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Secret's review of HD-A1  

post #1 of 544
Thread Starter 
Don't know if anyone has noticed yet but secrets has a review of the HD-A1 up.
post #2 of 544
thanks! :)

Ironically now that we are at the cusp of a new frontier of High def video, the tried & tested coaxial seems better than HDMI in sending the signal.

Maybe we'd had been better off if we had just stuck to SDI.
post #3 of 544
Damn, beat me too it.
post #4 of 544
I find this comment most interesting from his review:

While I am excited about the future of video in our homes, I can’t recommend the HD-A1 as the way to get high definition recorded movies right now.

I couldn't disagree more.
post #5 of 544
I chuckled when I read that since the HD-A1 is the only way to get high definition recorded movies "right now". :)
post #6 of 544
I'm confused. The review started out fairly upbeat and positive, until you get to the section on usability and responsiveness, where it all goes to hell and rehashes well-known complaints about the remote and its slow speed, ending with "I can’t recommend the HD-A1 as the way to get high definition recorded movies right now."

To quote Fred Willard from A Mighty Wind, "Hey, wha' happened?"
post #7 of 544
Quote:
For this Benchmark, I tested the performance of the HD-A1 with standard definition DVDs (no HD-DVDs were available for my tests). I will also add some subjective comments on HD-DVD performance.

I configured the player to output 480p via HDMI and component video.
they tested a HD player without a HD disc, and at 480p, nice.

muncey
post #8 of 544
What a fecking useless review. So is Secrets also going to review Blu-Ray players playing SD-DVD via 480p?

Why bother?

Why in blazes would you review an HD device using SD material and output resolution???

Another so-called "review" for the haters to point to, despite it being done completely and utterly WRONG.

While I thought Secrets did somewhat of a disservice to the Pioneer Elite 79avi, this time they've gone completely around the bend... sheesh.

"Secrets Toshiba HD-A1 Review... brought to you by the L.A. Times."
post #9 of 544
This review tests the HD-A1 as a progressive dvd player, not as an HD-DVD player, as part of the Secrets DVD Benchmark. I guess we should await a full HD-DVD review of the player.
post #10 of 544
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidHir
I find this comment most interesting from his review:

While I am excited about the future of video in our homes, I can’t recommend the HD-A1 as the way to get high definition recorded movies right now.

I couldn't disagree more.
-----------

I just got my HD-XA1 this morning (the store was out of HD 1). Based primarily on the Secrets Review I got the Oppo upconverting DVD Player. I was pretty happy with the results. I have had around 2 hours to play around with the HD-XA1 and I totally disagree with what they are saying. IMHO, even SD DVD upconverted to 1080i (on my NEC XR5 plasma) looks sharper and more defined than the Oppo. The audio on the XA 1 is also better and HD DVD flat out beats anything I have seen on SD DVD.

Here was what I base my SWAG comarisons on:

1. Serenity HD-DVD
2. Mask of Zorro - Superbit (SD DVD)
3. kagemusha (SD DVD mastered in HD).

Anyway, this is the best I have seen so far!

My regard of Secrets and their recommendation seems have taken a hit from this review which does not match my experience in any way so far! - JMHO.
post #11 of 544
Quote:
Originally Posted by Perryt
Don't know if anyone has noticed yet but secrets has a review of the HD-A1 up.
----------------

These guys are not recommending it even though they admit to not having tested with HD-DVD. Probably the most useless review I have ever seen. It's like recommending a car while driving it only in reverse!
post #12 of 544
The review may have been useless to you, who have already discovered and talked about the problems with remote, etc. But not for everyone else who haven't learned these things. The set of all Secrets readers is not the same as the set of readers of this messageboard.

One can recommend not to buy that product, even when it's the only choice, when there will be other choices coming out soon. Being an early adopter, one has to expect to pay more and live with the bugs that come from first production models.
post #13 of 544
It's good to know how the player performs with SD discs because most of us have LOTS of these. I'd like to believe that I'm not the only person who wants to have only one disc player in their entertainment system for simplicity's sake.

Keep up the good work Kris. Waiting on the full review.
post #14 of 544
Kris Deering is a very serious reviewer when it comes to DVD players. The Secret's DVD benchmark was developed mostly for SD DVDs. With the new formats they may have to adapt a new benchmark. I have the HD A1 and agree with his review. He is pointing out that there is something wrong with the color decoder in the player. To me and others think that it is on the hot side. I am still looking forward to reading Kris' full review.
post #15 of 544
I disagree with some of the review. I understand that these can be display dependant, but I compared both the Oppo (rated 98 on Secrets) and the A1 (rated 74) on my Sammy DLP 61in.

On my display, the A1 blows the Oppo away in dark scenes. I havent seen any macroblocking at all on the A1. The Oppo was bad in some scenes (dark scenes in Narnia are a good comparison).

I do agree that the startup and loads are extremely slow and the player should have a lower rating for that. But, other than that, I think this is a really good upscaling player.
post #16 of 544
The reviewer says the MSRP of the A1 is 699.99, as clueless as the rest of his review. He needs to use an eyeball comparison. Why doesn't he simply state if one wants to watch DVDs at 480p, why buy this player- Duh! I want to see the comparison between this players HD-DVD and other HD-DVD/BR players, wait, there aren't any others!
post #17 of 544
I think things like startup time and changing resolutions in the middle (see Ultimate's review) bother mostly the reviewers. Not general users. When you are sitting down to watch a movie for couple of hours what is 40 seconds (yes, I'd like that to be 0 seconds but ....) - but for a reviewer since he is probably loading a lot of discs to check its bothersome. But then, they should not lose the objective of the review - its for normal users and not reviewers.
post #18 of 544
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill
The reviewer says the MSRP of the A1 is 699.99, as clueless as the rest of his review. He needs to use an eyeball comparison. Why doesn't he simply state if one wants to watch DVDs at 480p, why buy this player. Duh!
Thats because I guess he saw that at Amazon - which also shows a msrp of $699 :D Obviously he has been sleeping since CES 2006 :p
post #19 of 544
I agree it's slow and the remote sucks, but I so don't understand... this thing kicks my panny XP30 down the stairs and around the block. I'm sure he's reccomended other players that have gotten a lower score. huh.
post #20 of 544
Quote:
Originally Posted by RockStrongo
I disagree with some of the review. I understand that these can be display dependant, but I compared both the Oppo (rated 98 on Secrets) and the A1 (rated 74) on my Sammy DLP 61in.

On my display, the A1 blows the Oppo away in dark scenes. I havent seen any macroblocking at all on the A1. The Oppo was bad in some scenes (dark scenes in Narnia are a good comparison).

I do agree that the startup and loads are extremely slow and the player should have a lower rating for that. But, other than that, I think this is a really good upscaling player.
---------------------

Could not agree more!

I have an NEC XR5 that was connected to an Oppo. I just got my HD XA1 this morning and I have had around 2 hours to play with it. In general I have been less than happy with the XR5 with black level details, so I knew just which movies to try out. The XA1 easily outclasses the Oppo for both video and audio. This is not just a marginal difference that you can 'sort of' make out, but is a clear difference. I am definitely bummed out with Secrets since I held them in high regard. But this review is just flat out wrong and misses the value of the XA1 - better picture quality!
post #21 of 544
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzalc3
Kris Deering is a very serious reviewer when it comes to DVD players. The Secret's DVD benchmark was developed mostly for SD DVDs. With the new formats they may have to adapt a new benchmark. I have the HD A1 and agree with his review. He is pointing out that there is something wrong with the color decoder in the player. To me and others think that it is on the hot side. I am still looking forward to reading Kris' full review.
-------------------------

Why would he say, he does not recommend this for HD Content, when he hasn't been put a HD DVD in there!

he needs to qualify himself when he says this does not pass his SD progressive scan test etc. etc. In my testing so far, the pq is more refined and sharper than with a Oppo....
post #22 of 544
"Why would he say, he does not recommend this for HD Content, when he hasn't been put a HD DVD in there!"

If you read the review, he says that he will do a full a report mentioning some of the HD issues. By now he has surely tested with HD DVDs.
I agree with you that the picture is refined and sharper with HD DVD than with SD DVD.
I have an Onkyo DV SP1000 and did an A-B test with SD DVDs, and the Onkyo beat the Toshiba. The toshiba has a problem with its color decoder.
post #23 of 544
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill
The reviewer says the MSRP of the A1 is 699.99, as clueless as the rest of his review. He needs to use an eyeball comparison. Why doesn't he simply state if one wants to watch DVDs at 480p, why buy this player- Duh! I want to see the comparison between this players HD-DVD and other HD-DVD/BR players, wait, there aren't any others!
His review is all about SD, and he never pretenses anything else. There is no instance where he is making claims about HD-DVD playback quality. You will have to wait for another review (stipulated at the bottom) for further information about how the HD-DVD aspect stacks up (though we do not know how this will be tested, as there are no HD-DVD test discs at the moment).
post #24 of 544
I gotta say I expected far more from a Secrets review. Who is ever going to use this player in 480p? Anyone? Kris got his hands on a hard to aquire HD-A1 but couldn't get a single HD-DVD? C'mon, since launch day the players have been hard to acquire, not the discs. I'm not buying it.

It really read like a review from someone with little interest in seeing HD-DVD succeed. It was a lukewarm response to a sub-par configuration with sub-par content. Shocker.

Check the poll I posted about Toshiba's HD-DVD player PQ on SD discs and you'll find around 90% of owners on this forum have found these first gen players bested their current player's PQ on SD discs! Perhaps it's because none of us are running the Toshiba at 480p. :rolleyes:
post #25 of 544
Well - I finally got my answer about SD layer changes on the HD-A1. Good (1 sec) - but not great (vs: Denon 2900 @ "0" sec)
post #26 of 544
Quote:
Originally Posted by nataraj
I think things like startup time and changing resolutions in the middle (see Ultimate's review) bother mostly the reviewers. Not general users. When you are sitting down to watch a movie for couple of hours what is 40 seconds (yes, I'd like that to be 0 seconds but ....) - but for a reviewer since he is probably loading a lot of discs to check its bothersome. But then, they should not lose the objective of the review - its for normal users and not reviewers.
No... it bothered the h*ll out of me that when I changed my resolution, that not only did the pj re-sync every time,but it also made the pj re-sync when entering the menu, or pushing stop.
And during hd dvd playback, it also made the movie start over every time.

When you combine this with the slowness of the players as well as a lot of the quirks already mentioned, and then add in Warners audio db flub, it got to the point were it was....do I buy more movies...or take this player back, and wait for some of this to be worked out.

With all the overall quirks mine had, I did not feel I was being picky at all...just practical. ;)

I also agree that using my experience with the HD-A1, I feel it was a bit rushed also....but I wouldn't mind having another that had a few less quirks.....so Toshiba....hurry up and de-bug this thing a bit :)
post #27 of 544
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzalc3
"Why would he say, he does not recommend this for HD Content, when he hasn't been put a HD DVD in there!"

If you read the review, he says that he will do a full a report mentioning some of the HD issues. By now he has surely tested with HD DVDs.
I agree with you that the picture is refined and sharper with HD DVD than with SD DVD.
I have an Onkyo DV SP1000 and did an A-B test with SD DVDs, and the Onkyo beat the Toshiba. The toshiba has a problem with its color decoder.
--------------

I just did an A-B comparison between the XA 1 and Oppo with my NEC XR5, upconverted to 1080i. It was obvious to me that the XA rendered a more refined and sharper image than the Oppo for all SD DVDs that I tried. The audio was also better!

I am almost certain that I will sell my Oppo. I understand you are comparing a $2,000 dedicated SD player with a $500 HD DVD player.....one would expect that, no?
post #28 of 544
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuromancer
His review is all about SD, and he never pretenses anything else. There is no instance where he is making claims about HD-DVD playback quality. You will have to wait for another review (stipulated at the bottom) for further information about how the HD-DVD aspect stacks up (though we do not know how this will be tested, as there are no HD-DVD test discs at the moment).
-----------------

Sorry to disagree with you. But his conclusions are about the merits of the player as an HD Player!

He should have waited to complete his test before posting this. FUD????????
post #29 of 544
" I understand you are comparing a $2,000 dedicated SD player with a $500 HD DVD player.....one would expect that, no? "

Here you made a good point. Relative to what are you comparing the player.
One think to point out is that Kris review stresses a potential problem with the color decoder. It can look sharper or refined but if the colors are not right, then it is not such
a good player.
post #30 of 544
Quote:
Originally Posted by plazman
----------------

These guys are not recommending it even though they admit to not having tested with HD-DVD. Probably the most useless review I have ever seen. It's like recommending a car while driving it only in reverse!
The real quesion is if you would buy a car that took almost 2 minutes to start after you turned the key?.. ;)

b2b
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