updated 08:20 am EDT, Mon August 18, 2008
Toshiba XDE Player
Toshiba on Monday nursed its losses in HD format conflicts by launching its first player based on its promised Extended Detail Enhancement technology, or XDE. The XD-E500 upscales from as little as 480i up to 1080p, as with some DVD players, but sports customization features that Toshiba argues bring the player's output closer to real HD. Viewers can increase the sharpness of the picture to overcome the softness inherent to DVD's lower resolution and restore some of the perceived detail.
Separate modes also increase or decrease color saturation and contrast to match expectations without the destructive effects Toshiba says often creep up in picture enhancing technology.
The player can also play typical 24 frames-per-second movies without needing pulldown conversion, supports HDMI-CEC for triggering the TV through the player's remote, and support for playing DivX video files as well as MP3 and WMA music. Toshiba ships the E500 before the end of the month for $150 and is counting on this to fight Blu-ray, which typically sells for $400 or more.