OK. I just joined the proud ranks of XA2 owners. Way before I ever got my first HD DVD player, I wanted a XA2 since everything I read was steller about it. I had to save my nickels, and consequently missed out on alot of good sales. By the time I had enough to get one, they had been discontinued and the 3rd gens had been out for a bit. Being the type of man that I am, I figured if I couldn't get what I wanted, I'd wait or just not get it at all. After all, I'd be no worse off than I already was if I never got one.
So then Toshiba pulled out of the race. And the fire sales began. However, with the limited number of available XA2's available, I kept missing out by this much (Maxwell Smart reference). Then I found the next best thing, the A35 which was also highly praised, for a killer price, with a coupon, from a reputable company, Crutchfield. As to how much I paid for the A35 I'll put it this way. I spent much more for my first SDVD player.
Now, well into the demise of the format, I picked up ALOT of HD DVD's (well over 260+) and decided it would be wise to have a backup player, just in case. SO I got the A3 clone from Venturer for $60 shipped new in the box. I figured if I ever needed a drive for the A35 I could always use the clone for parts since the clone didn't bitstream or decode the audio. I also bought a Xbox 360 add-on. Again, for cheap.
Now, even though I was set as far as players went, I still looked on craigslist just to see what would pop up. Around here, HD DVD players are few and far between. And I've found that the people on craigslist really don't have a clue as to what they really have. Almost every ad I saw just said 'HD DVD player', never a model number. But always a high price, especially for what they were trying to sell. Every time I replied I got an answer of A3 or A1. I did find an A20 once but I wasn't interested since I know of its limitations.
Well, my patience finally paid off. While browsing craigslist last week, I came across this ad, and this was all that was written, not even any pictures:
I have an HD DVD player. Make me an offer Ill meet you.
So I emailed and asked for the model and some pictures. The guy immediately replied that it was an XA2 and pictures! I asked what he wanted out of it and he told me, and I countered. He accepted my offer! WOW! I FINALLY
got my XA2!!! Wondering what I paid I'm sure, but I'll say this. I could sell the Venturer I have and the XA2 would be paid for PLUS I'd have a nice little profit!
So I bring the player home, clean it up (pretty dusty/dirty) and hook it up. Works great BUT it is having an issue with my Denon AVR789. The XA2 will only output 480p when going thru the 789. Turn the 789 off and it will output 1080i (I have a HD CRT RPTV). ALso, the XA2 will only output PCM over HDMI so the 789 says 'multi-channel' and I do not get the full audio. I checked the FW version and it is obviously the original. Hell, I didn't even know the FW came so low. The FW version is 1.0/T17T.
Now why did I go thru all this? Well I do have a couple of questions, but thought readers may be interested in how I got to my dream HD DVD player. I do love my A35, it is a fantastic piece of electronics but the XA2 I like the looks and build better and hoping some of the A35 anomilies won't be present in the XA2.
I contacted Toshiba today to request they send me the 4.0 FW update disc as I will need to do something so I can get the audio bitstreamed (one big reason I bought the 789). I have zero issues with the A35 passing 1080i video and bitstreaming audio, and I would hope the XA2 can do the same. So, before I update to 4.0, is there something I am missing? Would there be ANY advantage staying on 1.0?