The US' second HD DVD player looks set to be a machine from RCA. According to Wal-Mart's website, RCA's HDV500 machine will ship on 18 May, almost a month after Toshiba's HD-A1 and HD-XA1 players launched in the States.
RCA demo'd the HDV5000 at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, but the machine appears to have undergone a redesign in the intervening months. Gone is the slimline device seen at the RCA product launch event, replaced by a bulkier product more like Toshiba's offerings.
Little is known about the player's exact specification, but it's expected to provide the usual 720p and 1080i output via HDMI. It will play DVDs and CDs, both pre-recorded and recordable/rewriteable media. DVDs can be scaled from standard resolution to HD, but only via the HDMI link. The player has 5.1-channel audio.
According to Wal-Mar, the price will be $498. Amazon.com wants $500. Both are essentially the same as Toshiba's HD-A1 is going for and come in at around half the price of the cheapest Blu-ray Disc player, which isn't expected until June. ®