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When DVD came out, it made VHS go crying to it's momma and you didn't think things could get much better. But of course technology is always evolving and now Hi-Def is that latest phase of eventually beaming things directly into our brains.
Now I'm sure you've all seen something about the format war for Hi-Def DVD. In one corner you had the HD-DVD, in the other you had Sony's Blu-Ray. Both offer superior picture quality and sound but there was always only going to be one winner. This turned out to be Blu-Ray that left a lot of PS3 owners happy and the adopters of the HD-DVD format in the mire.
Well I was one of those in the mire. I decided to treat myself this Christmas to a Toshiba EP-30 player. I had the HD capable tv and decided to see if it was a major difference.
I purchased mine from Amazon for about £190 but with vouchers my outlay was less. Part of the attraction was the fact that you were given two dvd's in the box, namely 300 and The Bourne Supremacy. You could then mail in your receipt and receive a further five titles free. This made the deal fairly sweet and there certainly wasn't a blu-ray player around that could match the deal.
The player itself is pretty slimline and lightweight. It's has a sleek black style and minimal buttons on it's display. As with most technology, the operation is mainly based in the remote control.
Personally I find the remote control a tad small and crowded. In comparison to other remotes it doesn't have the ease of use that allows you to operate the thing in the darkness of a room. It's forward and back buttons are also differently arranged in comprison to most DVD remotes. But I suppose this is a small gripe once you get to grips with it.
HD-DVD discs look the same as normal dvd's, the cases are more slimline and take on a different design, but the sizes are all the same. I hooked my player up to the TV using the HDMI lead included in the box. It was good to see that Toshiba give you the leads to experience HD straight out of the box rather than giving the retailer an upsell opportunity.
The first thing I noticed is that access to the film is not as quick as normal DVD. There is a loading time that can seem like an age although it's probably only about 45 seconds. Then it hit me, you think dvd quality is great well HD raises the bar. Watching 300, a film created in the digital realm was a real experience, The clarity of the picture and richness of colour is just amazing and any film enthusiast will have to concur that watching films in HD at home is the way to go. The sound mix also seems to have better definition.
With regards to some of the long loading times, the player can be connected to an Ethernet port and is capable of downloading online updates to its firmware. I couldn't do this but Toshiba sent me a disc within 24 hours of phoning them. This update seems to have corrected some of the problems.
Of course all this is mute when you have a player that is part of a dead format. Well the good news is that the EP-30 plays regular DVD's and can upscale them to enhance the quality a little more. I have to say you do notice a bit of a difference when doing this. Sadly there is no multi-region out of the box so far but it is a possibility with a firmware update if available in the future.
Of course the other reason to buy one is that they've been greatly reduced in price and you can pick one up for around £50-60. This represents a great deal for a good quality dvd player despite the sad news regarding it's HD capabilities. For that reason alone I'd recommend buying one.
Not only that but you're starting to see a lot of the available HD catalogue crash in price, meaning you can pick up some great HD material for around a fiver. That my friends is a bargain.
I'm now consigned to the fact that I have to invest in Blu-Ray at one stage but I don't regret my decision, after all I got a great deal and it's still a good piece of kit.
By Blister x 1. This battery has been manufactured with high quality components. It ... more
conforms with the exact specification of the original manufacturer and the battery is guaranteed against all manufacturing defects. For all batteries a margin of 0.1V difference in the voltage is safe. If the capacity (Ah) of the battery is higher than the capacity of the original battery it will enable a longer life expectancy. As part of our ISO 9001 quality procedure, quality control tests are frequently carried out on all our products.
By Blister x 1. This charger is the ideal solution as it allows batteries for all models ... more
of cameras and camcorders to be recharged with a range of adaptor plates. Ultra simple: clip the plate on the charger, insert your battery, it's done ! Do you have several models of digital cameras or camcorders? Use the same charger for all of them, just switch the adaptor plate. TO USE THIS CHARGER YOU MUST BUY THE CORRESPONDING ADAPTOR PLATE FOR YOUR DIGITAL CAMERA/CAMCORDER. TO DO THIS, SELECT THE MAKE AND MODEL OF YOUR CAMERA OR CAMCORDER AND ADD THE ADAPTABLE CHARGER PLATE (CODE BEGINNING XXX PRICED AT £2.40) TO YOUR BASKET. The charger is equipped with indicator lights to let you know the status of your battery's charge. The charger is supplied with a cigarette lighter charger and an EU mains plug. For an international plug adaptor please use the code XXX9001. Output current : 600 mA For example, if your battery requires 2000mAh, you should plan a charging time of approximately 3 hours. WARNING: Do not leave the charger plugged in and remember to unplug it after each use. Origin : China This charger has been manufactured with high quality components which comply with the EC, WEEE and RoHS regulations. This charger is fully regulated with a tolerance of 0.1V and is designed to give you the optimum constant voltage charge limit.
By Unit. THIS ITEM IS NOT A CHARGER AND MUST BE PURCHASED ALONGSIDE THE CEL9005 CHARGER. ... more
This product is an interchangeable charging plate which clips to the CEL9005 charger allowing multiple makes and models of appliance to be recharged with the same charger. Origin : China Brand new product, store as recommended by the manufacturer.