for those that pre-ordered it and CNET is providing their early take on the $499 device. On the upside, it shouldn't matter what format the first batch of HD-DVDs will use, since the HD-A1 provides support for MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and VC-1, which is actually a superset of the Windows Media 9 codec. On the downside, this whole HD-DVD and Blu-Ray battle isn't quite over, so CNET (and many of you) are holding off to see how it shakes out. At $500, the HD-A1 isn't a bad entry level player provided you have an HDCP-capable HDTV, you're willing to deal with 1080i movies in lieu of true 1080p discs, and there's enough content for you.
Our take is that the studios are watching and waiting to see how well these first Toshiba HD-DVD units actually sell. If the sales momentum builds, you can bet more studios will suddenly publish in the format.