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Thanks to everyone for their input for this FAQ, it will be kept updated every day or so


Question 1 from jschefdog

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.

Question 2 from jschefdog

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

Question 3 from Robert D

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

A: On the remote is a button called V.Output. Stop the disc and hit this button, after a brief pause 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

Question 4 from disgruntled1

Q: Will it play DVD-Audio or SA-CD?

A: DVD-Audio: Yes, but only as Dolby Digital or DTS and SA-CD: No

Question 5 from markrubin

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

A: One reason could be the HDMI cable was disconnected, or you turned off your HDMI connected display with the player 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 or hold the power button for 20 seconds).

Question 6 from blakes7

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 upgrade, but it's doubtful.

Question 7 from sfhub

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.

Question 8 from AlieniceT

Q: Does the HD-A1 support "resume play" on HD-DVD discs? I've only had Serenity to try so far, and anytime I hit the stop button just once, it restarts from the beginning of the disc no matter what I try.

A: No, there is however a bookmark function, you can save your spot anywhere you like with the B button on the remote.

HD-DVD Audio:

Question 9 from jschefdog

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. Look at the "Output sound conversion table" from the manual and you will see what I mean.

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.

Question 10 from BenDover

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 output 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 (most US titles are), 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.

Question 11 from sspears

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.

HD-DVD Video:

Question 12 from Aaron Davis

Q: What resolution should I set the HD-A1 to output to my 720p/1080i/1080p display?

A: This question is a bit more subjective. The majority of users so far have discovered to achieve the best quality, you must match as close as possible the resolution of the disc. All current discs are 1080p, therefore quality has been reported best at a 1080i output. Try all the settings yourself however, whatever works best for you is all that matters.

Question 13 from adzan

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.

SD-DVD/Upconversion Questions:

Question 14 from mrmike

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

A: Yes But only over HDMI, not component. UNLESS the DVD has no copy protection, such as home movies authored and burned by you, etc.

Question 15 from Chauncey

Q: Will the player play PAL SD-DVDs?

A: No it will not. The player will display that the disc is PAL and that it is not compatible.

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