or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Blu-ray & HD DVD › HD DVD Players › Toshiba HD-A1 HD-DVD FAQ: Link and Discussion thread
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Toshiba HD-A1 HD-DVD FAQ: Link and Discussion thread

post #1 of 753
Thread Starter 
This is the starter thread for what will become the Official Toshiba HD-DVD FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions regarding any and every aspect of the new HD-DVD format and specfically the Toshiba HD-DVD platform

Please only post here candidate FAQ's (with there answers if you know them!) for possible incorporation into an Official FAQ: please no discussions in this thread: only suggested FAQ info

Volunteers appreciated: we already have some expression of interest for volunteers to start and maintain the FAQ: we would like multiple volunteers who can do sections and then a few members who will maintain the thread

Please: only post what you think are good Q&A for inclusion into an FAQ that will be a sticky post in this forum

This format seems to be extremely popular: let's work on an excellent FAQ that will be a resource for all AVS members

post #2 of 753
Thread Starter 
typical FAQ Question:

Q: I setup the HD-A1 and connected it to my display with an HDMI cable, but I cannot get any picture?


on the remote is a button: V.Output: stop the disc and hit this button : after a brief pausef the display on the player should now show: HDMI (center top of display): the display must show HDMI in order for the unit to output HDMI

you can also press the resolution button to try different resolutions
post #3 of 753
Q: Why do I hear a sharp pop sound when beginning a DVD or skipping chapters? Is this my TV or the player? Seen on Aquos 45' HDMI.

A: ?
post #4 of 753
Q: Will the player upconvert my standard DVDS to (720p, 1080i, 1080p)?

Q: Will it do so over component outputs?
post #5 of 753
Originally Posted by mrmike View Post

Q: Will the player upconvert my standard DVDS to (720p, 1080i, 1080p)?

A: Yes, Through HDMI, Not through Component

Q: Will it do so over component outputs?
A: No, Not through Component
post #6 of 753
Q: Will it play DVD-Audio or SA-CD?

A: DVD-Audio: Yes: but only as Dolby Digital or DTS
post #7 of 753
Q: Will the player play PAL DVDs?

A: No it will not. The player will display that the disc is PAL and that it is not compatible.
post #8 of 753
Q: How should I connect the audio for best sound quality?

A: There are several options for audio connection, it has become more complicated than standard DVD. See the attached PDF for the "Output sound conversion table" from the manual and you will see what I mean. See this post for a good more detailed summary of what we currently know about the audio options.

Best Choice: If you have a receiver with HDMI 1.1 inputs that will accept 5.1 channel digital PCM, use HDMI. You will get the new Dolby Digital and DTS formats decoded by the player and output in all their glory. This input should allow all the speaker setup, bass management and surround processing in your receiver to work. It will also use your receiver's DACs (digital/analog converters) which are likely better than what's in the A1. Set the HDMI audio output of the A1 to Auto (the default) or PCM (if Auto doesn't produce 5.1 channel PCM or you want to force it for all formats).

Second Choice: If you have a receiver with 5.1 channel analog inputs, use a 5.1 channel analog connection. The PCM signals (see above) will be sent through the internal 5.1 channel 24/192 DACs in the A1 and output as analog. If your receiver does not apply speaker setup and bass management to this input (most don't), use the Audio, Speaker Settings menu under Set Up. Even if it does, you may want to use the pass through mode on the receiver to avoid an extra A/D and D/A step. Which is best may depend on your receiver and how well it does these conversions.

Third Choice: If you have neither of the above but your receiver can decode DTS, then use a SPDIF coaxial or Toslink (optical) connection. The Dolby Digital Plus soundtracks will be converted to either standard DD or DTS and can be decoded by your receiver. The output format will depend to the disc, but so far the launch titles are output as DTS only over SPDIF. DTS soundtracks should be passed as DTS as well. Set Audio, Digital out SPDIF to Bitstream (should be the default) under Setup.

If you don't have a receiver with any of the above, your only option may be 2 channel PCM audio passed over SPDIF (set Digital out SPDIF to PCM) or 2 channel analog. It may be time consider buying a new receiver.


HD-A1 audio output page 59.pdf 137.0888671875k . file
post #9 of 753
Q: What's in the box? Does it include an HDMI cable?

A: The following are included with the HD-A1.
  • Remote and required 4 AAA batteries.
  • 6 foot HDMI cable. Thin and not gold plated, but probably good enough unless you discover issues.
  • Composite and stereo analog RCA cables. I guess they have to include these but if you use them you will get none of the advantages this player offers over DVD.
  • Detachable 3 prong power cord.
  • Manuals in English and French
  • Page of manual updates and corrections in English and French.
  • Important Firmware Update Information card - covers possible need for future firmware upgrades, info on either upgrading over internet connection or ordering a disc from Toshiba.
  • Netflix 1 month free rental offer
  • License Information on the Software Used in the Toshiba HD DVD Player - 4 pages with lots of small print and legalese.
post #10 of 753
Q: What type of connection do I need to use to my AVR for DVD-Audio? 5.1 analog and/or HDMI?
A: ?

Q: When upconverting SD DVDs is there any MB-Enhance artifacts like in the Panasonic S77/97, Oppo, etc?
A: ?
post #11 of 753
Q: What is the difference between the HD-A1 and the HD-XA1.

A: The XA1 has the following features not included on the A1. They are mostly cosmetic and structural. Early on there was speculation about audio differences due to the spec sheets, but so far the A1 seems to have all the audio features listed on the XA1 spec sheet.
  • RS-232 port for control
  • Motorized Front
  • Motion Activated Backlit Remote
  • Large insulated stabilizing feet
  • All extruded aluminum construction (double wall)
  • Different appearance

Some of this is from memory, so if I missed anything please send me a PM and I will update it.
post #12 of 753
Thread Starter 

I get an error message like: 'HDMI ERROR 2' and/or the Toshiba locks up: what happened?


one reason could be the HDMI cable was disconnected, or you turned off your HDMI connected display with the Tosh still running: this can cause this error message, or cause the Tosh to lock up, or both:

you will need to reboot the Tosh (unplug the AC!)
post #13 of 753
Q: When playing a standard non-anamorphic DVD:

1. Does it display (by default) pillar boxed or stretched?

2. Is there an aspect ratio control to fix the result of 1? If so, where is that control?

A: ?????
post #14 of 753
Q. Does the HD A1 support Divx/Xvid playback via cd or dvd?

A. No, at the present time it does not. All Xvid/Divx files would have to be converted in order to play on the HD A1. Toshiba may include this feature in the future as a firmware upgrage, but it's doubtful.
post #15 of 753
Q: Does the HD-A1 have the same ADSP as the one used in HD-XA1 (Analog Devices SHARC ADSP-21266)?
post #16 of 753
Q: My HD-DVD specifications indicate that it includes a DD+ soundtrack, however when using the players optical/coax s/pdif outputs with "digital bitstream" selected as my ouput format, my receiver is identifying the digital bitstream as a DTS bitstream as opposed to DD.

A: If the content on your HD-DVD title is authored in Advanced Content mode, then the DD+ soundtrack is decoded and sent to the player's internal mixer and output using the player's internal ENCODER, which in the case of the HD-A1 is a DTS encoder.
See this post and related discussion
post #17 of 753
Q: Does HD-A1 do 480i over HDMI?

A:No (Edit)

Q: Does HD-A1 have 2:2/3:2 chroma bug?
A: No.

Q: Does HD-A1 play .ts file on DVD-R/+R?
A: No, not now. unless you author it as an HD DVD.
post #18 of 753
Q: What is ICT flags? How does it effect 720p and 1080i (or even 1080p) over components? How should I know if the disc has enable the ICT flags?

post #19 of 753
Q: I also would like to know if the HD-A1 stretches 4:3 material or uses the pillar-box method. My tv locks into full mode when viewing 480p or 1080i.

post #20 of 753
Q: Does Toshiba HD-A1 support discrete on/off?

A: Partially, there is a IR code that functions as discrete on, but no discrete off. You can either use the discrete on IR available in the JP1 upgrade, or you can use "Play" as a substitute for discrete on. For discrete off, you will need to have some sort of device state tracking as the trusty old "Play/PowerToggle" substitute for discrete off will not work because the HD-A1 does not respond to IR until it is finished booting and it takes so long to boot.

EDIT: after looking over the RS232 commands it appears there is a discrete off function, but it was confirmed not to work via both IR and RS232 by dheiskel. This was with 1.4 firmware.


Power Toggle - RS232/IR hex 12h , JP1 EFC 119 , JP1 OBC 018
Discrete On - RS232/IR hex 92h , JP1 EFC 127 , JP1 OBC 146
Discrete Off (not working) - RS232/IR hex 93h , JP1 EFC 131 , JP1 OBC 147

Please complain to Toshiba about discrete off not functioning properly for IR and RS232. This is the only way to get it fixed

Q: Where can I find a list of IR/RS232 functions

A: A list of the RS232 commands supported by the Toshiba and related siblings was posted on remote central. It was noted by dheiskel and others that the function codes map exactly to the IR codes.


UPDATE: Mark Rubin gives information on how to get RS232 working

a few folks have gotten the serial commands to work:
you must use a null modem adapter since pins 2 & 3 are reversed: there is no feedback from the XA-1 (one-way only, not bidirectional)

Q: Where is JP1 upgrade for Toshiba HD-A1?

A: http://www.hifi-remote.com/forums/dl...e&file_id=3092

These codes were created for the Toshiba HD-A1 HD-DVD player.

All original functions of OEM remote are included, including
some extra functions not on the original remote.

Following functions *not* included on the OEM have been added:

discrete on (discrete off not available)
tray lock/unlock
factory reset
display time
display firmware ver

Questions - PM sfhub at http://www.avsforum.com/
post #21 of 753
Q: Are the HDMI and component video outputs active at the same time? (Can't test my unit until I pick-up an HDMI/DVI adapter.)
post #22 of 753
Q: in the set up menu, what options for screen or display type does the unit have?

A: ???

post #23 of 753
Originally Posted by adzan View Post

Q: What is ICT flags? How does it effect 720p and 1080i (or even 1080p) over components? How should I know if the disc has enable the ICT flags?


A: ICT stands for Image Constraint Token. It is a flag in the copy protection layer of HD DVD (and BD) that tells the player to reduce the resolution of content to 960x540 ("540p") on analog output. As a way of comparison, DVD resolution is 720x480 or roughly 50% lower than ICT content. Digital output with copy protection (e.g. HDMI or DVI+HDCP) is unaffected by this flag.

The flag can only be set by studios. The equipment maker makes no decision here. As of this writing (April 17, 2006), ICT does not seem to be in favor so its usage should be low.

Note that the player is free to "upsample" the signal back to whatever output the player is set to. As a result the player can still output 1080i or 1080p even in the presence of ICT. It is just the quality of the signal will be lower than the output can handle. Upconversion to 720p may be more difficult than 1080i and 1080p (since it is not multiple of 540p). So one should use 1080i/1080p (if available) before attempting to use lower rates.
post #24 of 753
Q; Why are some audio soundtracks louder than others?

A: Some of the studios are using button sounds on "in feature" menus. In order to avoid cliiping when mixing feature audio with buttons sounds, they lower the audio levels.
post #25 of 753
Q: Why does my receiver report DTS audio even though I am playing a Dolby Digital Plus soundtrack?

A: This occurs if you are using a SPDIF connection (coax or Toslink optical) and have the SPDIF output set to Bitstream (the default). The launch titles are using something called "Advanced Content". If this is on the disc, the players will decode the DD+ soundtrack to PCM, mix it with other audio if available (such as sounds from the menu buttons), then re-encode to DTS for output over SPDIF. This is not a bug, this is how it is supposed to operate. See the "Advanced con." row on page 59 of the manual.
post #26 of 753
So I just got mine today and saw this thread. I have been reading the other thread, but thought this would have some good information, which it does. However, I have some exceptions to what I have read. I have not tried this using a HD DVD but with a SD DVD disc since BB would not sell me TLS today.

1. Will the unit upconvert a SD DVD through the component out? The official answer is no, however I used several of my DL DVD backup discs and on those is will upconvert to 720p or 1080i using the component cables. Again, store bought DVD's will not due to encoding on the disc.

2. Can the signal output through the HDMI and Component connection? Not at the same time, however if you have both connected and change the output via the "V. Output" button on the remote you can switch between them while a movie is playing. I did this numerous times while trying to compare the component out to the HDMI out with no problems.

3. Can you switch resolutions while a movie is playing? Yes. At least with a SD DVD disc. Again, I did this numerous times while trying to figure out which resolution would be best for my set.

4. Will it read DVD-R/+R? I had no problem playing DVD DL-R discs in my player, so I would assume that it would.

If any one has contradictory information to the above please let me know and I will be more than happy to discuss it with you.

Thank you,

post #27 of 753
Originally Posted by LesMoss View Post

Q: When playing a standard non-anamorphic DVD:

1. Does it display (by default) pillar boxed or stretched?

2. Is there an aspect ratio control to fix the result of 1? If so, where is that control?

A: ?????

Originally Posted by ThePrisoner View Post

Q: I also would like to know if the HD-A1 stretches 4:3 material or uses the pillar-box method. My tv locks into full mode when viewing 480p or 1080i.


A: Happy to report that the player automatically pillarboxes 4:3. I have the same concerns with my TV and I was a bit worried about this before buying the player.
post #28 of 753
Member Ursa asked this question Why doesn't 720p look better than 1080i?

Alright, so the first reports from early adopters seem to indicate that 1080i is the preferred output from the HD-A1. This makes sense where you either have a) a 1080i display (e.g., CRT), or b) have a display that can reconstruct the 24fps content from the 1080i signal (i.e., perform inverse telecine (proper) or 3:2 pulldown (common, but improper)). What puzzles me, and what I will need to test with my H77 when I get my player and content later in the week, is that this preference also seems to hold for 720p native displays (e.g., most front projectors sold in the last two years).

To understand why this is confusing, let's look at when and how signal processing gets done in a typical set-up:

1080i Source --> Display[Downscale 1080i->540p --> Upscale 540p->720p --> Image formatter and display electronics]

Normally, one would want the signal deinterlaced from 1080i to 1080p before it is downscaled, but VERY few processors are capable of doing any kind of HD deinterlacing, let alone doing it well (e.g., beyond a simple bob or weave algorithm). Some examples of what will be in people's hands: Sony VPL-VW100 "Ruby", Marantz VP12S4, Yamaha DPX-1300; Lumagen HDP processors, Calibre VantageHD, DVDO iScan HD/HD+/VP30. One should note, though, that the DVDO products will only do bob/weave HD deinterlacing.

Given the above, what should be the best option for 720p display owners would look like this:

HD-A1[1080p24->720p24->720p60] --> Display[no processing]

Unfortunately, it seems that the downconversion/framerate conversion in the HD-A1 is not as good as what most displays are producing taking 1080i down to 540p and then back to 720p. I will reserve judgment on whether or not the qualitative reports are true, but so far, user reports seem to be consistent on this point.

While I believe I recall Stacey Spears indicating that downconverting was actually much harder than upconverting, the idea that downconverting 1080->720p directly looks worse than throwing away half of the picture information and then upscaling is a bit, um, troubling for my new toy.

Any thoughts from the experts on why this might be the case? Please keep this at the technical level. I would also like to isolate this to potentially specific implementations of specific processing solutions (e.g., Panasonic AE7/900 implementations of the Sil504).

To BD fans: this will undoubtedly apply to you, as well, if manufacturers do not provide an adequate processing solution in the players.


The problem has been confirmed by member sspears in this post.

I did some testing today w/r/t scaling quality of HD from the Toshiba player. It is one of the worst scaling engines I have seen.

If you have a 720p display and a better scaler you can repro my steps:
1. Set output of player to 720p
2. Load Serenity
3. Look at the main menu. Take a look at the right side of the menu. The edge is jagged.
4. Set output to 1080i
5. Look at the main menu. Take a look at the right side of the image. The edge is smooth.

I have seen the original menu elements and they look like # 5 above.

In my setup the output of the player goes into the iScan VP30. The output is into a 720p Samsung DLP. (SP-H700AE) In the case of the player sending 720p out, the iScan does a pass through. In the case of 1080i, the iScan scales up each 540 line field to 720p and does a half pixel offset correction.

I found similar problems in the film itself, but this one stood out the most.

2 answers (responds) have been given by my asking:
By member Mark Zimmer in this post

Why would you set it to 720p when you're supposed to set it to 1080, which is what the disc is encoded at?

By member bferr1 in this post

Why don't you set your player to 1080i and just leave it alone? Seriously. Only change it to 720p if you're playing a 720p disc. Otherwise, set it and forget it.

Please feel free to provide more detail if you have more information on the issue. Thanks in advance.


Li On
post #29 of 753
I just bought an HD A!, and plug it by using an HDMI/DVI cable and the image shakes. In other words sometimes it shows and then goes away. Does the player support HDMI/DVI or did i got a defective player?


post #30 of 753
How does the fast forward and rewind look on HD-A1 using a HD DVD?
How does slow motion look with a HD DVD, and does it do slow motion both forward and reverse?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: HD DVD Players
AVS › AVS Forum › Blu-ray & HD DVD › HD DVD Players › Toshiba HD-A1 HD-DVD FAQ: Link and Discussion thread