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My mini review - Toshiba HD-XA2


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53 replies to this topic

#1 of 54 OFFLINE   Ron Z

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Posted January 08 2007 - 07:11 AM

Got the XA2 installed Sat morning. Ended up connecting with HDMI via the Pioneer Elite VSX80-TXV receiver to the Pioneer PDP-5050HD 50" plasma. The receiver is my HDMI switcher for the D* HR20 and the XA2. Audio was connected via the XA2's 5.1 analog outs (for TrueHD and other lossless audio formats) into the receiver, as well as the coaxial digital ouput.

First off, I have no previous experience with HD DVD, Blu-ray or upscaling DVD players other that what I saw in Best Buy, Circuit City or the like. My Amazon order of HD DVDs also happened to arrive late Sat morning. First movie I watched was the King Kong HD DVD - wow! Detail, clarity and 3D'ish look to the film that's the best I've ever seen! I can honestly say that I've never seen a movie look this good before. And obviously any HD DVD movie quality will depend on the transfer, and from what I've read King Kong is among the top 10 in that regard. But still, I was blown away by what I was seeing with that film.

Next movie was the SD version of "Ice Age 2: The Meltdown". I thought I was playing another HD DVD looking at this DVD through the XA2. Apparantly the Silicon Optix ReonVX video chip in the XA2 is responsible for this, and I can now see why the XA2 costs what it does. I'm thinking that as long as the studios keep putting out outstanding SD DVD versions, there won't be as much incentive for me to look into some kind of Blu-ray player.

And I just got through watching The Hulk HD DVD. Another superb transfer, and another reference disk for HD DVD. As far as the sound, these two HD DVDs offered DD+ and I can say it's impressive. I still have to listen to the TrueHD soundtrack of Batman Begins to see what that's like though. All in all, I was initially a bit concerned spending the amount I did on the XA2, but no longer. Now I just hope that more movies start coming out in HD DVD.


#2 of 54 OFFLINE   Wet1

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Posted January 08 2007 - 07:25 AM

I didn't think the A2 had analog audio out (that's what I was told by a kid at BB). Is this not the case? I was going to pick one up, but since I have an old receiver I didn't bother thinking I couldn't pull an audio track...

#3 of 54 OFFLINE   Ron Z

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Posted January 08 2007 - 07:37 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wet1
I didn't think the A2 had analog audio out (that's what I was told by a kid at BB). Is this not the case? I was going to pick one up, but since I have an old receiver I didn't bother thinking I couldn't pull an audio track...
You're correct - the A2 does not have analog audio outputs, just HDMI and optical digital. The XA2 does have the analog outs though.

#4 of 54 OFFLINE   Wet1

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Posted January 08 2007 - 08:22 AM

Sorry Ron, I misread your initial post thinking you were reviewing the A2.

Sounds like you're pleased with the XA2. Posted Image I just can't get myself to spend $800+ on a player until this war is settled. Posted Image

#5 of 54 OFFLINE   ppltd

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Posted January 08 2007 - 09:27 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Z

And I just got through watching The Hulk HD DVD. Another superb transfer, and another reference disk for HD DVD. As far as the sound, these two HD DVDs offered DD+ and I can say it's impressive. I still have to listen to the TrueHD soundtrack of Batman Begins to see what that's like though. All in all, I was initially a bit concerned spending the amount I did on the XA2, but no longer. Now I just hope that more movies start coming out in HD DVD.

Ron, thanks for the info. My XA2 should arrive tomorrow and I am looking forward to seeing how it compares to my replaced XA1. I will post when I get it installed with my opinions.
Thomas Eisenmann(Last updated 09/30/11)

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#6 of 54 OFFLINE   Ron Z

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Posted January 08 2007 - 09:46 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ppltd
Ron, thanks for the info. My XA2 should arrive tomorrow and I am looking forward to seeing how it compares to my replaced XA1. I will post when I get it installed with my opinions.
Congrats! Look forward to hearing what you think about it. Posted Image

#7 of 54 OFFLINE   Cees Alons

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Posted January 08 2007 - 10:17 AM

You guys are having all the fun! Posted Image



Posted Image Posted Image


Cees

#8 of 54 OFFLINE   Tim Glover

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Posted January 09 2007 - 05:10 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cees Alons
You guys are having all the fun! Posted Image



Posted Image Posted Image


Cees

No kidding! Posted Image

#9 of 54 OFFLINE   Ron Z

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Posted January 09 2007 - 05:33 AM

I think I may have noticed a "black crush" issue on the XA2, same as what the A2 has seen. I noticed this on The Hulk HD DVD, the night scene where the mutant dogs are attacking the Hulk. The picture during that scene is overly dark and very hard to see.

#10 of 54 OFFLINE   Ron Z

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Posted January 11 2007 - 07:32 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Z
I think I may have noticed a "black crush" issue on the XA2, same as what the A2 has seen. I noticed this on The Hulk HD DVD, the night scene where the mutant dogs are attacking the Hulk. The picture during that scene is overly dark and very hard to see.
Well, a simple calibration fixed this issue - so no compaints now! Posted Image

Quote:
Originally Posted by ppltd
My XA2 should arrive tomorrow and I am looking forward to seeing how it compares to my replaced XA1. I will post when I get it installed with my opinions.
You got this puppy installed yet? What do you think? Posted Image

#11 of 54 OFFLINE   Dennis Heller

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Posted January 11 2007 - 07:56 AM

Ron Z,

Could you describe the simple calibration. I think I've noticed this as well. Thanks.
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#12 of 54 OFFLINE   Ron Z

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Posted January 11 2007 - 08:14 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Heller
Could you describe the simple calibration. I think I've noticed this as well.
If you already have your set the way you like it, then you have a couple options. If you have an available input (component or HDMI) on your display, you can plug the XA2 in there and calibrate that input via DVE, Avia or the like. Another option is to just bump up the black level (brightness) a few notches. And another option is to just set one of XA2's three picture memory settings.

I thought the XA2's picture adjustments would be under the setup menu, but they're not. The remote's Picture button brings up the XA2's picture memory settings, and there you can adjust any of the 3 memory settings.

I used my old SD version of DVE (Digital Video Essentials), and just bumped the brightness up a bit.

#13 of 54 OFFLINE   Dennis Heller

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Posted January 11 2007 - 08:23 AM

Thanks, Ron. I actually have the HD-A1. My problem is complicated by the fact that I have the JVC 56FN97, which is a really wonderful set, except it is very bright, and it only allows one picture memory for both HDMI inputs. If I bump up the brightness too much, it washes out the colors. I'm still trying to find the sweet spot, as the contrast/brightness settings are, I feel, very difficult to dial in. I have S&V's Home Theater Tune-Up, but I'm anxiously awating the DVE for HD because the S&V isn't very helpful.

I was hoping for a magical cure, I guess.
"I was wandering the woods, thinking about Christ. If He was a carpenter, I wondered what he charged for bookshelves."

#14 of 54 OFFLINE   Ron Z

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Posted January 11 2007 - 08:58 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Heller
My problem is complicated by the fact that I have the JVC 56FN97, which is a really wonderful set, except it is very bright, and it only allows one picture memory for both HDMI inputs.
Does the A1 have its own adjustment settings that you could make to it?

#15 of 54 OFFLINE   Dennis Heller

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Posted January 11 2007 - 09:03 AM

Actually, I'm not sure. I'll give it a try tonight. Thanks.
"I was wandering the woods, thinking about Christ. If He was a carpenter, I wondered what he charged for bookshelves."

#16 of 54 OFFLINE   Tim L

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Posted January 11 2007 - 10:53 AM

I was curious if anyone with the XA2 has used any of the video settings-such as mosquito NR,Random NR etc. just curious if these things work or not- tried fooling around with them -mostly for SD discs-I think they may have worked some,pirates of the Carb. looked awesome-no noise, blacks looked great. This is a great upconversion player
Tim

#17 of 54 OFFLINE   ppltd

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Posted January 11 2007 - 02:08 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Z
Well, a simple calibration fixed this issue - so no compaints now! Posted Image


You got this puppy installed yet? What do you think? Posted Image
No, I get home to Phoenix tomorrow from working out of state and have to pick it up at Fed Ex so I should have it running by the afternoon. Should have a few new HD's sitting on my doorstep to run it through it's paces.

Now if sombody would just release a second gen BD player so I can replace my Samsung and I would be in heaven....Posted Image
Thomas Eisenmann(Last updated 09/30/11)

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#18 of 54 OFFLINE   ppltd

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Posted January 12 2007 - 11:38 AM

Arrggg,

I just picked up my XA2 at FedEx, got it home, hooked it up and walla. No picture. I am connected HDMI through my Pioneer Elite 84TXI and HDMI out to my Panasonic. Using the same connection and cable I used with my XA1 the worked flawlessly.

Popped The Sting in and no picture. Sound was passing through HDMI, but not video. After changing ports, trying a few other HDMI cables, I finally plugged the Tosh HDMI directly into the Panny projector, and low and behold, a flawless picture.

Looks like the incompatibility is in my Elite Receiver.

Back to the drawing boards.....
Thomas Eisenmann(Last updated 09/30/11)

Blu-Ray Collection  DVD Collection, Numerous BD players,

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1124 BDs and going up, 1028 - DVDs and going down.


#19 of 54 OFFLINE   Tim Glover

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Posted January 12 2007 - 11:40 AM

Hey Tom, Have you had issues passing thru the Elite reciever before?

#20 of 54 OFFLINE   ppltd

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Posted January 12 2007 - 11:48 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Glover
Hey Tom, Have you had issues passing thru the Elite reciever before?

No. Both my old XA1 and my directv H20 HD DVR work(ed) fine. In fact, I am using the same setup and cable that was plugged into my XA1.
Thomas Eisenmann(Last updated 09/30/11)

Blu-Ray Collection  DVD Collection, Numerous BD players,

LG 55LX6500 55-Inch 3D 1080p 240 Hz LED

Pioneer VSX-94TXH, Panasonic PT-AE7000U 3D 1080p (PT-AE8000 Just Ordered, 

1124 BDs and going up, 1028 - DVDs and going down.



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