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Onkyo DV-HD805: Finally, a new HD DVD player

If you're sick of only being able to buy HD DVD players from Toshiba then you'll be thrilled to hear about the new player from Onkyo. Although it's still technically a Toshiba

Toshiba's HD DVD division is like the kid who doesn't have anyone to play with -- overweight, lazy and beginning to develop an odd smell. Until now, that is -- there hasn't been much competition in the HD DVD market, but that's about to change with a new player from Onkyo, the DV-HD805.

But unlike the aforementioned loser, Toshiba has an awesome new toy and everyone wants to play with it. Onkyo is licensing the blueprints from Tosh, so the DV-HD805 is actually based on the Toshiba HD-XE1. The good news for us is that it could result in a substantial price drop for HD DVD players.

Onkyo is keen to point out it will be tweaking the hardware too, so while it is based on the Toshiba player, it's hopefully going to have a few tasty enhancements. It will also have an Onkyo-designed case, which is going to look a little different to the usual black Toshiba design.

There is no formal word on price yet, but we would hope Onkyo does its usual trick of producing decent hardware with a sensible price tag. If so, we could see this being a nice boost to the fortunes of HD DVD.

The other snippet of exciting news is that Onkyo also supports Blu-ray, which leads us to wonder if perhaps we could see a budget Blu-ray player, or maybe even a dual-format machine from the company in the next year. -Ian Morris

Update: Onkyo has announced that the DV-HD805 will be available in the US from the autumn for around $900 (£450). No word yet on availability in the UK or Europe.