Feeds
85%
tosh_hde1_tm

Toshiba HD-E1 HD DVD player

Bringing next-gen DVD goodness into the Europe's living rooms

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Review While other manufacturers flap about trying to decide what format to back in the HD DVD/Blu-ray Disc war, Toshiba has been solidly behind HD DVD since the start. The HD-E1 is the first consumer-oriented standalone HD DVD player available in Europe, so you can now feed your HD telly something decent.

And decent its output is indeed. DVD was easily better than VHS, and while the step up from DVD to HD DVD isn't as immediately noticeable, spend a little time watching it and when you go back things just don't look quite right.

DVD looks sharp enough for close-ups, but things in the background are invariably a little fuzzy. Switch to HD DVD and everything is pin-point sharp across the entire frame. It's a bit like getting a new pair of glasses - everything looked fine before, but the world just seems so much more detailed afterwards.

In addition to HD content, the HD-E1 will also try its darndest at making your standard DVDs look their best by upscaling them to HD resolution. While this is a nice addition, it doesn't really add that much - it's nowhere near as pronounced as the switch between HD DVD and DVD. You're also limited to upscaling only on displays connected via the player's HDMI port - it won't do upscaling over a component-video link.

Toshiba HD-E1 HD DVD player

Although it's a living room player, the HD-E1 isn't completely silent. While it's nowhere near as noisy as an Xbox 360 plus HD DVD drive, you can still hear a slight whir. However, it's only really noticeable when you first switch it on or if you press your head up quite close to it. Watch a movie sat across the other side of the lounge and it's unlikely you'll even hear it over the film.

Although HD DVD offers a maximum resolution of 1080p, the HD-E1 can only output at 720p or 1080i. The forthcoming - and more expensive - HD-XE1 will rectify this. The lower-end model is also a bit slow on the draw - pop in a disc and you'll be waiting around 30 seconds before you see anything on the screen.

Design-wise, the HD-E1 looks, well, pretty much like a DVD player, albeit a slightly bigger one. It's not going to win any awards for its looks, but likewise it won't stand out from your other AV kit.

The front is quite sparse - with just on/off and eject buttons and a display. Fold down the flap underneath and you'll find a row of buttons to control playback - handy if you've temporarily displaced your remote - and two USB ports, which Toshiba calls "extension ports".

Toshiba HD-E1 High Definition DVD player

Don't get excited by the USB ports just yet - the manual states "the extension ports may be used in the future for additional control options". I tried plugging in a variety of devices but it wasn't possible to coax the player into doing anything more than supply them with power.

The essential guide to IT transformation

Next page: Verdict

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
End of buttons? Apple looks to patent animating iPhone sidewalls
Filing suggests handset with display strips
One step closer to ROBOT BUTLERS: Dyson flashes vid of VACUUM SUCKER bot
Latest cleaner available for world+dog in September
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Tim Cook in Applerexia fears: New MacBook THINNER THAN EVER
'Supply chain sources' give up the goss on new iLappy
Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?
Tip: Put the shades on and you'll look less of a spanner
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.