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Toshiba opens new DVD upscaling battle front

National newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun has reported that Toshiba is about to bring to market standard DVD players equipped with more powerful, second-generation upscaling processing.

A source familiar with these developments who saw live demos at Toshiba laboratories in Japan last month, told DVD Intelligence that, with the enhanced upscaling,” the picture from a good DVD disc comes tantalizingly close to full spec high-definition.” Apparently, the results are so good that “most consumers would not see the difference with a Blu-ray picture, at a fraction of the price.”

According to this source, it is not Toshiba’s intention to publicly position this new generation of upscaling DVD players as a competition to Blu-ray. Rather, the PR line may tell consumers they will "see their DVDs in the highest definition possible, or something like that,” the source says.

Apparently, the enhanced DVD player may hit the high street retailers for Christmas. Toshiba has not commented on the newspaper's report. Company president Atsutoshi Nishida said Toshiba will not market DVD players that are compatible with Blu-ray.

There is movement on the upscaling player front from Sony as well. The Blu-ray Disc champion has announced the release of a new upscaling DVD player, the DVP-NS708H, which upconvert standard definition DVDs to full 1080p with progressive scanning. The machine has a 12 bit/108 MHz Noise Shaped Video D/A Converter on board and also features Sony PhotoTV HD. No price has been given.

DVD Intelligence has seen in UK stores a new Philips upscaling DVD player for below £60 (€75). The cheapest such machine available, Chinese-made, had a pricetag of £24.50 (€30).

Story filed 01.06.08

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