Tosh HD-XA2 1080p HD DVD - First End User Reports!: USERS ONLY PLEASE! - Page 22 - AVS Forum
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post #631 of 4647 Old 02-07-2007, 08:19 PM
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I received my HD-XA2 yesterday and am very impressed so far. I had previously purchased a Reon-VX based Denon DVD-2930CI and an HD-A1 and ended up returning both when I heard about the HD-XA2. I was mostly attracted to the HD-XA2 due the Reon chip for SD DVD playback. I was planning on staying out of the format war until a good dual format player came out. However, after hearing all the good things about the HD-XA2 I figured that there couldn't be any harm in getting a killer DVD player that also happens to play HD DVD. I only have a 38" CRT, so my set-up is definitely on the small end of the spectrum. Even so, with the HD-A1 there was a pretty big gap between SD and HD DVD PQ. The A1 was no slouch -- delivering a nice, detailed DVD image. I determined through test patterns that the scaler in my TV delivered detail better than the A1 at 1080i. So, I watch SD DVDs at 480p over analog component.

Now, bring on the HD-XA2. It pretty much combines the best of what I remember from the A1 as well as the 2930 -- and then some. One of my first tests was to compare King Kong HD versus SD. Sure there were scenes where you could easily tell the difference, but I would hate to do a blind test with a gun to my head on many of scenes. The XA2 is simply amazing with SD DVD material (I have no doubts that the differences would be more noticible on a bigger display). I am still experimenting, but it seems that turrning on all the filters and setting the edge enhancement to 2 works as a decent starting point. The biggest differences I recall in comparing to the HD-A1 is that the XA2 image is more 3D with more depth, smoother graduations, less noise and less visible compression artifacts. Compared to the 2930 there is simply finer detail. BTW, 480p is still slightly better than 1080i with the XA2. The result of all of this is an image that is close enough to HD on my TV that will be able to enjoy my large DVD collection for many years to come. I have added HD DVD to my Netflix preferences, but I just don't feel compelled to go out and buy a lot of HD DVD media like I do with SD -- at least until the price gap narrows significantly (and the format war settles down). Needless to say, I will be holding out on buying any kind of Blu-ray player for a while.

My tube is 3 years old and I feel that my next AV investment should probably be an ISF calibration. That may very well improve the HD performance.

So, if you are like me with a smaller display and want to "wait out the format war" I highly recommend the HD-XA2 as a way to do it in style. And if you have Netflix why not get HD DVD for the titles that are available? The monthly fees are the same.
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post #632 of 4647 Old 02-07-2007, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miata View Post

I received my HD-XA2 yesterday and am very impressed so far. I had previously purchased a Reon-VX based Denon DVD-2930CI and an HD-A1 and ended up returning both when I heard about the HD-XA2. I was mostly attracted to the HD-XA2 due the Reon chip for SD DVD playback. I was planning on staying out of the format war until a good dual format player came out. However, after hearing all the good things about the HD-XA2 I figured that there couldn't be any harm in getting a killer DVD player that also happens to play HD DVD. I only have a 38" CRT, so my set-up is definitely on the small screen end of the spectrum. Even so, with the HD-A1 there was a pretty big gap between SD and HD DVD playback. The A1 was no slouch -- delivering a detailed DVD image. I determined through test patterns that the scaler in my TV delivered detail better than the A1 at 1080i. So, I watch SD DVDs at 480p over analog component.

Now, bring on the HD-XA2. It pretty much combines the best of what I remember from the A1 as well as the 2930 -- and then some. One of my first tests was to compare King Kong HD versus SD. Sure there were scenes where you could tell the difference, but I would hate to do a blind test with a gun to my head on the majority of scenes. The XA2 is simply amazing with SD DVD material (I have no doubts that the differences would be more noticible on a bigger display). I am still experimenting, but it seems that turrning on all the filters and setting the edge enhancement to 2 works as a decent starting point. The biggest differences I recall in comparing to the HD-A1 is that the XA2 image is more 3D with more depth, smoother graduations, less noise and less visible compression artifacts. Compared to the 2930 there is simply finer detail. BTW, 480p is still slightly better than 1080i with the XA2. The result of all of this is an image that is close enough to HD on my TV that will be able to enjoy my large DVD collection for many years to come. I have added HD DVD to my Netflix preferences, but I just don't feel compelled to go out and buy a lot of HD DVD media like I do with SD -- at least until the price gap narrows significantly (and the format war settles down). Needless to say, I will be holding out on buying any kind of Blu-ray player for a while.

My tube is 3 years old and I feel that my next AV investment should probably be an ISF calibration. That may very well improve the HD performance.

So, if you are like me with a smaller display and want to "wait out the format war" I highly recommend the HD-XA2 as a way to do it in style. And if you have Netflix why not get HD DVD for the titles that are available? The monthly fees are the same.

Um, all due respect but how does purchasing the most expensive HD-DVD player on the market today equate to "waiting out on the format war".

Based on your comment of "I wll be holding out on buying any kind of Blu-ray player" and the fact that you purchased the most expensive HD-DVD player known to man does not match your statement of "So, if you are like me with a smaller display and want to wait out the format war I highly recommend the HD-XA2"

Sounds more like to me that you picked which format you're supporting and didn't wait out for the war to end, which by the way is your own business, but that's some very confusing advise you're providing there.

Well, at least the part of how much the XA2 kicks serious butt was accurate!



P.S. Welcome to the HD-DVD side of the battle royal. It's ok, you're just in denial. It's the first stage of Post Electronic Traumatic Format War Stress Syndrome.
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post #633 of 4647 Old 02-07-2007, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J y E 4Ever View Post

Um, all due respect but how does purchasing the most expensive HD-DVD player on the market today equate to "waiting out on the format war".

Based on your comment of "I wll be holding out on buying any kind of Blu-ray player" and the fact that you purchased the most expensive HD-DVD player known to man does not match your statement of "So, if you are like me with a smaller display and want to wait out the format war I highly recommend the HD-XA2"

Sounds more like to me that you picked which format you're supporting and didn't wait out for the war to end, which by the way is your own business, but that's some very confusing advise you're providing there.

Well, at least the part of how much the XA2 kicks serious butt was accurate!



P.S. Welcome to the HD-DVD side of the battle royal. It's ok, you're just in denial. It's the first stage of Post Electronic Traumatic Format War Stress Syndrome.

Good point. Well, the way I look at it I purchased the cheapest DVD player with legendary HQV chip. If you take into account the Value Electronics price with free extended warrantee and no sales tax it cost me less than the Denon 2930Ci that I bought and returned locally. I wouldn't say that I picked a format -- I simply bought a DVD player. To be honest I would have purchased the HD-XA2 even if it was SD only. So, I don't really consider myself an HD DVD supporter. I kinda consider myself an innocent bystander who happended to benefit from the fact that Toshiba put out a killer DVD player to compete in the format war. It is not so much me supporting the format war as it is the format war subsidizing my DVD habit.

I encourage others who want to wait out the format war in style to follow my example:-)
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post #634 of 4647 Old 02-08-2007, 02:24 AM
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Which of the XA2 filters are supported with HD-DVD playback and not just SD? Of particular interest:

Is the "Edge Enhancement" filter supported with HD-DVD playback???

I heard lots of conflicting "opinions" about that matter. Can someone with first hand experience please confirm! Thanks.
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post #635 of 4647 Old 02-08-2007, 04:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLion View Post

Which of the XA2 filters are supported with HD-DVD playback and not just SD? Of particular interest:

Is the "Edge Enhancement" filter supported with HD-DVD playback???

I heard lots of conflicting "opinions" about that matter. Can someone with first hand experience please confirm! Thanks.

YES. "Edge Enhancement" filter IS supported with HD-DVD playback. It's the only filter that is. Tried it - and I prefer it at "0" at this point. Will re-test when RS1 arrives.
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post #636 of 4647 Old 02-08-2007, 04:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miata View Post

I received my HD-XA2 yesterday and am very impressed so far. I had previously purchased a Reon-VX based Denon DVD-2930CI and an HD-A1 and ended up returning both when I heard about the HD-XA2. I was mostly attracted to the HD-XA2 due the Reon chip for SD DVD playback. I was planning on staying out of the format war until a good dual format player came out. However, after hearing all the good things about the HD-XA2 I figured that there couldn't be any harm in getting a killer DVD player that also happens to play HD DVD. I only have a 38" CRT, so my set-up is definitely on the small end of the spectrum. Even so, with the HD-A1 there was a pretty big gap between SD and HD DVD PQ. The A1 was no slouch -- delivering a nice, detailed DVD image. I determined through test patterns that the scaler in my TV delivered detail better than the A1 at 1080i. So, I watch SD DVDs at 480p over analog component.

Now, bring on the HD-XA2. It pretty much combines the best of what I remember from the A1 as well as the 2930 -- and then some. One of my first tests was to compare King Kong HD versus SD. Sure there were scenes where you could easily tell the difference, but I would hate to do a blind test with a gun to my head on many of scenes. The XA2 is simply amazing with SD DVD material (I have no doubts that the differences would be more noticible on a bigger display). I am still experimenting, but it seems that turrning on all the filters and setting the edge enhancement to 2 works as a decent starting point. The biggest differences I recall in comparing to the HD-A1 is that the XA2 image is more 3D with more depth, smoother graduations, less noise and less visible compression artifacts. Compared to the 2930 there is simply finer detail. BTW, 480p is still slightly better than 1080i with the XA2. The result of all of this is an image that is close enough to HD on my TV that will be able to enjoy my large DVD collection for many years to come. I have added HD DVD to my Netflix preferences, but I just don't feel compelled to go out and buy a lot of HD DVD media like I do with SD -- at least until the price gap narrows significantly (and the format war settles down). Needless to say, I will be holding out on buying any kind of Blu-ray player for a while.

My tube is 3 years old and I feel that my next AV investment should probably be an ISF calibration. That may very well improve the HD performance.

So, if you are like me with a smaller display and want to "wait out the format war" I highly recommend the HD-XA2 as a way to do it in style. And if you have Netflix why not get HD DVD for the titles that are available? The monthly fees are the same.

Nice report! I agree. XA2 is an amazing machine. And it's ability to play HD-DVD's is a nice bonus feature!

The only category where the Denon 2930 is superior - is the SD layer change. But the XA2 is a nice runner-up and no slouch in this regard. As I reported previously - XA2 layer change was actually better than I expected (but Denon is still king).
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post #637 of 4647 Old 02-08-2007, 04:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miata View Post

BTW, 480p is still slightly better than 1080i with the XA2.

So you are making a progressive DVD player out of it?
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post #638 of 4647 Old 02-08-2007, 06:31 AM
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HD-XA2 owners, please take the time, and add a owners report here.:

http://www.videohelp.com/dvdplayerfo...Toshiba+HD-XA2

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post #639 of 4647 Old 02-08-2007, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ballentine View Post

YES. "Edge Enhancement" filter IS supported with HD-DVD playback. It's the only filter that is. Tried it - and I prefer it at "0" at this point. Will re-test when RS1 arrives.

VERY strange indeed. In the other thread ( http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=801971 ) plazman commented:

Quote:
Originally Posted by plazman View Post

Edge Enhancement does not apply or do anything for HD DVD. If you have FMJ, give it a try. The others apply to both SD and HD DVD.

Based on DVE, I'm using EE1 for now and others on 2. Anyone who has commented after watching SD DVD at my place on a Pio 1080p plasma have said this is the SD they have seen. I've watched a bunch of Criterion Collection DVD recently on it.


You answered:

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ballentine View Post

Funny. I tried Edge Enhancement on a couple HD-DVD's and it worked. Maybe it works on some titles - but not others. AX2 manual says: "May not be effective in HD-DVD playback" While other filters say: "Not effective in HD-DVD playback" I'll try it again after work.


Does anybody else care do confirm if the "Edge Enhancement" filter works with HD-DVD content or not? I can hardly imagine that this works for "some titles" and some titles not.


You guys see me even more confused than before...
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post #640 of 4647 Old 02-08-2007, 07:44 AM
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I'll check tonight w/ several different HD-DVD's and report back.
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post #641 of 4647 Old 02-08-2007, 07:59 AM
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So you are making a progressive DVD player out of it?

Yes.
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post #642 of 4647 Old 02-08-2007, 08:12 AM
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Why would anyone want to turn on edge enhancement? It boggles the mind.

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post #643 of 4647 Old 02-08-2007, 08:23 AM
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Why would anyone want to turn on edge enhancement? It boggles the mind.

Because, despite the questionable name, it is in fact Silicon Optix's quite decent detail extraction filter. It can be quite helpful to fight overly "smooth" (read: soft transfers) without any/much nasty ringing/halos. In fact I find a really good detail enhancement filter with HD content much more useful than with SD - with MPEG2 SD it ALWAYS results in pronounced artifacts. But with smooth, artifact free VC-1 HD it can be an useful option for some transfers IMHO -> personal preference. I on the other side would never EVER use any noise reduction filter, no matter how "good" it is.
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post #644 of 4647 Old 02-08-2007, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ballentine View Post

I'll check tonight w/ several different HD-DVD's and report back.

Thank you so much John. Looking forward to it!
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post #645 of 4647 Old 02-08-2007, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

Why would anyone want to turn on edge enhancement? It boggles the mind.

I despise edge enhancement. The "Edge enhancement" option in the XA2 does NOT do edge enhancement, and it has a beneficial (to me) effect on many soft SD-DVD's.
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post #646 of 4647 Old 02-08-2007, 10:53 AM
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I despise edge enhancement. The "Edge enhancement" option in the XA2 does NOT do edge enhancement, and it has a beneficial (to me) effect on many soft SD-DVD's.

usual suspect,

does it work with HD-DVD (for you)?
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post #647 of 4647 Old 02-08-2007, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLion View Post

usual suspect,

does it work with HD-DVD (for you)?

Yes, it works on HD DVD playback and works quite well(for me).

In my experience so far it seems to work better on SD playback.

I don't know why Toshiba chose to use the term "Edge Enhancement".

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post #648 of 4647 Old 02-08-2007, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLion View Post

usual suspect,

does it work with HD-DVD (for you)?


Yes it does work on HD-DVD (tried it on Black Rain). I did not like what it did to Black Rain, but perhaps some HD-DVD's might benefit from some enhancement.
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post #649 of 4647 Old 02-08-2007, 12:04 PM
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Thank you! What didn't you like about it?
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post #650 of 4647 Old 02-08-2007, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petmic10 View Post

Yes, it works on HD DVD playback and works quite well(for me).

In my experience so far it seems to work better on SD playback.

I don't know why Toshiba chose to use the term "Edge Enhancement".

This does bring up one thing I wished I could do with the XA2. It sure would be nice I've I could have different settings apply to SD versus HD DVD. I realize that you can have specify 3 different "picture setting groups," but then you have to change them every time you go back and forth between SD and HD. The bigger problem is that I wish I could have different resolutions for SD and HD. Naturally, I want 1080i for HD. However, I would prefer that all DVDs play at 480p (and I have enough non-copy protected DVDs to make this an issue). Is there a nice workaround so that these changes just happen automatically when you put in the media?
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post #651 of 4647 Old 02-08-2007, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLion View Post

Thank you! What didn't you like about it?

What it looked like to me: using Edge Enhance on HD-DVD Black Rain did not show more detail in the image, it just made it courser, it looked like it went from 1080 to 720 is the best I can describe the visual effect. It just did not look better to me.
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post #652 of 4647 Old 02-08-2007, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miata View Post

The bigger problem is that I wish I could have different resolutions for SD and HD. Naturally, I want 1080i for HD. However, I would prefer that all DVDs play at 480p (and I have enough non-copy protected DVDs to make this an issue). Is there a nice workaround so that these changes just happen automatically when you put in the media?

Hi,

You've determined from test patterns that the scaler on your three year old analog HDTV is superior to the HD-XA2? That certainly is very unusual. Most folks seem to view the scaling/deinterlacing abilities of the HD-XA2 as virtually unrivaled, even by high-end upconverting DVD players. When you had the Denon DVD-2930CI did you find that your HDTV outperformed it as well?

Since you prefer to send 480p via component video to your HDTV, i.e. the HD-XA2 is not be called on to upconvert, it would seem that having "enough non-copy protected DVDs" really wouldn't be of any relevance. Presummable you could do the same thing with commercial DVDs with copy protection.

As far as I can ascertain from reading the manual, you have to manually set the HD-XA2's output resolution in the settings menu. Since most folks use the HD-XA2 as an upconverting player as well as an HD DVD player, they generally select the same output resolution for both HD DVDs and DVDs. Therefore there is no need to continually manually reset the output resolution depending on type of disc. To paraphrase that infamous infomercial, they "JUST SET IT AND FORGET IT!"

Larry
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post #653 of 4647 Old 02-08-2007, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryChanin View Post

Hi,

You've determined from test patterns that the scaler on your three year old analog HDTV is superior to the HD-XA2? That certainly is very unusual. Most folks seem to view the scaling/deinterlacing abilities of the HD-XA2 as virtually unrivaled, even by high-end upconverting DVD players. When you had the Denon DVD-2930CI did you find that your HDTV outperformed it as well?

Since you prefer to send 480p via component video to your HDTV, i.e. the HD-XA2 is not be called on to upconvert, it would seem that having "enough non-copy protected DVDs" really wouldn't be of any relevance. Presummable you could do the same thing with commercial DVDs with copy protection.

As far as I can ascertain from reading the manual, you have to manually set the HD-XA2's output resolution in the settings menu. Since most folks use the HD-XA2 as an upconverting player as well as an HD DVD player, they generally select the same output resolution for both HD DVDs and DVDs. Therefore there is no need to continually manually reset the output resolution depending on type of disc. To paraphrase that infamous infomercial, they "JUST SET IT AND FORGET IT!"

Larry

Regarding scaling -- my 38" CRT listed for $5500 when it came out. I specificallly purchased it for its ability to scale DVDs after auditioning everything else in my price range. What makes the Reon so good is its ability to de-interlace and enhance the image for 480p output. To my knowledge all the scaler is doing is speading the image over more pixels For all I know, the fact that 480p works better than 1080i on my display could have as much to do with the quality of my TV's 1080i handling as it does the 480p scaling. I'm sure that this task is more challenging with fixed pixel displays where where you are trying to maintain the right balance of smoothness and sharpness.

Regarding the resolution setting -- my copies scale to 1080i unless I manually change the resolution to 480p. Then I have to remember to change it back to 1080i for HD DVD. Then back to 480p for DVD, etc. This is a little inconvenient and I was wondering if I was aware of some "hidden feature" of the XA2. This problem probably doesn't affect most people who want all source discs displayed at maximum resolution.
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post #654 of 4647 Old 02-08-2007, 02:13 PM
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Hi All,
Just p/u my Tosh XA2 lastnight and have it hooked up to a Mits HD1000U fp via hdmi. So far im very pleased with the operation of the player. I have played a few sd-dvds through it w/o any problems. Havent tried an hd-dvd but hope to this weekend. Since my fp is native 720p ive set the player to 720p. With all of the picture enahncements set to "on" and edge enhancement set to "2" I can say the upconversion looks very nice....

Regards,
Ricky
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post #655 of 4647 Old 02-08-2007, 09:04 PM
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Any word on 1080p/24 for the XA2. I've been holding out for the rumored firmware upgrade.

Thanks.
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post #656 of 4647 Old 02-08-2007, 09:17 PM
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I will be using my HD-DVD player with a calibrated Pioneer 64" RPTV (CRT based) so SD DVD will be viewed at 480p via component. Would the XA2 provide any advantage with my SD disks over the A2?
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post #657 of 4647 Old 02-08-2007, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ballentine View Post

The only category where the Denon 2930 is superior - is the SD layer change.

And DVD-A playback.
And SA-CD playback.
And HDCD playback.

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Originally Posted by John Ballentine View Post

Nice report! I agree. XA2 is an amazing machine. And it's ability to play HD-DVD's is a nice bonus feature!

Cute!

"I wonder if any of the releases had slipcovers though."
"Are these comfirmed to have slipcovers?"
"They look nice in those slips."
"This slipcover looks too good to pass up."
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post #658 of 4647 Old 02-09-2007, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by brentsg View Post

I will be using my HD-DVD player with a calibrated Pioneer 64" RPTV (CRT based) so SD DVD will be viewed at 480p via component. Would the XA2 provide any advantage with my SD disks over the A2?

This is exactly what I am doing with a direct view CRT and after comparing many other reputable players I would bet that the XA2 is the best for less than $1500 (the Denon 3930 is $1500 -- and I didn't try that one, so don't know).
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post #659 of 4647 Old 02-09-2007, 09:07 AM
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How does the HD-XA2 do with burned media? DVD+R and DVD+R DL (Dual Layer) specifically?

I had a Denon 1930CI and returned it and got an Oppo 981 because the Denon could read only 25% of my burned discs. Oppo is 100% so far.

TIA,
-shoek
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post #660 of 4647 Old 02-09-2007, 03:08 PM
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How does the HD-XA2 do with burned media? DVD+R and DVD+R DL (Dual Layer) specifically?


I've only burned 2 movies so far on DVD+R and they've worked fine.
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