a couple of things i want to add here after reading the previous pages:
1. price of new g2 players, as one poster alluded to may have everything to do with other ce mfrs being able to bring a player to market initially at the higher price point which is the way it is done now to recoup development costs, etc.
for those complaining of lack of 5.1 analog outs, the XA2 is what you are asking for but you want to pay the A2 price.
the inclusion of that feature on the g1 a1 player was an anomaly as analog outs are normally an upgrade.
i can understand the immutable human trait of 'wanting your cake and eating it too' but alas this is how the world turns.
2. the solution used to get 1080p out seems to be most definitely tied to the fact that in order to support some of the ihd functionality, i.e., pip, this is the way it must be done...tosh didn't cheap out since as it was pointed out, it requires more hardware and engineering to do it this way.
i suppose there could be an option/feature which allows the user to select a mode which would then disallow pip and permit the main video to be output directly without the need for anticipating the possibility that it will have to put up a pip window in 1080i.
3. ok, a few things, this just came to me. re the discussion about hdmi 1.3 and the need for it, this really isn,t for video so much as it is for audio right now (it has higher bandwidth and additional protocols to deal with raw bitstreams, like encoded ddthd and dtsma, etc.; on the video it may be neded for higher frequency outputs like 60p, but i'm not sure as i believe hdmi 1.2 can handle that, not sure about 1.1); if you want the ability to decode the new audio formats offboard, on your avr for example, the you need 1.3 to be able to output the dd+, ddthd, dtsma bitstream...the player won't decode it...but here, similar to the video pip issue, you lose the advanced audio (advanced content authoring mode) which appears to be what ALL hd dvds have been authored in to date.
and on a related issue, the a2 not having analog outs doesn't get you full dd+, ddthd or dtsma but if these g2 players are like their parents, they will decode these advanced audio formats internally and then reencode them using max bitrate dts (or maybe even dd, if they included a dd encoder this time around)...so you are definitely getting better than what is available today...until ddthd decoding was added to the g1 players, i had been using the s/pdif output and was loving it, even for dd+ audio...and to be honest, i'm not sure i hear the difference using the analogs and playing the full ddthd tracks as opposed to dd+