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Ron's HD DVD Review

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125 replies to this topic

#1 of 126 OFFLINE   Steve Tannehill

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Posted July 06 2006 - 01:09 AM

Thanks for the review, Ron! (In case anyone missed it, it is here.)

Have you checked the firmware level? It may be wishful thinking on my part, but the later firmware seemed to improve load time.

Congrats on your purchase, and may there be many hours of enjoyment in all that high definition glory!

- Steve

#2 of 126 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted July 06 2006 - 01:45 AM

Steve, I was expecting the worst when I clicked into this thread
(you never know if people are gonna have issues with a review),
and I was pleasantly surprised by your comments. Thank You!

I need to figure out how to check and update the firmware. Looks
like it takes a bit of time that I just dopn't have right now. I will
check out the "sticky" thread about firmware updating in the hardware

I am immensely enjoying HD-DVD and it is my hope that my review
results in a few people who were on the fence to finally buy a player.

For $500, this is a great way to enjoy a really nice picture.

I'm off to Circuit City with a $50 gift card to find some new titles.
I hope Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is in stock.


Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner


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#3 of 126 OFFLINE   Walter Kittel

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Posted July 06 2006 - 02:10 AM

Ron - Nice review. The pricepoint on the HD-A1 along with its availability prior to Blu-ray were the two primary factors that convinced me to take a chance on this player. I was not disappointed. Posted Image

One minor point regarding the review. It is my understanding ( strictly based upon what I've read on the web ) that the ability to stop and resume HD DVD playback is a disc authoring issue, and not a limitation of the Toshiba player. I don't have a reference to cite, so take that with a grain of salt.

- Walter.
Fidelity to the source should always be the goal for Blu-ray releases.

#4 of 126 OFFLINE   Steve Blair

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Posted July 06 2006 - 02:19 AM

Nice review Ron Posted Image I watched KKBB the other night and it has awesome picture quality so you're in for a great movie there. Congrats on the player purchase and welcome to the hd dvd club Posted Image

#5 of 126 OFFLINE   Harminder


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Posted July 06 2006 - 03:41 AM

That's it... Ron you've convinced me... HD-DVD here I come!

#6 of 126 OFFLINE   Scotty_McW


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Posted July 06 2006 - 04:57 AM

Great review Ron. I've had my A1 for almost a month now and I couldn't be happier. I had to call Toshiba to get the firmware disc since I couldn't figure out how to download it. Anyways, a few days later the disc showed up and about 10 minutes later my upgrade was done. I'm very happy with my player and HD-DVD. Glad you're enjoying yours too!

#7 of 126 OFFLINE   Ron-P



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Posted July 06 2006 - 05:09 AM

Thanks for the review Ron, nicely done. Welcome to the HD-DVD fold. As for the firmware update, call Toshiba at 800.319.6684. They will set up a file (have the model# and serial# available). They'll send you out the disk. From then on any other firmware updates or anything else that comes about they'll notify you or send you firmware updates automatically. Toshiba has great CS, I've been very impressed so far. Enjoy!
You have all the weapons you need...Now fight!

#8 of 126 OFFLINE   Hayes Preston

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Posted July 06 2006 - 08:07 AM

Yes Ron, nice review, and I'm glad you jumped in. What Walter said, HD DVD's price was what sold me, that combined with the amazing PQ. Had HD DVD looked like the first BD demo I saw (Fifth Element,) I would not have jumped, even if the player was $500.

#9 of 126 OFFLINE   Harminder


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Posted July 06 2006 - 08:15 AM

I've done it... I've dived into HD-DVD and I do not regret a moment of it. Connected the HDMI connection to my Sony 60" Grand Wega LCD-Rear (via a HDMI to DVI connection), connected 5.1 analog, and popped in Swordfish HD-DVD running at 1080i... I think I'm in love LOL On a side note, the person selling me the player at Future Shop told me that they had sold 2 blu-ray players so far and they both have been returned for an HD-DVD player. On top of that, a Samsung rep came into their store this morning because the manager weren't happy with how the blu-ray was looking on their displays. The Samsung rep said, "well maybe it's the plasma's you hooked them up to." What sucks is that blu-ray is right up at the front of the home theatre department of Future Shop... HD-DVD is hidden away to the left of the section, I wouldn't have found it fast had I not been taken there.

#10 of 126 OFFLINE   Larry Sutliff

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Posted July 06 2006 - 10:20 AM

Great review, Ron! Posted Image

I have an extra firmware disc if you want one.

#11 of 126 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

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Posted July 06 2006 - 11:01 AM

I don't own either format right now but I wanted to drop in here and say that I really enjoyed the review that Ron wrote. Great job partner! Posted Image


"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."

#12 of 126 OFFLINE   Steve Tannehill

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Posted July 06 2006 - 11:10 AM

I would definitely go for the firmware update disc instead of letting it download to the player. It takes less time to run. However, I would probably leave the firmware alone for now, unless you see any of the lockups or picture problems like we had before the first firmware update. (The firmware seems to have fixed them, too.) Enjoy! - Steve

#13 of 126 OFFLINE   Kevin C Brown

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Posted July 06 2006 - 12:37 PM

Good review, but it doesn't change my mind that I won't buy into either HD format until there is a next generation universal player that plays both. I think it's ridiculous that right now, you'd have to buy 2 different players to get all 3 Terminator movies. Stupid. And remember that improvements in video quality are only apparent if you are closer than that critical viewing distance for the resolution and screen size relationship.
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

KevinVision 7.1 ...

#14 of 126 OFFLINE   Gerald LaFrance

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Posted July 06 2006 - 12:43 PM

I read the Review really good review. the only reason I am on the Fence is I havent even finished my HT yet, altho it is almost done. I still have to buy a PrismaSonic Lens, Z4 PJ, Denon SD DVD and NOW a HD DVD Player, Sweet but there goes the Budget again you goto love this Hobby.

I didnt even Finish my HT yet and I am already Upgrading lol Posted Image

"IF the Facts don't Fit the Theory Change the Facts"    Albert Einstein

#15 of 126 OFFLINE   Steve Tannehill

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Posted July 06 2006 - 12:55 PM

Uh, really? - Steve

#16 of 126 OFFLINE   Brent T

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Posted July 06 2006 - 01:13 PM

Ron what is your suggestion for someon looking to upgrade to a new dvd player ? My current player is too old to even mention and I have been waiting for the HD players to come out, so that I can decide to go with a high end standard dvd ($1,500) or a HD player. Where would you suggest I put my money ?

#17 of 126 OFFLINE   Kevin. W

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Posted July 06 2006 - 02:10 PM

Brent, I sold my 2mth old Denon 3910 to get the Toshiba A1 and never looked back.

#18 of 126 OFFLINE   Kevin. W

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Posted July 06 2006 - 02:13 PM

Isn't having a higher resolution allowing people with larger sets too sit closer without seeing pixelation??

#19 of 126 OFFLINE   SherardP


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Posted July 06 2006 - 04:27 PM

I was thinking about this very decision today at work. Reading this thread has me sold on the toshiba HD player, now if I can just make up my mind between the A1 or the XA1. Anyway I will order one or the other tonight. Great thread and review by the way.

#20 of 126 OFFLINE   jim.vaccaro


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Posted July 06 2006 - 06:28 PM

There are three things that are keeping me from adopting HD-DVD: 1) The player is a cobbled together hackjob of PC parts that was obviously rushed out the door. Yes, it works, but knowing what it is leaves a bad taste in my mouth. 2) The lack of interesting titles. Enough has been said on that. I have about 400 DVDs in my collection, and I estimate that I would want to upgrade maybe 20% of them to HD. Those 20% aren't available yet. Some of them may never be available as those studios are in the Blu-Ray camp. That's a problem. 3) Price. No, I'm not cheap. Though the HD-A1 is certainly cheaper than competing Blu-Ray players, $500 is still too much for a player/format that (a) has a dubious future, (b) is a rush job hack built from PC parts, and © has a software base that I find uninteresting. Fix (b) and ©, or (a) and (b), and I'll buy at $500. Today. Otherwise, this player is going to have to hit about $350 for me to start to become interested.

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