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  1. #1
    Spaceman Spiff
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    Default Picked up my HD-DVD player today

    The local Best Buy got in 3 today. One went up for display (they were hooking it up as I walked in) the other 2 were for sale. Bought their first one. I added the 4 year service plan for $40. Picked up an AR HDMI cable to hook it up. Here's a couple of pics.








    More to come as I play around with it this weekend.
    If...
    Ron dislikes a film = go out and buy it.
    Ron loves a film = don't even rent.

  2. #2

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    Very nice, Ron! This is THE BIG DAY, I guess! does it have component out? Let us know how it goes, please. thanks.

    EDIT: did you pick up any HD-DVD too?
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

  3. #3
    Spaceman Spiff
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    Yes, component out along with S-Vid and composite out. Audio outs are 2-channel and 5.1 channel analog, coax and optical.

    No HD-DVD movies until Tuesday. But, she upconverts SD-DVDs to 720p.

    Reading the manuel now and hooking it up. I'll be back!
    If...
    Ron dislikes a film = go out and buy it.
    Ron loves a film = don't even rent.

  4. #4

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    Good buy. I assume that you were watching dvd's in 480p from your fp. Would like to know if there's much of a diff going to 720p. Especially the 9' to 11' viewing distance.

  5. #5

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    Enjoy! should be fun seeing that amazing resolution in your living room...OTD Hd will look inferior in comparison

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  6. #6
    Spaceman Spiff
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    I had to buy an HDMI cable in the store. To put this in my rack I need a 35' HDMI cable so I'll have to shop around, just using a 6' AR (Acoustic Research) for now.

    I played scenes from several films (King Kong, LotR: Fellowship EE, Animatrix and The Phantom of the Opera).

    Before I get into image details please note that I am no pro at this and no videophile by any means. There is a slight improvement with upscaling to 720p, if I were to put a number on it, Id say about 15% over 480p, not a huge leap but enough to notice. My wife walked in during the scene when Kong was being captured and she said right off, "the image looks sharper". That comment even surprised me.

    I used the same settings I had for my component connection and right off I noticed a slightly sharper image, mostly close up shots, distance shots really didn't benefit much. The colors were a bit more vibrant and blacks were deeper with more detail. The improvement in blacks caught me off guard as I was not expecting that.

    It hung up a bit trying to load the Animatrix disk, took about a minute or longer to get that one to load, the other 3 were up in 15-20 seconds. It had no issues at all playing the disks, FF, RW skipping chapters, no navitation issues at all.

    The fan is a bit noisy. More so then my Z3, it is noticeable but I had it sitting right behind my head on a box on the couch, once up on a shelf or in the A/V rack I doubt it will be noticeable. I'd say it was around 25db. It sounded close to what my old Panny PTL-200u PJ was like.

    The machines menu set-up is very easy to use and navigate, set-up took only a few minutes. The remote on the other hand, a pain to use. Small buttons with very hard to see descriptions. Not a very user friendly remote at all.
    If...
    Ron dislikes a film = go out and buy it.
    Ron loves a film = don't even rent.

  7. #7

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    nice unit! let us know how it looks with the hd dvds!

  8. #8
    Old School
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    Nice... WTH is going on in it that it needs a fan?

    Also seeing the 5 ch analog outputs... Is it SACD capable?

    EDIT: I see it's not, but Tosh's model info page does mention the enhanced black levels you noted.

    http://www.tacp.toshiba.com/dvd/product.asp?model=hd-a1
    Last edited by Tour2ma; 04-15-2006 at 06:13 AM.
    More later,
    Tour...
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  9. #9

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    Congrats, what did it set you back.
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

  10. #10

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    Ron, very cool and, yes, let us know how HD-DVDs look when you get some.

    Did you ever try to switch the player back and forth from 720p to 1080i? It's strange, but I think my Panasonic DVD player looks slightly better with 1080i on my pj, although the pj's native res is 720p. I can't explain that, but everytime I experiment, I choose 1080i.

    Also, I noticed the bluejeanscable.com has a new line of HDMI cables that are even more affordable than their original ones. I ran a 30 footer of the original and am pleased with the quality vs. cost.
    http://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/dvi/index.htm
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  11. #11
    Spaceman Spiff
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    Out the door was $587, $499 for the player, plus tax, plus a $40 service plan.


    I did switch back and forth between 480p and 1080i during The Phantom of the Opera, not the best disk to try this with. Can't say I noticed any difference but I'll be doing a lot more testing this weekend.

    Nice find on the cable, thanks Adam, I may order one up, better then having to relocate the new player.

    EDIT: Just ordered up a 35' HDMI from Blue Jeans. $20 less then what I paid at BB for the 6'.
    Last edited by Ron-P; 04-15-2006 at 10:34 AM.
    If...
    Ron dislikes a film = go out and buy it.
    Ron loves a film = don't even rent.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron-P
    EDIT: Just ordered up a 35' HDMI from Blue Jeans. $20 less then what I paid at BB for the 6'.
    Cool, might be interesting to do a little cable comparison before you return (I assume) the one from BB.
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  13. #13

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    Will this pass a hd or upconverted signal via component output? I heard they were going to allow it but it would be nice to know for sure.

  14. #14

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    From what I've heard HD is only through HDMI. Component only supports 480p. If so there might be ahack in the near future.

    I could be wrong.

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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakelm
    From what I've heard HD is only through HDMI. Component only supports 480p. If so there might be ahack in the near future.

    I could be wrong.

    Jake
    Yeah, gotta love how the industry kicks the early HDTV adopters square in the nuts.*


    *the early HDTV's don't have DVI or HDMI connections, only component inputs.

  16. #16
    Spaceman Spiff
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    As for now, not one studio has activated the ICT (Image Constraint Token) on their disks, this allows the passing of 1080i via component. I'm sure within the next couple of days as more people get the players and movies this will be verified, but so far, so good. You'll get your HD via component.
    Last edited by Ron-P; 04-15-2006 at 12:54 PM.
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  17. #17

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    Thanks for respond, Ron. I am glad that component output is still there, since I am going to be stuck with HD component only input until I replaced my HD RPTV.

    By the way, this is the only online unit available on Ebay so far. I am sure stock is plentiful. I guess this gent is hoping it to be similar to XBOX 360 roll-out :)

    http://cgi.ebay.com/BRAND-NEW-Toshib...QQcmdZViewItem

    Enterpreneurial at its best!
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

  18. #18

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    what is upskaling thing 720p to 1080i ??? would my sony waga 28in crt tube tv suport it (less than 4 months old)
    it has a full 21pin and one that suports svid +the norm and just a set of side conections with L/R vid and svid ??

    proberly not i should think but im not particulaly too knowlagable with dvd players does that upscailing thing need to co theroug the HDMI ??

    nice buy by the way . most toshiba dvd players are good
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  19. #19

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    A lot of dudes from AVS use monoprice.com for HDMI cables.

    http://www.monoprice.com/products/su...d=10240&style=

  20. #20

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    just saw one of the hd dvd players at the local best buy about 30 min ago, DAMN those things are huge! really couldn't tell any difference on the demo the had going but it wasn't an hd dvd and the display wasn't calibrated at all, color was jacked up and the picture and bright levels looked way off

    and congrats on the player Ron!
    Casey

  21. #21

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    Nice buy Ron-P! Good luck with the unit. Let us know how you like both the sight and sound of the unti.
    Carl

  22. #22

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    I'm also curious as to why it needs a fan. I suppose with the higher resolution come higher operating frequencies and more heat...kind of like a PC.

  23. #23
    Old School
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    ^That makes sense.... Ron?
    More later,
    Tour...
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  24. #24

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    Congrats! Let us know what HD movies look like. Not a videophile?? Um, ok, right... :)
    madmax
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  25. #25
    Spaceman Spiff
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    I suppose with the higher resolution come higher operating frequencies and more heat...kind of like a PC.
    Right you are, the processing this thing has to do requires the fan.

    As you know I have no HD-DVD titles yet, no store in my area will sell be any before Tuesday.

    But, as for setting the player at 1080i and my Z3 at 720p the upconverted image is outstanding. The upscaling on this thing is amazing. Also, there is a significant increase in black levels and detials within those blacks over my older JVC.

    I flipped back and forth with Edward Scissorhands between the Toshiba (HDMI connection) and my JVC (component connection) and the difference in PQ due to the upscaling and increase in black levels makes for a much better image, I'd say about 30% better.

    But, we are starting to see the first sign of bugs. Over at AVS many are reporting an audio bug. Not sure what it is yet but it seems several receivers and processors are converting the HD-DVDs dd track to dts. More to come on this issue.

    Overall, with just SD-DVD this machine is very impressive but I have yet to put it to the HD test. I sure hope it works as I'd love to keep it. But, if not, I will upgrade to the OPPO player and return her and wait until the bug(s) get fixed.

    It's too early to tell right now, most everyone that's reporting on this player has had it less then 24 hours at this point.

    More to come...
    If...
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    Ron loves a film = don't even rent.

  26. #26

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    Sweet! I look forward to an in-depth review.

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    I bought the last one that our local BB had last night. Still sealed in the box though, pending buying the 3 HD-DVD titles tomorrow. Also I'm wanting to read a bit more about other folks' initial experiences before I decide to open or return.

    I guess it's a case of premature buyer's remorse... I like the idea of being cutting edge when it comes to video, especially since the HD-A1 is not thousands, but rather the cost of a good mid-grade DVD player, but I'm always a bit wonky with 1st-generation bugs.

    I was going to sit on the sidelines until the whole HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray war fleshed out, but I remember doing the same when the competing DVD-R vs. DVD+R battle started, and both formats are still alive today.

    I'm also concerned with diminishing returns. My Pioneer Elite 79avi to DVDO Iscan HD+ already comes darned close to HD quality as it is...

  28. #28

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    Ron, sounds like you're very happy with 1080i upconversion. Did you also find 1080i to be slightly better than 720p upconversion, as I mentioned was my experience in an earlier post above? Your pj's native res is 720p too, right?

    Just to ad some more thoughts/experiences with upconversion:
    Some major improvements I notice are a smoother, more film-like picture with less noise and artifacts. I think upconverting players are especially beneficial to pj owners - at the far extreme of image size, the limitations of standard DVD res become more apparent, and these upconverting players can "help". Still, in my experience/equipment, even with upconversion on a really good DVD transfer, the picture can not match the quality of film transferred/mastered to high def (for example, content from HD Net Movies). This is what has me excited about a high res DVD format.
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  29. #29
    Spaceman Spiff
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    She's locked onto 1080i, doubt I'll change it, it does look better. Yes, my PJ native is 720p.
    If...
    Ron dislikes a film = go out and buy it.
    Ron loves a film = don't even rent.

  30. #30
    Spaceman Spiff
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    I bought the last one that our local BB had last night. Still sealed in the box though, pending buying the 3 HD-DVD titles tomorrow. Also I'm wanting to read a bit more about other folks' initial experiences before I decide to open or return.
    Take comfort in knowing that you have a 30 day return policy with no restocking fee from BB so it's a free month with HD-DVD as I see a great test period.
    If...
    Ron dislikes a film = go out and buy it.
    Ron loves a film = don't even rent.

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