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WAYNE, N.J., Aug. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Toshiba America Consumer Products, L.L.C. ("Toshiba") today announces its new video enhancement technology for DVD with the introduction of the XD-E500. XDE, or "eXtended Detail Enhancement," is more than just DVD upconversion. XDE takes DVD picture quality to a whole new level. In addition to providing upconversion from 480i/p up to 1080p, XDE offers user selectable picture enhancement modes that allow for greater detail, more vivid colors and stronger contrast that bring standard DVD quality closer to the HD experience. XDE technology lets consumers enjoy their existing DVD libraries in a whole new way.

"Consumers have embraced the DVD format like no other technology and invested in large libraries of their favorite movies. As the market moves towards high definition, XDE lets them experience their existing DVD library and the tens of thousands of DVD titles in a whole new way," said Louis Masses, Director of Product Planning. "XDE offers consumers a simple solution to add on to their HDTV purchase. XDE works with existing DVDs to deliver a near HD experience with enhanced detail and richer colors. Toshiba is delivering to consumers what they want -- a high quality experience at an affordable price."

XDE Flexibility

In addition to upconversion from 480i/p to 1080p, XDE technology offers consumers the ability to customize their viewing experience to their liking with its picture mode settings. With these three selectable settings -- Sharp, Color and Contrast -- users can get the most out of their DVD movie-viewing experience on their terms.

-- Sharp Mode offers improved detail enhancement that is one step closer to high definition. Edges are sharper and details in movies are more visible. Unlike traditional sharpness control, XDE technology analyzes the entire picture and adds edge enhancement precisely where it's needed.

-- Color Mode makes the colors of nature stand out with improved richness. Blues and greens are more vivid and lifelike. Color Mode combines the improvement in color with the detail enhancement of Sharp Mode and is ideal for outdoor scenes.

-- Contrast Mode is designed to make darker scenes or foregrounds more clearly visible without the typical "washing out" that can occur with traditional contrast adjustment. Recommended for dark scenes where detail may be difficult to notice, Contrast Mode is also combined with Sharp Mode to provide a clearer viewing experience.


XDE will be launched today onboard the XD-E500 1080p/24fps Upconverting DVD player. Featuring XDE technology, the XD-E500 also incorporates key features found on today's upconverting standard DVD players such as HDMI-CEC, DivX certification, JPEG capability,

MP3 and WMA playback and much more in a slim, high-gloss cosmetic design to complement today's HDTV.

The XD-E500 is shipping this month with an MSRP of $149.99 and can be found at authorized retailers nationwide.

Important Notes

This product does not play HD DVD or Blu-Ray discs. It upconverts standard definition (480p) DVD content to HD (720p, 1080i or 1080p) to match the resolution of your HD display. Although near the picture quality, it does not produce or output native HD video content.

To display upconverted 720p, 1080i or 1080p video content, a 720p, 1080i or 1080p capable HDTV or HD Monitor (as applicable) with an HDCP capable HDMI or DVI input is required.

The effect of enhancements may vary depending upon disc content quality and display device capability/functionality/settings. Depending on the quality of the DVD disc, some video noise may be visible.

Some DVD-R/DVD-RW discs may be incompatible due to laser pick up and disc design. Some recordable media or recording formats may not be supported.

Compatibility with other HDMI-CEC products will vary by manufacturer. Some products may not be compatible at all or may only allow for limited functions.

Viewing 24 frames per second requires content created in 480p / 24 frames/sec and an HD display capable of accepting a 1080p/24Hz signal.



SOURCE Toshiba America Consumer Products, L.L.C.
 

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I guess seeing is believing but this doesn't sound all that impressive to me. Apparently, the scaling itself is the same as in their other models.
 

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My favorite (unrelated) quote:

".. will be featured in an extensive print and online advertising campaign. This includes placement on NBCOlympics.com, a site that signifies strength, performance, diversity and unity among many"

I know that as a consumer, I look for a website that embodies these attributes in order to enhance my web browsing experience.

As for this new technology.. the world collectively yawns.
 

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Yawn. More marketing hype to convince the masses that they can get "HD" quality from SD source material.

I already turn off edge enhancment true color processing or any other crap in my display or player now. This just adds more crap I need to turn off.

Not that I have any intention of ever buying another SD DVD player withan A3 and a PS3 in my rack.
 

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Unfortunately this development will only muddy the waters and make BD's acceptance that more problematic. It has just enough believability to convince many consumers that HD media aren't really necessary.
 

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My DVD collection is tiny in comparison to many others. I went through it today and found that I'd upgrade maybe six movies if I had Blu-ray, and then would begin buying new titles as released, like for example any of the big summer movies this year. So for someone like me, getting into Blu-ray and looking at a player like this makes things a bit complicated, especially if it upconverts better than a PS3 or other Blu-ray players.
 

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Upconversion is highly overrated IMHO. Garbage in, garbage out. I have a Toshiba XA2, and I still won't watch any of my SD DVD's on my 10 foot screen. I prefer to wait until they come on the HD movie channels, or are released on Blu-ray, or I can still find them cheap enough on HD DVD. To my eyes a 720P or 1080i picture is so superior to 480i, that I find SD DVD's unwatchable for the first 30 minutes until my eyes get used to the lower resolution and lackluster picture.
 

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Garbage in, garbage out. I have a Toshiba XA2, and I still won't watch any of my SD DVD's on my 10 foot screen. To my eyes a 720P or 1080i picture is so superior to 480i, that I find SD DVD's unwatchable for the first 30 minutes until my eyes get used to the lower resolution and lackluster picture.
I'd say the exact same thing...about standard television channels.

DVDs? Not remotely as bad as that.

I've seen more than enough HD on a variety of screen sizes and from a variety of source material, and I must say that DVD is no slouch. Not by a longshot. Sure, HD television, HD-DVD and Blu-ray are indeed fantastic, but DVD is by no means "garbage".
 

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I didn't mean that DVD's were garbage. To me, "garbage in garbage out" means that whatever you start with is what you end up with. What I could have said was, you cannot add information that wasn't there in the first place and expect it to be the same quality as HD. DVD's look great on smaller displays, but in a home theater they pale in comparison to good 720P and 1080i sources. I
 

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To me lossless audio is an important element of HD recordings that I watch, especially if music is involved. The Toshiba offer is limited to Video enhancement of SD DVD.
 

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A step backwards, IMO. Too much pride from losing the hi-def war so they pull this? Idiotic. Look to the future, not the past, Toshiba.

cheers,
supervij
 

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Interesting opinion considering even Sony still makes and announces new DVD players...even upconverting ones.

Look to the future, not to the past, Sony.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I don't understand why suddenly making a DVD player is a bad thing?

You check the Blu-ray sales from last week? Pathetic. Really embarrassing numbers.
Check the numerous polls that indicate that people are happy with DVD and see no need to upgrade?

Upconverting DVD players are very popular today and will be for a long time.
 

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Toshiba went HD, lost, and now won't make Blu-ray players.

At least Sony started making VHS machines despite Beta losing.

cheers,
supervij
 

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james, hi-def-on-disc sales numbers would be a whole lot better if companies didn't pussyfoot around and just made more and better hi-def players and educated consumers about the benefits of HD. Toshiba did that for a while, to their credit. But when their product lost, their decision is to abandon HD altogether? Sour grapes, pure and simple.

No matter how good their upscaling process is, it simply can't match full HD, right? Or are people here now changing their minds on this?

cheers,
supervij
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I believe Toshiba will jump into the Blu-ray market when the market matures.

If I had to guess, I would say 18-24 months from now.

Remember, Toshiba help invent the Cell processor that's in the PS3 (along with Sony and IBM) and is one of two major manufactures of the cell processor (along with IBM).

Since the PS3 and BD format are so closely tied, it's in their best interest for Blu-ray(and PS3) to succeed IMHO.
 

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Price will be $160 in Canada (versus $150 in the U.S)
 

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Here's a review with comparisions to other upconvertors and HD DVD players from Bill Cortner the gentleman who runs the bombshelter HD DVD group on yahoo groups.

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/thebombshelter/message/12836
You will need to sign in to see it, but I asked for and got permission to post it. It seems that there are a lot of strong opinions being tossed around without any good comparisions like this one being cited.

------------------

Well my Toshiba SuperUpConverter, re-named "XDE" came in yesterday [Fedex Next-Day], and needless to say, I wasted no time getting into some very extensive evaluations.

HARDWARE USED:
Sony KDL-46XBR5, 1080P, 120hz, 24fps, HD Display
Monster Cable 1000HD, 1-meter 10.2 Gbps HDMI cables
Onkyo DV-HD805 HD DVD + UpConverting DVD player [Silicon Optix]
Oppo DV-981HD UpConverting DVD player {Faroudja DCDi]
Toshiba HD-A35 HD DVD + UpConverting DVD player [Anchor Bay]
Toshiba XD-E500 Upconverting DVD player [Cel processor]

WIRING:
All devices were wired with identical HDMi cables,and the signal path was direct-to-monitor [no switchers]

SOFTWARE:
Identical/twin-copies of the following HD DVD/SD DVD Combi discs...
American Gangster
Bourne Ultimatum
Hot Fuzz
Smokin' Aces

TESTING:
Identical discs were placed in competing players, cued up to the exact same frame, and then started simultaneously. Switching between opponents could be conducted at will, and I frequently chapter-backed to watch a key element, color, edge, texture, color, or pan/tilt/motion sequence over and over again [ad nauseum].

I did not conduct these tests by myself. I dragged my poor brother into this mind-bending, eye-marathon, and he graciously sat there making his own observations, with the intention being, that a 2nd opinion would be rendered/posted for the group's consideration. Special thanks also to Bruce [my brother] for providing the 2nd identical/twin combi-discs that were needed to conduct fair SD DVD to SD DVD as well as HD DVD to SD DVD
hardware performance evaluations.

FRAMING THE RESULTS:
I gave some thought to how I would go about putting into words precisely what was revealed during this marathon session. In the end, I decided that a 1-10 scale would be used. Additionally, I'm going to frame the scale by defining what a "1" and what a "10" represents, in a way that you can relate to.

1= VHS Tape
3= DVD at 480P, not Upconverted
10= HD DVD or Blu-ray at full 1080P on a full 1080P display

RESULTS:
Oppo DV-981HD UpConverting DVD to 1080P = 5
Toshiba HD-A30 UpConvert DVD to 1080P = 5
Onkyo DV-HD805 UpConvert DVD to 1080P [Reon Edge OFF] = 5.5
Onkyo DV-HD805 UpConvert DVD to 1080P [Reon Edge ON] = 6
Toshiba HD-E500 UpConvert DVD to 1080P = 8 [XDE ON]
Toshiba HD-E500 UpConvert DVD to 1080P = 7.8 [XDE + CONTRAST ON]
Toshiba HD-E500 UpConvert DVD to 1080P = 8.2 [XDE + COLOR MAPPING ON]
Onkyo DV-HD805 HD DVD at 1080P = 9.7 [Reon Edge OFF]
Onkyo DV-HD805 HD DVD at 1080P = 10 [Reon Edge ON]

VERBS, ADVERBS, ADJECTIVES AND WHATNOT:
This industry is so ripe with exaggerated claims, creative interpretation of the numbers, and outright lies, that I'm almost afraid to put into words what the preceding numerical test results [clearly] reveal/indicate. Almost afraid, not... afraid. [subtle but important difference, as with the numerical ratings].

Let's do this arse-backwards [reviewers always make you read a lot of verbs, adverbs and whatnot before they generally say anything even remotely useful, or God-forbid, controversial... Stated simply, this Toshiba SuperUpConverter, which was renamed "XDE" absolutely eats/annihilates the Silicon Optix HQV Reon, and words can not even describe what it does to [formerly] world-class/award-winning UpConverters like the Oppo DV-981HD
and the ABT-equipped 3rd generation Toshiba HD DVD players.

Look, unlike the big review sites... I have absolutely no axe to grind here. This isn't my business, it's my hobby, and I own...

(2) Oppo DV-981HD
(2) Toshiba HD-A35
(4) Onkyo DV-HD805

So it's not like I'm doing what human beings do... Trying to justify their prior decisions/investments and convince themselves/others that whatever they own is the right thing to own... I honestly don't give a crap...
As I said the other day, let the chips fall where they may.

<NOTE: I snipped some comments about a c/net op-ed piece that hadn't tested the XDE>

Back to the SuperUpConverter...
How good is it? OMG! This DVD player is a revelation! It greatly increases detail, but does not increase noise/artifacts. It was astonishing, and a little sad to watch this $149 player produce a picture that mas MUCH more detailed AND much cleaner than the Silicon Optix equipped Onkyo DV-HD805
Normally when you increase "sharpness", you increase "noise" But there isn't the slightest hint of that happening with XDE. Yet it's not only the detail/sharpness that leaps ahead of any other UpConverter, it's everything! The color for example looks like you washed tobacco/nicotine off your screen when going from the Oppo DV-981HD, Toshiba HD-A35 or Onkyo DV-HD805
to the SuperUpConverter. That's the thing... True high-definition video isn't just sharper, it's also got much better/more crisp color. But the Toshiba XD-E500 gives you BOTH the sharpness you expect from high-definition AND that crisp/vivid color!

What about side-effects, artifacts or problems? Frankly, I got eye-strain trying to find something, anything that the SuperUpConverter was getting "wrong" that the Silicon Optix HQV Reon was getting "right" The verdict? Nada. Whatever artifacts were visible on the XDE device were also
present and visible on the other conventional UpConverters.

I know- I know- The $64,000 question...
Is the SuperUpConverter a "Blu-ray killer"?
Well, since I don't own a Blu-ray player, I can't really say. However, my opinion, based on evaluations of Blu-ray vs HD DVD [using a PS3 and a Toshiba HD-A35 on a 46" Sony XBR5 a few months ago] have left me with the very strong opinion that, assuming the same
transfer/encode/film... There is no visual difference between
Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD. Therefore, extrapolating on that previous
test... I am going to say that, NO, THE TOSHIBA XDE/SuperUpConverter
IS NOT a BLU-RAY [or HD DVD] KILLER.
That being said... The Toshiba XD-E500 at all times looked like TRUE HIGH DEFINITION in terms of sharpness and color. It literally blew me away, and it is without a doubt the very best UpConverter I have ever seen. This player's radical new approach of analyzing 9 frames of video in real time is a quantum leap forward in upscaling mechanics that deserves some kind of major tech/achievement award. I want to repeat something to make sure you caught it... The Toshiba XD-E500 at all times looked like TRUE HIGH DEFINITION in terms of sharpness and color.

The bottom-line?
If you own even 149 DVDs? You would have to be crazy not to invest a paltry $149 in a device that will in fact, raise them to a level of performance that would convince anyone that they were watching true HD video.
What else can I say other than don't wait for DVD 2.0 which any marketing major will tell you is exactly one year away, and won't produce a picture any better than this! It will just have HDi menu's IF the Blu-ray gravy-train
riding studios decide to support it... A very big if guys!

Where was I? Oh yeah...
BUY THIS PLAYER as soon as you can find it for $149 or less...
Do not buy it from Amazon... They are price/gouging and charging $30 over the manufacturer's list price! Circuit City offers it with free shipping for $149
If anyone finds a better deal, please post it here at TBS because anyone with a decent-sized DVD collection definitely needs to own one of these DVD dream machines!

-Bill
 
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