Toshiba announces a new competitor to Blu-Ray

1 min read

Who wants Blu-Ray

So who though that Toshiba was going to back out quietly from the HD war after Blu-Ray trounced HD-DVD? Well while that may be the best idea it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen anytime soon.

Toshiba have just announced their new attack, super upscaling chips that will upscale a normal DVD to full 1080p quality. So no more worrying about having to get rid of your old collection or moving over to new formats, all you need to do is buy a TV with the new upscaling chip and your done…

Which I guess means we can upscale normal TV to HD as well, I am sure Multi-choice will be thrilled to hear how much money they can save now..

So how fantastic does this technology sound… well the downside is that it doesn’t seem to work… While it does improve the quality of a normal DVD it doesn’t reach the quality of a Blu-Ray disc, and how could it really when we are missing all of those pixels in between?

Toshiba must know this and therefore I can only presume they have something else in their master plan, spreading confusion about Blu-Ray to stop it becoming a standard and to allow them to get their next optical disc out first?

Follow the link for the initial report and to hear what it’s like when press conferences go bad..


Last Updated: June 18, 2008

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

  • kabraal

    “Toshiba have just announced their new attack, super upscaling chips that will upscale a normal DVD to full 1080p quality.”

    Well my TV already does that upscaling with a cheap faroudja chip set as does my DVD player and PS3. Probably not as good.
    “Which I guess means we can upscale normal TV to HD as well, I am sure Multi-choice will be thrilled to hear how much money they can save now..”
    You are already upscaling it. Just not with Toshiba’s uber upscaler. 50 bux says you’ll be able to find a better reon/realta or faroudja upscaling chipset within 6 months from now.
    “So no more worrying about having to get rid of your old collection or moving over to new formats”
    All my DVDs still work perfectly on my BD player…
    “spreading confusion about Blu-Ray to stop it becoming a standard and to allow them to get their next optical disc out first?”
    Dunno, Tosh gets about 90% of DVD royalties. I don’t think they’re paving the way for a next gen optical disc. They are trying to protect their money machine which is DVDs, and unfortunately for them, it can still only hold 8.5GB of data will lossy encode 576p video and lossy encode 5.1 surround sound.

  • scotty777

    lol, well, I’m waiting for blu-ray to slowly drop in price. I mean, BR holds 50 gb, which aint to shabby for backing up and such. also, BR is the future with regards to the change in laser type. Look at cd’s and dvd’s I mean, they use the same red laser, but the technology was able to develop more effective ways on using it. So soon you will see them release an update to the blu-ray disk

  • Banana hammock

    Toshiba are already going to make a fortune with their new HDD technology. Not sure why they would get so excited about a simple upscaler. And upscalers can only do so much, if lines of data are missing then they are missing.

    My PS3 is a pretty good upscaler, especially with PS2 games. But nothing beats proper full 1080p.

    I’m more excited about getting proper affordable Blu-Ray writers, 50gb on a disc means i can back up most of my critical stuff onto 1 disc which would be great.

  • kabraal

    I think the point is that they’re trying to hang on to their DVD royalties by claiming this tech produces the same PQ as a 1080p native encoded image, by using DVDs. This is quite fair in a world of CE competition. I’m sure it does a pretty good job as well but remember, once BD takes over in the future, Tosh will loose all that DVD royalties and they’ll get squat from the BDA royalties. I would’ve just drop the pride and join the BDA but ah well.

    If anything, this is a indication that Toshiba themselves, receiver of 90% of DVD royalties, are getting concerned with BD eating into their territory.

    I might be entirely wrong here but I do believe this will be a Toshiba only IP (like HDDVD). Well it definitely is at the moment. And once the big boys begin with building upscalers to even upscale 1080p video for that matter, Tosh will be trailing in the dust yet again. They should just stick to power plants and heavy industries :p

    Whether people like it or not, the industry has adopted BD. Now it’s the consumers turn to adopt and it will take some time. Once the prices go down you will get a BD capable ROM with that new office PC. Whether you like it, want to use it or not. Sooner or later when your DVD player fails, you’ll buy a new DVD player that can (hey presto!!) play BD discs as well. Whether you like it, use it or not. Sooner or later, details on the xbox 720 will surface with a (omg) BD-ROM.

    Maybe we can someday use this Tosh tech on our 200” LCDs to upscale 1080p to 2160p once BD runs out of steam and reaches the end of its life cycle. Who knows?

  • NoMaD

    Surely it’s impossible to to fully upscale a DVD to 1080p. Its just not logical. Is it?

    Surely its the same as taking an image with a resolution of 720pixels and upscaling it in photoshop to 1080pixels? There will always be a loss of quality. Just a thought

  • kabraal

    No it’s not impossible, you’re doing it 24/7 on a native 1080p screen no matter what resolution or PQ you’re feeding it.

    But you are right. Firstly, DVD uses a heavily compressed and lossy encode as opposed HD DVD and BD due to space restrictions so there is a inherent loss in PQ. Much like that crap Multi Choice signal. Then you can easily upscale that DVD to 1080p (or a 10000000p if you really want to) by using a series of interpolation schemes. Thus the upscaler “guesses” what the missing pixels should look like.

  • Fox1

    HD or SD, we still need Toshiba’s upscaling chips because DVD is always going to be around ❗

  • Fred

    Poor toshiba , cut your losses and go with the flow.

  • Fox1

    The strange think is that Toshiba now holds the technology to Cell. Now I am thinking what if they use a Cell CPU or GPU to do this upscaling 😈

  • kabraal

    True, but we have silicon optix and faroudja who been in this business for years. They too will most certainly keep on refining their unscalers and most CE’s use their chipsets or other.

    By the looks of this so far, this will be Tosh IP. I.e. you’ll have to buy a Tosh branded TV to get it.

  • Fox1

    I was told by a salesman that Logik TV’s are made by Toshiba.

    I think they make most of the house brand TV’s for our major retailers.

  • kabraal

    I’m sure there are additional brands that fall under Toshiba as well yes.

    I wonder what these TVs will cost initially though. You realize it’s a TV with a Cell processor onboard?

    Come to think of it, a cell procceor probably ain’t the expensive anymore.

  • LazySAGamer

    Could you give me a link for that 90% statement… from what I can find Sony, Toshiba, Philips and a few other companies all receive royalties from the DVD format with Philips taking the most…

  • MaXiM

    Upscaling works wonders for normal DVD’s encoded properly on my 55″ Bravia, but it does little for my 26″ Bravia, so I can see why some say they see little difference watching Blu-Ray vs DVD’s upscaled…. 10:1 they are comparing them on a small TV not capable of 1080p or in some cases, a standard CRT TV…. Hell.. I don’t need anymore upscalers, both my Sony DVD player and PS3 upscale DVD’s already to 1080p. 🙂

  • kabraal

    That 90% might have been a slight over exaggeration but you just have to wiki “DVD.” Toshiba developed SD, Sony and Philips developed MMCD. Sony and Philips decided to drop MMCD before a format war started and adopted Toshiba’s SD which later became DVD.

    Toshiba chairs the DVD Forum. The primary purpose of the DVD Forum is to develop specifications for DVD and HD DVD. So even though Sony was a founding member and still probably has a chair there, they’ve “left” the DVD forum a long time ago when they went on the develop DVD-A and later BD. Sony dropped the ball with DVD and they aren’t really getting any royalties from it.

    But I’m sure you catch my point. With DVD, HD DVD and chair the DVD forum, Toshiba has a cash cow it can milk. With BD, it has nothing.

  • kabraal

    Look this business is highly entangled and you can go on to write a thesis on who’s who and who holds what patents. Yes Philips is also a big player and in DVD, just like Toshiba and other companies. The point is, Philips and other companies are also patent holders and members on the BDA.

    So none of the companies could give a shit if DVD becomes absolute and BD becomes the next generation format. All of them, just like Sony, will abandon the DVD forum and they’ll still cash in. Toshiba is the sitting duct and sooner or later they might end up owning 100% of the DVD Forum with everyone else focusing on the BDA.

    HD DVD gave Toshiba the change for the DVD Forum to survive with a next generation format of which they owned 100% of the IP. With HD DVD gone, they only have DVD left, and pretty much everyone else have a finger in the BD pie. This is why, IMO, Toshiba will do anything in it’s power to ensure BD dies and DVD survives.

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