Originally Posted by SED <--- Rules
Hey guys, I'm sorry if this has been asked before but is the A35 a better DVD player than the XA2? And can the A35 and XA2 put out DTS HD Master Audio? Thanks
I have access to both players and find the XA2 to be the overall superior one particularly with standard DVD. In my system, SD-DVD processing is noticeably cleaner on the XA2, and it allows for additional tweaking features (mosquito and block noise filters, etc) that aren't included in the A35.
1080/60p HD DVD is a wash between the two, though I give the A35 a leg up in the stability department with 1080/24p sources. Both players can be rather handshake-finicky (HDMI speaking, depending on one's AVR model), and both are somewhat wanting in the responsiveness department in comparison to what current optical disc players are capable of. This is to be expected, though, as both players have been discontinued for years. (Had HD DVD prevailed, I'm sure subsequent models would be on par with BD player performance today.)
Additionally, I find fan noise on the A35 to be a lot lower than that of the XA2, though my A35 is no longer as silent as it used to be. The XA2 also has a slight advantage in the analog audio department, but whether one can actually notice or not is highly dependent on any associated equipment connected.
Both players bitstream high resolution audio, so that's a non-issue. But if SD DVD remains a priority for you, on balance I would suggest the XA2 with its Reon processor. In my setup, there is a clear difference. For HD DVD, however, you really can't go wrong with either player as both provide stunning quality even by BD standards today.