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Toshiba’s New DVD Player Almost HD
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August 18, 2008 | by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Not to be confused with HD DVD or Blu-ray, the XD-E500 upscales to 1080p and offers other “picture enhancement” modes.
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Posted by DC  on  08/18  at  10:05 AM

Toshiba, hurry up and swallow your pride and start making amazing blu-ray players that perhaps can also play HD-DVD discs too.
I’d love to know the true difference from a third party between this player and a current good 1080p upconverting player?
Nothing beats true HD and anyone with a HDTV bigger than 32inches (and 20/20 vision) will notice this!!! :-) Let alone the sound difference.
Most upconverting players do a great job for my “OLD” DVDs but in the end, its like compairing boob jobs with the real thing! :-)

Posted by lightningrod  on  08/18  at  10:08 AM

Wow!
Control of contrast, sharpness,  and color saturation!
Sure wish they would build those kinds of controls into the displays!
Methinks this is more hype than unique technology.

Posted by james  on  08/18  at  10:28 AM

shame on toshiba for trying to slow down adoption of bluray.  i couldn’t even find a reference to what technology is used in the xde to upscale and or de-interlace.  something tells me this unit will not upconvert as well as an oppo or even my hd a30.  $150?  im not conviced you can build a good machine for that price.  this just looks like a good way to fool most uneducated consumers while pissing the rest of us off.  i plan on debunking it asap and then educating as many as possible.

Posted by North  on  08/18  at  11:10 AM

Its the dream machine. Even if it did look quite good it can’t sound nearly as good. There goes 1/2 of the movie down the drain.

Posted by John  on  08/18  at  12:14 PM

POS

Posted by Kevin  on  08/18  at  12:29 PM

If they sold HD-DVD at $99. $150 is too expensive
for an “almost HD”. I have not invested a penny in
any true HD player yet due to their price.  (although
I have two true HD TVs for over a year).  I am not
going to spend $150 for an “almost HD” either. I will
wait for their price to come down to the point which
I consider to be worth it.

Posted by Sid  on  08/18  at  12:41 PM

Yes, shame on Toshiba for not trying to bury DVD, their cash cow.  You people are ridiculous telling a company how they should and shouldn’t try to make money.  They aren’t in business for your pleasure, they are in it to make money, period.  And if any of you had a clue, this is probably the right move for them at this time.  Then there’s those calling the thing a piece o crap before they’ve even tried it.  Seriously…

Posted by Rob  on  08/18  at  03:51 PM

“slow down” for me the only one slowing down BD adoption would be the prices and everyone buying these players at these prices. If they (BD) put out a player in the $200 range and will bitstream DTS-HD/MA I"m in. It’s a business if we (as consumers)buy them at these prices who in their right mind would lower the prices! I WOULDN"T it’s a business.
I would have a hard time buying this at $150 unless it does A LOT better in up-converting than my A35.

Posted by jedi.master.dre  on  08/18  at  06:40 PM

Don’t most boob jobs look better than real #####? Bad analogy.

I agree that Toshiba should swallow their pride and make a kick-a$$ blu-ray/HD DVD/Upscaler!

HDBD-XA3?

Posted by Jay  on  08/19  at  11:34 AM

I don’t know what it is with Electronic House and their Pro-Toshiba and Anti-Bluray everything attitude but to title this thing “almost HD” is just plain misleading.
Toshiba provided a controlled side by side comparision with a $70 DVD player they hand picked and material they picked and still most attendees were hard pressed to tell much of an improvement. This after all the hype they were talking a month ago.
There is nothing wrong with Toshiba releasing a decent DVD player but please don’t try and associate it with HD.

Posted by Robert Szpila  on  08/19  at  12:00 PM

For someone with a large standard DVD library, the question to answer is how does the quality of a standard DVD played on a Blu-ray player compare to the same DVD played on this Toshiba player.  If the Toshiba does a better job of playing standard DVD’s, maybe one should consider using the Toshiba player, continue with standard DVD’s and not bother with Blu-ray.

Posted by Chuck McKenney  on  08/19  at  12:03 PM

Actually Jay, there’s some sarcasm in the title. Did you read the entire article?

Posted by DC  on  08/19  at  12:11 PM

Yes, I agree anyone with a very large DVD library would want the best up-converting DVD player there is. However, I’m pretty sure those same people really enjoy watching movies at home and after comparing blu ray to this “super” DVD player, they will see the need to start adopting Blu ray in the end. I know I did.
Compare resolution, bit rates, colour and sound from a good blu ray title to a good DVD title and see for yourself the results!!
As someone else put (they being sarcastic but me being 100% serious) Toshiba is scared of loosing its DVD cash cow as they get royalties from every DVD sold. Im sure this, and the fact that they have their tail between their leg now with the HD-DVD loss, are the main reasons they want to improve DVD than move to Blu ray. They just don’t seem to learn….. Shame!

Posted by lightningrod  on  08/19  at  12:17 PM

Yeah, why not just buy a cheap BD player and let it upconvert - think about it, the video section will likely have better performance, the audio is probably going to be claener, as it has to handle 24 bit material, and yes, it will play BD too.

Posted by Moviegeek  on  08/19  at  02:44 PM

It’s basically a XA2 without a REON processor,still I would like to see an expert review of the machine.

Posted by BUZKIL99  on  08/19  at  08:03 PM

I have an extensive DVD library in a Sony 400 disc DVD changer. When Toshiba produces a player with this technology that will hold my whole library, I’m in!

Posted by Sid  on  08/20  at  12:23 PM

DC,

Sure, the way I phrased my comment was sarcastic, but I was actually being realistic.  What don’t they seem to learn?  That they should ENABLE the death of DVD by pushing BR?  Are you guys kidding?  I STILL think that Toshiba had the better strategy for market acceptance with HD DVD, even though the product may have been inferior (debatable).  They had decent tools for the bridge between DVD and HD DVD.  Anyway, water under the bridge.  The point is their business at this time should focus on the technologies that benefit them.  Today, this is DVD and BR makes very little sense for them right now.  Let the other companies drive BR to market while they continue to milk DVD for what they can.  There is probably very little margin on a BR player still, so what good is it for them to sink marketing $$ into it?  The companies that have a stake in BR’s success will want to do this as future revenues depend on it.  This is not the case for Toshiba and is in fact on the contrary.  How can anyone argue with this?

Posted by Richard  on  08/21  at  06:10 AM

I believe Toshiba may create a market for themselves, even if their product does not appeal to techies and others who frequent this site, .

Blu-ray is great except when it is not. Blu-ray titles cost more than the DVD versions, sometimes 2x more. The time it takes for Blu-ray players to load media is unacceptably slow for most people. The cost of the player is another issue. The continually evolving Blu-ray standard (AKA profiles) also suggests to many that this is a beta product that may someday be released as final but who knows when. The online features of internet- connected Blu-ray players/discs are a total waste of time and bandwidth as of this post.

Also, the post above by North eluding to Blu-ray’s new and better sound modes is meaningless for 99.99% of American TV setups, which use the TV’s speakers, stereo speakers, cheap 5.1 surround speakers, or virtual surround bars.

Selling a great upconverting DVD player at a good price makes sense. Toshiba has very little to lose and lots to gain.

Posted by BudaBellyX  on  08/28  at  07:31 AM

I work for a large retailer, finally got an XDE in and connected it… It looks worse with the “Enhancement” settings on than with them off… The sharp adds artifacting, the color adds halo-ing, and the contrast actually takes away detail in darker areas… I can’t believe that toshiba would release this product and hope it is the answer to hold consumers back from buying blu-ray until digital distribution kicks off…

I tested the player vs. a Panasonic DMP-BD30, on a Panasonic TH-50PZ80U… Using 2 discs, David Gilmoure, and Kill Bill… Both of which looked better on the blu-ray by a slight margin…

I couldn’t even tell the benefit of 24p playback….

IMHO Epic Fail… Tisc Tisc..

Posted by DC  on  08/28  at  09:15 AM

Thanks BudabellyX
Two failures in a row for Toshiba!
Looks like they might just (slowly but surely) loose their DVD cash cow! Mooooo hehe
Swallow your pride Toshiba, start making Blu-ray or risk being left FAR behind.
Make money releasing high quality CE products, rather than your royalties from DVD.

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