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Toshiba leads charge into DVD market

Toshiba will deliver its first digital video disc players this fall.

Toshiba will lead the charge into the DVD market this fall when it delivers its first digital video disc players at the same time that Hollywood studios release hundreds of films on DVD, the successor to the CD-ROM.

The DVD players will form a new kind of home entertainment device for playing video on TVs or PC monitors. DVDs deliver more than two hours of high-quality, digital video playback and Digital Surround Sound from a single side of a 5-inch optical disc, seven times the amount of data stored a CD-ROM.

A single side of a DVD title can play 133 minutes of video, enough to deliver more than 90 percent of all feature-length movies. In addition to playing new DVD titles, the Toshiba machines will also play all existing CD-ROMs and audio CDs.

The Toshiba consumer products division will roll out two models this fall: the $599 SD-1006 and the $699 SD-3006 featuring video outputs for optimal quality picture and a flourescent display of key performance functions and options.

In addition to just playing the movies, the DVD players will add capabilities not available with VCRs or most existing home entertainment devices, like controls to let parents set the DVD players to use different versions of a film edited to fit PG, PG-13, R, or NC-17 ratings. DVD titles will also let producers add soundtracks in different languages or even multiple story lines.

While Toshiba is targeting the consumer who wants to watch movies, other DVD manufacturers are looking at gaming, educational video, and other markets that use large amounts of digital video.

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