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Earlier this year at the CES, Toshiba showed off a 1080p HD DVD player. It was interesting for it's full 1080p support, but now has become interesting again. With an original estimate of $599, Toshiba has surprised many and plans to release the player under $500. Such a setup is hard to come back, and this is one of the first standalone players to offer this functionality at that price point. It does lack some features that the higher priced players have, such as HDMI 1.3 support, but definitely helps push the bar down further in affordability. Obviously the price tag is going to be their main selling point here, and this will hopefully also push the price of other comparable players down.
No word on specific availability yet, though in the original announcement mentioned a spring release so it likely is shipping already.