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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Toshiba announces new Interactive capabilites for HD-DVD and 24p support coming Sept!

HD DVD Delivers Advanced Content and Interactivity by Offering Exclusive Web-Enabled Capabilities; Momentum for HD DVD continues to grow as player sales reach new heights and Toshiba captures 70 percent share of high definition set-top player market

WAYNE, N.J., June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Today at its summer press event, Toshiba America Consumer Products, L.L.C. ("Toshiba") announced that HD DVD is bringing a whole new world of high definition entertainment to the hands of consumers. Delivering on the promise to provide advanced content and interactivity, new HD DVD titles with web-enabled network capabilities now allow consumers to easily access additional content and bonus features, as available, to enjoy their favorite HD DVD movies like never before. Current users of Toshiba HD DVD players can enjoy the web-enabled network capabilities by updating to the latest HD DVD player firmware, now available from Toshiba.

Since the launch of HD DVD, all of Toshiba's players have offered advanced interactive functionality including picture-in-picture video and audio commentary, which have already been available on many HD DVD movies. Now Toshiba takes interactivity to the next level. The company's latest firmware update supports improved network connectivity for downloading web-enabled network content and is another example of the company's commitment toward achieving the ultimate home entertainment experience. No other high definition home entertainment format currently matches the features offered by Toshiba and the HD DVD format.

"Through web-enabled network connectivity, HD DVD is unlocking the door to an entirely new world of entertainment and once again achieving another milestone in next generation DVD," said Jodi Sally, Vice President of Marketing, Toshiba's Digital A/V Group. "With HD DVD, studios have the ability to develop new and unique content for movie fans, enabling consumers to have an entirely new way to access entertainment and customize their home movie experience that is currently not available with any other format."

Toshiba HD DVD Players' Web-Enabled Network Capabilities

Using the Ethernet ports found on all Toshiba HD DVD players, and the currently available firmware update, once connected to the network, users can download bonus features, as available, from a movie studio's server. This data is then saved in the player's persistent storage and can be accessed by the user. In addition to downloading new bonus features, some HD DVD discs may even include locked prerecorded content which can be unlocked with a downloadable key from the studio's online server.

In addition to downloading content, HD DVD users also have the ability to upload content and interact with content providers. For example, with the award winning title, "Blood Diamond" from Warner Home Video, users can participate in interactive polls. After providing feedback, results are delivered back to users via the HD DVD player.

Web-enabled network content became available on June 26 with the launch of Bandai Visual's anime title "Freedom" volume 1. This title is the first HD DVD anime title available in the United States, the first web-enabled network content disc and the first "twin format" disc (featuring both HD DVD and DVD on one side of the disc).

"While others may talk about interactivity, HD DVD has proven time and time again that it offers true interactive features and capabilities for consumers which can make the enjoyment of movies a new experience every time they're viewed," commented Sally.

Toshiba Announces 24p Output

Coming in early September, Toshiba will add an enhanced performance function to its HD-XA2 and HD-A20 HD DVD players by offering the capability for users to update the firmware of their players allowing playback of film content in 1080p/24 frames per second, or 24p. Movie films are traditionally captured at 24 frames per second and Toshiba's HD DVD players will be able to maintain this frame rate allowing consumers to enjoy movies in their native form.

Mandatory to the HD DVD format, every Toshiba player is equipped with an Ethernet port. In addition to the capability to access web enabled content, this also allows HD DVD owners to conveniently update the firmware of their players with new features and performance improvements.

Movie Aficionados Adopt HD DVD as the Next High Definition Format of Choice - The Numbers Speak for Themselves

Responding to recent promotions as well as the industry growth of HDTV, the market adoption of HD DVD increased significantly in the past 2 months garnering Toshiba with approximately 70 percent share of all high definition set-top players, both HD DVD and Blu-ray, in both April and May according to NPD. "These numbers prove once again that HD DVD is the high definition format of choice," commented Sally.

Effective July 1st the pricing levels available during the May and June promotions will become standard MSRPs, making the HD-A2 available for an every day price of $299.99 and the HD-A20 for $399.99. The top of the line HD-XA2 continues at $799.99 (MSRP).

Important Notes:

HD DVD with high-definition content required for HD viewing. DVD with standard definition content will upconvert to near HD quality. Viewing high- definition content and up-converting DVD content may require an HDCP capable DVI or HDMI input on your display device. Firmware update may be required for some interactive features depending on content, which may also require an always-on broadband internet connection. Some features may require additional bandwidth. To take advantage of the web-enabled network content, downloading and installing the latest firmware update (ver.2.2 for HD DVD player models HD-XA1, HD-A1, and HD-D1; and ver.2.0 for HD DVD player models HD-XA2, HD-A2, HD-A2W, HD-D2, HD-A2C, and HD-A20) is required. Web-enabled features will require an always on broadband connection along with specific movie titles that include this form of content. MP3/WMA audio files not supported. Some current DVDs and CDs may not be compatible. Some Combo Discs and Twin Format Discs may not be compatible. HDMI audio support for PCM only. For 24p output, content that was created in 1080p/24 frames/sec is required. Viewing 24p output requires an HD display capable of accepting a 1080p/24Hz signal. Because HD DVD is a new format that makes use of new technologies, certain disc, digital connection and other compatibility and/or performance issues are possible. This may, in rare cases, include disc freezing while accessing certain disc features or functions, or certain parts of the disc not playing back or operating as fully intended. If you experience such issues, please refer to the FAQ sections of TOSHIBAHDDVD.COM or Toshiba | Consumer Electronics & Digital Home Entertainment Products for information on possible work-around solutions or the availability of firmware updates that may resolve your problem, or contact Toshiba Customer Solutions. Some features subject to delayed availability. While Toshiba has made every effort at the time of publication to ensure the accuracy of the information provided herein, product specifications, configurations, system/component/options availability are all subject to change without notice. For additional information on Toshiba HD DVD players, please visit HD DVD Product Information and News : Toshiba

About Toshiba America Consumer Products, L.L.C.

Toshiba America Consumer Products, L.L.C. is owned by Toshiba America, Inc., a subsidiary of Toshiba Corporation, a world leader in high technology products with subsidiaries worldwide. Toshiba is a pioneer in HD DVD, DVD and DVD Recorder technology and a leading manufacturer of a full line of home entertainment products, including flat panel TV, combination products and portable devices. Toshiba America Consumer Products, L.L.C. is headquartered in Wayne, New Jersey. For additional information, please visit Toshiba | Consumer Electronics & Digital Home Entertainment Products .

HDMI, the HDMI logo, and High-Definition Multimedia Interface are trademarks or registered trademarks of HDMI Licensing, LLC.

HD DVD and DVD are trademarks of DVD Format/Logo Licensing Corporation.

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