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Toshiba HD-A35  (Source: AV Watch)
The third time's a charm with Toshiba's HD DVD player lineup

Toshiba isn't standing still when it comes to the development of HD DVD players. The company announced today that it has revamped its entry-level, mid-range and high-end players and that all three will retail for under $500.

"With a majority market share in unit sales of next generation DVD players, consumers are speaking loud and clear, and they are adopting HD DVD as their HD movie format of choice," said Jodi Sally, VP of Marketing for Toshiba's Digital A/V Group. "Because of the proven manufacturing efficiencies of the HD DVD format, Toshiba can bring this level of innovation in technology to a new generation of players with cutting-edge functionality at affordable prices."

The first new model is the entry-level HD-A3. Toshiba didn't divulge many details on the HD-A3 other than the fact that it features 1080i output. The mid-range HD-A30 adds support for 1080p output along with what Toshiba calls "CE-Link" or HDMI-CEC. CE-Link allows for a two-way connection between the HD DVD player and TV over HMDI.

The high-end HD-A35 also features 1080p support and CE-Link, but also adds support for Deep Color over HDMI, 5.1 channel analog audio output and High Bit Rate 7.1 Audio over HDMI.

All three players feature a slimmer exterior design with rounded edges and a high-gloss black finish. According to Toshiba, the third generation players are half as tall as the first generation units.

Toshiba's HD-A30 will be available in September at a price of $399.99. The HD-A3 and HD-A35 will be available in October with price tags of $299.99 and $499.99 respectively.

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RE: pretty silly
By masher2 on 8/6/2007 10:29:32 PM , Rating: 2
> "Only if you have a device in the chain that does true inverse telecine for up conversion. Otherwise 1080i does not equal 1080p"

This is correct for broadcast video only. For disc video, the interlaced frames have equal time indices and can be reconstructed by just reweaving. There is no need to inverse telecine just to deinterlace; a 1080i@48 signal isn't going to have 3:2 applied in the first place.

RE: pretty silly
By ChristopherO on 8/7/2007 12:08:07 AM , Rating: 2
This is correct for broadcast video only

I'm not sure where your information is coming from, but consumer display devices can't accurately reassemble an interlaced frame into a progressive one (even from a disc based source). The DVD player can, which is why players that internally switch from 1080p, to interlaced, back to progressive can do so losslessly. There is no way to effectively take an interlaced frame (to the display) and reconstitute the progressive frame when your inbound frame rate is 60hz (using typical processing technology found in reasonably priced display devices). The technology exists but is not employed in any commercially available display device of which I'm aware (it’s always cheaper, from both a cost and processing perspective, to do this at the source rather than the destination). The sets that perform the deinterlace (specifically 1080i -> p) do so without regards to a fully accurate progressive representation.

RE: pretty silly
By masher2 on 8/7/2007 12:39:25 AM , Rating: 3
> " consumer display devices can't accurately reassemble an interlaced frame ... he technology exists but is not employed in any commercially available display device..."

No. You're confusing a few different concepts here. To understand why deinterlacing can be done perfectly for recorded content, you have to first understand why its NOT possible for broadcast video. The key is in understanding the concept of time indices.

In broadcast video, you have a camera (or other source) continously capturing half-frames, then transmitting them. The time indices between the two halves of a full frame, however, don't match, which means the simplest manner of deinterlacing (known as "weaving", or simply adding together consecutive fields) results in severe artifacting. "Bobbing" is another technique used, which consists of simply line-doubling a half-frame into a full. This doesn't cause artifacting-- but you lose half your resolution. More sophisticated algorithms exist such as inverse telecine and advanced motion compensation algorithms. These can give you very close to the original source, but still its not perfect.

Now, lets consider prerecorded 1080p@24 material-- what you find on a HD-DVD or BD disc. The full frames already exist; that's how they're encoded and stored. To transmit this to a 60hz 1080i set, your player simply reads a full frame, then does 3:2 pulldown, transmitting frames like this, "112223344455666", etc. But the time indices MATCH between each half-frame (they were originally created from one full frame, remember). So when you add consecutive fields together, (the "weave" operation) you get back your original source content-- the full frames you started with. There is no need for inverse telecine or any other algorithm. Thia is, in fact, the reason why the PLAYER can deinterlace without signal loss...because of the matching time indices on frames.

Now, the only problem here is a really dumb, cheap set just might decide to "bob" your 1080i signal instead of weaving it. But, as I said earlier, a display that stupid is probably going to munge your 1080p signal anyway. Some of them do indeed bob both 1080i and 1080p, effectively converting them both a line-doubled 540p signal.

Hopefully the above clears up a few misconceptions. The important thing to remember is that the 1080i transmitted by cable companies and broadcast stations has, from an interlacing perspective, nothing in common with a 1080i signal from a disc player.

RE: pretty silly
By ChristopherO on 8/7/2007 12:33:18 AM , Rating: 2
Although I noticed your original argument mentions a multiple of the base frame rate, which is correct. I'm speaking just of the 24->60 frame conversion, then output in an interlaced form.

Granted I also can't speak to the specific behavior of all the chipsets involved. For instance Silicon Optix chipsets at 24->60fps might provide a signal that cheaper internal deinterlacers can reconstruct into 1080p. I believe the devices using Genesis Microchip’s technology can't do this.

In any event you can get true 1080p with interlaced devices, but you'll need better equipment to do so, and if it can, that equipment is probably already capable of passing/receiving native 1080p. And speaking of Silicon Optix, I still have yet to witness the Olevia displays with their technology. I only hope Pioneer includes it in the new Elites and Sony in whatever replaces the Ruby.

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