It seems like a distant memory now, the battle between HD DVD and Blu-ray formats, with the latter emerging victorious. While Blu-ray is vital to Sony’s bottom line, Toshiba’s loss in HD DVD is not such a big deal since that won’t be a main income generator for the Japanese company. In fact, some people could interpret the Toshiba XD-E500 DVD player as a cheeky jibe against Blu-ray players (whether from Sony or otherwise) as it does more than just DVD up-conversion. In fact, it is able to take DVD picture quality (currently at 480i/p) up all the way to a whopping 1080p, in addition to other features which will be covered below. This is all nice and good in theory, but will the image quality be all that is touted to be?
The Toshiba XD-E500 is also touted to offer user selectable picture enhancement modes that make provision for greater detail, more vivid colors and stronger contrast in order to nudge standard DVD quality closer to the HD experience. I guess this might actually convince some people to watch their existing DVD libraries all over again. If you have a keen eye for detail, you would probably notice all these small enhancements, but I think it would be safe to say that on behalf of the silent majority, most of us won’t notice any stark difference or contrast unless the evidence is placed side-by-side.
Other settings include Sharp, Color and Contrast modes as explained below.
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.
The Toshiba XD-E500 will ship later this month for $149.99. Will you pick this or a brand new Blu-ray player instead?