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Back in September, Toshiba surprised many at the CEDIA show with an announcement that they would be releasing the second generation of their HD DVD high definition disc players.
The entry-level HD-A2 would be released in October, followed by the upscale HD-XA2 in December.
This was a surprise because their first generation units were just released back in April, and the competing Blu-ray players were still working on getting their first releases out the door (a problem they are still facing).
While the first generation units worked well, they were large and took longer to load a movie than what people have become accustomed to with current DVD players (which are in their, what, 10th generation?). The second generation looks to be shrinking the size to better match their standard-definition counterparts and reports are that the load times are much faster.
While no official word has come from Toshiba, a well-placed vendor that frequents the AVS Forum has stated that he has been told to expect delivery of the HD-A2 the week of December 11th. That should mean that stores should have them in stock that week or the week after. The consensus of the problem (again, nothing official from Toshiba) is that there was a problem found in a chip in the unit, and Toshiba wanted to correct it before any were sent out to dealers.
While this has wound up impatient enthusiasts, I think it's a much better thing for Toshiba to get the release right rather than ship a faulty product. If you can't wait to get your HD DVD fix (trust me, once you go HD, it's difficult to go back!), you can still find the HD-A1 and HD-XA1 in stores, and there is always the $199 Xbox 360 HD DVD Add-on Drive.
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