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Toshiba Offers Pricey HD DVD Players in the UK

21 Dec, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Nearly eight months after launching a line of HD DVD players in the United States, Toshiba Corp. has unveiled the first of two next-generation optical disc players across in the United Kingdom — at almost twice the price.

The HD-E1, similar to HD-A1 in the United States, features up scaling to 720p and 1080i via HDMI, two-channel audio output, Letterbox pan & scan, and plays standard DVD and CD as well.

The E1 is priced at 449 pounds, or $884, which is considerably more than the $499 price tag for the A1, even with 8 free DVDs thrown in from Lovefilm, the UK's equivalent to online movie rental pioneer Netflix.

The upgraded HD-XE1 features 11-bit / 216MHz Video DAC for superior video quality, two USB ports, S-video hook up, an Ethernet port and can accommodate 1080p resolution (unlike 1080i for the XA1).

At 649 pounds, or $1278, the player is considerably more expensive than the XA1 ($799 in the United States), or even Samsung's BD-P1000 Blu-ray Disc player for $1,000.

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