Yeah, I know, I’m a ‘Blu-ray fanboy’. *shrug* Anyway, to date Toshiba has been the only vendor selling standalone HD DVD players. Microsoft has their HD DVD add-on for the Xbox 360, and LG has a combo player with pseudo-HD DVD support – with Samsung having a real combo player on the way. But Toshiba has been it when it comes to full HD DVD players. Well, that’s set to change. Onkyo is set to release the DV-HD805 HD DVD player this fall. Though it probably won’t shake things up that much – with an MSRP of US$899 it will be the most expensive HD DVD player on the market. Samsung’s planned BD-UP5000 combo player was announced at $1049, for example.
With the release, Onkyo is expanding the HD DVD player product offerings from those offered by Toshiba, the leader of the HD DVD group. The DV-HD805 features HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface ) version 1.3a and 1080p resolution, and can connect with an Onkyo-developed HDMI version 1.3a A/V receiver to generate high-bit-rate audio streaming, according to the press release.
In any case, I’m sure the HD DVD camp will be happy to see another manufacturer releasing a player. Back at CES in January, Toshiba announced that four more vendors would be releasing HD DVD players this year – Onkyo, Bandai Visual USA, Meridian Audio, and Lite-On, but so far Onkyo is the only one to announce a player. (You know, I don’t think that Bandai Visual USA is right – they do media, I don’t think they do players.)