Picked up my XA2 last night at VE, thank you Wendy for staying open late for me
(btw, took wrong exit on the Bronx River Pkwy, lost myself in the Bronx
- made in China, Dec/06
Out of the box, 1st impressions:
Look: very nice and stylish. It will be in an A/V media credenza bu I really liked the brush aluminum black top and its slick frant plate
Weight: not as hefty as the A1 but very solid in my opinion
Hook-up: wanted immediate playback so I just plugged it directly into my Panny 50px50u via HDMI and used the %.1 analog connection I had previously used (and calibrated) with the A1
Power-up was fast (did not time it) compared to the A1. Familiar HD DVD logo come on, then familiar setup window, left the audio setting on auto and the rest on off. (btw, there is an option to see/not see the intro logo, I read someone not seeing it on boot-up, perhaps the turned it off?)
open tray was again fast, plopped in Corpse Bride, hit play, and what felt less than 15 seconds FBI warning screen, again blinding fast compared to the A1
reminder, *no* calibration or tweaking here, right out of the box..
AQ: definite improvement over the already good A1. Everything seemed to be a more tight, clear and precise. Speech, music and surround nuances came through as I'd expected them to, I did not hook up the SPDIF or COAX to the Yamaha to test those paths, but on analog 5.1 my Klipsh Chorus II and SVS sub sounded great.
HD DVD PQ: while skipping around scenes I thought it to be a touch softer than the A1 and lacking (from memory) that extra pop. I wasn't sure what video setting (Film, Video, Auto) I had on the A1, so went back to the service menu to try each... and WTF? , I couldn't bring it up during playback ! had to stop the movie, then go in the menu.. and that was annoying because on resume play I was back to the begining FBI screen
- is there a way to get to the service menu on the fly?
Well I set it to Video and the PQ did become a tad sharper on Corpse Bride but not as I remembered it on the A1.
Will have to spend time and calibrate the XA2 with the Panny. Also, now that there is a choice, what to other Pany px50u/px60u/ph8uk/ph9uk plasma owners have the the output set to 720p, 1080i or 1080p?
SD PQ: I popped in TFE suberbit and was very impressed by the upscaling capabilities of the XA2. Matter of fact, TFE upconverted looked better than some of the tier 3 and 4 HD titles i own (again from memory) and definitely a big improvement over the A1. Very nice!
Will have to sit down tonight and tomorrow and go through a proper set-up/calibration, will the do more comparisons and re-post my opinions.
So far no glitches, but haven't tested reported problems.
All in all am very pleased