Toshiba propels DVD quality to near high definition

Toshiba announced its XDE technology on Monday, which makes DVD picture quality close to high-definition.

Toshiba, which lost out to Sony in the battle for the next-generation DVD format, has announced a new technology that could help extend the life of current DVD libraries.

The technology, called XDE (eXtended Detail Enhancement), upgrades DVD picture quality to a higher definition of up to 1080p, according to Toshiba. The company was quick to point out that XDE does not give true HD, but it said the improved picture quality comes close to it.

A player already on sale from Toshiba will boost picture quality to 720p, 1080i or 1080p, depending on a TV's resolution.

Standard DVD picture quality is 480i/p. Toshiba is offering XDE DVD players for US$149.99.

Although the enhanced picture does not give true HD, it could be enough to tempt people to watch their existing DVDs a while longer without buying more expensive new Blu-ray Discs.

Blu-ray Disc is a standard for high definition discs developed by Sony. The format won out against Toshiba's HD-DVD in a bitter contest to set the next-generation format.

Blue-ray discs hold far more data than a regular DVD. Amazon.com lists a range of movies on Blu-ray for around $20 to $40 each.

Toshiba says XDE creates a picture far better than other enhanced DVD players available today, which cost as little as US$50.

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Dan Nystedt

IDG News Service
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