Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Highland Park, IL
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All this angst about the feature set changes from the A1 to the A2 is pretty silly. Life is full of choices, so now, all of you who have been sitting on the fence get to make a decision.
Simply prioritize your needs. If 5.1 analog outputs is most important (it would be to me) I would run out and buy one of the A1's that are still around. There are some great deals out there. As I have said in the past, I believed the 1st generation players would be the gold standard in these units. The A1 seems to be an even better value now than it was two days ago. The XA2 adds some excellent features. It is up to the individual consumer to make that choice or stay with the XA1 for several hundred dollars less.
For the user that prefers faster load time, and will potentially upgrade to a compatible receiver to be able to take advantage of the superior sound capability, it pays to get the A2. Given the feature differences, it will probably allow Toshiba some flexibility on pricing in the future, if the market dictates a change.
Consumers who get in to the HD-DVD market at a later date will probably not be as informed about the A1\\XA1 as we are, and will be very satisfied with the unit they buy. They will buy what ever is available at that time. These changes are not a problem in the greater part of the market, only to those of us who have been following this since the beginning.
The A2 still figures to be an excellent player. The choice is up to you.