Toshiba’s latest pushes HD-DVD format for computing

First PC to support broadband, digital broadcasting media, HD DVD-ROM, says GM

At the same time as it launches the first players for its HD-DVD high-definition video format, Toshiba has released a notebook computer that is as much an entertainment device as it is a computing platform.

The Qosmio G30, the latest in Toshiba’s AV notebook series, should be available in Australia and New Zealand late next month. As well as playing back HD-DVD content, the Qosmio can read and write to current DVD and CD discs, including DVD+/-R DL (dual-layer) and DVD-RAM. Naturally, it will have a high-definition screen, in 17-inch-diagonal widescreen format supporting 1920 x 1200 resolution.

The new notebook also integrates an HDMI output, allowing it to be hooked up to an HD TV and to act as the video source for large-sized TVs or home theatre projectors. The Qosimo will also incorporate a Digital Video Broadcasting TV tuner (DVB-T), meaning Qosmio owners can receive standard or high-definition digital television broadcasts, as the latter becomes more available in New Zealand. An analog tuner is also provided for areas without digital coverage.

The company is clearly hoping the HD-DVD format in computers, and in DVD entertainment centres will spark off demand for each other. However, HD-DVD faces a head-on battle with the alternative high-density disk format, Blu-Ray, which has the support of Sony, Philips, Sharp and Pioneer, among others.

Mark Whittard, general manager for Australia and New Zealand, says “Opportunities to enjoy high-definition content will only increase as broadband networks expand and TV moves to high-definition digital broadcasts. As consumers become acquainted with HD content on their computers, they will also want it on their TVs.

“The new Qosmio is the world’s first PC to support broadband, digital broadcasting media, and HD DVD-ROM. We have made this step to promote the early and fast penetration of the next generation DVD format,” he says.

The machine will also provide yet another reason to press your ISP for as much bandwidth as possible, he says.

The Qosimo C30 is based on an Intel Centrino Duo mobile processor, with two 120 GB hard disk drives with RAID, wireless and Ethernet and, if it’s really needed, dial-up modem ports. The retail price for the Qosimo G30 is expected to be around $6,000, including GST.

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