The official announcement is still due for Saturday, but the word is out on the new set of HD DVD players Toshiba has planned for Europe this holiday season. Currently on display at the IFA, the new HD-E1 and HD-XE1 are a considerable step up from from the HD-A1 and HD-XA1 we've been kicking around North America, and we should be getting something similar to the E1s to replace the A1 series before long. Along with both new players slimming down considerably, the HD-XE1 goes for the gold with full 1080p resolution and an HDMI 1.3 port which supports 48-bit color and lots of other niceties made possible by the improved bandwidth. The HD-E1 is due to drop this November for €599 ($769 US) and the HD-XE1 should be out in December for €899 ($1154 US). Luckily for us, the Euro prices shouldn't be translating directly to US prices whenever these players do make it over here, so we probably won't have to sell as many kidneys as our friends across the pond to be privy to some 1080p action.

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Toshiba's HD-E1 and HD-XE1: 2nd-gen HD DVD action for Europe