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Toshiba Goes Roman, Blu-ray Player Due out Later this Year

by July 25, 2009
Blu-DVD or HD-ray?

Blu-DVD or HD-ray?

Ah, the glorious days of the format war, ending in surrender but never a truce signed.  Toshiba ceded the war but said they would never make a Blu-ray play.  Well, the truce may finally be signed:

According to the Japanese newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun, Toshiba may be finally bringing a Blu-ray player to market by years end.

And now for a bit of format war history:

Some may recall after receiving a mortal at the 2008 CES Toshiba ultimately called a press conference to officially end HD-DVD.  At the time, Toshiba President and CEO Atsutoshi Nishida announced that it had no plans to bring a Blu-ray player to market.  Following this, Toshiba returned to good old DVD, claiming its new technology, XDE (eXtended Detail Enhancement) could bring DVD to HD quality.  The technology proved to be gimmicky, based primarily on smoke and mirror edge enhancement and sharpening.  Following the lack of enthusiasm for XDE and several other doctored upscaling schemes that Toshiba introduced in their televisions, Nishido hinted at a Toshiba Blu-ray player earlier this year.

That brings us to the present.

With last year’s holiday Blu-ray player price drops and Toshiba’s own penchant for dropping prices to compete with Blu-ray, a Toshiba player on the market would be welcome competition to finally push Blu-ray down to mass market pricing.  At the peak of the format war, Toshiba pushed HD-DVD players just below $100 but Blu-ray, now a year and a half later, is finally just crossing that mark with a bottom tier manufacturer’s player but with Sony still refusing to compete on price.  It would be nice to see competitive pressure between the two archrivals end such pricing arrogance.

Now if we could just get Hollywood to not ream us when buying the same old movies for the third time on a new home video format.

But as for Toshiba it seems they have finally learned, When in Rome

About the author:

Professionally, David engineers building structures. He is also a musician and audio enthusiast. David gives his perspective about loudspeakers and complex audio topics from his mechanical engineering and HAA Certified Level I training.

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Recent Forum Posts:

allargon posts on August 11, 2009 15:30
westcott, post: 604269
+1

There are far too few BR players with quality video processors like the ones found in the HDXA2 and BDP1200 that came out when the format wars were at their peak. Seems like now that the war is over, quality video processors have been left out of the equation on most BR players. Anchor Bay would not be bad either, like the one in the new Oppo.

Anchor Bay would be preferred as Silicon Optix declared bankruptcy.

Moreover, Toshiba was one of the first vendors (before Oppo) to use Anchor Bay scaling with the HD-A20. Unfortunately, the A20, A30 and A35 used Anchor Bay video processing but not Anchor Bay (*cough* NEC) de-interlacing.

A Toshiba BD-XA2 combo or or even Blu-Ray standalone would be very welcome. Unfortunately, competition is now tough as Panny, Samsung and Sony all have profile 2.0 machines that decode everything to multichannel analog outs. Toshiba, at minimum, needs to follow LG and Samsung's example and add Netflix, Pandora, etc.
Electone posts on August 11, 2009 11:08
Just for the record, Blu-ray's acronym is BD, not BR.

Here's hoping Toshiba can come to the market with a high-quality and affordable Blu-ray player. I don't care what anyone says, full-scale adoption of Blu-ray will continue to be hampered by high prices for both hardware and software and this will continue until we have a large assortment of $100-150 players and $10-15 movies.
westcott posts on August 01, 2009 09:52
dgreenstein55, post: 602341
I think what everyone is forgetting is that Toshiba has been making Blu-Ray drives for quite some time, under the TSST moniker. The joint venture between Toshiba and Samsung has produced nice success in the form of Blu-Ray for quite sometime. It is only my hope now that Toshiba can take the build quality that they were putting into their HD-DVD players and move it on up to Blu-Ray, with things like HQV processing in the upper line as a well as multi-channel discrete outputs!

+1

There are far too few BR players with quality video processors like the ones found in the HDXA2 and BDP1200 that came out when the format wars were at their peak. Seems like now that the war is over, quality video processors have been left out of the equation on most BR players. Anchor Bay would not be bad either, like the one in the new Oppo.
Seth=L posts on July 29, 2009 21:17
Lordoftherings, post: 603212
I like that, a Sony Blu-ray player (from their well known blue box design),
with a big red Toshiba logo brand, right in the middle of the front face.

Whoever came with that idea, is a wise fellow.
I can never tell when you are being serious, you do know that's a quick and easy photoshop job right?
Lordoftherings posts on July 29, 2009 19:58
Looks perfect.

I like that, a Sony Blu-ray player (from their well known blue box design),
with a big red Toshiba logo brand, right in the middle of the front face.

Whoever came with that idea, is a wise fellow.
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