Originally Posted by TimothyB
If what you want is 1080p from your HD-DVD player, wouldn't it be easier to buy a HD-A20 for $399 instead of an upscaler for $449? Unless you were really wanting the 5.1 analog out from your HD-A1
You must not be aware that the A20 does the 1080i60 (intermediate) to 1080p60 (final output) deinterlacing step incorrectly with film-based sources. This issue was detected during review and testing of the A20. As such, the A20's 1080p output is no better than sending 1080i from the A2 with the 167 line. With the 167 line, you will need the XA2 to maintain full resolution from the disc to the screen. The XA2 is the only Toshiba player that does the 1080i to 1080p step correctly.
In fact, if you have a TV that correctly deinterlaces film-based sources (the 57HM167 doesn't), sending 1080i from the A20 would actually yield a better picture than sending 1080p.
I want to cut to the chase here. The 1080p output is primarily what separates this player from the cheaper HD-A2, and that's where I started. Looking at the battery of test patterns I have at my disposal, I immediately saw some alarming signs. Fine horizontal 1080p luma and chroma bursts from the Spears and Munsil test disc and sections of Video and Film Resolution Loss tests on the Silicon Optix HD Benchmark on HD DVD showed artifacts. In particular, the areas with the finest horizontal luma lines were strobing, or blinking. With a video processor, this would suggest that its deinterlacing of 1080i material to 1080p is suspect. But why would this be the case with a player with a 1080p output? Simple, it clearly suggests that the HD-A20 converts the 1080p signal from the disc to 1080i, and then deinterlaces it back to 1080p incorrectly.
Going further to check this with program material, I looked at the Vatican scenes from Mission: Impossible 3, which are loaded with torturous brickwork and other fine details. Sure enough, this scene threw the A20 into veritable fits at 1080p. Obvious moiré, line twitter and other artifacts were plentiful, and some of the images were noticeably softened in detail as a result of the motion artifacts