Toshiba has announced HD DVD standalone players will finally be available down under starting in December. Australia will receive the lower end second generation player announced for Europe, the HD-E1 while the HD-XE1 is expected in February. They'll be paying a pretty significant premium, with the HD-E1 starting at $1,099 AUD ($845 US), compared to the $499 HD-A2 player coming soon to the U.S. The HD-XE1 will run $1,599 ($1,230 US) for 1080p HDMI 1.3-enhanced playback. Blu-ray players and movies are supposedly already on the ground in Australia, a reversal of the rest of the world where HD DVD has beaten its competitor to market. We couldn't actually find the Samsung player for sale anywhere or an Australian price, but the Panasonic DMP-BD10 is listed on its Australian site for a mere $2,749 AUD. Ouch.

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