Looks like I voted too early when I indicated I had no problems at 1080i.
As the poll begain, I had watched a handful of HD DVDs on my HD-A3 (updated to 1.1/1.1) and experienced nothing but stellar quality from the following titles in order:
- 300 (own)
- Transformers (own)
- The Last Samurai (own)
- Letters from Iwo Jima (Netflix, HDDVD, uniformly micro-scratched)
All viewed on a Samsung LNT4661F 46" LCD through a HDMI cable with the HD-A3 outputting its max 1080i setting.
Last night's feature was Evan Almighty
from Netflix on a combo DVD/HDDVD disc. In the scene where the ark was loaded up, the picture froze at 1:19:05 followed by the error screen.
(Noobs: Moire pattern is due to mismatch of dSLR CMOS pixels and HDTV pixels)
For you plasma folk, be careful about falling asleep to a flick with this
happening. The Toshiba displays the error screen in a static (non-moving) fashion.
I found I could hit the remote's PLAY button and it'd start over from the Universal intro and top menu. I played the scene again but this time tried fast-forwarding as it approached the problem area. Didn't work. It would still stop dead with the error code.
With SD DVDs containing serious smudges, most older players would at least trudge through it or resume at the next playable spot.
I took the combo disc out and scrutinized it more than when I first inserted it. My macro lens on the digital SLR shows an overlapping pair of scratches halfway on the HD DVD side of the disc. Whether this
is the cause that coincides with my error at 1:19:05, I don't know. The movie feature length is 1 hour 30 minutes. Figure there's a bunch of extra/bonus content, but I have no clue if the authoring process adds that stuff before or after the feature.
I was able to finish watching the movie by restarting, jumped directly to the next chapter, and hit the fast-rewind on the remote to around the 1:19:15 mark.
Sorry for wandering off-topic:
I plan to indicate to Netflix the disc is bad before returning it. Netflix has been GREAT about offering high-def disc rentals at no additional charge.. but if the majority of these next-gen HD players are extra picky about the kinds of scratches incurred through repeated USPS mailings, anyone else predicting that the online rental rates will start going up? I forsee them either raising rates in order to increase the frequency of replacing a (HDDVD/BluRay) disc -or- for the increased postage from having to mail high-def discs in bulky jewel cases (as opposed to the current paper sleeves)
My best hope is that the majority of these error codes are from the way Universal manufactures their discs. (something THEY can hopefully fix)
There are three more HD DVD discs in my personal collection (fresh out of shrink wrap).. Bourne Identity, King Kong, and Batman Begins. I'll try to get through these in the next week and will chime-in if they throw error codes.