When Toshiba announced it was killing off HD DVD back in February (and taking a hefty ¥100bn financial hit in the process) there was some speculation as to where the company would head thereafter. The answer: eXtended Detail Enhancement (XDE) DVD and the XD-E500 player.
The simple premise of the XD-E500 is to offer the best HD experience possible while still using plain old standard definition DVDs. Toshiba's fairly reasonable argument is that many people buying HD TVs don't have an HD player to go with them, but do have a comprehensive library of DVDs which therefore want up-scaling to be played to best effect. Three selectable setting are available offering different image enhancing tweaks:
- Sharp Mode offers improved detail enhancement that is one step closer to high definition. Edges are sharper and details in films are more visible. Unlike traditional sharpness control, XDE technology analyses the entire picture and adds edge enhancement precisely where it's needed
- Colour Mode makes the colours of nature stand out with improved richness. Blues and greens are more vivid and lifelike. Colour Mode combines the improvement in colour 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
Still, we'll reserve judgement on XDE and the Toshiba XD-E500 until we have a player in and give it a decent look at.
Toshiba XDE (currently redirecting to Toshiba's homepage).