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Home Entertainment

Toshiba's HD-A1 HD DVD player

As the HD DVD versus Blu-ray format debacle bumbles along, our sister reviews site in the US has an in-depth review of Toshiba's first next-generation player. The bottom line? Stunning images, but too many compromises

As the HD DVD versus Blu-ray format debacle bumbles along, our sister reviews site in the US, CNET.com, has an initial review of Toshiba's first HD DVD player, the Toshiba HD-A1. The bottom line? It produces stunning high-definition images, but has a series of compromises that may deter all but the most hardcore of home-cinema fanatics.

According to the review, the niggles include slow load times for the HD DVD discs, a temperamental HDMI connector and a design that's as bulky as some old-school VHS players. The CNET editors also weren't thrilled with the remote control, finding it "poorly designed and somewhat ponderous".

However, once they slogged through the fairly finicky process of setting this beastie up, they described the actual picture as "jaw dropping", even on a 32-inch LCD TV.

In the US there are two versions of this system, one featuring a fancy-pants motorised door for the DVD drive. We're only expecting one version to appear in the UK, sometime towards the end of the year, but for now you can whet your appetite by checking out the US version here. -MP