Confused on Toshiba HD-DVD players - which to get? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 03-09-2009, 09:20 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking to pick up a used HD-DVD player off of Ebay... which player is the best? Which models should I stay away from? There seems to be quite an alphabet soup of models available for a wide range of prices.

I have a 720p HD TV (Panasonic 50") and Denon 789 receiver. Since my TV is only 720p, I dont need a 1080p player. I'm more interested in getting the best player able to provide my Denon with TrueHD audio and/or upconvert SD DVD better than my Oppo 980.
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post #2 of 28 Old 03-09-2009, 10:10 PM
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Sounds like you'd do well with an A2 or A3 then. They won't bitstream TrueHD but in PCM mode if connected to your AVR via HDMI then your AVR should give you the sound you want (but will indicate PCM on the front panel, not TrueHD). You'll have to go with high end models if you want to bitstream.

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post #3 of 28 Old 03-10-2009, 03:50 PM
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I'd shoot for the best-- XA2. They're not that expensive on fleabay, and they do everything you want in HD DVD. Plus, you never know, you may get a 1020p TV someday.
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post #4 of 28 Old 03-10-2009, 04:21 PM
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The best, the HD-A35 and HD-XA2, go for about $200 to over $300 on the bay. The A2 and A3, maybe $50 or so.

I have a 56" 1080p TV so went with the HD-A30 a year ago. NIB it cost $81 shipped and has worked great. A couple months ago I got a second bare A30 as a backup since they don't make these things anymore. No remote, no power cord, just the box and it was $37 shipped. It also works fine. Anyway, the point of this is to start looking for good deals and good feedback. I wouldn't go with a first generation model but second and third gen should do well.

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post #5 of 28 Old 03-10-2009, 08:58 PM
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XA2 is the flagship. If price is an issue, an A20 or A2 will do. XA2's go for around $350. If you do the bidding thing, and the timing is good for that day, "perhaps" you could get one for $250ish.
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post #6 of 28 Old 03-19-2009, 08:05 PM
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Quentin- U say the A3 will do PCM over HDMI to a receiver that can handle it. Will the Onkyo 606 do it? What is the difference between LPCM & TrueHD or DTS Master? Will I get Lossless SQ out of the A3, & is it the same quality as a high end player sending out the Lossless signal? Any handshaking issues to worry about, or as long as it's 1.3, then shouldn't be a problem? Thx!
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post #7 of 28 Old 03-20-2009, 07:02 PM
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I don't know the specs of your 606 but HDMI AVRs should handle PCM vai HDMI (don't think you need the 1.3 spec either). The HD DVD player does the actual decoding of the audio tracks, outputing PCM which most receivers can handle. Better double check your equipment to be sure though, especially since the video is being passed through your AVR.

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post #8 of 28 Old 03-21-2009, 08:11 AM
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I'm also looking now. Which of the players do good job of 24P output. I don't want to pay A35 or Xa2 premium for 5.1 outputs of true HD, etc. Which of the other players A2, A2, A20 or A30 are best bet?
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post #9 of 28 Old 03-21-2009, 09:38 AM
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the A2, A3, A20, and A30 will not decode DTS-HD they will only decode the DTS core track

they will decode TrueHD though

not sure about the XA2 or A35 but i think i remember reading the A35 will bitstream DD+/TrueHD/DTS-HD

DTS-HD was mostly used outside of the US... only a handful of US HD DVDs use DTS-HD

and for 24P the A2 and A3 are out as they are 1080i players the rest will do 24P just fine but be aware that certain firmware versions have problems with jaggies on AVC encoded discs at 24p (can't remember if it was confirmed as fixed with the latest firmware and i can't check myself because my TV is only 1080i)
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post #10 of 28 Old 03-21-2009, 10:47 AM
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Outside of reputation, how much better is the XA2 compared to the other models in real world performance? Is it worth that much extra money for what it offers over some of the cheaper models (reliability, a/v quality, upconversion, etc.)?
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post #11 of 28 Old 03-21-2009, 10:50 AM
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THANKS, this helps quite a bit. I read elsewhare that the A30 and A35 use the Anchor Bay Tech ABT 1018 chip (that's supposed to be a good thing), but the A30 only uses this for scaling and not for deinterlacing (supposed to be important for std DVDs). Does anyone know it this is true or makes a big difference in std DVD picture quality? How do these two players do outputting 24P (with the firmware updates)?
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post #12 of 28 Old 03-21-2009, 12:29 PM
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None of the Toshiba players use an ABT deinterlacer for SD. The 1018 is a scaler chip only. http://www.anchorbaytech.com/product...rs/abt1018.php The closest is the XA2 with the Silicon Optix chip which works quite well.

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post #13 of 28 Old 03-21-2009, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vader424242 View Post

Also remember that the Onkyo HD805 is just a re-badged XA2, for all intents and purposes. The only difference between the two is cosmetic. Performance is identical.

Does the HD805 demand a premium over the XA2 or are they about equal in price on the used market?

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post #14 of 28 Old 03-21-2009, 08:28 PM
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cheapest i am finding the HD805 is $593... XA2s start around $300... so yeah it commands a premium for some reason

but looking at the specs for the HD805 it's not just a rebranded XA2... the HD805 can bitstream DD+/TrueHD/DTS-HD everything i read about the XA2 says it can't
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post #15 of 28 Old 03-21-2009, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abintra View Post

Outside of reputation, how much better is the XA2 compared to the other models in real world performance? Is it worth that much extra money for what it offers over some of the cheaper models (reliability, a/v quality, upconversion, etc.)?

Well everyone says the XA2 is a killer upconverter but so is the A30. Their HD performance is likely a wash so honestly, how much better can upconverted SD of the XA2 be than from the A30 or even A3? Is it worth 5 times the cost? For $300 more you're surely well in to the category of diminishing returns. If I were after the ultimate HD DVD player I'd probably go for the A35 which can be had for more like $200.

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post #16 of 28 Old 03-22-2009, 06:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmishFury View Post

cheapest i am finding the HD805 is $593... XA2s start around $300... so yeah it commands a premium for some reason

but looking at the specs for the HD805 it's not just a rebranded XA2... the HD805 can bitstream DD+/TrueHD/DTS-HD everything i read about the XA2 says it can't

I keep an eye on ebay for deals for players. I bought both my players on ebay and knock on wood have had zero issues. I keep looking for "cheap" spare players to buy just in case one of mine goes prematurely belly up. As much time as I spend over there watching auctions of players I'm not sure I have even seen the Onkyo for sale, but I'm not typically looking for it either. I'll have to keep it in mind too, just out of curiosity anyway.

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post #17 of 28 Old 03-22-2009, 01:08 PM
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well the bitstreaming doesn't hurt either...
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post #18 of 28 Old 03-22-2009, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PooperScooper View Post

None of the Toshiba players use an ABT deinterlacer for SD. The 1018 is a scaler chip only. http://www.anchorbbaytech.com/produc...rs/abt1018.php The closest is the XA2 with the Silicon Optix chip which works quite well.

larry

so if the A30 doesn't use the ABT chip for deinterlacing, then what does it use to output sd dvd at 1080P/60? Also, are SD DVDs mastered at 480i or 480P? If it's a movie and it's mastered at 480P, then really there would be no need to deinterlace to get 1080P output, would there? Seems the scaling from 480 to 1080 woudl be most important part (unless you are talking about material sourced at 480i or 1080i/60, correct or no?
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post #19 of 28 Old 03-22-2009, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vader424242 View Post

To my (probably incorrect) knowledge, SD DVDs are all mastered at 480i. Would someone please correct me on this?

You are correct. SD-DVD's are mastered at 480i not p. That is exactly why the deinterlacing is so important.

There is little doubt that the XA2 and the A35 (plus the Onkyo) are the best at upscaling and deinterlacing SD-DVD's (of the HD-DVD players) so the obvious choice if you are going to use your HD-DVD player for SD-DVD is to get one of the three. Now for a slightly different question.

If you are only going to use your HD-DVD player for HD-DVD's which one is the the best choice for that duty. Obviously the A2/A3 only do up to 1080i so that leaves the A20, XA2, Onkyo, A30, and A35.

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post #20 of 28 Old 03-23-2009, 06:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randomcreek View Post

so if the A30 doesn't use the ABT chip for deinterlacing, then what does it use to output sd dvd at 1080P/60? Also, are SD DVDs mastered at 480i or 480P? If it's a movie and it's mastered at 480P, then really there would be no need to deinterlace to get 1080P output, would there? Seems the scaling from 480 to 1080 woudl be most important part (unless you are talking about material sourced at 480i or 1080i/60, correct or no?

I said SD deinterlacing. Yes, the 1018 can do 1080i from the decoder to 1080p60. Deinterlacing 480i from SD discs is the most difficult thing to do correctly in our video "world". Also, it doesn't matter if SD discs are encoded progressively or not, MPEG decoders all output 480i.

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post #21 of 28 Old 03-23-2009, 06:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmishFury View Post

cheapest i am finding the HD805 is $593... XA2s start around $300... so yeah it commands a premium for some reason

but looking at the specs for the HD805 it's not just a rebranded XA2... the HD805 can bitstream DD+/TrueHD/DTS-HD everything i read about the XA2 says it can't

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmishFury View Post

well the bitstreaming doesn't hurt either...

The XA2 definitely does bitstream HD codecs.
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post #22 of 28 Old 03-24-2009, 05:48 AM
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I have an XA2 and an Onkyo HD-805. The XA2 is better. The onkyo is ugly, has a crappy remote and 4.0 equivilant firmware never came from Onkyo. Other than that they are the same player with the same capabilities.

Get an XA2... It looks great with the brushed metal case, HD DVD logos, blue led shining underneath and it has a backlit metal remote. It has the best firmware available from Toshiba.

I'd like to trade my Onkyo HD805 for another XA2... It was only used briefly and stored back in its original box with everything it came with...
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post #23 of 28 Old 03-24-2009, 01:28 PM
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I'd like to trade my Onkyo HD805 for another XA2... It was only used briefly and stored back in its original box with everything it came with...

sell the 805 and buy an XA2... you'll likely end up with money left over to buy more movies
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post #24 of 28 Old 03-24-2009, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmishFury View Post

sell the 805 and buy an XA2... you'll likely end up with money left over to buy more movies

I already have almost every HD DVD Well there are still some Japaneese imports and adult HD DVDs I could get..
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post #25 of 28 Old 03-24-2009, 06:13 PM
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Just wanted to chime in. If you have a 720p tv get one of the better ones with the better processerors. It makes a difference in getting the 720 from the 1080p on the disk. Just went blu-ray and got the Sony 550s and none of BR disk look as good as my HD DVDs and think it is the processor (probally the great one in the A35) to blame.

My review comparisons of Energy RC-70s to Veritas V6.3 http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...8#post21199418
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post #26 of 28 Old 03-26-2009, 08:11 AM
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Unless you plan on buying alot of cheap HD DVD movies- I wouldn't look at a toshiba for up conversion. Reason I say this is you already have a VERY good player in the oppo 980 (I own one too) and it's well known that the 720p pannys look very good with SD- I'm not sure how much of an improvement you'd really see, if at all.

On my 37" 720p olevia LCD any differences between my oppo and my HD-A3 are nearly impossible to spot. With the increased size and resolution of my 46" 1080p panasonic plasma, however, the oppo gains the edge with it's ability to output 1080p and thus avoid the relatively mediocre de-interlacing in my panel. It makes fast-action scenes and fight sequences much crisper than the toshiba. Still, differences are slight and only noticeable when doing a side by side comparison.

The XA2 was supposed to have superior upconversion with it's HQV processor- but they are still going for 300 used! I just ordered a samsung BD2500 blu ray player that is also equipped with the HQV- new- for the same price. Now, before the xa2 owners take offense, i'm sure the XA2 is a better built piece of equipment... But it doesn't change the fact it is a discontinued product on a dead format.

Point is, if you want to take advantage of some of the excellent deals on HD DVD discs, buy the cheapest player you can find, like an A2/A3... If you can find something better for the same price, go for it. But don't spend too much as it negates the deal, IMO.

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post #27 of 28 Old 04-06-2009, 12:30 PM
 
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I will go with the XA-2 first.
Second = XA-1 or A-1 or A-35.

Bob
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post #28 of 28 Old 05-01-2009, 07:44 PM
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XA2 for sure
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