So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
The Toshiba XD-E500-K-TY is a DVD upscaler that delivers great image quality.
- Very good at upscaling DVDs
- Only half the price of an entry-level Blu-ray player with built-in DVD upscaler, no analog 7.1-channel audio outputs
The Toshiba XD-E500-K-TY provides excellent DVD upscaling for high-definition TVs. However, make sure you're certain that you don't want to fork out a bit more for a Blu-ray player instead.
Price$ 219.00 (AUD)
The Toshiba XD-E500-K-TY upscales 480i/p standard DVDs and does so brilliantly. If you've got a large screen television, want to breathe some life into your DVD collection and are trying to avoid the Blu-ray leap, this device is well worth considering.
Once upon a time, DVD image quality was enough to blow everyone's socks off, but now Full HD LCD and plasma screens are becoming more popular and the format is beginning to show its age.
Fortunately, thanks to DVD upscalers built into many Blu-ray players like the LG BD300 ageing disc collections have been given a new lease on life. Although the picture quality is not as crystal-clear as Blu-ray titles, upscaling brings the number of artefacts and the level of image noise down to a more acceptable level on large high-resolution screens.
From the outside, the Toshiba XD-E500-K-TY looks like many other DVD players — a sleek black fascia with an integrated LCD screen and controls. But this unit is designed to take standard DVDs and improve the image produced to be suitable for screens with 720p, 1080i and 1080p resolutions.
In the fast-paced lobby scene of The Matrix, we noticed a vast improvement in the image quality on our 46in Sharp LC-46D85X LCD TV. Details that would have otherwise been hidden are brought out and image noise is kept to a minimum. Although the occasional artefact was visible and there was some sporadic jaggedness on edges, the image quality was excellent and the upscaling was clearly superior to that of the Panasonic DMP-BD35 Blu-ray player.
The Toshiba XD-E500-K-TY is also capable of handling Dolby Digital and DTS-HD outputted in a bitstream format. Although it lacks both 5.1 and 7.1-channel analog outputs, the HDMI output can handle 7.1-channel surround sound and a digital optical out port capable of providing 5.1-channel sound is provided. Analog/stereo RCA connections are also provided, along with component video in/out and a coaxial audio port.
Although the Toshiba XD-E500-K-TY might have been a sensible purchase just a few months ago, Blu-ray player manufacturers have been falling over themselves trying to offer high-quality entry-level devices that are capable of upscaling DVDs. While this unit does the task slightly better than most, you should seriously consider purchasing a BD-player instead.
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