Toshiba HD-EP30 HD DVD player
While the format war rages, movies must still be watched
Review The HD format wars may be inching forward on the content front, but on the hardware side Toshiba has made a very aggressive move with the HD-EP30 - an HD DVD player which could be yours for less than £200.
If you’re worried that the EP30 is a cut-down player then you needn’t be - it includes most of the features the average consumer will need. Unlike the HD-E1 released last year - and reviewed here - which was only capable of outputting 720p or 1080i pictures, the EP30 can produce full HD images at 1080p so you’ll be able to get the most out of your HD DVD discs. It even supports 24fps playback, so you can view movies at their original frame rate if you have a TV that supports it.
Toshiba HD-EP30: value for money regardless of the format war's outcome
You do miss out on advanced features such as 7.1 bitstream audio output and HDMI 1.3 Deep Color support, but to make the most of these features you’ll need high-end equipment to match - so you're less likely to be put off by the price of the more expensive HD-EP35, which supports both.
However, if you’re just looking for something to make the most of the brand new 1080p HD telly you got for Christmas, then it’s an extremely good deal – costing not that much more than a high-end DVD player. Even if Blu-ray eventually emerges as the dominant format in the future, with such a cheap asking price you should get your money’s worth out of the EP30 before it ever becomes a problem – especially since you get seven HD DVDs included with the machine.
You’ll find a copy of The Bourne Supremacy and 300 in the box and you can download a voucher to claim a further five titles. There are even some decent films included like Children of Men and Corpse Bride – you can find the full list on the HD DVD Europe website.
Are there any players that will upscale to 1600 x 1200 to a DVI?
HD DVD V Blu Ray
I'm afraid that after reading all this Hi Tech stuff, I am totally baffled as what to buy.
I agree with the chap before who said it's a case of who die's first - HD DVD or Blue Ray, then I shall decide which to go with.
In the mean time I shall purchase a cheap HD DVD player and wait for the fight to finish!
Whatever happened to consumer choice
Well I have no googled pages to back me up here, but didn't consumers choose the victors between Betamax and VHS? I'm sure all the film studios simply released in both formats until a clear winner (the inferior VHS format) emerged.
Seems to me the guys with the biggest backhanders won this time, with studio exclusives and such like (they probably preferred the region coding in Blueray too - maybe HDDVD should have gone that route) - or maybe the film studio execs should have accepted that cinema going is a dying social disease, and the human race moves closer to a matrix like reality of not leaving the house unless strictly necessary.
If thousands upon thousands suddenly started buying HDDVD machines because their prices dropped like stones, would the film studios and 'quality' newspapers still call it dead?
Personally, I'm rewatching all my SD DVDs thru' an SD player on a HIDEF TV and loving the qualitive<sp?> difference, and whichever HD players breaks the sub £100 barrier, I (and I'm guessing) millions of other (normal folk) will make the jump to rewatch our SD films upscaled.
Apart from an extremely select few most loved movies, I will not be rebuying my DVD collection in HD format. I hate Microsoft & Sony (the corporation, not the folks who work in them) in equal measure - I realise MS don't own the HDDVD format, but they do back them, but if I had a choice I would always go with a consortium of backers of a format.
Apologies for the long post.
Tony F Paulazzo
You call that research?
From your first link.... "The DVD Forum's representatives said that the issue is still under study."
Please find me a single player or disc that uses TL51 or region coding for HD-DVD movies.
There are none.
All HD DVD players today can play all known and planned movies with all features.
Can the same be said for blu-ray?....
@kevin re blu-ray fud
However, the new HD DVD-ROM discs may not be compatible with the first generation HD DVD players, since their triple-layer nature could require the use of spherical aberration compensation techniques for reading, a feature that is not currently supported by the HD DVD hardware
which has a very interesting conversation on the topic as well as the PLANNED region coding with Amir Majidimehr, Corporate Vice President, Consumer Media Technology Group, Microsoft one of the driving forces behind HD-DVD.
So much for the blu-ray FUD. Unlike some, I research before commenting