Toshiba: Not HD-DVD, 'HD' DVD!

Withdrawing from the fierce high definition format war was considered a "losing move" by Toshiba. Now, instead of concentrating on the next generation of hard-copy home media, Toshiba will focus on improving the 13 year-old DVD format.

Toshiba announced today a DVD player with full 1080p/24 fps upconversion. Called the XD-E500 that is expected to retail for $149.99.

Such a steep price tag is unusual, as Toshiba has 1080p upconverting DVD players for less than half that price. There have been no reviews of the product stating exactly what warrants such a substantial increase in price. Even early press reviews have noted only a "subtle difference" in picture quality when compared side-by-side to another upconverting DVD player.

Toshiba's upconverting DVD xde

However, it is not the player that Toshiba is celebrating so much as XDE, or (eXtended Detail Enhancement) technology, which looks to be Toshiba's brand name in upconversion going forward. It will soon have its own dedicated Web site: toshibaxde.com (not yet functional), and associated advertising push.

Toshiba's Louis Masses said, "XDE is not just a branding of our existing upconverters. XDE is a new
feature/technology which in improves the picture quality of upconverted
DVD's even further and brings them to a level closer to HD. The goal is
to simply offer the best picture quality we can from existing DVD's."

Video can be converted to 720p, 1080i, or 1080p depending on the connected display, and XDE also offers three upconversion modes: "Sharp, Color, and Contrast." Toshiba expects the XD-E500 to be available this month.

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