Toshiba HD-A1 HD DVD - First End User Reports! - Page 22 - AVS Forum
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post #631 of 5103 Old 04-15-2006, 11:47 PM
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Not much to report other than I have an A1 (woohoo) with no media yet as the BB guys took the hard line.

I'm at work until the A.M. but I'll be hooking it up to an HP5880n (1080p DLP) and hope my audio works out as I have a Denon 5703. At least I have the option of analog inputs to it, weird "bug" if it detects DTS and it's not. I'd have expected more consistent sound level requirements between discs.

Still excited by what the Easter Bunny brought
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post #632 of 5103 Old 04-15-2006, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenDover View Post

Sorry, I was interested in knowing what make/model display.

I have a Sony CRT RPTV (KP-57WS520). It's been pretty much tweaked to the max and ISF'd a few months ago.

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post #633 of 5103 Old 04-15-2006, 11:48 PM
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It is really hard to compare these formats in general. I am even having a hard time comparing an SD disc played in the Toshiba HD-A1, being upconverted to 1080i and then being displayed at 1080p by my Qualia 006 compared to the HD-DVD version. The A1 is pairing up quite nicely with the Qualia to produce a pretty good picture compared to the HD-DVD; but again, the HD-DVD lacks the artifacts.[/quote]

I totally agree with this statement. Ultimately at certain point HD is HD but what this fromat does is finally get rid of all those d*** artifacts that have driven my crazy with other HD formats. That is the key - no artifacts. And wait until I, Robot is on HD-DVD or BD it is going to look every bit as good as the previous HD releases but it will be 100% clean (no artifacts) and if you had the choice isn't that the presentation you'd want to view?
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post #634 of 5103 Old 04-16-2006, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenDover View Post

BB seems to list on their website which stores have them in stock in your zip code...that's how I located mine.

[EDIT: Just checked their site out of curiosity and the store I got mine is no longer shows inventory but two others fairly close by still have inventory]

Thanks BenDover....that was easy. Strange though, web site says units are available at the both BBs I called and they said they didn't have any. Guess it's who you talk to.
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post #635 of 5103 Old 04-16-2006, 12:07 AM
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I wondered why no one was posting on the threads I'm subscribed to...

Congratulations!
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post #636 of 5103 Old 04-16-2006, 12:25 AM
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Getting DTS from TLS here as well on an HK receiver via optical , and it is very low even though it sounds good once you get the volume up enough .

1080i is much better looking than 720p on my 720p native DLP Projector (Mitsu HC3000u) .

Even SD-DVD upconversion looks better at 1080i .

Toshiba handles DVD-R and DVD+R just fine here as well .

I am impressed with the HD-DVD output (via HDMI) and the SD-DVD up-conversion is also better than any other standalone dvd player that I have seen .


-------------- Jason

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post #637 of 5103 Old 04-16-2006, 12:30 AM
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I tried that last night on the BB web site and it showed none of my local or semi local stores had them in stock. For kicks I went to BB before going to the gym and they had 1 on display and 2 in boxes along with the 3 movies. They had the one on display hooked up to a Mits 1080 display playing Serenity and I wasn't that impressed but it didn't look bad. I asked what the remote looked like and changed the resolution to 1080 and then I thought it looked very good, so good that I had to have one along with Serenity and TLS.

For those with a 720p display I suggest that you leave the player set to 1080 because it looks much better than when set to 720p. I have an Optoma H79 and to my eyes it looks much better set to 1080. I hadn't even noticed the DTS logo on my preamp until just now, very strange I must say.

I actually like the remote. It can be a little hard to read but taking off the protective coating from the face seems to help some and the remote is easy to use in the dark once you get the feel of where the buttons are and I think turning on the beep also helps. The only real problem I've had is at first when trying to change the resolution I would hit the v.output button and then the resolution button and got the player all confused and had to unplug it and then all has been well.

I think Serenity looks very good , noise free nice sharp picture and no EE and very smooth looking picture. I don't think TLS looks as good as I thought it would but thats probably because I thought the sd DVD looked very good.
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post #638 of 5103 Old 04-16-2006, 12:36 AM
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I forgot to mention, did this happen to anyone?

I had a Magnolia guy looking for the player, 6mintues, I finally caught a glimpse of him through a door that opened with it in a cart, but he took too long to come out so I got up to check if he came out from a different door.

As I get near the exit of the Magnolia to the BB area, I spot the mag guy with the player, but some higher up mag guy was talking to him.

I got close enough to over hear this new mag guy, he was telling the guy with the player to make sure he sells the customer the most expensive HDMI cable they have, and blah blah, the other guy seemed cool asking him why in a tone like it wasn't important and the other guy kept inforcing he must. At first it almost seemed like the guy was so demanding that this had to be done I felt for a second I wasn't going to get out of there with the player if I refused.

Feeling cocky I kind of walked out in plain sight of this 2nd mag guy, around 5 feet away. I let him go on a bit with the other mag guy. Kind of laughing inside that this customer he wants to have the most expensive stuff sold to is actually standing right in front of him.

I finally break in and kind of try to comment that it isn't as important for all that fancy cable stuff with HDMI as it's a fully digital signal, and if I'm right, that's lossless, nothing like analog, it's 1s and 0s, not much can interfere with that, you either have the picture, or you don't, no in betweens. No fancy hdmi cable is going to improve picture. He still went on to me about a dozen stuff with shielding, copper, and many other techno junk to help cut down interference.

I tried again to say I agreed with him by saying that this may be true with analog and all, but it's a different story with HDMI. Then I kind of said doesn't this come with an hdmi cable, he replys you never want to use the cables that come with a player. I finally just said I'll think about getting a better cable, but the one in the box will do.

OR am I wrong, when it comes to digital cables like dvi and hdmi, buying some cable 20 times the cost isn't going to help anything besides maybe better looking physical cable appearance, not picture. I mean you don't see pc users buying monster dvi cables for their 24inch Dell LCD monitors, a $10 cable is fine as there can't be a quality difference.
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post #639 of 5103 Old 04-16-2006, 12:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

Keenan,

RE:Bug causing processor coming up as DTS instead of DD on HD DVD discs

Did you notice this problem with Phantom or another disc(s)?


BTW PQ on my Qualia is just as good (or better than D Theater). I also didn't see any MPEG artifacts on subtitles either!

The discs are not MPEG but VC-1 and subtitles are not compressed but added on the fly by the player. They can't have compression artifacts on principle.
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post #640 of 5103 Old 04-16-2006, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efranzen View Post

I was wondering the same thing. But then I noticed in the picture of the player sitting on the box, the tag on top of the player seems to indicate that it does have 5.1 analog outputs.




I noticed, at the Toshiba web-site, they actually list all the basic system specs for the HD-A1 machine. Looks as though it's got most everything (I/O) possible, including Multi-Channel 24-bit/192kHz Audio DACs. So I would imagine this imply's there are 5.1 analog OUT connections on back.

(http://www.tacp.toshiba.com/dvd/product.asp?model=hd-a1)


Video
HD Content Output via HDMI (Disc Native Resolution)
Video Up-Conversion for SD DVD (720p/1080i)
Enhanced Black Level (0IRE /7.5IRE Selection)
Letterbox / Pan & Scan Support
Disc Playback: HD-DVD/HD DVD-R/DVD/DVD-R/DVD-RAM/DVD-RW/CD/CD-R/CD-RW/

Audio
Built-in Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS and DTS-HD Decoders
Dolby True HD Compatible (2 Channel)
Multi-Channel 24-bit/192kHz Audio DACs
HDMI Audio support up to 5.1 L-PCM
Dynamic Range Control

Convenience
Pre-programmed Remote Control w/ TV Controls
Tri-Lingual OSD (English, French/Japanese)
Bit Rate Display
Tray Lock
Time Search

Jackpacks (I/O)
HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface)
ColorStream Pro® Component Video Output
Coaxial Digital Output
Opitcal TosLink® Digital Audio Input (1)
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post #641 of 5103 Old 04-16-2006, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdjam View Post

I'd respectfully say that most of the posters feel the image is better than other HD sources, such as satellite. A few have mentioned a lack of artifacting in comparison.

The big factor seems to be the display unit, which is where it seems a lot of the variability has come into play.

I am SO dying to get mine and feed it into my 2K!

I think the big factor will be the source material and the transfer process. Live video recorded directly to HD and transfers from IMAX film will look much better than most 35mm film transfers.

It's like when CDs came out and you realized that the original recordings were more of a limiting factor in many cases than which CD player or speakers you were using.

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post #642 of 5103 Old 04-16-2006, 12:51 AM
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After several hours of viewing and comparing I have come up with my opinion of how the HD-A1 compares to what I currently have been using.

The player itself is a good sturdy unit with some weight to it, which I like. The remote is average, not bad, not great, I htink it is fine... Now, let me get to the meat of this post:

My set-up is a Sharp 12k shooting onto a 110" Silver Star. My current DVD player is the Pioneer Elite 59avi and I have been watching DVDs up scaled to 720p for over 2 years now, as many of us have.

I used 2 HD-DVDs, Phantom and Samurai (both are 1080p). At first I ran both DVDs on the HD DVD player and thought that there really wasn't a big difference. Ahhh, but looks and first impressions can often be deceiving, if you don't A/B them. At first I used the 720p and then I tried the 1080i. 1080i was MUCH better than 720p, at least with my projector, which takes both 1080i and 720p, but not 1080p. Some day I hope to have a Ruby, or the like.

Once I found out which format looked best I wanted to do some A/B comparisons. I took the SD DVD of Last Samurai and played it on my Pioneer Elite and used the HDMI up converted to 720p output (which on the up converting Pioneer looks best with my projector since that is it's native resolution). The difference was very noticeable. Was it like watching Discovery Channel? No, but it was significantly better than the SD-DVD Pioneer combo, and that looks very good and usually wows people.. I had a good friend who has a great eye for video over and he is usually brutally honest if he feels I wasted money on another one of my crazy upgrades. He said it was well worth the $500 and he was very impressed with the difference. I agreed with him, and all I can say is that you have to look for the difference in detail, clarity, and color and it is obvious that HD-DVD is pretty darn good. I am sure there will be some other, even better, reference HD-DVDs coming out to take it a step further.

Now that being, do I feel that HD-DVD met my expectation? I would have to say no it didn't. I was expecting the picture to look even better, and it did not. However, it still is a noticeable difference and I feel it is well worth every penny as it has taken my system to yet another level of excellence. There may be some who feel that it is not worth the $500, and I could see where they would be coming from. It is not a night and day improvement, but it is an improvement that is noticeable. I can hardly wait for some of the other HD-DVDs to come out.

It does have a couple of bugs that have already been mentioned (DTS instead of DD, etc.). I have had mine lock up a couple of different times when I was trying to navigate too quickly through menus or chapter skips, but if you take it at a normal pace I doubt you will have a problem.

One last note, I also put the SD-DVD of Samurai in the Toshiba to compare how it did against the Pioneer in terms of just up converting and it seemed to do a better job than my Pioneer does, so that is a good thing. I then compared the SD-DVD up converted on the new Toshiba to the HD-DVD on the Toshiba and it was again obvious that the HD-DVD version was better than the SD-DVD.

In short, I have no complaints and for the improvement this $500 gave to my system I am VERY happy.

Jack
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post #643 of 5103 Old 04-16-2006, 12:56 AM
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I compared the Toshiba upconverting to my Sony 9100ES and have to say it's just as good, maybe even a hair sharper. And, previously, I selected the 9100ES over the Denon 3910. I'm amazed at how well this Toshiba upconverts.

Of course, HD blows it all away. I did A/B comparisons with "Samurai" with these players on my Sony KP-57WS520 and there is a BIG difference with HD.

When you consider the great upscaling quality of this player alone.....then throw real HD-DVD into....it's an amazing value for $499.00 despite the quirks.

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post #644 of 5103 Old 04-16-2006, 01:00 AM
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After reading the many reports I thought I would chime in here and give everyone my first impressions of the HD-A1 player.

By chance I went by my local BB today (Saturday 4/15) and right in front of my eyes I saw them bringing in the players that were just delivered by Fedex. The store only received 3 players so I was able to pick up one for a friend of mine and one for myself. I asked about what movies they had and the manager told me that he was not supposed to sell any movies until Tuesday the 18th. I pleaded a little and was able to secure Serenity and TLS.

Upon getting home and unpacking everything the player seems to be made well and is reasonably solid in construction. I connected the audio output via a coaxial cable to my Lexicon DC2 processor. Video is connected using a HDMI to DVI-D adapter connected to my DVI input on my NEC XG-135LC CRT projector. Here is where I encountered my first problem. Even though the NEC has a DVI input card, it was not one of the newest cards that has HDCP and I kept getting a HDMI error appear on the player with no video. Luckily I ordered a HDCP compat DVI card for the NEC and plugged in the card. After I did this I was now getting an image on my screen. I toggled through the resolutions and set it for 1080i and was now in business!!

Here are my impressions so far after using the player for the past 5 hours and playing 2 movies through the player:

1: The remote control sucks. Not only is it not backlit but even with the lights dim in the room it is next to impossible to read the letters on the r/c.

2: If you turn off your projector/monitor while playing a movie, the player will stop and display a HDMI error. It seems that the player MUST be connected to a powered on monitor/projector for the player to work. (At least it was in my case)

3: The sound quality seems excellent but DD 5.1 is being seen as DTS on my Lexicon DC2. Also the audio level seems a lot higher than any other sources.

4: The video quality on the 2 movies that I watched is very good to excellent. We have to remember that this is film transferred to HD and NOT video. Some of the best looking images I have EVER seen are sporting events broadcasted live and the image quality was just like being there!! I think that this format has a lot of potential and as more and more HD movies are released the image quality will get better and better. A lot more detail and cleaner image compared to the best up-sampled SDVD.

5: The player seems rather slow to respond from the time you power it on and are able to just open the drawer. I would guess that it is at least a minute or so for the player to do its thing and actually start to play the movie.

The last thing I tested was how well the player upconverts SDVD to 1080i. My AVS HTPC is superior in this respect. IMO the upconverted image on the Toshiba was horrible. Not a big deal for me as I use my HTPC for everything else anyway but I wanted to test how well it did and I was not suprised.


Overall I am very pleased with the player and the sound and picture quality. The biggest negative to me is the R/C. This of course can be solved by using a universal R/C and simply learning the most common commands.

Thanks!!

Brian D. Feldman
AV Science HTPC Sales

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post #645 of 5103 Old 04-16-2006, 01:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

It is the display. HD DVD has better picture quality than any flat panel out there. You are bound to see more display problems by far than source problem with the best HD DVD titles.

I have tested the player on Sony Ruby projector, Sony Qualia 005 LCD ($10K imported from Japan) and Penny HD plasma. For the first time, it is incredibly easy to tell these products apart. Such was not the case with D-VHS or cable HD.

On LCDs, you are going to notice poor blacks, lack of contrast and in case of budget LCDs in stores, all of these problems and then some. On Plasma, you are going to see great contrast but less than ideal resolution and dithering noise in dark areas. Ruby is the only device that that I have seen that lets the quality shine through although it also is a hair short of perfection.

Amir

The different qualities of displays have been obvious with DVD and broadcast HD for many years. Poor black levels etc. are easy to identify. The situation has not fundamentally changed with HD-DVD or BR. There is more HF detail on these and less compression issues which can show some new display problems. But in general it has been obvious for years and years that digital displays simply sucked in many regards when you compared to a high quality CRT monitor or projector. Especially budget models and anything that had not top video processing implemented (and what did before the latest round of video chips (Realta etc.)?). 5-10 year old CRT projectors will create wonderful pictures with the new discs. They can't fully resolve the 1080p but colors, motion, 3D effect, image depth, lack of pixels etc. will be wonderful.
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post #646 of 5103 Old 04-16-2006, 01:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanefsky View Post

I think the big factor will be the source material and the transfer process. Live video recorded directly to HD and transfers from IMAX film will look much better than most 35mm film transfers.

It's like when CDs came out and you realized that the original recordings were more of a limiting factor in many cases than which CD player or speakers you were using.

--
Steve

Right on.

HD DVD (and BD) can only look as good as their masters. We can't ask any more out of the format. They won't make film look like video, or take away the grain. All it can do is show an image that's identical to the master, free from artifacts.

Maybe when people are saying that PQ is better here or there, they are refereing to things that having nothing to do with the delivery format. A lot of people like the look of video. A lot of people don't like grain. That has nothing to do with bitrates or codecs.

So the fight for PQ improvement still moves forward. We have our 1080 displays, (though contrast is still an issue). We have our formats for delivery. Now we need to work on the hollywood end. We need to convince them to start delivering masters the way we like.
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post #647 of 5103 Old 04-16-2006, 01:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skogan View Post

Right on.

HD DVD (and BD) can only look as good as their masters. We can't ask any more out of the format. They won't make film look like video, or take away the grain. All it can do is show an image that's identical to the master, free from artifacts.

Maybe when people are saying that PQ is better here or there, they are refereing to things that having nothing to do with the delivery format. A lot of people like the look of video. A lot of people don't like grain. That has nothing to do with bitrates or codecs.

So the fight for PQ improvement still moves forward. We have our 1080 displays, (though contrast is still an issue). We have our formats for delivery. Now we need to work on the hollywood end. We need to convince them to start delivering masters the way we like.

Yeah work on Hollywood for better transfers and Canon/Toshiba to develop a 100 inch SED HDTV.
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post #648 of 5103 Old 04-16-2006, 01:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimothyB View Post

OR am I wrong, when it comes to digital cables like dvi and hdmi, buying some cable 20 times the cost isn't going to help anything besides maybe better looking physical cable appearance, not picture.

I was told tonight by a trustworthy person in the industry that not long ago another insider they know tested many HDMI cables and actually found an inverse correlation. That the more expensive cables were adding things that were actually hindering how far the cables could go and that many (relatively) cheap cables did better than more expensive models. I doubt this was true with component, but it sounds like this has been the case with some HDMI cables. The nice thing about DVI and HDMI is that there isn't really much subjective too it, the cables pretty much either work by giving images without green sparklies or the don't. I recommend using the cable that comes with the player or trying cables from monoprice.com if longer ones or desired. And their 5-to-1 HDMI switching that I just paid under $140 for is pretty nice for the price IMO also.

On a different subject, I don't have time to read this whole thread, but got to try the 3 titles I could get ("The Last Samurai", "Serenity" and "Phantom of the Opera") with my Ruby and a G70 at a friend's house. As we discussed there, the "That DVD looks like HD" doesn't apply to the new standards. Scalers and things matched with top DVDs can look like bad or standard HD in some ways, but when it comes to displays like the Ruby that can show what is in these new sources there is a new standard IMO. Film will always be different than video, so I won't get into that, but I will say that if a person doesn't see the improvement HD-DVD is providing to image quality over what consumers have had access to previously, then it isn't the fault of HD-DVD or these encodings. There is a new standard for PQ of consumer HD as of these players and movies shipping IMO. As of now HD-DVD is beating D-Theater as far as image quality, to me. And when we get some video source encoded as well as these movies I expect that to continue.

After all the time I've waited for next gen DVDs I am glad to see so much effort put into top image quality and to my eyes it is paying off. The glass is quite a bit more than half full in my view. Not perfect, but better than I would have predicted 6 months or a year ago.

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post #649 of 5103 Old 04-16-2006, 01:30 AM
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Someone asked earlier about the audio settings and it looks like you can set the distance for your speakers to be from 0 to 20 feet for all speakers and the crossover can be set to 80,100 or 120, but I didn't check the possible db levels for each channel
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post #650 of 5103 Old 04-16-2006, 03:30 AM
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Yes, after he called the manager, he was more than willing to help me out, just head back to the Magnolia section. Good luck...

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post #651 of 5103 Old 04-16-2006, 03:48 AM
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With the DTS anomaly on the TLS disk. Let me ask this:

What normally helps the ssp/receiver determine what the signal is? Is it a separate flag with the data or based on the data rate? Does the flag need to be transmitted constantly for the ssp/receiver to recognize what it is?

Perhaps the dolby flag at what ever stage (off the disc or decoded) is not being sent the ssp/receiver recognizes that the only other multichannel option which it is receiving would be the other hence displaying DTS. Or the outputted data rate from the hd dvd is close to what rate within a range that normally would be recognized by the ssp/receiver.

I may be WAY OFF ??

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Dont tell me it cant be done...there is ALWAYS a way.
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post #652 of 5103 Old 04-16-2006, 04:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craigslue View Post

Someone asked earlier about the audio settings and it looks like you can set the distance for your speakers to be from 0 to 20 feet for all speakers and the crossover can be set to 80,100 or 120, but I didn't check the possible db levels for each channel

I recall it being up to 12 db (but you cannot subtract db).

0-12 db for setting levels.

(My Lexicon for example does -20 to 20 db)


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There are more than a handful of [op amps] that sound so good that most designers want to be using them as opposed to discreet transistors. Dave Reich, Theta 2009
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post #653 of 5103 Old 04-16-2006, 04:14 AM
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Jack,

Since you have the sd and hd vewrsion, any chance of a few pics for comparison?

3D Display - Epson TW9000w 3D Projector | 3D Player - Panasonic BD-110 3D player/PS3 | 3D Receiver -  Onkyo TX-NR818 | Speakers - Klipsch Reference 5.1 Speakers | PB12-NSD SVS Subwoofer

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post #654 of 5103 Old 04-16-2006, 04:18 AM
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looking for expressions of interest from members with Toshiba players to help set up and maintain an FAQ thread which will provide quick 'Go To' info to install, setup, and operate these new machines

this is just in the thinking stage at this time

If you are interested and have the time, please PM me

Thank you
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post #655 of 5103 Old 04-16-2006, 04:27 AM
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I know this falls way down on everyone's list of what we want to know, but if some of you with multiple titles get a chance - can you tell me if (assuming the design format of the box art is consistent) they prominently display the aspect ratio? For those of us that manually add/remove a lens for 2.35/1.85 movies, searching for AR on DVDs can be a PITA.
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post #656 of 5103 Old 04-16-2006, 04:32 AM
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Can anyone please give me the dimensions of the box the player comes in?
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post #657 of 5103 Old 04-16-2006, 04:55 AM
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Something I found in the Owners Manaul addressing the load times on the player that some have commeneted on, yes i too think this is gonna take some getting used to..

"The HD DVD player operates more like a computer and differently than a standard DVD player, in addition to containing a microprocessor it contains an operating system, RAM and an HD DVD drive. The OS includes software that is thrasfered to the RAM when teh machine is turned on and at other times during operation. The transfer can take time.Therefore when you turn the HD DVD player on it may take a little while before it is ready to use. Likewise other functions may not be performed as quickly as they would on other AV equipment. Please take these factors into consideration as you use the HD DVD player."

I found it intersting that they addressed this in the manual....so far my machine is on par in all aspects with my Denon as far as operating changes, the booting on and off being the only real noticable lag times over the standard IMO...

"Don't get mad at me just because you were dumb enough to fall for the ol' Wookie-prisoner gag."
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post #658 of 5103 Old 04-16-2006, 05:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooldjryan View Post

There are a few specific things on DirecTV that looked better to me (on this TV) such as the drifting car show on Discovery (the name escapes me right now) and a few other movies have more of a "wow" factor then the media I've seen so far on the hd-a1.

You can't compare HD video to HD film transfers, they are two different animals. Regardless of how good an HD film transfer is or the source device that supplies it, people will invariably pick HD video as the 'better picture'.
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post #659 of 5103 Old 04-16-2006, 05:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPanther95 View Post

I know this falls way down on everyone's list of what we want to know, but if some of you with multiple titles get a chance - can you tell me if (assuming the design format of the box art is consistent) they prominently display the aspect ratio? For those of us that manually add/remove a lens for 2.35/1.85 movies, searching for AR on DVDs can be a PITA.

AR is listed on the back of the ones that I have seen thus far . TLS claims a 2.4:1 AR .

------- Jason

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post #660 of 5103 Old 04-16-2006, 05:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slimm View Post

Do you think that maybe something happened when you opened it up to take pictures?

Yup. Before people jump all over Toshiba for something that may have been an 'operator error', that question needs to be answered!
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