Toshiba Launches Better DVD Player
Toshiba may not have come out on top of the high def disc format war this year, but that doesn’t mean the company doesn’t have something to say in the continuing DVD market.
As was hinted at a few months ago in Japan, the company is launching a new standard definition upconverting player with new color, sharpness and picture enhancements powered by the company’s new XDE (eXtended Detail Enhancement) technology.
The new $149 XD-E500, says Toshiba, is more than just an upconverting DVD player—though it does scale 480i/p DVDs up to 1080p via HDMI 1.3. The XDE technology provides additional picture modes to enhance detail, colors and contrast beyond what other scaling DVD players do.
In the Sharp mode, the player analyzes the entire picture to smooth edges only where required (without creating halos or edge noise). Color mode creates more vivid greens and blues and is especially suited for outdoor scenes. Contrast mode makes dark scenes and foregrounds more clear. In a side-by-side demonstration with a current generation $69 Toshiba upconverting player, the XD-E500 clearly won out.
Assistant VP of communications Maria Repole noted that Toshiba doesn’t view the XD-E500 as a Blu-ray killer as some have speculated. Rather, she said, it’s meant to serve the still healthy standard DVD business and make consumers’ existing library or movies look as good as they can on new 1080p HDTVs.
When asked about Toshiba’s interest in video streaming products (such as the Roku and LG Netflix players or the VUDU) VP of marketing Jodi Sally only noted that the company believes that’s where the content world is eventually moving, and Toshiba is paying close attention, but had no plans to discuss at this time.
The XD-E500 also plays MP3, Divx and JPEG files. XDE technology will likely be appearing in other products, but Toshiba would not offer any specifics on what or when.