My New HD-A1 Experience.

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Jim Douglas, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. Jim Douglas

    Jim Douglas Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 1999
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    3
    I was off last Friday and went to Best Buy to try and use my 12% off rewards coupon. I was looking at the HD-A1 display when the sales guy asked if I needed any help and I asked him when they might get some HD-A1's because none were sitting out. He told me we got in two or three in the back if you want one. Having no will power I said yes get me one. Price $439.99

    I don't have a big fancy system or anything and I sure am no expert but here is what it will be hooked up to:

    Pioneer Elite 630HD RPTV (2 DVI connections)
    Denon AVR-3803

    That's the main system I won't bore you with all the other stuff.

    I decided while hooking the A1 up I would take out a few things and clean the matching Pioneer Elite rack. I removed my Oppo 971 DVD player and my JVC 5U HDMI D-VHS VCR. I used the Better Cables HDMI to DVI cable that was hooked to the 5U and hooked it to the A1. Hooked up the audio connection using the digital optical connection to the Denon 3803 for now. Got all the cables arraigned and the rack moved back into place and was ready to fire it up.

    Turned on the TV and set it to the DVI input and powered on the A1. At first there was no picture but once I pushed the HDMI button up came the setup screen. It was already set to 1080i. Wasn't much to change in the setup menu so I just looked around and checked the firmware version (1.3). I turned the system off and started everything up just like I was going to watch a movie.

    Turned everything back on and waited for the Toshiba HD-DVD splash screen to come up. It took longer than what I normally see but I wasn't bored waiting either. That was a non issue for me. Opened the try and slid in Serenity. Once it started up I hit pause to check out the menu options. I thought the menu setup was way cool in what you can do and how they are laid out. Restarted the movie and made some adjustments to contrast and black level and was treated to a truly spectacular picture. It's just really hard to put into words how nice it really looked. I also put in Blazing Saddles and it looked incredible. It's what a 32 year old movie and you could see every rock and grain of quicksand in the scene where the railroad car sinks into the quicksand. I just sit there amazed at the picture quality.

    Tried a couple of sd movies also. Spiderman Super Bit and Shrek both at 1080i upconversion looked excellent. Won't have any problem watching SD discs on the A1.

    So far I'm very happy with my purchase. No glitches or HDMI errors or anything strange. Remote is so so. I programmed everything I would need into my MX-500 so that's not a problem.

    For me the decision to buy something now was I could get into HD-DVD for a decent price that didn't break the family budget. I can sell off my Oppo and JVC D-VHS machines and offset the cost the the A1. Who knows what will happen with the format war. Maybe nothing and we'll still be sitting here three years from now and still no single format. I want to enjoy HD movies now and now that best choice is (for me) HD-DVD. Not to sound glum but life is short and I feel you should enjoy the things that make you happy now. I still enjoy some of the laserdiscs I have so don't talk to me about a possible dead format. If HD-DVD folds it tent next year ( I don't think it will) I won't sweat it to much. I'll still have a nice SD upconverting player that will also play the HD-DVD discs I have. I'm happy now and that is all that counts to me.

    So that's my story. Sorry to be so long winded. Didn't expect the post to run this long. I just wanted to try and relay my experience that might help others with their decisions. Ron's review and others here really helped me feel good about taking the plunge. No regrets and glad to join the club.

    Enjoy.

    Jim
     
  2. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2000
    Messages:
    1,313
    Likes Received:
    0


    You and Oliver D. have convinced me to open it and I'll keep it if it is as good as everyone states.
     
  3. Jim Douglas

    Jim Douglas Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 1999
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    3

    I don't think you'll regret it. I just wish there were more HD-DVD movies to choose from. I've got more on the way so I'll get more viewing in this weekend.

    Jim
     
  4. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
    Owner

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    46,427
    Likes Received:
    4,388
    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    Jim,

    I'm also a little distressed by the available titles. There's lots of
    stuff out there from three major studios but the choices of titles
    are pretty poor, overall.

    All of that is about to change. I think that within the next few
    weeks there will be some major title announcements, particularly
    from Warner.
     
  5. Shawn.F

    Shawn.F Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2005
    Messages:
    561
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ron,

    I sure hope that Warner gets the ball rolling on their end for releases and announcements. So far, they have been the most infuriating studio to deal with. The quality of the titles they have released has been excellent, but not announcing titles until five days prior to release and charging an arm and a leg for a format no one who owns an HD-DVD player asked for (that's right, our friend the Combo discs!) really makes one question just what Warner's deal is.

    That gripe aside, I love the HD DVD format. Jim and Reginald, welcome aboard. You will not be sorry. The one thing you might find a bit troubling is that it really is hard to go back to SD DVDs (although the Toshiba acts as a very nice upconvert player IMHO).
     
  6. scott>c

    scott>c Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Messages:
    285
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah I had buyers remorse for the 1st few weeks but not anymore. This thing has great audio and video!!!! I also agree its hard to watch SD as u really get spoiled with HD. For less than 500 u get a really great player thats supposedly worth more. Toshiba supposedly took a hit in selling these to launch the new release.
     
  7. Jim Douglas

    Jim Douglas Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 1999
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    3

    Yeah I hoping for more day and date releases for HD-DVD titles. Hopefully some big releases are coming.

    I'm also hoping the combo discs either go away or have a big price cut. It's just to expensive for those. Make all the HD-DVD's at a price range where people don't give it a second thought on buying a movie they aren't to sure about.

    Jim
     
  8. Bob Spears

    Bob Spears Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have had my HD A1 for about two weeks now. Upconverted SD DVDs looks so good on this player that if they never released another HD DVD title I would still love this player. The spectacular picture and sound you get with HD DVD is just the icing on the cake. This player is the best AV purchase I have ever made.
     
  9. William Goodspeed

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    We've had ours about 3 weeks now. The image the Toshiba puts out has such a pleasing filmlike appearance. Wasn't expecting such a graceful picture. Just need more movie titles and all is well.
     
  10. William Goodspeed

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, the upconversion is stellar. Looks near high def.
     
  11. scott>c

    scott>c Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Messages:
    285
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can`t even upconvert (component on a crt) but still has a great picture on SD.
     
  12. Elayna Rainwater

    Elayna Rainwater Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    While not perfect, the remote on the this unit is not as bad as some have said. Does what we need it too. [​IMG]
     
  13. Harminder

    Harminder Second Unit

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Messages:
    462
    Likes Received:
    0

    Yeah I'm totally use to the remote now myself, but it's too hard to view in the dark. Wish they included backlit remotes for both Toshiba models instead of just the HD-XA1 [​IMG].
     
  14. scott>c

    scott>c Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Messages:
    285
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah even if the remote just glowed in the dark would have helped.
     
  15. Jim Douglas

    Jim Douglas Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 1999
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    3
    Sold off my Oppo 971 and JVC 5U D-VHS machines over the weekend and they more than paid for my HD-A1. That just made the upgrade even easier.

    Jim
     
  16. BrettGallman

    BrettGallman Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2002
    Messages:
    1,392
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm probably going to get one as soon as BB runs another 10-12% off weekend (they usually do so around Labor Day, if I'm not mistaken). I have a lot of Reward Zone points, too, so I'm hoping to get one for around $400. I can't wait to upgrade, and I NEVER thought I'd get an HD-DVD player, period.
     

Share This Page