After a relatively brief delay, the cheaper of Toshiba's two second-generation HD DVD players for the U.S. is now available. Shipping in limited quantities to some dealers already, a few AVSForum members were able to pick them up at Best Buy yesterday and today. Priced at $499, in exchange for a new slim design and faster loading times (around 30 seconds from power on to movie play according to initial reports), this revision loses the 5.1 analog audio outputs of the HD-A1. Still, if you've been waiting for that bug free (don't bet on it) second revision hardware with HDMI (1080p coming on the HD-XA2) output not available on the Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on, this is it.

[Thanks, Ken F.]

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Toshiba HD-A2 on store shelves now