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Toshiba HD-DVD Demo Tour


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#1 of 43 OFFLINE   David Allen

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Posted March 14 2006 - 03:28 PM

Went to Woodland Hills (CA) Fry's today for the Toshiba HD-DVD demo. Couldn't find any info on this on these forums, so here's a brief list of what I found out.

Hardware release at the end of March, but no software titles expected at launch. $499 and $799 models.

The Toshiba players have: composite out, s-video out, component out, HDMI, 5.1 analog out, L/R stereo out, coax out, optical out, ethernet.

The $799 player offers more robust sound-dampening innards and a fancier motion activated illuminated remote. It also has an automated flip down panel on the front, and It's main feature is RS-422 for hi-end home theater installation where the player is remoted from another room.

HDTV's with DVI only will work perfectly with an HDMI-DVI adapter (but it's expensive) and separate audio cable.

Standard Def DVDs will up-res to 720P.

Demo was on a very large Toshiba 1080P DLP monitor.

The HD-DVD vs. SD cable broadcast split screen demo was questionable as to it's authenticity. The cable broadcast looked over compressed and soft so as to help the HD-DVD signal look even better.

HD Corpse Bride and Charlie and Chocolate Factory trailers looked awesome, King Kong was soft on CGI, sharp on human actors/real props/sets.

No interactivity demo was available, but it's only a menu overlay, nothing else at this time.

No SACD or DVD-A compatibiliity.

Ethernet is for streaming content, but nothing can be stored on the player- no hard drive or memory stick ports.

Did anyone else check out this demo (it's touring the whole country, BTW)?

#2 of 43 OFFLINE   LanceJ

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Posted March 14 2006 - 08:36 PM

Thanks for the review.

BTW..........
Quote:
HDTV's with DVI only will work perfectly with an HDMI-DVI adapter (but it's expensive) and separate audio cable.
After they buy the adaptor, who in Hollywood does the customer send the bill to? Posted Image

#3 of 43 OFFLINE   Charlie Campisi

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Posted March 14 2006 - 11:51 PM

Is the HDMI-DVI adapter different than the ones we're using now?

#4 of 43 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted March 15 2006 - 04:18 AM

Guys, until further notice, we're putting discussions such as these in the new Software/HD area. Carry on.

#5 of 43 OFFLINE   Ed St. Clair

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Posted March 15 2006 - 08:29 AM

Quote:
Standard Def DVDs will up-res to 720P.

Not, 1080i?
Quote:
but no software titles expected at launch

They had better throw in that demo disc. Expecting people to buy players with nothing to play on them...
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#6 of 43 OFFLINE   Larry Sutliff

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Posted March 15 2006 - 10:00 AM

Quote:
HDTV's with DVI only will work perfectly with an HDMI-DVI adapter (but it's expensive) and separate audio cable.



Won't a simple HDMI to DVI cable do? Monoprice.com has a decent quality cable for a very reasonable price:

Monoprice.com:HDMI to DVI Cable

#7 of 43 OFFLINE   Juan C

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Posted March 15 2006 - 09:09 PM

For such short lengths, no problem. You may start to get picture problems beyond 15' length.

I use a 30' HDMI-DVI cable and it supports 720p and 1080i without any problems. Now, 1080p might be another story.

#8 of 43 OFFLINE   Marko Berg

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Posted March 16 2006 - 12:40 AM

It would be nice if the price of a player included a necessary cable or adapter.

You may argue that not all SD DVD players come with component cables either, and that consumers who can afford to buy a HD DVD player can probably afford separate cables and adapters as well, but I think with all the bad press about HD video output restraints this would be good customer service.

#9 of 43 OFFLINE   Paul.S

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Posted March 17 2006 - 11:44 AM

A few notes on Fry's/City Of Industry:

I walked in on Kong, which looked terrific and was the best-looking thing I saw, but a little overly-bright in spots. I don't think the Tosh 60" DLP had been calibrated.

They were winding down at that point and I took the opportunity to look closely at the player, connections and TV. Just an HDMI cable going directly to the TV and a coaxial digital cable going to the Onkyo receiver for plain ol' Dolby Digital audio (which sounded poorly; they obviously hadn't calibrated for the room either. Real missed opportunity there: they were in a large, dedicated home theater room bigger than what you'd find in most homes; theater-style seats and a much larger screen for projected viewing.) A Tosh woman came up to me while I was looking behind everything and said "we can tell you what the connections are," the importance of seeing for one's self seemingly lost on her. "Did somebody tell you to look and see what the connections are?" she asked.

They were supposedly going to start another demo immediately when a call I had to take came (my phaser had been set on 'stun'). Ducked out for that. 10 minutes later one of the Tosh guys said they were gonna go get lunch. Having gotten close to the end of my call, I asked if he wouldn't mind playing the side-by-side demo material and a few non-Kong trailers. He obliged.

They had a problem getting the player (the HD-XA1) to display video upon starting up again; aud but no picture. Had to restart the player.

I'm fairly certain the same demo disc I've read about being used every place else.

Of course they played Corpse Bride (animated). It looked good, but not as strong as Kong. I asked them to play something live action. He played the Dukes trailer, which looked like standard def to me.

I asked about the software delay (this was, ironically, the day before the Warner delay announcement) and he expectedly said, "that's a software issue."

I asked how many people had come through the room that day and (it was about 3p) he said "about 60."

It could/should have been more impressive. The recent Sony announcements of a Cannes demo, software prices, a player model and Sony store demos later this year are more impressive than what the HD DVD camp has mustered IMO.

#10 of 43 OFFLINE   Ed St. Clair

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Posted March 17 2006 - 12:31 PM

Quote:
He played the Dukes trailer, which looked like standard def to me.

I'm afraid 'most' people will think the same thing!
Improper video demos & non-existant lossless (HiRez) audio demos will lead to; I'll take the 3 thousand dollar plasma & the hundred dollar DVD player.

If you want people to open their wallets, better blow them away with a calibrated 1080i/p display, killer sound system, great looking HD software (Kong & Bride for now), & (the next gen HiRez unit of your choice) HD player.
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#11 of 43 OFFLINE   Robert Holloway

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Posted March 17 2006 - 02:43 PM

If you're near Emeryville check out Magnolia HiFI
They have the Toshiba playing through a Sony SXRD

As others have mentioned the Corpse Bride sequence shines.

It's a stellar jump from DVD and i ahve to say just wets my appetite for BluRay in May / June

However, the store is having major issues with the player locking up and crashing

The guys in the store said that there have been lots of oohs and aahs but very few people saying they will buy

Rob

FYI - They also have a Sony Ruby up and running. Why they don't have the Tosh on this unit is beyond me!!!
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#12 of 43 OFFLINE   Robert Holloway

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Posted March 17 2006 - 02:45 PM

If you're near Emryville check out Magnolia HiFI
They ahev the TYosh playing through a Sony SXRD
As others have mentioned the Corpse Bride sequence shines.

It's a stellar jump from DVD

However, the store is having major issues with the player locking up and crashing

The guys in the store said that there have been lots of oohs and aahs but very few people saying they will buy

Rob
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#13 of 43 OFFLINE   Ed St. Clair

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Posted March 17 2006 - 04:10 PM

Quote:
If you're near Emeryville check out Magnolia HiFI

Thanks Robert,
I'll check it out Monday.
Don't get me wrong, I like the Pleasant Hill BB/Mag Pioneer plasma XA1 video setup (audio's weak). Just many people would (and do) walk right by this with not a thought to the improved PQ.
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#14 of 43 OFFLINE   Robert Holloway

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Posted March 17 2006 - 07:25 PM

Interesting that the Magnolia HD DVD demo is totally unannounced.

You need to look for it as there are no signs anywhere. It was purely me seeing the extra video qulaity and the King Kong shots that made me notice it.

Very strange
Rob
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#15 of 43 OFFLINE   Ron Boster

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Posted March 18 2006 - 12:54 PM

The OP got some bad info. As others have pointed out the adapter or even an HDMI to DVI cable are cheap via many retailers.

SD discs will upscale to 1080i or 720p. Toshiba has recently said they will send out the top end unit at the end of the month and the 499 unit about 10 days or so later.

Ron

#16 of 43 OFFLINE   David Allen

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Posted March 19 2006 - 05:26 PM

Sorry- yes the adapters do seem to be pretty cheap now: I was remembering them being $100 a year or so ago.

The thing that really struck me about Toshiba's demos was how poorly they were handled. Maybe they didn't want them to be too hyped since there was no software/interactivity to show off. I do think they need to have all types of HD displays available for comparison, and some sort of menu to play with. Maybe they'll revamp the demo later in the year when BluRay comes out.

#17 of 43 OFFLINE   Ron Boster

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Posted March 21 2006 - 05:25 AM

The highest price I've seen was when monster and others first came out with the adapter priced at around $30. Now they can be had for under $10. as others have mentioned, monoprice is a good source, with quick service.

There is a screen shot and info in menus and interactivity of the features at digital bits recently. Looks pretty cool.

#18 of 43 OFFLINE   Larry Sutliff

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Posted March 21 2006 - 11:49 AM

Quote:
monoprice is a good source, with quick service.



I'm using the 6 foot Monoprice HDMI to DVI cable for a Denon 1920 player, and the picture quality is fantastic.

#19 of 43 OFFLINE   Dave Moritz

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Posted March 21 2006 - 02:06 PM

Has anyone heard when the hd demo might hit Phoenix, AZ?
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#20 of 43 OFFLINE   Arnie G

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Posted March 22 2006 - 12:28 AM

or Houston?
I've got my own Toto


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