Toshiba XDE600 Upscaling DVD Player - Toshiba XDE600

By Danny Phillips

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Toshiba XDE600 Upscaling DVD Player

Summary

Our Score:

9

So how much difference does XDE really make? To answer that we fired up The Departed DVD on a Toshiba 47ZV635D TV (with all its processing deactivated) and discovered that the technology does an excellent job of enhancing upscaled pictures. In fact, they're possibly the best we've seen from a DVD deck at this price.

Sharp Mode proves its worth right off the bat. In the 'Off' setting, pictures have a slightly hazy feel, but turn it on during shots of Leonardo Di Caprio being grilled in Martin Sheen's office and it strongly emphasises the clarity of background objects, such as diplomas hanging on the wall and books propped up on the drawers behind him. It also throws the texture and detail of Leo's face into sharper focus and gives edges more forceful definition, resulting in a beautifully clean and punchy picture.

We're also impressed by the improvements Colour Mode makes to the picture. It cleverly boosts the vibrancy and brightness of the blue sky through the windows as Mark Wahlberg addresses the FBI agents without upsetting the balance of the other colours, even delicate skin tones.

But our favourite by far is Contrast Mode, which gives images a cinematic kick up the rear as well as sharpening up detail. Its effects are positively revelatory during dimly-lit interior scenes - when Colin takes Madeleine to dinner, and when Frank and French search Billy at the back of the bar, XDE suddenly allows you to make out shadows and objects in the surrounding scenery, which makes these scenes more enjoyable to watch without compromising their filmic depth and solidity. Without it, the backgrounds look like one big black hole.

But brightly-lit scenes also benefit - creases and folds on the sharply tailored suit jackets are boldly defined, and the boosted black level gives panoramic shots of the Boston skyline terrific depth and definition.

If there's a weakness it's noise reduction - there's some grubby block noise on background walls, plus murky mosquito noise and a bright white halo is occasionally visible when dark objects are set against a light background. But these minor flaws don't detract greatly from the benefits elsewhere.

It even does a grand job with the Silicon Optix DVD - the processing makes moving diagonal lines look crisp and steady and renders the flag test sequence with minimal stepping. It also reproduces the Detail clip with pleasing precision and crispness.

Sound quality isn't a major consideration when buying a budget DVD deck but for the record the XDE600 isn't bad at playing CDs, giving music an enjoyable tone that should suit undemanding tastes.

Verdict

The XDE600 is one of the most impressive budget DVD decks we've come across thanks to XDE processing, which definitely gives it an advantage over most rival players in terms of colour, contrast and sharpness. Add the reasonable price, ease-of-use and generous connections into the mix and you've got yourself a DVD deck that's well worth a punt - if you don't fancy Toshiba's forthcoming Blu-ray deck, that is…

Overall Score

9

Scores In Detail

  • Performance 9
  • Value 9
  • Features 8
  • Design 8

Gavin Hamer

October 9, 2009, 4:52 am

An interesting contrast to the XDE-500 review a year ago.





Correct to review it as a DVD player IMHO.

xenos

October 9, 2009, 6:31 am

So if you spent maybe £200 on a Blu-Ray player does this honestly give you a justifiably better picture with the same DVD disk?





In other works do I want it as well as a midrange Blu-Ray player?

PS3½

October 9, 2009, 2:49 pm

Thanks for the review. One question, can the XDE600 handle 4:3 material in its proper ratio when upscaled (ie does it insert side bars)? The XDE-500 couldn't and it was a major drawback.

Matt G Baish

October 9, 2009, 5:19 pm

@Gavin Hamer - Har yes exactly what I was thinking :)

Andy Vandervell

October 9, 2009, 6:13 pm

I think the key thing to note here is that this is priced like a DVD player, whereas the XDE500 was priced like a Blu-ray player.

Rob Halcro

February 16, 2010, 11:34 pm

I've read a number of the reviews (all Toshiba): SD390EKB & SD190EKB (in TESCOs) & the above XDE600 & a few questions have arisen.


1. If I unlock the DVD players to enable me to play all regions will this affect picture quality or anything?


2. Will I be able to play region 1 {NTSC} discs OK?


3. Would you recommend DVD players best suited to me?

Tony Cashmere

March 4, 2010, 10:54 am

Whoa!!! How does one get a dvd player unlocked??? I am planning on buying this product so i cant watch my U.K. dvds on my tv. My only question is what kind of power supply does this unit use. Since i am in canada and i have heard that UK and the rest of Europe use a different power supply. Hopefully some one can bless me with some knowledge on this topic.

douglas coutts

August 7, 2010, 6:01 pm

Is the xde 600 multi region ? Is there a dealer that sells this player for displaying both region 2 and region 1?

barry fry

August 25, 2010, 8:53 pm

just bought one but cant seem to get rid of the annoying "loading" for every photo when I play a JPEG DVD. Any suggestions

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