Toshiba has revealed that Europe's first commercially available standalone HD-DVD players will be available from mid-November.
The HD-E1 will be the first model to offer HD-DVD to European consumers, while the step-up HD-XE1, which will follow early in December, will deliver enhanced images and sound.
Both players are backwards compatible with existing DVD and CD formats, and the HD-XE1 can 'upscale' and output existing DVD content at 1080p for display on HD-ready LCD, plasma panels and other HD TVs or monitors via HDMI terminals.
Inbuilt Dolby Digital Plus uses a higher bit rate (up to 3Mbps) to improve fidelity and enhance movie soundtracks.
Advanced navigation and content features offer new interactivity, such as the ability to browse movie chapters with thumbnails while the movie plays, as well as navigate menu features without pausing playback.
Both players come with Ethernet terminals to take advantage of forthcoming bonus features or new functionalities offered by advanced navigation and content features that require internet connectivity or plug-in accessories.
Olivier Van Wynendaele, deputy general manager for HD-DVD products at Toshiba Europe, said: "The arrival of HD TVs and HD broadcasts is fuelling demand for a higher quality format that can deliver next-generation video and audio.
"HD-DVD is such a format; it builds on consumer familiarity with DVD and is very competitively priced, yet offers an amazing home entertainment experience.
"It is the natural successor to DVD, and public reaction in Japan and the US indicates that consumers are already falling in love with HD-DVD just like they did with its predecessor."
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