Toshiba XE1 - is it the best sd-dvd player out there?

Ramspeed

Novice Member
To be honest I'm not so bothered by HD-DVD. But I'd really like to get a top end SD-DVD player. Is the XE1 the best you can get for £450? How does it compare to Denon etc at that price?

Cheers
 

BISHI

Well-known Member
At least as good , £150 cheaper and the option of HD thrown in to boot. The only thing in the Denons ( I assume you mean the 2930) favour is the boot up time. The Toshiba takes about 30 to 40 seconds to read the disc whereas the Denon is 5 to 10 seconds. Apart from that, a no brainer
 

charliecossie

Active Member
XE1 is region 2 only. Won't even play Aussie discs.
XE1 doesn't play DVD-Audio or SACD.
XE1 has broken bass management on the analogue outputs.
XE1 doesn't decode HDCD.
XE1 doesn't play DIVX.
XE1 doesn't play MP3.
XE1 doesn't play WMA.
XE1 doesn't play jpeg picture discs.
XE1 doesn't have lip sync adjustment.
XE1 doesn't have a decent remote (although the Denon remote isn't brilliant).

Not a no brainer if you want any of these features.
 

TrevorS

Novice Member
XE1 is region 2 only. Won't even play Aussie discs.
XE1 doesn't play DVD-Audio or SACD.
XE1 has broken bass management on the analogue outputs.
XE1 doesn't decode HDCD.
XE1 doesn't play DIVX.
XE1 doesn't play MP3.
XE1 doesn't play WMA.
XE1 doesn't play jpeg picture discs.
XE1 doesn't have lip sync adjustment.
XE1 doesn't have a decent remote (although the Denon remote isn't brilliant).

Not a no brainer if you want any of these features.
> XE1 has broken bass management on the analogue outputs.

"Broken" depends on one's viewpoint -- it not being the only DVD player that doesn't boost the LFE channel by 10dB. Since most receivers provide this option (also applicable to HDMI), this doesn't have to be an issue.

> XE1 doesn't have lip sync adjustment.

That's a very unusual feature in a DVD player, whereas it's not at all hard to find in a receiver. The receiver is generally considered the appropriate place for that functionality.

> XE1 doesn't have a decent remote (although the Denon remote isn't brilliant).

Given typical number of remotes in HT anymore, many people have moved to universals thereby sidestepping such issues. I haven't, and so I juggle eight remotes :).
 

city fan

Novice Member
Damm- beat me to it Trevor, saved me having to formulate a reply- spot on.

I think a lot of the complaints are totally minor. The XE1 is there to play DVD's and give great sound IMHO it does brilliantly.

Oh, yes I like the remote, the way it lights up, I've always wanted one like it. Can find it in the dark then :D
 

CarlB

Well-known Member
> XE1 has broken bass management on the analogue outputs.

"Broken" depends on one's viewpoint -- it not being the only DVD player that doesn't boost the LFE channel by 10dB. Since most receivers provide this option (also applicable to HDMI), this doesn't have to be an issue.
This is not bass management. Bass management is the redirection of bass signals from the 5 main channels to your LFE channel when you have designated your speakers as 'SMALL' and indicated to use a sub with crossover. The lack of boosting the sub by 10db on the LFE is a totally separate issue (and perfectly within spec as you mention).

When using the analogue outputs with speakers set to 'small', the XE1 does not appear to correctly re-route (all) bass from the five main channels to the LFE channel. There is more than enough 'oomph' from the LFE channel in itself, so the big spectacular effects always sound great, but you lose a lot of depth and timbre with vocals and musical basslines, which often do not engage the LFE channel directly. It just sounds a bit light compared to output from the digital coax (using bass management correctly on your amp), but you obviously lose the HD audio in this way.
 

TrevorS

Novice Member
When using the analogue outputs with speakers set to 'small', the XE1 does not appear to correctly re-route (all) bass from the five main channels to the LFE channel. There is more than enough 'oomph' from the LFE channel in itself, so the big spectacular effects always sound great, but you lose a lot of depth and timbre with vocals and musical basslines, which often do not engage the LFE channel directly. It just sounds a bit light compared to output from the digital coax (using bass management correctly on your amp), but you obviously lose the HD audio in this way.
Thanks for the clarification :)! Sounds like a situation where the bass from the designated "small" channels may well be summed to the LFE, but possibly at the wrong relative level. Since receiver BM isn't usually applied to the multichannel analog inputs, I guess there's no work around except for purchasing an HDMI capable processor/receiver -- not exactly a budget solution.

On the positive side, it sounds like it should be entirely correctable via firmware. Hopefully the XE1/XA2 owners have been reporting this to Toshiba -- they seem pretty good about correcting firmware flaws.
 

CarlB

Well-known Member
Thanks for the clarification :)! Sounds like a situation where the bass from the designated "small" channels may well be summed to the LFE, but possibly at the wrong relative level. Since receiver BM isn't usually applied to the multichannel analog inputs, I guess there's no work around except for purchasing an HDMI capable processor/receiver -- not exactly a budget solution.

On the positive side, it sounds like it should be entirely correctable via firmware. Hopefully the XE1/XA2 owners have been reporting this to Toshiba -- they seem pretty good about correcting firmware flaws.
Yep, I see no reason why it can't be corrected through firmware, so hopefully it is just a temporary glitch that will soon be resolved. As you say, amplifiers don't apply bass management to the EXT input unless they redigitise the signal, but then you're heading down the path of pointless multiple D/A - A/D conversions which is never the best idea.
 

charliecossie

Active Member
The OP asked how the XE1 compared to a similarly priced Denon (presumably the 2930). Mr. Bishi suggested it was a no-brainer. I posted a list of 2930 features not present on the XE1. Some, or all, may be important to the OP.

Bass management is broken. Nothing to do with the -10db LFE non-issue. I have tried it myself - select small speakers with an 80hz crossover and say bye-bye to all bass from the main channels. It is not re-directed to the sub, it simply disappears.

The 2930 does have a lip sync feature. Whether it's any use to me or you is irrelevant. The 2930 has it and the XE1 doesn't. The XE1 has lip sync issues.

The remote is poor. All those tiddly little buttons - lit or not, they're tiddly.
As I said, the Denon remote isn't brilliant but it is a lot better than the XE1.

City fan: If you can light up the remote without finding it, you're a better man than I am, Gunga Din.:)

I just thought of something else - the XE1 doesn't do slow motion or frame advance. If it actually can do this - what have I missed?

The XE1 has a damn good HD and SD picture - that's a no-brainer. It has issues as a mid-price SD player as it is *very* light on features at this price level. I cannot compare the SD picture with a Denon 2930 as I don't have one. I do have a Denon 3910 and a Pioneer 989. The XE1 is better than the 3910 by a good way but no better than the 989. The 2930 has the same Reon chip as in the XE1, as far as I can tell from the Denon web site.

So, if you're looking to spend 500 quid on a player and don't care about HD, the XE1 is not the only option.
 

charliecossie

Active Member
Trevor and Carl:
The LFE issue was reported within days of release. Toshiba have, so far, done nothing about it. They haven't fixed the lip sync problems either.
 

Manmc

Active Member
Seems to me you want all the functionality of a Meridian processor , an SD player and an HD player all living under one bonnet and all for less than £500 . Best of luck but I dont think that there is a firmware upgrade that's going to make that happen :)

Lip synch and Bass Management are processor functions likely to cause even more problems if implemented in the player IMO. Generally speaking , players with a function list as long as that Denon end up being brilliant at none of them
( I do like Denon as a brand , though apart from their slowness to the Hd table )

If the OP is really not 'curious' about HD then beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it doesnt really matter which one he jumps for but there will be one 'feature' missing that he may regret his player not having at some point in the future ;)

~M~
 

TrevorS

Novice Member
Trevor and Carl:
The LFE issue was reported within days of release. Toshiba have, so far, done nothing about it. They haven't fixed the lip sync problems either.
Given the XE1 was only released a couple months or so ago, that really doesn't mean much to me except that if many reported the BM issue, I expect it's on their list. I don't know the details on the lip synch issue, so I'm guessing that could go either way (leave to the processor/receiver or firmware solution).

My experience is that corrective updates take time (just waited seven months for a number of worthwhile A1/XA1 corrections). At least you folks have the advantage of relative priority, the number of XE1/XA2 players out there is steadily growing.
 

charliecossie

Active Member
Mr. Manmc:
The OP asked how the XE1 compared to a similarly priced Denon. I simply pointed out the features missing from the XE1 and two, possibly important (to him), bugs. I make no claims about the performance of the 2930.

Bass management over analogue is not a processor function, IMO. It must be implemented in the player as most amps/receivers are unable to apply bass management to analogue inputs.

Lip sync on the XE1 is an issue as it appears inconsistent (changes from disc to disc).There's a thread about it in this forum. Two thirds of those answering the poll suffer from it.
 

Nic Rhodes

Well-known Member
To be honest it depends on what you consider a good DVD player. For me the heart of any player is a good MPEG2 decoder, in which case a £190 Oppo is probably what you are after. The Tosh and Denon and many others aren't as good. If you are after post processing (progressive) then deinterlacing chips come to play. Oppo is very good but the pick of the current pile is a Reon or an ABT. The former is in the Toshiba and possibly the denon as well I am not sure. As a player the Toshiba is an excellent package, perhaps not the best DVD but very high value given HD DVD as well. Much of the BD competition is frankly rubbish in compaison. Is it the best DVD player at £500, probably not, but it is in the top 5 certainly. It weaknesses as a DVD player are minor and it's other abilities are many.
 

TrevorS

Novice Member
charliecossie said:
Trevor and Carl:
The LFE issue was reported within days of release. Toshiba have, so far, done nothing about it. They haven't fixed the lip sync problems either.
My experience is that corrective updates take time (just waited seven months for a number of worthwhile A1/XA1 corrections). At least you folks have the advantage of relative priority, the number of XE1/XA2 players out there is steadily growing.
FYI -- Here is a current response regarding the BM issue:

DTV TiVo Dealer said:
This is a known issue at Toshiba Japan and they are developing a fix. Some fixes take more time to develop the firmware for than others and some upgrades or fixes may take precedence over other fixes/upgrades.

I believe we will see this attended by the end of the summer or sooner.

Also, some fixes and upgrades are in new firmware but not officially announced on TACP's site. So look out for the fix even if it's not in the firmware notes.

-Robert
Robert is a high integrity fellow with a high volume HD DVD retail business who tries to provide the best information he can -- does his best to avoid speculation.
 

robfitzp

Novice Member
There are other problems with bass management as well - if you use 5.0 with 5 large speakers and no sub it does not mix the lfe channel into the mains either, resulting in a rather flat and lifeless sound.

I am sure they will fix it in time......

cheers
Rob
 

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