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Toshiba has not won the war of Blu-ray disc and HD DVD formats, but the company now bets on the so-called eXtended Detail Enhancement technology, a feature that should improve quality of standard-definition DVDs to almost high-definition quality, at least, according to the company.

“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 at Toshiba.

The first DVD player to feature XDE will be Toshiba XD-E500 DVD player, which presumably features Toshiba’s SpursEngine SE1000 chip, will be the first consumer electronics device from the company to sport the technology. Toshiba 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 main purpose of SpursEngine SE1000 chip inside Toshiba Qosmio notebooks as well as XDE-enabled DVD players is to upscale standard-definition DVD video content to nearly high-definition quality using a special technique. The extensive upscaling technique is supposed to bring back high-definition videos to Toshiba hardware after the company dropped its HD DVD high-def format and refused to equip its devices with Blu-ray disc drives.

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.

“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,” Mr. Masses added.

Toshiba hopes that its DVD players as well as laptops featuring XDE technology will compete against Blu-ray-enabled devices as well as offer the best DVD players in the industry. Unfortunately, it is unclear whether eXtended Detail Enhancement technology will truly enable nearly high-definition video experience.

The XD-E500 is shipping this month with an manufacturer suggested retail price of $149.99 and can be found at authorized retailers in the USA.


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