Digital bits HD-A1 player review

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Greg T, May 3, 2006.

  1. Greg T

    Greg T Stunt Coordinator

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  2. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    Unfortunately with out a good working player, not very helpful as a review, but certainly touches upon the glitches dealing with the player. Rushed, probably, will BD produce a glitchless player, we'll see. The other question is will it make a difference with the opening price, probably little. Both are coming out of the gates with limited software which I think is ridiculous.
     
  3. Andrew Bunk

    Andrew Bunk Screenwriter

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    Preface: I am a non-partisan in regards to the format war.

    I think Bill's column is spot on. I know he's been accused of being a Blu-Ray supporter, but I honestly don't think he'd risk his credibility and the integrity of the site by dissing HD-DVD without the facts to back it up. If he says half the people he's heard from are having similar problems, I believe him.

    I don't think anyone is trying to say the HD-A1's output doesn't look and sound great. But what good is that great output if half the players lock up and lose sync, or lock up and have to be rebooted?

    I'm personally glad I stayed away for now, and besides, my new Oppo upscaling player is giving me plenty to enjoy while I wait for things to settle down.

    One thing is for sure-no matter what titles are available, HD-DVD's launch will make me more wary at the time of Blu-Ray's launch, and at least many of us will know better and wait to see how the first machines operate.
     
  4. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    May help to explain why Samsung delayed their release by a month. They wanted to test it on actual software first. [​IMG] But imagine what happens if the tests go badly ... [​IMG]

    Regards
     
  5. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    Where is your evidence that "half the players" lock-up? Fifty-percent of all players locking up? I've been talking very closely with six individuals who bought the player and none have locked up --- so far anyway.

    I agree though that staying on the sidelines is not a bad idea for now.
     
  6. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    I've had the player for two weeks, no problems at all. Hunt needs to replace the player, and not base his perceptions of this format on a defective unit.
     
  7. Vader

    Vader Supporting Actor

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    I didn't get the impression that Bill was talking about the format itself, but the player. There were also a fair share of glitches in first and second generation SD-DVD players at format launch back in 1997 (and the leading manufacturer for glitches was.... Toshiba). This time around, they, in their infinite wisdom, rushed stripped down players out using outdated chips just to get there first (and at the lowest price point), so it's no suprise that many of their players are lemons. Those that got a glitch-free player should count themselves lucky. None of this has anything to do with the software (though super-special editions of each of the "roll-out" titles later are a given).... just the hardware. It remains to be seen whether other HD-DVD players exhibit the same problems (Samsung is playing it smart.... letting Tosh show all of the bugs, and fixing them before they roll their own player out). I have no doubt that the Blu-Ray camp is watching the reaction to all of this very closely in relation to their own launch in a couple of months.
     
  8. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    He says in the note that he's been trying to get another unit, and having no luck ; and that half the communications he's had from people who have been using the HD-DVD player report similar problems, while the other half have been trouble-free. Given that, I don't see how one can blame him for "basing his perceptions" on what he has come in contact with. Anyway, I don't see that it has anything to do with the "format" — he seems to be saying nice enough things about the actual releases, it's the player he's having trouble with, and one need hardly point out that without a player the best prerecorded media are useless.
     
  9. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    I've had a Toshiba player before - one of the first progressive scan DVD players (the Tosh 5109 right?). I returned it because of very sluggish performance, and video breakup on half the discs I tried it on.

    I've also used friends' Toshiba players, and I hated them all (and some also had playback problems). I'm not surprised at all that Bill has had problems with his.

    I do have a Toshiba 40" CRT RPTV - pretty darned good TV!
     
  10. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    It probably will be a bitch for him to get a replacement, since the unit is really hard to come by even for paying customers, let alone reviewers.
     
  11. Jordan_E

    Jordan_E Cinematographer

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    Nothing bad happening with my A1, so I guess I should count my blessings...
     
  12. Greg T

    Greg T Stunt Coordinator

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    Right, he is not bashing the format itself....and all players clip blacks/whites, are sloooooow, and re-sync, as well as start the movie over, if you push enter menu , stop or change resolution on the remote while in hd dvd mode....which is quite annoying...and of course they have a remote that can't be read in a dark setting, with the buttons being easily confused...which makes the re-sync, and starting the movie over thing...all that much more annoying.

    Mine never actually froze during playback...but did lock up , to were it had to be unplugged a couple of times, while trying to load a movie, and it did read one sd dvd, as if it were a hybrid disc, asking me to pick an on screen box that said hd in one and I beleive , dvd in the other.
    It also took 2.5-3 seconds to advance chapters ect.....but I think it offers a great picture and audio via analog 5.1...even if down on db with the first Warner titles.

    Mine had too many quirks to feel good about though, so I will wait until I hear that at least some of this is fixed before even trying another.

    Anyone, who doesn't like hearing about player bugs...and not being able to reccomend the player to others for hd, better skip the Secrets review imo.
     
  13. Peter Overduin

    Peter Overduin Supporting Actor

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    i am one of those who bought early in March of 97 when DVD first came out; I am getting de ja vu all over again. All the same problems were reported with the first generation players and I will wait for the next generation, not only because the first units do NOT in fact produce the full HD spec either from a video or audio perspective, but because if I have to compromise, I at least dont want to deal with all the hassles of poor performance and few titles...thanks; I'm with Bill on this one and will wait
     
  14. Stan Rozenfeld

    Stan Rozenfeld Stunt Coordinator

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    I've had no problem with my player. My brother had no problem with his player. Most of the people I talk to have no problem with their player. Over at avs, last time I looked, a poll showed ratio of 10 to 1 between satisfied and unsatisfied customers.

    He wants a free player. Most other reviewers actually went and bought their player. Check out reviews at dvdtalk, projector central and other home theater sites. If he cares so much about movies on high def dvd (and I don't think he does), maybe he should go and buy a player like the rest of the reviewers have done.
     
  15. Greg T

    Greg T Stunt Coordinator

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    Those voting to keep the player...are a mixture with some of them calling the player a POS outright...and others saying they will keep it, but cant wait to get rid of it for the next gen with less bugs....in other words you need to read all the posts...not just the score card....as its no where near 10 to 1 ...that don't think its too buggy...whether they keep it or not.

    There are zero players that don't clip blacks, whites, and have the same exact problems my player had...except for those that have not experienced freezing/lock up....and a few other quirks not common to all players.
     
  16. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    In 3 weeks mine went green screen once, I unplugged it and not a problem since. I've spun well over 10 dvds with only the one issue. So far, so good, no plans on returning it.

    I'm sure Toshiba will come out with a firmware update for the sluggish performance, 1080p output and some of the other issues. At least I hope they will.
     
  17. Greg T

    Greg T Stunt Coordinator

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    There will be no upgrade for 1080p on the Toshiba...and Mr Fujii...himself said they had no plans as of a couple of weeks ago to have 1080p on the next player...which requires hardware...and so does hdmi 1.3.

    That site with all the arguing at it...just had a post about some insiders that work on the movies themselves, saying they liked the Samsung BD player much better than the buggy/cluncky Toshiba...there words.

    These guys have worked on 20 hd dvd movies and 5 BD movies so far...and eveidently use these players to check there work.
     
  18. Greg T

    Greg T Stunt Coordinator

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    More info on the Samsung BD player.
    10-15 seconds from the time the disc is put in the tray...to when you see the movie.
    No hdmi errors
    Same output connections as Toshiba
    No fan noise
    1080p output
     
  19. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    i was worried about fan noise on the Toshiba- turns out its a non issue.
    i can't detect it all in the rack 4-5' from my viewing. my projector is afe dbs louder than the A1.
    Load times haven't been an issue for me at all either. after having been used to near instantaneous response from other players when pressing something- it does take a bit of a recalibration to wait a few seconds for the command to engage- but i don't see it as a great hardship. would i like it to be faster? sure, why not- but it's not a deal killer by any stretch for me.
    I have had no lock-ups so far, but i've only had a chance to use it for maybe 6-8 hours. hardly enough time to tell.

    about the only thing i really don't like is that ever time i chapter skip or call up the menu when playing DVDs there is a loud audible 'pop' which is irritating.

    other than that, it looks to be sturdily built piece of electronics- with room for upgradability and less quirks and issues than i expected. and it puts out excellant audio and video- that's the meat and potatos- everything else is gravy and a half eaten side dish.

    I'm looking forward to the early reviews and feedback on the Bd units.
    i won't purchase one until they hit a similar ~$500 price point, but i have long expected to own both at some point.
     
  20. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    Here in Canada, we are several weeks behind in getting the A1 players. Apparently they were/are going to street on Friday (5th). I was lucky enough to receive mine early Thursday afternoon. To be totally honest, I had no intention of jumping in so quickly, but the opportunity to be one of the first to cover and review the new formats, was something that just doesn’t happen very often and it is very exciting.

    Although I have only spent about 6 hours with the new unit, so far I am very pleased and have not yet encountered any issues of concern. The build quality is very impressive and easily outweighs today’s regular decks. Like others have said, the boot time isn’t really an issue. Since I’m running a projector, I’ve made a habit of starting the PJ, 5 or 10 minutes prior to viewing, so the minute or so it takes the deck isn’t a deal breaker.

    I’ll be covering the first 3 WB titles for the forum and will talk more about the quality of the deck when I’ve had more time under my belt. Right now I’m running with components as I am waiting for my 30’ HDMI cable to show up – hopefully that will surface over the next few days..

    So far, I am not necessarily “blown away”, however, I am very pleased and impressed. To clarify, I think that has more to do with the title(s) rather than the format. It seems clear that certain titles are going to benefit more from the extra resolution than others. And before anybody asks (or if they are curious)… I paid full price for the unit just like everyone else here.

    Hope to have the first WB HD reviews up and posted by mid next week.
     

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