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rex 08-18-2008 01:07 PM

Toshiba XD-E500 Blu-ray buster super-upconverter for $150
By PETER SVENSSON, AP Technology Writer
Mon Aug 18, 12:18 AM ET

NEW YORK - After losing out in the battle to define the high-definition successor of the DVD, Toshiba Corp. has turned its attention to the next best thing: the DVD. On Monday, the Japanese electronics company is releasing a new DVD player that it says does more than previous models to improve the look of DVDs on high-definition TVs. The XD-E500 will sell for a suggested price of $149.99, twice as much as regular "upconverting" players, which also improve the look of a DVD, but it is less than half the price of a Blu-ray player. The Blu-ray disc, championed by Sony Corp., early this year beat out Toshiba's HD DVD to become the dominant format for high-definition discs. Toshiba has stopped making HD DVD players. In a demonstration to reporters last week, Toshiba played the same disc in an XDE player and a standard, $70 upscaling model on side-by-side LCD HDTVs. The new player produced a subtle but noticeable sharpening of the image. Toshiba didn't demonstrate the XDE against a Blu-ray or HD DVD player, and Louis Masses, director of product planning for the audio and video group at Toshiba America Consumer Products, was careful to stress that it's not meant to compete with or replace Blu-ray.

"If you want Blu-ray, go get Blu-ray. This product is meant to improve playback of DVDs," Masses said. Masses said the XDE technology, for eXtended Detail Enhancement, will be used in other players, and the brand will be promoted extensively in advertising, including on NBC's Olympics site. Blu-ray players have six times the image detail of a DVD, and upscaling players, even those using XDE technology, can't overcome that. But they can sharpen edges to overcome the blurriness of a DVD when displayed on a large screen. Three years after their launch, Blu-ray players are popular with home-theater aficionados but have not caught on in the mainstream, except through Sony's PlayStation 3 game console, which can play Blu-ray discs. In emphasizing DVDs, Toshiba is playing up to a difficulty for Blu-ray marketers: Most U.S. consumers are happy with DVDs, according to a recent study by ABI Research, and don't believe Blu-ray provides as big of a quality jump as DVDs did over VHS tapes.

kennyt 08-18-2008 03:14 PM

Re: Toshiba XD-E500 Blu-ray buster super-upconverter for $150
Ummmm..... What do I need to say other than guys, you lost!!! I have $8,000 upscaling DVD players, they don't touch my Blu-ray players for video, or with the new audio codecs, audio either.

rex 08-18-2008 04:52 PM

Re: Toshiba XD-E500 Blu-ray buster super-upconverter for $150
I ordered one from Amazon. I'll let you know what I think of it. Naturally, I will only use this for titles not available in Blu.

faberryman 08-18-2008 05:41 PM

Re: Toshiba XD-E500 Blu-ray buster super-upconverter for $150
It is unlikely to exceed the upscaling ability of the XA2.

rex 08-18-2008 08:11 PM

Re: Toshiba XD-E500 Blu-ray buster super-upconverter for $150
It is much more than just a scaler. eXtended Detail Enhancement (XDE) technology incorporates at least three different intelligent processing features, including contrast enhancement, color enhancement and sharpness/edge enhancement (this last one seems to be the most important for improved picture quality). "Intelligent enhancement" I believe means that the entire picture is analyzed, then enhancements are selectively applied only to those portions of the picture where needed, unlike traditional sharpness controls which affect everything. See this link for an interesting explanation of how old-fashioned edge enhancement works:

TheMoose 08-18-2008 08:31 PM

Re: Toshiba XD-E500 Blu-ray buster super-upconverter for $150
Toshiba stubbornly launches the un-Blu-ray, XD-E500 DVD player

From EngadgetHD

Oh Toshiba, has it really come to this? After a humiliating loss to Blu-ray, Tosh just unveiled its new $150 XD-E500 DVD player. It's no run o' the mill DVD player mind you, this unit touts Toshiba's new eXtended Detail Enhancement (XDE) technology -- that super-duper resolution upconverting tech meant to fill the void between ubiquitous upconverting players and Blu-ray. Unfortunately, the player demonstrated offered just "subtle but noticeable sharpening of the image" when compared side-by-side (in a controlled demonstration) with an unnamed $70 upscaler -- to its credit, Tosh did not try to compare its new player with an HD-capable Blu-ray machine. Still, more than twice the price for "subtle" hardly sounds like a compelling purchase to us.

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