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What are the advantages of a more expensive Toshiba HD DVD player? (1 Viewer)

mitch

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Hi All,

I'm looking to purchase an additional Toshiba HD DVD player for my primary home theater where I currently have a Tosh A2. I will put this existing A2 in my upstairs den for "casual" movie viewing.

In replacing the A2, what are the advantages in buying a more expensive HD DVD model? Will I get better picture, features, sound, or all of the above?
Do you feel that these advantages warrant the increase in price of a more expensive model? Should I just get one of those A3's on sale for $179.00?

I have an Integra DTR 7.8 as my receiver and I have a Sony 46" XBR LCD as my TV. I use HDMI all around.

Thanks!

Mitch
 

Clinton McClure

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Some of the high-end Toshibas offer 1080p via HDMI as opposed to 1080i and they also offer 6-channel analog out. I'm sure there are more differences but those are the main two.
 

beetle_slayer

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I was given an A30 by the retailer by mistake when I wanted an A3. I couldn't tell the difference until I saw that the A30 does 1080p vs the A3 with only 1080i. They look identical to me. The A35 has 5.1 analog outs. I have hard the A30 starts faster than the A20. I don't know though; it's still pretty slow to me. If I hadn't already cut the UPC off, I would have taken it back for the correct one as the store just lost about $200. They told me to just keep it.--luck day!
 

mitch

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So what I'm hearing so far is that there are no great advantages to the more expensive players. I might as well just pick up a new A3 on sale.

Thanks,

Mitch
 

Jeff Gatie

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Here's the basics:

A2: 1080i, optical out gives DTS @ 1.5 Mbs
A3: 1080i, optical out gives dd @ 640k

A20/A30: 1080p/24
A35: 1080p24, 5.1 analog outs, Bitstreams HD audio formats to receivers that can decode

XA2: Reon chip for superior upconversion of SD DVD, 5.1 analog outs, newest firmware (2.7) supports Bitstreaming of HD audio formats
 

mitch

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So with a more expensive machine I can get better audio and picture quality?
 

PaulDA

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It depends.

If your display accepts 24fps AND it displays it without converting it to 60fps and back down to a multiple of 24--in other words, it avoids 2:3 pulldown--then you could benefit from a machine with 1080p/24. If your display does do such a conversion, there is no point to the 24fps portion of the player.

If the display has a good deinterlacer and scaler, then the advantages of the higher priced machines are limited on the video side (assuming 24fps is NOT an option for your display without the conversion to 60hz). However, chances are that the XA2 with the REON chip will be better with SD DVD than your display. The others are probably not all that different from your display's abilities to deal with SD DVD.

As for audio, as long as you can decode the new codecs in the player and send them out as PCM via HDMI to your receiver, any and all of them should give you great sound. If you had an older receiver like mine (Integra DTR 6.4--no HDMI--then you'd want a player with analogue outputs to take advantage of the new codecs. In that case, the most expensive option, the XA2, would be the one to choose for best sound and best PQ).
 

Jeff Gatie

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I agree with Paul. Unless you have one of the few displays that will do a proper 1080p/24 or (at the other end of the spectrum) one that does not properly deinterlace 1080i to 1080p, the only video advantage is in the XA2's superior upconversion of SD DVD.

On the audio side, the point is even more moot. The A2/DTS vs.A3/DD over optical is an important difference, but only if you use optical. On the HD audio side, all HD DVD players will decode HD audio to LPCM, so passing it bitstream is just a fancy extra with no real advantage. THat's the basic differences between them all. The only true advantage of passing bitstream is you can now hear the full DTS-HD MA stream instead of the core. But there aren't any HD DVD's that use DTS-HD MA, except imports.
 

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