Good news for HD DVD fans with deeper pockets: Toshiba's eagerly anticipated second generation high-end HD DVD player is expected to ship early next week.
This news comes from our pal Robert Zohn at Value Electronics, who says he expects his first large shipment of Toshiba's HD-XA2 HD DVD players on Wednesday, 1/3/07.
So how does the HD-XA2 compare to its high-end predecessor, the HD-XA1? First off, the new HD DVD player is smaller and offers improved speed in loading and response times over the HD-XA1 (around 30 seconds from power on to movie play according to user reports). The HD-XA2 also supports Deep Color technology, an optional standard under HDMI that improves representation of color tones and achieves finer color gradation.
Last but not least, the new player will provide 1080p 60 Hz output on launch, with Toshiba promising an additional selection for 1080p 24 Hz via firmware upgrade within two months.
The HD-XA2 will retail for $999. Its less full-featured little brother (The HD-A2) hit stores earlier this month priced at $499. Choose your poison, folks...