After losing out in the battle to define the high-definition successor to the DVD, Toshiba Corp. has turned its attention to the next best thing: the DVD player.
Today, the Japanese electronics company is releasing a DVD player that it says does more than previous models to improve the look of standard-definition DVDs on high-definition TVs.
The XD-E500 will sell for a suggested price of $149.99, twice as much as regular "upconverting" players, which also improve the look of a DVD, but less than half the price of a Blu-ray player.
The Blu-ray disc, championed by Sony Corp., early this year beat out Toshiba's HD DVD to become the dominant format for high-definition discs.
Toshiba has stopped making HD DVD players.
In a demonstration to reporters last week, Toshiba played the same disc in an XDE player and a standard, $70 upscaling model on side-by-side LCD high-definition televisions. The new player produced a subtle but noticeable sharpening of the image.
Toshiba didn't demonstrate the XDE against a Blu-ray or HD DVD player, and Louis Masses, director of product planning for the audio and video group at Toshiba America Consumer Products, stressed that it was not meant to compete with or replace Blu-ray.
"If you want Blu-ray, go get Blu-ray. This product is meant to improve playback of DVDs," Masses said.