Toshiba also had a bit of news about its HD DVD products. First, the company pointed out that HD DVD is outselling Blu-Ray by 3:1, though with only three products available in the whole high resolution disc market, it’s way too early to declare a winner. Still, Toshiba already is announcing its 2nd generation products. The new HD-X2 at $999 is the first HD DVD to output 1080p and is the first product to use the new HDMI 1.3 interface. The player has a 12-bit video DAC, bi-direction RS-232, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS HD and Dolby True HD. The other player, the HD-A2, at $499, only outputs a maximum 720p/1080i, and otherwise is very similar to the original HD-A1.
Projector company Optoma was showing off a large line of projectors, including the $30,000 BigVision built-in rear projection system that debuted at CEDIA last year, but the newest product was actually something much more down-market—a $999 high def projector. The HD70 is a 720p DLP projector selling for under a grand, making it one of the cheapest HD projectors on the market. It’ll be available at places like Best Buy and Circuit City rather than the high-end CEDIA-level dealers.
Topping the upscale side of the projector business was Runco, which opened up its press conference with two announcements. The first is that the company is offering the first video display products to be THX certified. The THX video certification, like the audio certification, requires that the product meet certain performance standards and characteristics. On the video side, the measured specs specifications include such things as brightness, contrast, uniformity, signal processing, noise reduction and de-interlacing. The second piece of big news is that Runco has purchased the nVision brand. nVision was the first brand to receive TI’s DLP engines in the early days of the technology. The company had since gone into bankruptcy, but Runco plans to use it to increase it’s distribution in both projectors and flat panel products. nVision will be marketed as a lower-cost brand compared to Runco and Vidikron.