HDi Logo to Appear on Toshiba HD DVD Players

Microsoft HDi logoStaking its claim to a chunk of HD DVD technology, Microsoft announced today its HDi logo - representing its version of the interactivity layer of the HD DVD format - will appear on all Toshiba brand HD DVD players made from this point on, as well as on selected Universal and Paramount high-definition discs.

"Given some confusion over what qualifies as true interactivity," a Microsoft spokesperson stated today, "Microsoft wanted to officially logo the technology as a quality assurance."

The branding for Toshiba players will not serve as an indication of any special or premium features included therein, since HDi (formerly iHD) is a principal component of the HD DVD format, and a support requirement for console manufacturers.

But discs don't necessarily have to be supplied with HDi interactive content - such as in-movie menus, picture-in-picture commentary tracks, and Internet-driven streaming updates. So for content producers, the HDi logo will represent a "plus," and consumers seeing that logo may be able to make the connection in their minds without having to ask the salesperson (who may not know).

But Microsoft would also like for consumers to be able to make another similar connection: Windows Vista has built-in support for HDi. PC manufacturers who install Windows Vista on their systems don't have to pay Microsoft any extra royalties to effectively support both HD DVD and the included HDi - a fact which led to HP's much talked-about shift in allegiance to HD DVD two years ago.

Specific movie titles to sport the HDi logo have not been listed. Last month, Toshiba announced three new HD DVD players for the holiday season, the top-of-the-line HD-A35 featuring 1080p resolution and support for 7.1 channel audio systems.

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