Toshiba HD-A3?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by PeterK, Dec 23, 2007.

  1. PeterK

    PeterK Supporting Actor

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    hey folks. Sorry I don't know anything about the HD players these days. I haven't been looking at HT stuff for a couple years. But, I might be picking up this toshiba boxing day for pretty damn cheap. I wasn't planning on going HD anytime soon, but for the price of an average dvd player and a couple free HD DVDs i figured why not!
    I just have a couple questions though. My tv is one of the last hitachi CRT models. It's DVI only. I believe this player is HDMI only right? will a simple cable with HDMI at one end and DVI at the other suffice? I haven't any idea where the HDCP ordeal is these days...but is it an issue for my DVI tv?
    Second, as far as audio goes, these HD players come with some fancy new Plus audio or something right? will this still work with a simple digital coax or optical cable connected to my regular (old) 5.1 receiver?

    thanks all!

    EDIT: sorry the official ad just came out today, and it is the D3 not the A3 if that makes any difference.
    Any thoughts? anyone?
     
  2. Doug_H

    Doug_H Supporting Actor

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    You should have no problems using an HDMI to DVI cable. I have this setup with my A3 and I see no reason it wouldn't work with the D3.
     
  3. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    If the display isn't HDCP compliant, will a HDMI to DVI cable still work?

    I think this is a box that strips off the HDCP info if it won't:

    HDfury
     
  4. PeterK

    PeterK Supporting Actor

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    i'm not entirely sure what that means kevin. does strips off mean it won't play, or will play anyways.

    What about good old component cable? will that send a 720/1080i picture without hurtin anything?
     
  5. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    For now yes without question. The only thing you'll lack is the ability to upscale dvds. In a few years, they may flip the switch and you'll have to go HDMI/DVI.
     
  6. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    Don't worry about the HDCP thing. Your Hitachi will be fine. Actually I'm pretty sure any TV with DVI will be fine, I'm not aware of any models from any mainstream manufacturer that supported DVI but not HDCP. DVI without HDCP is a problem mainly on computer monitors and front projectors, mainly those targeted for business presentation/computer display market.

    Component works fine for HD-DVD, for now. There is a token that can be enabled on discs to disable HD component output, but none of the studios are using it yet (since it would piss off a lot of Xbox HD-DVD owners + owners of really old HDTVs), I think it's turned up on a few imported European discs, but no U.S. discs.

    One problem you run into using component though is that 1080i out is disabled for many copy-protected standard DVDs (a stupid restriction probably inserted by some lawyers who didn't understand upscaling doesn't add any real information, doesn't turn SD into HD, and that any real pirate just makes a direct digital copy of the DVD since the encryption was cracked many years ago). So if you are using the HDMI for multi-ch audio (to hear the DD+, TrueHD tracks in full fidelity) but component for the video, as I am, you find yourself constantly having to go into the setup menu to change between 480p & 1080i output, rather annoying. This is (AFAIK) not an issue if you are not using HDMI for audio, just using the legacy optical out.
     
  7. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Good to know. [​IMG] I have a pro Panasonic plasma and didn't know about the difference.
     
  8. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    There are some that exist. I know of a few NEC plasmas that didn't amongst other sets. My display(like Kevin's) is HDCP compliant. Oddly if I put the DVI board in my Panasonic, I can accept 1080P but if I go HDMI, I can't.
     
  9. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    My blurb about "monitors / projectors" for computer display/business presentation includes a lot of the early plasmas, so it's not a given on a PDP.

    Those sold as HDTV's through the Circuit City/Best Buy/etc. stores, that include TV tuners, are generally OK for HDCP.
     
  10. Todd Stout

    Todd Stout Screenwriter

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    I have been so tempted to jump on the HD-DVD bandwagon with the prices as low as they are getting but I have been wondering about how to go about connecting things. This thread has really helped me a lot.

    I have a 3+ year old Hitachi 46F500 that I still think has a great picture. It sounds like I can connect an HD-DVD player using either component video or an HDMI to DVI cable and enjoy 720P/1080i video on my TV. I also have a late 1999 vintage Onkyo TX-DS777 receiver that is still serving me well so I'd be stuck with DD/DTS audio conversion for the time being (it does include a 6 channel input too however). All things considered I think the entry level player would be fine for me while providing just enough of the "wow" factor.

    Now... should I jump in or not...
     
  11. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Hell yeah, jump in with both feet, the water's warm and inviting.
     
  12. Earl Simpson

    Earl Simpson Supporting Actor

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    Agree, jump in 4 times. Bought several A2s for presents to my children even though I am a BR fan. At $99 with 5 free ones this is a no brainer.
     
  13. Chris Atkins

    Chris Atkins Producer

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    You should jump in head first. Even if HD-DVD loses the war, you haven't spent a lot and you will still have a nice upconverting player.
     
  14. Marc_Sulinski

    Marc_Sulinski Supporting Actor

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    I also have a Toshiba with a DVI input. I got the HDMI-DVI converter, but then my picture was significantly shifted to one side (don't remember which one)( This was with an HD-A1 ).

    So I went into the service menu and shifted the picture back to center. Then I went to watch cable (via component) and the picture was too far the other way. Apparently the shifting applies to everything in that mode (1080i) regardless of input. So I had to buy an HDMI switchbox and hook the cable up that way. You can get one at a good price from monoprice.com. So now my picture is fine.

    The sound is another issue. I wanted to take full advantage of the Dolby TrueHD and DD+, which means I have to use the 6.1 analog inputs on my receiver. That is why I bought the HD-A1 and not the A2, as the newer models do not have 6.1 analog outs. If you don't mind that you will not be able to have the best possible audio (unless you buy a new receiver with HDMI inputs) you should be fine with coax or optical.

    Regarding the component connection issue, I would not use component, as you miss out on one of the best benefits of the HDDVD player: upconverting all of your existing DVDs. Toshiba HDDVD players are probably the best upconverters on the market. Though I have heard that the A3 is not as good as the A2 or A1, as it uses a different chip. Does anyone know if this is true?

    Oh yeah, there is another issue with the sound. I remember reading something about the bass being 10db too low. Does anyone remember the specifics? Does it only apply to 5.1 output?

    So, it may not be as simple as some people had it. The biggest issue you may encounter is the video being noticeably off-center. The easiest way to tell is to look at the FBI warning. It should line up in the middle.
     
  15. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    Would the A1 and A3 be on the same level off performance?
     
  16. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    The A1 has analog outs which the A3 lacks. That's a pretty big deal to some folks. The negative is it takes a few years for the A1 to boot up [​IMG]
     

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