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The 7001E also plays DVDs, which can be upscaled to 720p and 1080i. And if you've got home burned DVDs lying around, it'll play those too - provided they're not stored on DVD-RAM.
The player lacks DTS HD and DTS HD Master Audio support, but it will decode Dolby True HD and Dolby Digital Plus. It converts these formats to PCM and outputs them from the HDMI output, so to take advantage of them you'll need a receiver with an HDMI input capable of handling PCM signals. If your receiver doesn't sport an HDMI input, then there's no HD audio for you we're afraid - you'll have to settle for regular Dolby Digital and DTS bitstream output using the optical digital audio output.
Hit Setup and you're presented with the same user interface as Toshiba's HD DVD players, complete with the gorgeous blue background and snazzy hi-def graphics. It's straightforward to use and strangely quick to respond for a hi-def deck. Also, the player takes less time to start loading a disc than the ridiculously slow HD-E1.
The remote handset is basic and feels cheaply constructed, but wears its buttons in all the right places. The Venturer also responded to our HD-E1 remote, which is further evidence that the deck is a Toshiba in disguise.
We loaded up the free Hulk disc found in the box and were pleasantly surprised by the results. The movie's striking comic book visuals lend themselves well to the hi-def format, and the 7001E does its best to preserve the disc's crisp transfer.
Outdoor shots look breathtakingly vibrant, especially the scenes towards the movie's climax as Hulk leaps through the desert and goes on the rampage in San Francisco. There's loads of detail on display and colour presentation is impressive - Hulk's green skin and purple shorts never appear garish or false, making him look as realistic as a nine-foot tall, CG-created green monster can.