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Toshiba adds third player to HD DVD lineup

Toshiba introduces the HD-A20 HD DVD player, scheduled to become available in spring 2007.

Toshiba HD-A20 HD DVD player

Toshiba has expanded its lineup of HD DVD players from two to three with the newly announced HD-A20. The new model sits between the already available second-generation players, the $500 HD-A2 and the $1,000 HD-XA2. In fact, except for the addition of 1080p output via HDMI and some minor cosmetic changes, the features of the A20 seem to be nearly identical to the A2, which we've already reviewed in depth. Moreover, unlike the stepped-up HD-XA2, the A20 will not feature the latest HDMI 1.3 technology. The Toshiba HD-A20 will retail for $600 when it ships in spring 2007.

While the inclusion of 1080p support makes the A20 well worth the extra $100 as opposed to the 1080i-only HD-A2, the bigger question for prospective HD DVD buyers and for Toshiba is whether the nascent market for HD DVD-only players will have any traction in light of LG's Blu-ray/HD DVD combo player.