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Toshiba Announces Industrys First HD DVD Players for the U.S. Market

Also Unveils Cutting-edge AV Notebook PC Featuring HD DVD Drives

Toshiba Corporation today marked a major milestone in the history of the consumer electronics industry and the world of home entertainment with the announcement of the March 2006 commercial launch of the industry’s first HD DVD players in the USA.

The new HD DVD players, HD-XA1 and HD-A1, take advantage of a wide range of advanced capabilities offered the HD DVD format, the next-generation DVD format defined by the DVD Forum. Both models offer superior high definition images, crystal clear audio, and the enhanced functionality delivered by such features as Advanced Navigation using “iHD.”

Toshiba commercialized the world’s first DVD players and launched them in the Japanese market in November 1996, followed by US release in March 1997. Since then, DVD has become one of the most successful consumer products in history, creating a huge market and changing the style of AV entertainment by turning the home into a digital theater. DVD also brought new momentum to the PC industry, accelerating the digital convergence of computers and entertainment through the introduction of AV notebook and desktop PCs.

Today, the CE and IT industries are poised to advance to a new level of achievement, and consumers are ready to go with them. HDTV broadcasting is moving into the mainstream, and large sized, flat panel TVs are increasingly popular. These trends are fueling fast growing consumer demand for high quality content in the home, particularly movies.

Through extensive discussions and cooperation with major Hollywood studios, major retailers and other interested parties, Toshiba has closely investigated the optimum launch date for HD DVD. The Company has now decided on a US launch date of March 2006, a time frame when major Hollywood studios are expected to unveil HD DVD movie titles.

Both the HD-XA1 and the HD-A1 will start shipping to retailers in March 2006. More details of the products and marketing and promotional plans will be announced by Toshiba America Consumer Products, Toshiba’s US marketing operations, at a press conference at 10:00am on January 4, 2006, PST, in Las Vegas, preceding the Consumer Electronics Show.

“We are excited to be able to make this historical announcement on this important new product at CES, the world’s premier consumer electronics show,” said Yoshihide Fujii, Corporate Senior Vice President and President of Digital Medial Network Company, Toshiba Corporation. “Going forward, HD DVD is destined to be a key driver for progress and the development of the CE, IT and entertainment industries. We look forward to building on the momentum of CES and making HD DVD a worthy successor to DVD.”

Also Taking AV Notebook PCs to the Next Level
Along with its first HD DVD players, Toshiba will also use CES to demonstrate an advanced AV notebook PC with HD DVD-ROM drive, the new flagship of the Company’s Qosmio line-up of high-end AV notebook PCs. Pricing and availability information will be announced in later Q1, 2006.

About HD DVD Format
HD DVD is standardized by the DVD Forum, the international association of some 240 companies. Its physical, file and application formats are all approved by the Forum.

In addition to a versatility that enables support for diverse applications, including players, recorders, PCs and automotive devices, HD DVD’s main features are:

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  1. The same disc structure as DVD, two 0.6mm-thick polycarbonate discs bonded back-to-back. This structure makes it much easier for HD DVD to achieve backward compatibility with DVD, and also assures easier manufacturing of discs and hardware devices, resulting in lower manufacturing costs.
  2. Robust playability, with no need for a disc cartridge to protect against surface blemishes and fingerprints.
  3. The ability to meet diverse capacity demands. The DVD Forum has approved HD DVD-ROM discs with a data capacity of 30GB, and higher capacities are on the way. High data capacities are achieved by adopting a shorter wavelength blue-violet laser and advanced data processing technologies, assuring the ability to store large capacity data sources, including high-definition images.
  4. Adoption of iHD technology to deliver enhanced user interactivity and enable optimization for both AV and PC applications. Managed Copy function will further expand the realm of entertainment at home.

For more information on HD DVD, visit the following sites:

  1. HD DVD Promotion Group
  2. Toshiba Corporation
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