Show Report

CES - 2007

Las Vegas, Nevada, January 8-11, 2007



Page 21 - Toshiba

Here is the new HD-A20 HD-DVD player from Toshiba. It is basically the same chassis as the HD-A2, but adds 1080p output via HDMI. MSRP will be $599.

Here is the HD-XA2, which is Toshiba's flagship HD-DVD player. It features Silicon Optix HQV video processing for the highest quality picture. All of the new HD-DVD players from Toshiba support Dolby TrueHD, but have only the DTS-HD core, no Master Audio here.

There were demonstrations both in the main booth area and in a special theater of HD-DVD and some of the advanced features (both current and future). One such demonstration wasa from the disc The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. In the above example, the bottom right inset video showed some behind-the-scenes material while the movie continued to play. This is possible because by spec, all HD-DVD players must have dual video decoders to process the video streams independently. Another cool demonstration showed how you can customize the colors of the cars and then have those new colors used in the actual movie.

Some of the future HD-DVD features will make use of the internet connection also included by specification on all HD-DVD players. You will be able to download additional content for movies that did not come on the actual HD-DVD disc. You can send your favorite movie clips to your friends so they can watch them on their HD-DVD player. Also, and I love this one, you will be able to get movie trailers for the latest movies playing at your local theaters. Imagine starting your movie for the evening and having the latest movie trailers precede your main attraction!

Recordable HD-DVD is here! That is, if "here" means "Japan". It is a pretty beefy looking unit. I imagine recordable HD-DVD for the USA will debut in computer drives before standalone recorders become available.

The Regaza 1080p LCD HDTV's were gorgeous, and were in fact, among the best looking LCDs that I saw at the show.

While the rear-projection DLPs still look incredible, as the 65" 65HM167 model shown here did, it seems that flat panels vastly outnumbered rear-projection displays.

Here we see the Toshiba Qosmio G35-AV660 laptop with the ATI TV Wonder digital tuner. I got a very good demonstration of CableCard for Windows Vista Media Center, and it works as advertised. As you probably are aware, in order to get your encrypted HD cable signal into Media Center in Vista, you will need to purchase the computer and CableCard tuner as a package. Obviously, you also need to subscribe to your cable provider's HD package, and get them to install a CableCard for you. Once you have it set up, you can access channels like HDNet, DiscoveryHD Theater, and ESPNHD from your Vista Media Center and record it to your PC. The video is DRM'd to the moon, and as such, you can only watch the content on the machine that recorded it. I am guessing that it is only a matter of time until there will be some clever work-arounds for this.

As with the CRT televisions, DVD players and standalone DVD recorders did not garner much of a crowd. With everything going high definition and hard drive based video recorders available everywhere, there is just not a whole lot left to inspire interest for these products.

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