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examined the hd-a2 today, glad I have the hd-a1

post #1 of 65
Thread Starter 
So I finally got to check out the hd a2 today. First things I noticed is the player looks, feels and built a lot cheaper than the hd a1.

this reminds me of the samsung blu ray design. the flip down door is really cheap feeling and when I took a look at the back of the unit its stripped down to the bare minimums.

I didnt weigh it but it feels like it weighs less than half the weight of the hd a1 and there is a lot of plastic where metal used to be on the player.

load time only seemed slightly faster than the hd a1 both of which are still too long anyway. and the controller is a generic plastic unit as opposed to the much higher quality remote with the hd a1.

so what is the benefit of having the hd-a2 as opposed to the hd-a1 again?

I think I will wait till gen 3 before I buy a replacement unit, and only if the load time is increased dramatically.

I really am now more appreciative of the hd a1, the hd a2 build quality and look definately now resembles one of those $99 dvd players rather than a serious looking audio component like the hd a1.

I suppose there will be those that welcome the smaller and more lighter chasis at the expense of build quality, but not me,

post #2 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by RnB180 View Post

So I finally got to check out the hd a2 today. First things I noticed is the player looks, feels and built a lot cheaper than the hd a1.

this reminds me of the samsung blu ray design. the flip down door is really cheap feeling and when I took a look at the back of the unit its stripped down to the bare minimums.

I didnt weigh it but it feels like it weighs less than half the weight of the hd a1 and there is a lot of plastic where metal used to be on the player.

load time only seemed slightly faster than the hd a1 both of which are still too long anyway. and the controller is a generic plastic unit as opposed to the much higher quality remote with the hd a1.

so what is the benefit of having the hd-a2 as opposed to the hd-a1 again?

I think I will wait till gen 3 before I buy a replacement unit, and only if the load time is increased dramatically.

I really am now more appreciative of the hd a1, the hd a2 build quality and look definately now resembles one of those $99 dvd players rather than a serious looking audio component like the hd a1.

I suppose there will be those that welcome the smaller and more lighter chasis at the expense of build quality, but not me,



Much less incidence of video stuttering / freezing.

Worth the switch from metal to plastic casing in my book
post #3 of 65
Build quality is nice but performance is king. My Zenith DV-318 looks totally cheap but it has worked flawlessly for several years and upconverts nicely.
post #4 of 65
Maybe Toshiba should spend another buck or so and tape some lead inside. It's heavy, build quality must be good....

larry
post #5 of 65
From what I read the boot up times are the same, but the time to load a disc is much longer.
post #6 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by inca View Post

From what I read the boot up times are the same, but the time to load a disc is much longer.

Go read some more to get the real scoop.
post #7 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by inca View Post

From what I read the boot up times are the same, but the time to load a disc is much longer.


????? I have the A1 so I can't compare, but everything I read here is that the A2 is faster in operation!
post #8 of 65
OP,
good for you. now you can sleep at night.
i am glad i waited for the sleeker more reliable a2.
post #9 of 65
Funny, I owned the HD-A1 and own the HD-A2.

I can't imagine pining for the HD-A1 again.

I assume the poster does NOT own the HD-A2. In terms of of reliability, playbackand remote responsiveness it is no comparison. Glad my HD-A1 is gone....besides I predict the drives on the A-1s are all going to fail sooner rather than later.
post #10 of 65
Some things I don't get:

1) build quality. This is mentioned alot. Metal vs plastic. Weight of the unit, etc. If the unit gets into my home OK, does anything else matter? It's going to end up in my entertainment center, most likely on a shelf by itself with nothing sitting on top of it.

2) remote. Seems to me that most theater gurus are going to have a universal remote anyway. Or am I missing something here? I have an 880, and I consider myself on the "low end" of the scale compared to a lot of the posts I see here and the equipment lists, etc. So, once again - is this really an issue?

Maybe these are issues to some, but to me, I don't see how they would be too concerning.
post #11 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

Funny, I owned the HD-A1 and own the HD-A2.

I can't imagine pining for the HD-A1 again.

I assume the poster does NOT own the HD-A2.

I agree with you there. The HD-A1 takes much more time than the A2 to load an HD DVD and the stuttering is unacceptable. Just one skip during a movie ruins the experience for me. I'm glad I sold that big box of problems.

At first I didn't like the A2 because it looked and felt cheap, but it grew on me after a few viewings. Stutter-free HD DVD playback is all I really needed from this player and that's what I got.
post #12 of 65
The time from boot-up to play for an HD-DVD disc is a full minute faster on my HD-A2 than my HD-XA1. That in itself was worth the upgrade for me. The HD-XA1 is now in my junior media room with the A2 manning the home theater.
post #13 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by mimason View Post

Go read some more to get the real scoop.

What, read all the posts after yours, they all agree that the A2 is much faster then the A1, exactly what piece of literature am I supposed to read to get the real scoop?
post #14 of 65
I bought the A-1 several months ago and ended up returning it. I tried two different units at the time and even with firmware 2.0 it always took me multiple startups and shutdowns before the player would sync with my projector. Even after the system was synced, if I did something stupid like putting a different movie in the player I had to go through the multiple restarts thing again .

Having said that I was one of the 1st to get and try out the A-2. In my opinion the A-2 is what the A-1 should have been. Syncing problems - none. Menu response - noticeable faster then the A-1. Boot time and disc loading speeds - both are about half that of the A-1. (I notice this the most since I literally had to restart the A-1 2 or 3 times for any movie I wanted to play. The annoying 1 to 2 second video drop offs that occured when starting a disc are gone. When stopping a disc the A-2 always correctly shows you the players main screen instead of sometimes just shutting off the player video output like the A-1.

Build quality? The A-2 is definitely using cheaper construction methods then the A-1 but I like the lower profile, and the unit is a lot quieter then the A-1. The only thing I find annoying about the A-2's construction is the cheap disc loader cover which sounds like it is going to fall apart half the time I eject a disk. It would have been better if they had just left it off and redesigned the front to look good with just the standard loader tray exposed.

In the end I am quite happy with the A-2. The picture and sound are excellent and appear to be the same as the A-1's and it operates much more like a standard DVD player then the A-1 ever did.

Between it and my PS3 I have all the bases covered for at least the next year or until a nice low cost combination player is released.
post #15 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by RnB180 View Post


load time only seemed slightly faster than the hd a1 both of which are still too long anyway. and the controller is a generic plastic unit as opposed to the much higher quality remote with the hd a1.


LOL the remote for the A1 is the worst remote in the history of remote controls.......

The real scoop is that the A1 was a mistake for a lot of people to buy because they break and we have to pay labor now that we have had them for more than 90 days.
post #16 of 65
I hate to fall in with the crowd, but I'm going to have to disagree with the original poster. I own both A1 and A2. The A1 sits unhooked on my workbench while the A2 gets all the love. Some day the A1 will find a new home in the bedroom but at this point I don't miss it one bit.
post #17 of 65
I must be an outlier from the norm, but I've never had a single problem from my A1. No freezing, no delays, no hiccups, nothing. The only thing I COULD complain about is the startup time, which I don't mind since I have the chance to relieve myself and grab a beer before the movie starts.
post #18 of 65
I listed and sold my A1 almost immediately after using the A2 for the first time

why do people care so much about build quality and the remote, does anyone actually use the remote that comes with these players anyway?

the A1 is built better and the A2 performs better...which is more important?
post #19 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-smith View Post

I listed and sold my A1 almost immediately after using the A2 for the first time

why do people care so much about build quality and the remote, does anyone actually use the remote that comes with these players anyway?

the A1 is built better and the A2 performs better...which is more important?

I don't own a A2 (just the A1) and I'm keeping the A1 for two reasons:
1. I need the 5.1a for TrueHD to my Lexicon MC12
2. I don't want to invest another $400 in a format that *MIGHT* become obsolete

The $370 A1 functions without problems as a great HD DVD drive and upconverting SD DVD player.

Having said that, I'm glad everyone is enjoying their A2s. More power to Toshiba/HD DVD!!!
post #20 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by inca View Post

What, read all the posts after yours, they all agree that the A2 is much faster then the A1, exactly what piece of literature am I supposed to read to get the real scoop?

Ok. I now see that you were referring to the A1 that has longer load times. You should be more clear in your posts(I was not the only one to misunderstand you). Also, boot time is much faster on the A2. So my first post still applies.
post #21 of 65
Don't judge a book by it's cover.
post #22 of 65
Well, I had the A1 and really, really disliked it. I got it for less than half price, and it still wasn't worth it to me, so I returned it.
post #23 of 65
Hey, when I switch HDMI sources on my Pioneer receiver, I no longer get NO HDMI LINK error message with the A2 the way I did with the A1. That's worth the upgrade right there.

Plus, I disagree with the OP saying load time on the A2 is only a bit faster; it's much faster, IMO. And so is boot-up times.

Build quality isn't the be-all, end-all.
post #24 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vader424242 View Post

Aside from the "dreaded Serenity glitch" (my guess is that it is nothing more than a watermark/buffer problem, which can be solved by firmware), I have never had any problems with my A1 either. The notion that all A1's will break, have skipping/freezing issues is about as valid as the statement "all DVDs will rot" (but, that's another discussion). My player is nothing more than a stop gap anyway, until someone like Denon or Marantz releases a universal player. I am not a big fan of Toshiba anyway, based on their G1 SD-DVD players (they dominated the glitch lists of several DVD sites back in 1998 by at least 3-to-1), and the only reason I bought a Toshiba was the price point to get into the HD game (and I preferred the look of the unit to the RCA). If the only glitch I get is a single hiccup on Serenity (and not always at that), and I still get the analog outs, I am more than content to wait for the big boys to jump in. While I appriciate the low profile nature of the A2, it is simply not worth upgrading just to shorten the boot-up time by a couple of seconds (a non-issue in my book). Those who have had problems with their A1 have valid reasons, of course, but that is not everyone who has an A1. And then there are those who have money to burn and upgrade their stuff just to have the latest and greatest. However, I fear that there will be a mass exodus from Toshiba once one of the major players comes on board. To paraphrase Harry Stamper ("Armageddon"):

"It's not a choice, Grace. It's a lack of options."

I know that everyone's experience with various brands is different, but I just wanted to chime in with a defense of Toshiba. In addition to my A2, I have 3 Toshiba DVD players including a second generation model. I have gotten very good service from them. On the other hand, I wouldn't by anything branded RCA, but as I said we all have had different experiences with brand names.
post #25 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by inca View Post

From what I read the boot up times are the same, but the time to load a disc is much longer.

Amir (or was it Kevin?) told me at the Insider's Tour 2 nights ago that the startup time was greatly reduced...
post #26 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by lyris View Post

Amir (or was it Kevin?) told me at the Insider's Tour 2 nights ago that the startup time was greatly reduced...


I concur, boot and load times are faster on the A2; This is the only reason I upgraded. My kids kept complaining about the slow load times on the A1. I will miss the True HD until spring when I plan to upgrade to a new Denon.

Have a Merry Christmas

John
post #27 of 65
Everyone is joking about either of the early competing formats could end up as an
expensive "doorstop."

Well, my A1 cost half the price of the Sammy, works flawlessly with 2.0.

So, having "rolled the dice" and come up with a winner, I will wait for G3 or G4 before even thinking about replacing a machine that produces incredible PQ and AQ and upconverts like much more expensive machine.
post #28 of 65
I agree with the OP, and so do many others; go to Amazon and see what left over HD-A1 units are selling for. Even refurbished units are bringing in a premium.
post #29 of 65
One thing that I like, is that if blu-ray or HD-DVD fails, I will still have a player to play my collection of either, so Im not really worried. 2 top movies I wish universal would release on HD-DVD is Jurassic park and gladiator, although gladiator is the best upconvert title I currently own, almost looks like OTA HD upconverted through my HD-A2
post #30 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

... In terms of of reliability, playbackand remote responsiveness it is no comparison. Glad my HD-A1 is gone....besides I predict the drives on the A-1s are all going to fail sooner rather than later.

Maybe no comparison with the unit you had, but don't attempt to categorize all units. My experience is zero, yes ZERO, problems with a XA1 since May and each time I post that fact, there are multiple responders that state that is their experience also. The load time is a non-issue for me and since I use a universal remote, that also is a non-issue. It is great that A2 owners are happy with the 2nd generation and more power to Toshiba and HD DVD.

As far as your 'prediction' for A1 drive failures, what do you know about that technology that gives your prediction any credibility? Do you have access to any of the technical personnel involved with the design and validation of the drives? Do you have any idea what type of reliability testing was performed? Didn't think so .

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