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More information coming to light regarding Toshiba's new "Blu-ray killer"

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Ronald Epstein, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    First, I need to apologize for the subject title.

    About a year ago, there was much speculation regarding a
    DVD player that Toshiba had been working on. Early word was
    that this player would be able to take standard DVD to a level
    of high definition. These rumors were so rampant that even
    the press dubbed this player a "Blu-ray killer."

    It has been very difficult to get any information out of Toshiba
    regarding this new player. We are planning to see this player
    in another two weeks while out at CEDIA. In the meantime, I
    found an article which more or less calms the waters regarding
    speculation on what this new DVD player is all about.

    Click Here For Article

    Please read the above article before moving on to my comments....

    For me, the most interesting passage in the entire article is
    as follows...


    This pretty much says it all. The fact that Toshiba would not
    demonstrate this technology side-by-side with a Blu-ray picture
    shows that the company doesn't feel the upconversion is even
    comparable.

    I will say that I am very excited about any technology that improves
    upon DVD and has the ability to do better upconverting than current
    players. It's sort of hard to imagine how much better you can make
    upconverted DVD look (I think it looks fantastic already), and for that
    reason I am very excited about being one of the first to see a demo
    of the new Toshiba player. Will have more to report on this in our
    CEDIA coverage.
     
  2. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    Ron, Thanks for the info and the link! A lot of us just wish that Toshiba would build a Blu-ray player with this technology built-in. And perhaps they will some day. In the meantime, it's at least somewhat gratifying that they're not even trying to position the player as a substitute for Blu-ray. Here's a link to another article that makes that very clear: Toshiba Debuts ‘Near-HD’ DVD - 8/18/2008 4:01:00 AM - TWICE
     
  3. Scott-S

    Scott-S Cinematographer
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    I had to laugh this morning at this quote in an article on CrunchGear about what Toshiba is saying about the new picture quality improvement over current upconverting.


    Sounds like edge enhancement to me. LOL
     
  4. Bob_L

    Bob_L Supporting Actor

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    Here's another intriguing quote from the TWICE article:


    So whatever chip they've popped into this player doesn't even have enough processing power to run all three of these new algorithms simultaneously.

    This sounds like Toshiba marketing went to engineering and requested something new that they could use to generate a little buzz about SD DVD players. And this is what they came up with
     
  5. PattyFraser

    PattyFraser Second Unit

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    What I'd like to see is a demonstration of a standard def movie upconverted in the player versus, for example, that same disc upconverted in the new Sony S350. I want to compare upconversion to upconversion, not to Blu Ray quality. The less- than -enthusiastic view of the S350's treatment of standard def (of which, like most of us, I have a large library) is what is holding me back from this new Blu-Ray player.
     
  6. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    This gives me flashbacks to the HQ chip developed for VHS VCRs back in the mid-80s to prevent SuperBeta from gaining market share (as if that was ever a possibility....).
     
  7. DavidJ

    DavidJ Cinematographer
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    Read about this in the newspaper this morning. I don't mind that it is just a subtle improvement because that is generally all you see when comparing different upscaling players to each other. It is all a matter of degrees. To me the problem is that most general consumers don't often notice those differences . It is the enthusiast that sees the differences and they will most likely have or will be planning to get Blu-ray. I'll probably just stick to my XA2 (or PS3) for upconversion. I am still curious to hear what you think of it Ron when you get to see it in action.


    It worked! [​IMG]
     
  8. Jari K

    Jari K Producer

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    **"Louis Masses (director of product planning for the audio and video group at Toshiba America Consumer Products) was careful to stress that it's not meant to compete with or replace Blu-ray."**

    Wise words. Let´s hope, that the discussion now begins to steer from the "near HD quality" to "quality upscaling". The latter just might be true.
     
  9. Brian D H

    Brian D H Second Unit

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    Assuming for the moment that this is the best upconverting player ever made; the correct strategy would still be to release a second player that incorporates these features AND plays BluRay. This second player, that plays both, should be around MSRP $300.

    Why invent "the best upconversion technology" and only put it into a stand-alone player that can't do BluRay? If you can sell everyone on the idea that you have unique unconversion technology you can convince everyone to choose your brand of BluRay player. What BluRay adopter is going to by this Toshiba player in addition to a BluRay player already upconverts pretty well?
     
  10. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    Depends how big your grudge is.

    [J6P]I gots a 3-car grudge.[/J6P][​IMG]

    Seriously, Toshi is playing its cards pretty close to its chest with this "revised" announcement. It'll be interesting to see if Toshi is willing to eat crow and introduce a BD player.
     
  11. Alfonso_M

    Alfonso_M Second Unit

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    what's laughable here is the quote

    "who is investing in a DVD system in 2008?"

    Typical elitist comments posted along the lines of others postings in here, especially given the fact that the great majority of consumers --even those purchasing Hi-def screens-- are not even considering Blu Ray at all..

    What's is really sad about this reports is that 6 months after the war ended not fully compliant Blu players are still selling for at least 400.00 a pop at retail outlets, a fact that Toshiba is trying to exploit by introducing this alternative.

    By this time Blu Ray players should've been the only choice for Hi-DEF screens owners, but consumers are not biting.....wonder why ?? ....
     
  12. Brian D H

    Brian D H Second Unit

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    Exactly why I said that Toshiba should include their new upconversion technology IN a BluRay player AND undercut the price with an MSRP of $300. If they would swallow their pride about loosing the war they could have the best selling BluRay player around (assuming their unconversion technology lives up to the hype).
     
  13. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Except, why should they undercut the other prices? It's not like HD DVD where they have definite long-term gain from doing so. I'd love it if Toshiba were to do what you suggest, as I'm very happy with my HD-A1 and the Toshiba TV it's hooked up to, but they're at a disadvantage in terms of licensing costs to Sony, and I don't think the average consumer cares enough about a company's history that Toshiba needs to re-establish its brand post-HD DVD.

    Personally, I want the technology in my DVR or TV most of all. My digital cable channels need better upconversion, too.
     
  14. Nick P

    Nick P Second Unit

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    I would really like to know how this new Toshiba compares to the Oppo DV-983H. I'm about to pull the trigger on one of those.
     
  15. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    Maybe when Toshiba comes up with there next format to take the place of 1080p Blu-ray. Maybe Toshiba can work the term Blu-ray killer into there advertising, ROFL. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Got to love the title of the article as well, I thought it was humorous. [​IMG]

    "Forget HD-DVD: Toshiba focuses on plain old DVD".
     
  16. Adam Gregorich

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    We need to remember that Toshiba never billed this as a BD killer, the internet did. I have been told by sources that it does a better job than the upconverters in the HD DVD players did. The scaler will also be in some of the new TVs--that is where it will do the most good.
     
  17. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    The key for better SD DVD output is deinterlacing; it's far more important than scaling. None of the Toshiba players ever had what could be considered good deinterlacing other than the XA2 which used the Reon chipset. I highly doubt this unit will deinterlace to the degree of ABT, Reon, Realta, etc.
     
  18. DavidJ

    DavidJ Cinematographer
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    Even the highly touted XA2?

    A bit off topic:

    I thought they were planning to bring out new TVs using the cell processor. Has this changed? I assume this is not the processor in this player that is going to be in their new sets.
     
  19. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Another story this morning here

    I agree with those that say that this player is only going to confuse
    the market even further and prevent some people to jump to the BD
    format knowing they could make their existing DVDs look better.

    On the plus side, this may force the BD camp to lower the price of
    players which I feel are a bit overpriced. If you really want to steer
    people towards BD and put these contenders to rest you need to make
    the price of hardware and software more attractive to consumers.
     
  20. Nicholas Martin

    Nicholas Martin Cinematographer

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    My DVD collection is tiny in comparison to most, and going through them revealed that I would upgrade maybe six titles:

    -Independence Day
    -Batman Begins
    -Spider-Man (trilogy box set)

    As well as a couple more if and when they are released on BD:
    -Braveheart (rumored for a January 20, 2009 BD release)
    -Firefly TV series
    -Serenity

    And then would buy new titles like some of this summer's big movies.

    So, obviously I'm looking to get an upconverting player but they are the one new piece of home theater technology I have very little experience with, and therefore don't really know first hand how impressive it is supposed to be. I know Blu-ray and HD-DVD despite not owning either, but upconverting DVD players are an unknown.

    ARE they really all that better?
     

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