Rider (M6 Vido) [France]

September 12:
Bridge to Terabithia [Un ponte per Terabithia] (Mondo Home Entertainment) [Italy] Info

September 27:
Resident Evil (Highlight) [Germany] Info
Resident Evil: Apocaylpse (Highlight) [Germany] Info

October 12:
Hero (Highlight) [Germany]

October 24:
Curse of the Golden Flower (La cit interdite) (M6 Vido) [France]

Spring 2008:
Saw Trilogy (Kinowelt) [Germany] what was all that about BD having such great content & exclusivity?

HD DVD has (by far) the greater amount off available content and almost half as much exclusive content again as BD.

People are being spun a lie, that vaunted Blu-ray exclusivity is actually in many instances just BS to manipulate those people who are unaware of the true situation.

Sure they have some, but nothing like the amount they're trying to imply.

117.8.2007 17:35

Hmmmm...none of these titles really catch my eye as "purchase-worthy." Maybe a few would merit a rental but nothing really worth ordering from an EU site - especially given the weak dollar vis-a-vis the Euro and GBP. (And why the heck did I get charged VAT the last time I ordered from the UK? I thought international orders were exempt - or are they taxable?) I've actually rented the BluRay versions of most of these titles already.

As eatsushi pointed out - how many US HD DVD owners have the savvy or even the inclination to order their movies from EU sites? Also, how many HD DVD owners even realize that region coding is not a factor yet?

Re-check that anxehd link hughjars. The item refers to the first Fantastic Four film - not the Silver Surfer one as you claim. They made a mistake with the cover as discussed here:

127.8.2007 19:50

Originally posted by error5:
"Spidey and the Pirates"

LOL! Sounds like the name of an indie label rock band.

The next few months leading into the holdiay season will indeed be interesting. I think the battle will pit HD DVD pricing vs BluRay content.
Thank you i didn't think people really read post anymore on here.....I get tired of HD-DVD always talking about price they have the wrong marketing strategy.To be honest i think HD-DVD is really happy with there movie content.They really need to go after some of these studio's that are BD exclusives like Fox.I love there price point but movie's is whats going to make me buy there player not because its cheap.

138.8.2007 5:40

1080p/24fps in the A30 and A35 is very welcome.

If Toshiba can somehow include an HQV chip in the upper-tier models then the 3rd gen line should be vey attractive to those looking to upgrade.

148.8.2007 6:07

Seems like there's some real hard work going on here to ignore the point of fact that 'BD exclusive' doesn't (in about 1/3 of the cases) really mean exclusive at all.

I'm also amused at the notion that sourcing from abroad is not a 'mainstream' activity....... as if high def (and particularly non game console PS3/BD high def) is somehow 'mainstream'.

Come on, wake up folks, at less than 1% of the retail movie disc market this is about as 'niche' and non-'mainstream' as it gets.

Perhaps Nextgen76 ought to check his/her own readings skills -
BTW Fox use Highlight Video as a distributor in Germany which is HD DVD.
So at least some of those supposedly 'exclusive' Fox movies are available.
(although when and whether Fox is going to get around to releasing again on BD is another matter - you avoided mentioning. lol )

error5, you didn't find much of interest out of the movies listed?
Does that apply to the other 60 or so listed too?!
What does interest you then cos if you're a BD exclusive user you just chopped out nearly 1/3 or so of the available BD content.

Oh and you're right, someone was a little hasty about 'silver surfer'......but we got the 1st one, just give it a little time.

158.8.2007 14:21

error5, you didn't find much of interest out of the movies listed?
Does that apply to the other 60 or so listed too?!
What does interest you then cos if you're a BD exclusive user you just chopped out nearly 1/3 or so of the available BD content.

Come on hughjars, get real. You don't really expect anyone to watch or be interested in each and every HD release out there right? Except maybe a die hard HD movie or pop culture fanatic.

Of all the HDM titles released on both formats I've seen only roughly 1/3 of them and most of these were rentals. Only a select few really merit a purchase in my book. Some of them are so bad that I'd rather sit though a root canal than watch them in HD. (Case in point - Norbit, Scooby Doo, Nacho Libre and others.)

If I've chopped out only 1/3 of all available BD content then I think I should do more chopping.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 08 Aug 2007 @ 14:23

1610.8.2007 14:11

new releases? i want all the old black and white films which are being hoarded by the studios. Just think of all those lovely Clifton Webb films in sparkling mono. And then there are the Old Mother Riley films, especially "Old Mother Riley Meets the Vampire" (with Bela Lugosi who was, it has to be admitted, somewhat typecast. Then there is Lon Chaney (snr). Sigh.

Bloody typical. Celluloid breaking down, videotape cactus, cd & dvd peeling off - ephemeral beasties aint we.

How about some good archival footage and storage?

Oh, and more films where the viewer has to use their imagination as part of the creative process (as in Alfred Hitchcock) rather than the pre-digested baby pap where we are limited by the script/director/actors capacities and imaginations and everything has to be shown.

So the point i am not making here, and not very successfully too i might add, is that content ought to be the driver rather than technology.

(Not to mention old films - yes films, we know they move).

i have this horrible image of pimply faced yoofs with loupe in one eye examining a minute portion of the screen and missing the whole film.

p.s. as another non sequitur - i did enjoy Transformers.

Have a nice day and thank you to those who maintain a high quality level of discussion.

1714.8.2007 3:47

The price war just continues to go for both formats.

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