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Toshiba back in the high-def DVD hunt with new technology

Toshiba may have thrown in the towel on its costly HD-DVD development and marketing, but it hasn’t exited the arena of elevating consumers’ DVD viewing experience to a level on par with their new HDTVs.

The company announced Aug. 18 that it was introducing “eXtended Detail Enhancement” (XDE), a technology that surpasses conventional consumer DVD upconversion by offering viewers three separate modes to enhance sharpness, color or contrast. The first consumer device from Toshiba to include XDE technology was launched the same day onboard the XD-E500 1080p/24fps upconverting DVD player.

As the number of consumers acquiring HDTV sets increases, XDE technology “lets them experience their existing DVD library and the tens of thousands of DVD titles in a whole new way,” said Louis Masses, company director of product planning.

The XD-E500 — along with XDE technology — enters a crowded field of upresing consumer DVD players. However, Toshiba is hoping its Color Mode, Contrast Mode and Sharp Mode, each of which enhances the viewing experience, are enough of a differentiator to give it a competitive edge.