Despite the underwhelming impression given by the XD-E500 upscaling DVD player Toshiba is still pushing its XDE upscaling into a whole range of products. Newest of these is a new line-up of video recorders, dubbed the RD-X8, the Rd-S503 (pictured) and RD-S303.
Flagshiping the range, the RD-X8 packs a 1TB hard drive and sports Deep Colour capable HDMI output - a feature the lesser two recorders can't boast. The X8 also boasts superior video (12-bit/297MHz DACS) and audio (24-bit/192Khz DA converter) processing.
As well as recording to their hard drives the RD-X8, RD-S503 and RD-S303 can all also burn content to DVD, either in MPEG-4 or H.264 format.
Fundamentally, though, the biggest attraction of the three recorders should be the inclusion of Toshiba's XDE upscaling engine. Importantly this works to upscale broadcast content - I'd be interested to see what it makes of QVC on Freeview - as well as video stored on the internal hard drive, or even an attached SD card.
Oddly enough, Toshiba makes a fairly big point of saying there is a toggle for this functionality for some reason. Why you'd want to turn of upscaling I don't know - it's not like XDE makes the output picture worse…
No UK release or pricing information, yet, but in Japan estimated on-the-street pricing is ¥80,000 (~£413), ¥100,000 (~£512) and a stonking ¥140,000 (~£716) for the RD-S303, RD-S303 and RD-X8 respectively.