Now you have to wonder, is there any difference, quality wise, between the A1 and the A2. Is there a firmware upgrade for 1080p yet, or is it possible? I would just assume get the older player, I don't mind big.
The low end A2 apparently does not have analog outs. The A1 is actually the better pick if a person is not ready to ditch their existing audio equipment, because it can be updated to play multi-channel Dolby TrueHD tracks through the analog outs: assuming, of course, that the receiver has external 6 channel inputs to begin with.
The low end A2 will require a HDMI 1.3 equipped receiver in order to play DolbyTrueHD tracks. The higher end A2 apparently has the analog outs but who is to say whether Dolby TrueHD will be supported through the analog outputs on the second iteration of players. Have any specs been released indicating that Dolby TrueHD iwill be supported through the analog outputs on the new player?
Amendment: The low end A2 will require an HDMI connector on the receiver, not specifically version 1.3.
Exactly, Edwin--was just typing up a post about the absence of analog 5.1 outs on the E1 (Europe) and was wondering if the A2 was similarly bereft. Sounds like that's the case, so that's a dealbreaker on the A2 for me.
Yes, I think Toshiba has stubbed their toe with this latest iteration of machines. They added support for two lame duck audio formats, SACD and DVD-A to both players, but removed the ability to enjoy those formats with out replacing equipment on one of the machines: namely the A2. SACD and DVD-A support is only going to appeal to early adopters of the formats who want the ability to keep listening to their existing collections; however, most of those people are probably listening to those collections through the analog inputs on their audio gear. Toshiba, by dropping the analog outs on the A2, has reduced the desirability of that machine considerably for audio and movie enthusiasts, regardless of the $499 price point.
Over the short term, the A1 is definitely the better option for the moviephile looking for a quick fix of quality high resolution audio and video at a reasonbable price; although, in terms of format longevity, I still think HD DVD is going to eventually come out the loser.
Check post #12 from Jesse Blacklow. He has posted two links to hi-rez images of the A2 and HXA2. You have to look at the faceplates on the machines. Not necessarily definitive evidence, but certainly a very strong indicator that the production machines will support both audio formats.
Do you have a SACD or DVD-A collection? If so, the HXA2 might be worth the $999: especially if you can get it discounted. Another poster in the same thread stated that the HXA2 was being discounted to $899 US by one retailer, with 2 free movies and a four year warranty thrown in. Sounds like a good deal if it is the real goods.
Edit: Sorry for the edit. Check post #17 by Ron-P regarding discounting of the HXA2.
Far from definitive evidence. It's quite possible that they're using a display panel that just happens to include indicators for SACD and DVD-A. It certainly doesn't mean that either of the new Toshiba players will support them. In fact since their official specs make no mention of either and this is certainly something that Toshiba would want to advertise, my money is on the negative.
Yeah Edwin I'm into SA-CD and DVD-A but I agree with Doug. Pointing a flashlight at an angle to look at the display up close on my HD-D1 (the Costco/Wal-Mart equivalent of the A1), I see a display very similar if not identical to the one in those large photos of the A2 and XA2. The display includes "DVD-A" and "SACD" but of course the D1/A1 does not play those formats.
Tosh would have trumpeted these decks' ability to play SACD and DVD-A in their press release if they were so endowed, especially the latter format which Tosh was a leading proponent of.
I'll concur. I checked my player as well. The display is identical to the ones on the new models. Looks like they lit up everything on the display for cosmetic purposes. I also noticed that the trademarks for SACD/DVD-A are absent on the badge plate. I should have looked closer before coming to a conclusion.