Toshiba XD-E500KY
4.0Overall Score
Price (RRP): $219 Manufacturer: Toshiba

NOTE: This is a combined review, of the Toshiba XD-E500KY DVD player and the Regza 52XV560A LCD TV. The specs and pricing attached to this page refer to the XD-E500KY DVD player.

Toshiba it seems isn’t quite ready to take the plunge into Blu-ray, but as a co-developer of the DVD and the producer of some of the iconic early DVD players, it continues to push the boundaries of that format. Here we look at the company’s current top of the line XD-E500KY DVD player, along with its top of the line TV: the 132 cm Regza 52XV560A.

Features

The DVD player has a bunch of video processing options, so that you can apply sharpening to the picture, tweak its colours and so forth. To make all this stuff stick, the unit offers upscaling of the video output, when delivered over its HDMI output, to a full 1080p. Furthermore, you can even set the output for US-type NTSC DVDs to the film-like 24 frames per second, which is a very rare, and very high-end feature.

The TV for its part also has some very fancy video processing which allows it to take plain ole US-style 60 frames per second video and turn it into 24 frames per second. So even if you don’t have this particular DVD player – or if you have a first generation Blu-ray player or still have an entry level HD DVD player (after all, HD DVDs were so cheap for a while there), you can use this TV to turn its jerky 60 frames per second motion to smooth 24fps motion.

The TV has four HDMI inputs, with one of them on the side with a bunch of conventional AV inputs, allowing ad hoc plugging in of video cameras. The styling of the TV is not as startling as some of the competition, but should fit with most decors.

Performance

The TV lacks the truly, deep blacks of the latest generation models from some competitor brands, but then it costs a couple of thousand dollars less that those offering the same screen size. In all but a very dark room, I found its black levels somewhere between adequate and quite good. The colour performance was excellent as well.

The digital TV tuner produced a good picture, but perhaps the most startling thing about it was that – aside from the excellent picture quality – it was hardly noticeable that it was digital rather than analog TV, because the station switching was very fast.