Now that the home entertainment market has moved towards streaming video services and Blu-ray content, there has never been a better time to convert DVD collections to digital.
- Great 1080p/24Hz high-definition playback, excellent DVD upscaling, attractive slimline design, very affordable
- Lacks advanced audio features, slight lag when navigating HD-DVDs
The HD-EP10 from Toshiba is the most affordable HD-DVD player capable of 1080p playback on the market, and is an excellent option for those looking for an inexpensive way to experience HD-DVD.
Price$ 399.00 (AUD)
Toshiba's HD-EP10 is a mid-range HD-DVD player. Although it includes several features above and beyond what the HD-E1 HD-DVD Player offers, it doesn't include the full bevy of options that the flagship model, the HD-XE1 HD-DVD Player does. Nevertheless, it represents an attractive choice for users looking for a HD-DVD player, being one of the most affordable units capable of a full 1080p output on the market.
HD-DVD playback is excellent, and unlike its less expensive cousin, the HD-E1 HD-DVD Player, the EP10 delivers full, 1080p/24Hz high-definition video. The quality is excellent, and the support for 1080p (the HD-E1 only supports a maximum resolution of 1080i) is a noticeable and welcome upgrade. As with most early high-definition players, there's a slight lag when navigating high-definition movies, which is generally only an issue when attempting to skip multiple chapters at once. However, HD-DVD's pop-up menu makes this an often unnecessary process.
The DVD upscaling is excellent, and again resolutions up to 1080p are supported. As with the HD-XE1 HD-DVD Player, upscaling is excellent, and adds much needed levels of detail to DVD movies, especially on larger flatscreens. During testing we didn't notice any undue artefacts or scaling problems, and there was an overall improvement in picture sharpness and detail which will allow users with large DVD collections to continue to enjoy them on high-definition displays.
Audio on the EP10 should satisfy the large majority of users, with support for all the major surround sound formats, including Dolby True HD and dts-HD, although the latter is supported only at a limited bit rate. Unfortunately, these formats are only supported at 5.1, so users with 6.1 or 7.1 systems won't be able to use them to their full extent.
The HD-EP10's design is quite attractive, with a slimline build and neon backlighting on the front panel. The rear panel houses a standard array of connection options, including HDMI and Ethernet, but coaxial audio and analogue 5.1 connections aren't included, which isn't a major omission. The remote is lightweight and well laid out, making it easy to operate the inbuilt menu system, which is similarly well designed.
Overall, the HD-EP10 could quite easily be considered the entry-level HD-DVD player, due to it being the most affordable player capable of 1080p playback and covers the fundamentals of HD-DVD playback exceptionally well. Although it lacks some advanced audio features, it's nevertheless a very impressive player, and a great option for those looking for an entry into the world of HD-DVD.
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