Despite leaving one hand permanently in the high definition cookie jar, Toshiba has not forgotten to give its standard DVD player range a serious uplift. It's announced a number of new boxes including DVD players, recorders and combis.
Significant improvements to this year's range include the full support of all DVD recordable formats, multidrive recording compatibility, the inclusion of HDMI output on more models and dual tuners (1x analogue 1x digital) on selected recorders. All this is wrapped up in a new sleek, black design style, designed to complement Toshiba's 2007 REGZA LCD TVs.
New DVD Players
- SD-370E (Step-up DVD player)
- SD-270E (Entry-level DVD player)
While the SD-270 is very much an entry level machine, the SD-370E is the Toshiba's new flagship player, bringing up the rear behind the HD DVD range. It includes an HDMI output for connection to a HD ready TV. The SD-370E is able to upscale DVDs to deliver both 720p and 1080i signals. It also supports HD JPEG viewing, allowing high resolution photography to be viewed via a TV set.
Both players incorporating PAL progressive scan, DivX playback, component video outputs, MP3 playback and a JPEG picture viewer.
The SD-270E will be priced at around the £35 mark, with the SD-370E available for a fairly modest £60.
DVD and DVD/HDD Recorders
- DR-17DT (DVD Recorder)
- RD-97DT (DVD Recorder with HDD)
The DV-R17DT DVD recorder and RD-97DT DVD/HDD recorders are identical in looks and both include analogue and digital tuners as standard, allowing instant recording from over 40 Freeview channels. Additional features include PAL progressive scan, component video output and Timeslip recording.
Most significantly, both recorders come fully prepared for the high definition era, supporting HDMI output and upscaling of DVD movies to 720p, 1080i and 1080p resolutions - delivering the best possible picture quality available on standard DVD for consumers watching on HD ready TV sets.
The difference between the two is that the RD-97DT has a 250GB hard drive, allowing up to 424 hours of tapeless recording (that's 848 episodes of Countdown), as well as the ability to pause and rewind live TV and edit recorded broadcasts for archiving on any of the recordable DVD formats.
The DR-17DT is available for around £155, but no pricing information is currently available for the RD-97DT model with the hard drive.
- DV-R17 (DVD / VHS Recorder)
- RD-XV47 (DVD / VHS Recorder with HDD)
For those who still use VHS tapes, the D-VR17 and RD-XV47 offer support for both tape and disc media. Both models feature 'chase play' recording, DivX support up to version six, as well as the expected feature sets.
The RD-XV47 includes a 160GB hard disc in the unit, which Toshiba says makes it "the ideal product for consumers looking for a single, multi-purpose box to sit under the TV."
It certainly is handy to have one device that plays and records from DVDs, VHS tapes and onto a hard disc.