Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87

Posted by: HomeDad

Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 12:52 AM

The rumers are true, Walmarts secret Friday sale Walmart
Looks like I'm taking an early drive Fri.
Posted by: blackstar79

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 01:20 AM

now if only they could do the same thing in Canada. didn't walmart make some big hoopla about going on par with U.S prices recently?
Posted by: RickF

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 07:13 AM

Wow, it would be very difficult to pass up on this offer.
Posted by: Ajax

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 08:01 AM

I'll be at my local Wal-Mart's door at 8 AM tomorrow morning.
Posted by: RickF

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 08:33 AM

I notice the A2 doesn't have any analog outputs, so would I be correct in assuming that the A2 can be connected to our AVR635 in addition to my current Denon 2910 and use the Denon for SACD, DVD-A and direct channel music listening while using the A2 as a stand alone HD-DVD player?
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 09:47 AM

I just saw a TV commercial advertising the WalMart sale, so it's legit. I guess I have to go back through this thread and figure out if that's the right model for me.

Am I the only one who read through it and find the model nomenclature a bit similar..i.e., confusing?
Posted by: RickF

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 10:06 AM

Nope, you're not the only one Mark ... 7 different HD-DVD player models from Toshiba in what, less than a couple of years or so?

My only apprehension about jumping on this deal is whether or not the A2 will be outdated enough in about a half a year that I'll be wanting to upgrade anyway, while on the other hand it's difficult to pass up such a good offer to see what exactly I've been missing, which, sounds like a lot from all of the very positive post regarding HD-DVD.

Decisions, decisions.....!


Oh and BTW, it's definitely legit Mark. I just called the two Wal-Marts in our area, the big store doesn't carry them and the little store said "We will tomorrow morning at 8 A.M." and he also stated the sell will last until all of the A2s are gone or through Sunday midnight.

Anybody interested might want to call around, not all stores carry these units.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 10:19 AM

If I had the rest of the infrastructure, this would probably get me to flip to an HD camp at all.

Ah, the power of the $. Or at least, the feeling of saving a $!
Posted by: Hutzal

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 11:09 AM

Wow...Long live HD DVD!!! And here's to hoping Warner goes HD DVD exclusive in January!
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 11:30 AM

 Quote:
And here's to hoping Warner goes HD DVD exclusive in January!

Warner has the biggest movie catalog in world and whoever gets their support may win.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 11:58 AM

Personally, I’ve rather there not be a ‘winner’. Competition keeps things lively and interesting because one will always be doing something cool to get the upper hand over the other.

I’d just like to see both formats continue with enough support for both to encourage the main stream player manufactures to build true “universal” players that play everything very well. When this (if this) happens, companies like Oppo will start shipping excellent performing, but reasonably prices units, and, you’ll get that great customer support that Oppo provides.

While I really do not have a preference for either format and enjoy both equally, I prefer my PS3 over the A2. The PS3 is very fast, has great functionality and is a joy to use compared to any player I’ve had so far (including DVD). When the A35 shows up, I’ll be very interested to see how it compares to the PS3.

I would caution anyone who is considering buying one of these players to consider your resolve for resisting the upgraditis bug. This is a teaser. By meaning, it’s an excellent marketing strategy to get fence sitters off the fence. When you get the A2 and see how good HD is; you are going to be hooked. HD is very, very addictive. I know I’m a downright HD junky now and just can’t seam to resist anything that comes out. I’ve blown over ten grand in the last year on electronics that I would not have spent if HD/BR had not come to market. First it will be the $99 A2, then it will be the new 1080P display, then it will be a Blue Ray player, then you’ll want to “hear” lossless sound so you’ll get a HDMI audio processor, then there will be a “new and improved” HD player, then the “new” BR player, then the “new” audio processor…..and so on. I’ve come to know you regulars and how ALL of you have upgraditis real bad, one year from now…….
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 12:03 PM

 Originally Posted By: BrotherBob
My only apprehension about jumping on this deal is whether or not the A2 will be outdated enough in about a half a year that I'll be wanting to upgrade anyway...


I was wondering about the A2 or A3 before I jumped on the A2 last week for $200 (hopefully I will find a local Walmart with them for $98 tomorrow and return the first one). Anyway, the A2 and A3 seem to have the exact same specs except the A2 actually has one thing going for it that the A3 doesn't. The A2 will "downgrade" Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus to a 1.5mbps DTS stream for those of us without an HDMI receiver. The A3, although newer, "downgrades" those to a 640kbps Dolby Digital stream. It is nice to have the higher bandwidth of the A2.

I am going to call my Walmarts this afternoon to see which ones will have it tomorrow. We have 11 Walmarts in a 20 mile radius, so one of them should have them.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 12:10 PM

hmmm Maybe there should be a stickied thread that is only open between Jan. 1 and Jan.31 (to allow for Christmas goodies.) Everyone who wishes can post their current setup and it's not editable again until next January for people to list their new setup.

I could provide everyone with a place to show off their gear and a place for others to make fun of those who were infected with upgraditis.

Maybe even include a line where they list 'planned' upgrades so we can see how bad we are at sticking to plans.

Call it "The Official Annual Upgraditis Health Watch Report" or some variation that makes a good acronym.

OK bad idea, it just might further the spread of the outbreak.
Posted by: Lorenzo1000

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 12:54 PM

Apparently Best Buy in the states now has the A2 listed for $99 but none available for shipping. They could be waiting until tomorrow to have it available but you can check online to see if your local store has any. Good luck to all you A2 hunters!!! \:\)
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 12:59 PM

I can't seem to find any good, comprehensive comparison chart of the Toshiba models, but I think I'm going to hold off for one with 5.1 analog outs since my receiver is not HDMI capable.

It really seem like all the players are missing something or another in comparison to each other, and since I have the XBox add-on, I'll let it suffice till a higher-end model is on sale....

(subject to change in the next 12 hours.....)
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 01:27 PM

The only way to get 5.1 analog outputs is the XA2, and that runs about $600+.... You could get the $98 A2 and a new HDMI receiver (like the Onkyo TX-SR605) that also does all of the HD audio, including DTS-HD Master Audio for that price!
Posted by: Hutzal

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 01:54 PM

the A35 also has analog outs.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 03:11 PM

 Originally Posted By: nickbuol
The only way to get 5.1 analog outputs is the XA2, and that runs about $600+....


FWIW, the best comparison I found this morning was at Crutchfield. When you wrote $600+, I checked back to Crutchfield because I thought it was $500 there.... and God knows Crutchfield is usually more expensive than the others.

Alas, it's true, and seems to be a far better price than most and they're known for good service too: Crutchfield

They also offer the 5 free HDDVD movies and a 5.1 DTS music demo disc....
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 03:11 PM

According to the Toshiba web site, it only has 2 channel analog out. Of course, with no pictures of the back of the device, it is hard to confirm that. Toshiba's web site has been wrong before...
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 03:13 PM

I stopped by a Walmart today over lunch and when I asked about the $98 HD-DVD player, they said that it was a "misprint" and it should have been $198. A misprint on a web site? Crazy talk!

They did have an increased selection of HD-DVD movies finally, and they were actually running an HD-DVD movie in the HD-DVD player instead of the last time when they had just a standard DVD in it...
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 03:16 PM

Well, I saw a TV ad this morning for Walmart where a wife was going to "make her husband happy" by buying him an HDDVD player for under $100 tomorrow....

Stop it, you guys. Don't disrail this thread like every other one.....
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 03:18 PM

I'm still stopping in. I just need to find a local store that will confirm that they will have them (regardless of the price that they tell me over the phone today)....
Posted by: richeydog

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 03:41 PM

 Originally Posted By: nickbuol
I'm still stopping in. I just need to find a local store that will confirm that they will have them (regardless of the price that they tell me over the phone today)....

Ditto. Going to try and find out which local store has these in stock so I can make the kill tomorrow morning.
Posted by: richeydog

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 03:45 PM

 Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
Well, I saw a TV ad this morning for Walmart where a wife was going to "make her husband happy" by buying him an HDDVD player for under $100 tomorrow....


I cannot possibly think of another way to make a husband happy...
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 03:57 PM

I just called the closest Walmart to my house and they confirmed (after asking several times) that the price WILL be $98 tomorrow.

Sirquack, go to Altoona with me tomorrow and pick one up!

They said that they will have 50 available for sale at 8AM. The last time I went to get a special sale item at Walmart, I didn't expect the one in "hick-town" Altoona to sell out quickly, so I will go a little early.



Also, the Walmart.com web site has been down for a little while for "maintenance". It is back up and has the special sale items on the main page.

Don't forget, Best Buy will also have it for $99. The price on their web site dropped down to $99 even though it was marked as "sold out", which is what they normally do when they are about to open it up at the new price but don't want to mess with pre-orders...
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 07:12 PM

 Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson

(subject to change in the next 12 hours.....)


OK...wondering again.......

What will I be gaining in going from the XBox add-on to the A2 if I'm using a receiver without HDMI (Denon 3805 with 5.1 analog in only).

Will I gain some better audio tracks or better picture quality or something?

Will an A2 upsample standard def better than my Oppo 981?

There's a part of me that says "wait till the higher end models drop in price" and another side of me that says "It's only 100 bucks"!

Help make my decision for me, but know right now that I WON'T be upgrading my M60s to M80s....so don't even try!!!
Posted by: RickF

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 07:16 PM

 Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
 Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson

(subject to change in the next 12 hours.....)


There's a part of me that says "wait till the higher end models drop in price" and another side of me that says "It's only 100 bucks"!



There lies the problem with me as well but my mind is pretty well made up and I believe I'll give it a shot ... what's to lose?
Posted by: Lorenzo1000

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 07:43 PM

The A2 does a very good job of upconverting regular DVDs. Some people think it's better than the OPPO dvd players. If someday you buy a HDMI receiver than you can play the True DD soundtracks via HDMI. It is only $98 so it's not a big investment.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 08:00 PM

I will actualy be at the Altoona Walmart around 8:30-9 as I'm talking one of our vehicles in to get 2 new tires. Not sure I can get there by 8am, as we have to drop the kids off at daycare first in Norwalk.

This sounds like a good deal, maybe I can pay you back Nick. \:\)
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 08:02 PM

Actually, we have to take two cars as we are going to leave one of my cars at Walmart, and take the other one to Ankeny to take my mom out for her birthday. Maybe I can leave earlier. What time are you going to be there Nick?

This will be just like the Wii, we won't get one. \:\( Is Walmart in Altoona 24hrs? Are you just going back to the electronics area to wait for 8am? \:\)
Posted by: RickF

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 08:04 PM

Whoa, having WalMart do repairs on the vehicles? That's scary!

\:D
Posted by: Wid

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 08:09 PM

I tried to get them to change oil one time and they said the was a two hour wait. I asked how many cars were in front of us, she said three \:o So I asked why such a long wait. She said that's how long it take for the oil changes, now that is scary.
Posted by: RickF

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 08:12 PM

 Originally Posted By: wid
I tried to get them to change oil one time and they said the was a two hour wait.


Maybe that's why Randy is dropping it off?? An all day affair for 5 qts of oil!
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 08:25 PM

Sams and Walmart do tires all over the country. Getting some new Goodyear Tracker II's 245 70R 16's for our older SUV AT 95$ ea. \:\)
Posted by: RickF

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 08:29 PM

Sam's has about the best deals on tires here, it's a darn shame their lift isn't capable of hoisting a 3/4 ton truck!
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 08:29 PM

 Originally Posted By: BrotherBob
Whoa, having WalMart do repairs on the vehicles? That's scary!

\:D


I am not even going to go there [shivers]
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 09:02 PM

Hey. will you guys get back on track and start thinking about how you can help ME?

I wonder if you still get the 5 HDDVDs? If so, then it's like getting the player for free!
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 09:22 PM

I was told you were beyond help or was it your room was beyond help?
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 10:11 PM

Mark, the rebate is for "Toshiba HD DVD Player (all models)" and there don't seem to be any other restrictions.

Randy, I am planning on being there before 8 AM for fear that all the hicks over here with their 1080p 32" plasmas stop in to buy one. I would guess that I would be there around 7:30 AM. All of the "special deals" are supposed to be "at the front of the store". That to me says that they will be by the checkouts. I am going to grab 2 HD-DVD players, and maybe a laptop for my wife. I could always see if I can grab and extra player and stash it somewhere... ;\)
Posted by: terzaghi

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 10:29 PM

wow, thanks for the heads up. one of my walmarts has 50 ready for the sale tomorrow!
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 10:40 PM

so does this do dolby via the optical or only DTS? I will talk to my wife tonight and maybe show up Nick, don't worry about grabbing one for me, but I appreciate it though. \:\) I think the tire place opens around 7am...
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 10:47 PM

Can it also be used to listen to CD's
Posted by: blackstar79

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 10:55 PM

you can play audio CD's on it yes and you got your normal dolby...basically most of the features you get on a descent up converting run of the mill DVD player you get on this minus stuff like DivX playback which i think is a little of a bummer. sure it's to play HD but do you want 5 dvd players stacked on top of each other?
more details about the A2
http://www.tacp.toshiba.com/tacpassets-images/models/HD-A2/docs/HD-A2KU_E.pdf

oh and BTW i'm REAL bitter about this deal being only in the U.S..i think i'll protest and bring back Laser disc
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 11:01 PM

The specs state that it will read CD, CD-R, CD-RW, CD-DA, DVD-R, DVD-R DL, DVD-RW, DVD VR, HD-DVD.

Maybe I'll see you there!
Posted by: gmorf33

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 11:43 PM

I'm definately going to have to pick up at least one of these... would make nice christmas gifts, I wonder what the limit is.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 11:52 PM

It doesn't specify a limit on their web site, but who knows. I am hoping that there aren't too many people waiting for them. Then I could buy one, take it to my car, and the go back and get another if I needed to.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/01/07 11:53 PM

and another, and another, and another. \:\)
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 12:10 AM

50 in stock, darn, the holiday website link on page one says minimum 50 per store.

I guess the only thing holding me back is that some day I hope to get a 1080p projector, the Sanyo Z2000 after rebate can be found for under 2K now on ebay.

I'm sure the A2 would make my Z2 look awesome and 98 bucks is not a bad deal....
Posted by: CV

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 12:33 AM

Do it, do it.
Posted by: CV

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 12:38 AM

Speaking of which, I just saw a Wal-Mart ad on TV which featured the HD DVD player, so it looks like they're actually pushing it a little. Here's hoping they get the sales they're looking for.

I also liked the iPod Touch commercial featuring "Music Is My Hot Hot Sex" by CSS, which I'd say is my favorite song of theirs.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 12:59 AM

Trying to talk the wife into it, I mentioned Nick was getting his wife a laptop, I assume the Acer 398$ special. I wish it showed specs....
Posted by: skyhawk669

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 09:10 AM

Randy, also know that you'll have to connect the player to your Z2 with component since it won't work with an HDMI/DVI adapter due to the Z2's faulty HDCP compatibility.
Which means that you won't get dvd upscaling (only works through HDMI). Of course you have an HTPC so that shouldn't be a problem right?
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 09:44 AM

Well, I picked up two A2s this morning. I got to the closest Walmart at 7:30am and was 2nd in line behind some lady that was there since 6:00am waiting for a laptop.

They rolled out the goods around 7:40 am and by then about 10 people were in line. We wanted to grab the stuff and at least wait in line with it, but there was no real rush because there were so many. The official count was 35 HD-DVD players even though they were supposed to get 50.

I went over to get my two, and who do I see? Good ol' Randy (Sirquack). I have only seen his picture in a family photo he posted on here, and he had only seen me in a picture during my old home theater's construction. Needless to say he was looking his best in his picture, and I was my worst.

Hey Randy, sorry I couldn't stay and chat. I had to get to the office for an 8:30 meeting, just to find out when I got here that it was cancelled around 8:15....

Anyway, I got to the counter again and they said, "Limit 1 per customer." Instead of putting the second one back, this really nice lady who was there for a laptop said that she would put it in her cart and meet me near the main checkouts. So I ran my first one out to my car, ran back in, met up with her, and bought it in the regular (non-electronics department) checkout.

That was probably best anyway. Then I have a receipt I can give my father-in-law when he gets it for Christmas, and I have a receipt for me.

I also picked up an optical cable since my monoprice.com cable isn't here yet. AND I grabbed a laptop for my wife. I was very hesitant at first since I like to get the best performance I can being an IT guy, but I grabbed one thinking that I could always return it.

The specs on the laptop are (from memory since it is still out in my car)
Acer
1.73GHz Mobile Celeron (never owned a "stripped down" celeron before)
15.4" WXGA screen
80 GB hard drive
1GB RAM (upgradable to 2 GB)
DVD player/CD-RW
Wireless networking
10/100 LAN
56kbps modem (who needs that?)
Windows Vista (Ugh! with only 1 GB of RAM)
$348

I will have to do some checking at places like TigerDirect to see if I can get a better deal or not. My biggest concern is the Celeron. For what my wife is doing (internet and MS Office) it should be enough, but I just don't want even her outgrowing it anytime soon.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 09:51 AM

 Originally Posted By: skyhawk669
Randy, also know that you'll have to connect the player to your Z2 with component since it won't work with an HDMI/DVI adapter due to the Z2's faulty HDCP compatibility.
Which means that you won't get dvd upscaling (only works through HDMI). Of course you have an HTPC so that shouldn't be a problem right?


Yeah Randy, I did a quick search and it looks like there is a certain combination of firmwares that work, but most don't. You will probably need to update the firmware on the A2 (just connect it to your home network, or download the firmware and burn it to a CD), and on your Z2. The Z2 is the problem though since it has to be sent in to Sanyo to get updated, and even then it is a crap shoot on if it will work. Maybe in your searchings on the subject you will get better details.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 10:51 AM

No such deals in the land of the silver birch and home of the beaver.
Posted by: skyhawk669

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 10:59 AM

You're right that some people have reported success when upgrading the firmware of their Z2 but it's so rare that it's statistically null... I wouldn't count on it. On top of that when the Z2 came out HDCP 1.0 wasn't even finalized so there's some hardware issues that might be insurmontable with the toshiba drives. In any case it should look fine with component with the Z2.

You'll be my guinea pic Randy! Since I have a Z2 also...
Let us know if it works with a HDMI?DVI cable.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 11:09 AM

I was just glad to hear that my Z3 will work OK... Whew...
Posted by: Lorenzo1000

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 12:00 PM

Hey congratulations on your new A2 guys. For those of you who want to update by disc here's a link for you.

Toshiba Firmware

I like to use Active ISO Burner for the discs. It's a free program and works every time for me.

Active ISO Burner
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 12:30 PM

Well, I bought two of the A2s and a laptop as well.... there wasn't any limit. They hadn't gotten in the HDDVD titles, so I didn't bother with that.

My dad finally bought a plasma a few weeks ago, so the 2nd A2 might make a good Christmas gift for him. The laptop didn't have any specs, but for the price I figured I could always use a seventh computer!!!
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 12:36 PM

 Quote:
Almost immediately following the announcement of Wal-Mart's one-day sale where Toshiba's HD-A2 player would be marked down to just under $100, Best Buy changed its permanent price to match.


http://www.tgdaily.com/html_tmp/content-view-34672-97.html
Posted by: RickF

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 12:48 PM

Call me different *but* I don't see all of the hype for HD DVD thus far...

This morning I did get a chance to make it to WallyWorld to get my hands on 1 of 10 available Toshiba A2 Hd-DVDs for 98 bucks, got it home and did all of the proper connections and to my somewhat surprise I just didn't personally see the big deal.

I'm comparing the A2 to a Denon 2910 as well as an Oppo 980H via an H/K AVR635 and a Mitsubishi 73-727 73" RP DLP 1080p TV and to be quite honest, thus far I am unimpressed. Both the Denon and the Toshiba are connected via HDMI to the TV and Optical to the receiver. Along with the A2 I also bought 'Transformers', 'Face Off', 'The Last Samurai' and to me they all seemed to be either very dark in the background or dark on the foreground, so I inserted the Pixar movie 'Cars' to compare SD quality and I thought the Denon and Oppo was better... with the A2 the movie looked awfully light in contrast to the Denon and Oppo.

Firmware updates? I'm not in IT, I'm not in any sort of computer engineering field nor do I care to be, sell a freaking unit ready to for us old folks to use, will ya!!!

I place the A2 PQ below the Oppo and the Denon only because I'm unimpressed with the HD DVD side of the A2 and I believe the Oppo as well as the Denon up convert 1080i better than the A2 and I place the Denon and Oppo light years ahead of the A2 for SQ via the optical interconnect, maybe a $1,500 receiver with all of the HDMI bells and whistles will change that, I dunno.

Also the unit is rather cheaply built....you can't shut the front cover door with the disc tray extended out, how freaking lame is that! But for a hundred bucks, what the hey.
Posted by: EFalardeau

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 12:52 PM

Make sure the A2 is configured for more than 480i output. Because there is no comparison (I have the Oppo 980 too). I cannot vouch too much for the A2 since I had the A20 and now have the A30, but the end result is not even close. Double check all your settings.
Posted by: RickF

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 12:56 PM

Thanks Eric, I'll go take a look but I'm quite sure it's 1080i output.

It's probably ... me.
Posted by: bugbitten

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 12:57 PM

I did an A/B with my 2910 and the A2. Two "serenity" SD dvds (one borrowed) with the players on different HDMI inputs on the SXRD.

Just switching inputs, we (my son and I), could see a big difference.

I sold the 2910.

"Serenity" HD-DVD looks even better.

MHO YMMV
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 12:57 PM

Rick, your TV isn't big enough to see a difference. Please send it to me for verification purposes.
Posted by: RickF

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 01:00 PM

I just checked and the A2's resolution is set on 'Up to 1080i' ... I dunno.
Posted by: Hutzal

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 01:01 PM

Rick,

I too am suprised by your findings, did you manually change your output to HD resolution? It defaults on 480i.
Posted by: richeydog

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 01:02 PM

Brother Bob, check your output in the toshiba menu to make sure it's set at 1080i. Also make sure to check and see if the dynamic range compression is enabled or not. That could be hampering your sound if it is.

Edit: got beat to the punch on the 1080i thing...rats!
Posted by: Murph

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 01:02 PM

Hmmmm. I didn't have an upconverting DVD player before my A2. My Denon 3608 is supposed to do that but the difference was so minimal I wondered if it was just in my head.

However, the difference for me in going from a regular Toshiba DVD player to a Toshiba A2 and a true HD movie was PHENOMENAL. Admittedly, older movies that were just drug out of the bins and re-released in HD format are not as impressive at all. The new movie I own in both formats is Batman begins. The difference between the two was actually more than I expected it to be.

Even my Dad who is visiting for a few days to refinish a dresser for us commented on the picture and normally wouldn't say a word if you drove him around the block in the space shuttle.

Anyways, maybe the Oppo is just that good or maybe it's some equipement combo or maybe its just my subjectivity being variable to yours. In any case, if your not happy, thats whats important but I'm betting you can find a buyer pretty quick. Maybe another Canadian board member here who couldn't access the sub hundred deal. Of course you can't advertise her but since I've sparked the thought just as a suggestion, I'm sure it would be OK if someone PMed you.
Posted by: Hutzal

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 01:03 PM

Rick, I think you should check out output settings...
Posted by: RickF

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 01:03 PM

Ken, give me a couple of days and it may be on it's way. ;\)
Posted by: CV

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 01:04 PM

I'm surprised by your experience so far, too. I have the earlier HD-A1, and HD DVDs look so nice. It goes head to head with the PS3's Blu-ray, of course depending on the content. I find the audio to be terrific as well, but I'm using HDMI for that, which may make a difference. Sorry to hear about your lackluster first impressions.
Posted by: RickF

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 01:05 PM

I'll go back once again...
Posted by: RickF

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 01:12 PM

I dunno, everything looks up to snuff regarding setup and connections ... HDMI out to the TV and Optical to the receiver, output is 'Up To 1080i' on the A2.

Maybe I need to check out a couple of more HD-DVDs.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 01:16 PM

My buddy bought a PS3 and said he saw no dif in blueray disks on his 42" Plasma. I went over in disbelief and his TV was still set to 480p. We bumped it up to 1080i and boom!

I know you already checked that but for somebody else reading this post later on, it might help them.
Posted by: Zarak

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 01:19 PM

Be warned...I have at 1 GHZ Celeron that is so slow with XP I had to put Windows 98 on it. I can't imagine it with Vista.

Realized this makes no sense where it is posted now...it is in reference to the new Celeron laptop that was purchased a couple pages back in the thread.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 01:23 PM

 Originally Posted By: Zarak
Be warned...I have at 1 GHZ Celeron that is so slow with XP I had to put Windows 98 on it. I can't imagine it with Vista.


I will keep my eyes open on the forums about actual real-life performance that other people are getting before giving it to my wife. If it is a "pooch" I'll tkae it back before she even knows I got it.

As for the unimpressive performance of the A2 for BortherBob, did you say that it is going through your AVR via HDMI? Have you tried a direct HDMI link to your TV just for testing?

EDIT: Oops. I just noticed that your AVR doesn't have HDMI. Are you using HDMI or component?
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 01:41 PM

Richard,

You sure you got the disk up where you're watching the HD version and not the SD version? Not to be-little you or anything, but I've done that myself with these stupid "combo" disks. Twice now...watched the hole freakin movie thinking, hu...that ain't too hot. Then figured out I watched the SD version.

If you have, then something is weird. While the Oppo does a darn fine job, I've popped an SD disk in the Oppo, and an HD disk of the same movie in the A2 and the difference has been startling, every time....
Posted by: RickF

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 01:55 PM

Nick I am using HDMI from the A2 out to the TV and Optical from the A2 out to the receiver, I'm wondering....

Way back whenever I first set everything up I connected the Denon to the TV via component cable and the Denon to the receiver via optical, sound was never an issue. Watched, and got used to viewing this setup for almost two years. Not too long ago I connected the Denon to the TV via the HDMI and was some what astounded at the difference...the Denon was now upconverting to 1080i and man, now just about every DVD we viewed was so much better. I now wonder if I was looking for this same astounding difference between the upconverted 1080i and the HD DVD and, although an awesome picture, the astounding effect just wasn't there. Maybe I expected way much more than the end result.

There's no doubt that this HD-DVD is an awesome picture, but so was most of the SD disc with the upconversions. I'm also thinking in terms of cost associated with HD-DVD players, disc, receivers and so forth. The verdict is still out for me but over time, who knows.

I'm off for two weeks, the wind is blowing to beat 60 down here and the garage is clean so I'm busting out a Heineken, playing with this thing for a couple of hours...I'll figure this stuff out.
Posted by: RickF

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 01:58 PM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew
Richard,

You sure you got the disk up where you're watching the HD version and not the SD version?


Hmmmm, without nary the first glance ... I'm wondering if stupidity is stamped all over my forehead (as usual).

Let me go look Mike, hopefully, and in this case, I hope you are right.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 02:02 PM

From what I've heard, HD discs should still be a night and day difference even over good upconversion...
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 02:03 PM

Why 1080i? I have always found 720P to be superior to 1080i. 540 lines drawn twice or 720 drawn continuosly. Maybe try 720P?
Posted by: RickF

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 02:07 PM

Taking another look at the 'Samurai' HD disc...the previews look so much better than does the actual film, quite a bit. Maybe I just need to get a decent HD-DVD disc and maybe the shadow effect with the Transformers disc turned me off.


I'm probably being way too critical.

Posted by: bugbitten

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 02:39 PM

My WM still had 18 A2s 15 minutes ago. I stopped by to get a couple of HD movies.
Posted by: oldskoolboarder

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 02:43 PM

None at Walmart or Best Buy. Oh well...
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 03:01 PM

Rick, your problem is that you need to turn down your receiver to a quarter watt \:\) .
Posted by: RickF

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 03:06 PM

The verdict is out for me....somebody can have this POS.

Thought I'd give the 'Samurai' a good second look through and right in the middle of the movie the sound started breaking up and the picture started jumping around. I'm sure it's due to a firmware upgrade but FTS, I ain't spending money on crap that doesn't work out of the box.

Oh well, lesson learned.
Posted by: RickF

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 03:07 PM

 Originally Posted By: Mojo
Rick, your problem is that you need to turn down your receiver to a quarter watt \:\) .


No, my problem is that I jumped on this HD DVD crap bandwagon.

Unimpressed.

Arrrgh.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 03:30 PM

I mean this in seriousness cause I tend to be sarcastic, maybe it is actually broken....
Posted by: RickF

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 03:36 PM

I don't know Andrew...whenever the sound and picture started breaking up I thought 'Hmmmm', maybe just a glitch. Whenever it broke up again after three attempts I was about ready to throw the thing out of the door.

For you in the know, would this be a firmware issue?

Maybe it isn't right and needs to be replaced, but thus far I am so unimpressed with the thing that it's already disconnected and in the closet.
Posted by: EFalardeau

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 03:49 PM

Could be firmware (very easy to upgrade) or there might be some HDMI incompatibility (i.e. settings is for max resolution, the actual resolution is negociated by the every equipment in the chain).
Posted by: gem41573

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 04:15 PM

A couple of things at play here Rick. First, The Last Samurai is widely regarded as only an average HD-DVD transfer. It was in the first batch of HD-DVD's released, and is nowhere near reference quality. Take a look at Happy Feet, or Hot Fuzz, or Planet Earth, or many others, and you'll see what HD-DVD has to offer.

Second, it is a known fact that one really needs to update the firmware on these HD-DVD players as soon as they receive them. You can call it a POS, but this need to update the firmware just comes with the territory of getting into HD-DVD. It takes just a few minutes to download the latest firmware, burn it, and update it in the player. These Toshibas are essentially computers, and can be glitchy. The firmware updates are important.

In the end, if you just don't buy into this, no big deal. But right now you're not seeing HD-DVD at anywhere near its best.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 04:34 PM

I know what you are saying BrotherBob... It should work out of the box. Everything should be that way, but they aren't. Cars, even expensive cars, have recalls, electronic components DO have manurfacturing failures, heck, some people have even had to send their Axioms back because something got crossed in shipping or manufacturing. It DOES happen. I still think that something else is in play here. If you weren't impressed with the video, than something was wrong. If it was the HD-DVD player with a failure, you would think that it wouldn't output at all instead of what seems like a "downgraded" picture to start, and then somehow a total drop out of signal. Either you got a lemon, or something outside of the HD-A2 isn't playing nice. Call it a POS if you want, you are entitled, and after a frustrating day of messing around, I think that anyone would be upset, but overall people are very happy with the HD-A2.

The firmware is easy enough to do. If you plug the box into your internet at home (assuming you have high speed with a Cat5 network cable) or download and burn the firmware to a CD. Hell, I'd be willing to burn a CD with the firmware on it and mail it to you myself, just because we are one big (mostly) happy family here. If you want me to, shoot me a PM with your address sometime today so that I can get it ready and out in the mail tomorrow. Life should not be so tough when trying to improve a hobby like this one.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 04:40 PM

 Originally Posted By: nickbuol
I know what you are saying BrotherBob... IT should work out of the box. Everything should be that way, but they aren't.


A good example is the Wii and the PS3(if I remember right) both had to have upgrades out of the box just to get them to work properly with some of their features.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 05:11 PM

Damn Richard, you got me laughing my ass off!!

I know what you’re going through as I’ve gone through it too, but I’ve adapted…… I’m so (place your choice of cuss word here) tired of being a beta tester for these new HMDI POS electronic devices, that if I didn’t absolutely love the sight and sound, I’d get rid of all of it and go back to my old 25” Magnavox TV and play more chess.

I have yet to buy one thing that has HDMI that wasn’t F-ed up from the get go. I’m not exaggerating either….everything I’ve bought has or had some stinking glitch.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Industry is starting to catch up to this pathetically incompetent HDMI roll out and things are starting to work somewhat better as time goes on.

So, in regards to your POS A2, I’m guessing your settings are incorrect. Either the TV or the Player. You should be able to tell a difference with the disks you have, and a big difference at that. And I do agree with you, the A2 is a POS when you compare it to your Denon, but I love the picture. The build quality of these players is pathetic. Toshiba is trying to get the upper hand over Sony, so they need to get these players in homes and as this ‘sale’ demonstrates, cheap players is what folks want…..not build quality.

Don’t give up yet bubba…. Something’s screwy.
Posted by: RickF

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 05:14 PM

Gem and Nick, thanks a ton ... After a cool down period on my part, I'm sure it's probably just a matter of tweaking. Earlier, I gave up after 'The Last Samurai' and didn't try the other disc to see if maybe it was in fact a disc issue or not so I'll try to show a little more patience with the A2 this next go around with the other disc while keeping in mind that these disc are as first and second generation as the player itself.

Nick, if you don't mind I do believe I'll take you up on your offer and publicly I want to say thanks for such a kind gesture...not all of us out here are as computer savvy as we'd like to be and it can get to be a little overwhelming at times. I'll shoot you a PM in a few with my home address, again thanks!

I'm not giving up hope just yet.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 05:19 PM

 Originally Posted By: BrotherBob
...not all of us out here are as computer savvy as we'd like to be and it can get to be a little overwhelming at times.


I think alot of us forget that, as well manufacturers.
Posted by: RickF

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 05:22 PM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew
Damn Richard, you got me laughing my ass off!!


Uh huh Mike, and the sad part is that if you get a non-techie, impatient and 'want-it-done-right ... and right-now' type of person like myself mixed in to this bag of tricks it can get to be very aggravating, to say the least.

I think these manufacturer's do this on purpose, it's the geeks back in college getting back at me ... and I *never* messed with 'em! WTF???
Posted by: RickF

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 05:24 PM

 Originally Posted By: jakewash
 Originally Posted By: BrotherBob
...not all of us out here are as computer savvy as we'd like to be and it can get to be a little overwhelming at times.


I think alot of us forget that, as well manufacturers.


I wholeheartedly agree Jason ... about the manufacturer's ;\)
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 06:04 PM

 Originally Posted By: BrotherBob
Nick, if you don't mind I do believe I'll take you up on your offer and publicly I want to say thanks for such a kind gesture...not all of us out here are as computer savvy as we'd like to be and it can get to be a little overwhelming at times. I'll shoot you a PM in a few with my home address, again thanks!

I'm not giving up hope just yet.


Just shoot me a PM with your address and I will send you the exact disc that I use to update mine with tonight, that way I'll know for sure that I am sending you a working disc. Hang in there... This place is a good "support" group in a few different ways. "Support" as in technical support ideas, and "support" as in "Hello, my name is Rick, and I've been an A2 user for 8 hours....."
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 06:12 PM

Rick, if you get too fed up, you can always return it, can't you? Or just do what I did with my Sony. Take it to the store and throw it on the floor on a busy Saturday morning.
Posted by: Wid

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 06:14 PM


Richy, keep it around at least til Jan. We'll figure it out I'm sure
Posted by: richeydog

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 06:53 PM

Headline news --- Vero Beach, Florida:

Man strangles self with complimentary rca cables from Toshiba...News at eleven.

I feel for you Rick. Sometimes this stuff is a PITA. Take er easy.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 07:23 PM

Alright man! I've got the firmware burned on CD, but I can't test it yet. I have to run out the door to go to the opening night of a musical my daughter is in (Oklahoma). After that is a cast party for kids and parents, and then I will come home and need to tidy up a bit as my parents are coming to visit tomorrow, but fear not. I WILL get my HD-A2 hooked up and tested tonight, the the firmware loaded, and get it in the mail to you tomorrow (still need your address).... I may not get much sleep tonight, but I will gain an hour tomorrow night... \:\) No, wait... An extra hour means more time to watch HD!
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 07:48 PM

Oklahoma. The best musical I have ever seen. We took a drive down the west coast from San Fran and were totally charmed at Carmel-by-the-sea. We noticed that Oklahoma was playing in an outdoor theatre and decided to stick around. It was a gorgeous night, we had a beautiful view of the ocean and the performance was totally flawless and professional. If you've ever had a perfect moment, then you know what I'm talking about.

Darn, I hijacked another thread.
Posted by: RickF

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 07:52 PM

Hey I'm originally from Oklahoma ... is this why I'm having so many darned problems with the Toshiba complimentary rca cables?? \:D

Nick I shot you a PM with the pertinent info, thanks again!
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 08:13 PM

I just can't stop thinking about the Sesame Street skit where they are trying to do 'O'klahoma and the led keeps saying all the other vowels, 'E'klahoma, 'I'klahoma......\:D
Posted by: terzaghi

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 08:45 PM

grabbed my hd dvd player for 98 bucks... I have officially jumped onto the hddvd bandwagon.

wish some of the titles that are bluray exclusives were on hddvd, but I I went bluray I would feel the same way.

I have not seen an hd-dvd movie on it yet.

I popped in regular dvd transformers. watched a scene on the hd-dvd player and on my xbox 360.

switched back and forth a couple of times and concluded the toshiba a2 makes the xbox 360 dvd player look like CRAP!

I have to go get a hd-dvd and test this bad boy out.

I guess it is time to sign up for netflix now!

I could not get the firmware update to work via ethernet for some reason.

I burned the update to a cd and it worked fine. I used nero burning rom.

Now if I can just keep myself from buying too many hd-dvd movies incase this format flops!
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 09:01 PM

Are you sure it's not your imagination regarding the quality between the A2 and the 360? Can you take pictures to show us the difference?
Posted by: terzaghi

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 09:44 PM

I have no digital camera, but if I obtain one from somebody I will take pics.

The a2 may not actually make the xbox360 look like crap, but there is def. a noticeable difference.

The colors appear more washed out/faded with the 360, that is the main difference

the 360 is hooked up with component cables and the a2 is hooked up via hdmi, not sure if that makes a difference or not as my tv is a 720p/1080i set

I have heard others talk about how the 360's dvd player is sub par in comparison to other upscaling dvd players.

Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/02/07 09:51 PM

I never felt the SD video off the Xbox360 was all that great, the XA2 blows it away, my new A2 is still in the box so I can't compare it to either, I haven't decided if I'm going to keep it or give someone a really nice X-mas gift. Even though my closest Walmart is 45 miles away it was too good a deal to pass up.
I have to say from what I saw Toshiba just got a ton of HD DVD players on the street, I called Walmart this morning at 08:00 and asked them to hold an A2 for me, they gave me an hour to get it. At 8:45 when I picked mine up the sales lady told me all the Walmarts in the area had sold out by 8:30.
There were many of those Sanyo 50 inch Tv's at $998.00 going out the door also.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 12:29 AM

That's an interesting comment on the difference between component and HDMI. When I first bought my 720p/1080i Sammy, I also purchased a Toshiba SD player with HDMI since my current DVD player didn't have HDMI. I was so unimpressed with the HDMI compared to component from my current player that I took the Toshiba back.
Posted by: HAY

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 01:16 AM

 Originally Posted By: terzaghi
The a2 may not actually make the xbox360 look like crap, but there is def. a noticeable difference.

The colors appear more washed out/faded with the 360, that is the main difference

the 360 is hooked up with component cables and the a2 is hooked up via hdmi, not sure if that makes a difference or not as my tv is a 720p/1080i set

I have heard others talk about how the 360's dvd player is sub par in comparison to other upscaling dvd players.


Are you talking about the 360 drive or the 360 HD DVD add on drive??
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 01:49 AM

Hooked everything up, HDMI for video to my Sanyo Z3 at 720p, and optical to my Pioneer Elite VSX-54TX. I put in the firmware CD right away without even testing anything out, and it went just fine. Took about 10 minutes to update from the CD. I then put the CD in a sleeve, put that into an envelope, and already put it in the mailbox to head to Rick (BrotherBob)...

The only HD-DVD I have right now is Batman Begins...

I put it in and though, hmmm. This is pretty dang nice. I wasn't "blown away" right away so I did some A/B tests.
I took a very scrutinizing look at the video, and I knew that it was nice, but when I then put the SD version of the movie in my Panasonic S97 and did the upconverted view of the SD disc (so that I could compare to what I was seeing before and what I thought was a great picture already) THAT is when I started realizing how good HD really is. The upconverted picture of the SD DVD was really good, but it also "upconverts" any pixelation or grain to the image. With the HD, it didn't have any graininess to it, and no pixelation, and then you start noticing facial textures, hair details, rocks, dirt, everything is really clear on the HD-DVD version. Now I AM blown away! I didn't watch anywhere near even a fraction of the movie as I was "supposed to" be cleaning the basement for when my parents come to visit tomorrow, and it is 12:50 AM right now and I have more work to do yet, but I wanted to report in. YES, the HD-A2 is worth it!
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 01:56 AM

What is the size of your Sanyo and how far away do you sit from it?
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 02:13 AM

 Quote:
Now I AM blown away!

Nick, now we can really say welcome to the club, you have seen the light.
Posted by: ihifi

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 04:06 AM

I bought the HD-A2 from WM today. FW version was 1.3 and the unit was manufactured in March, '07. I downloaded FW version 2.5 onto to the A2 and put in SD version of Master and Commander projected at 720p through a Panasonic PT-AE900U to a 102" screen. Having watched this movie a dozen times through the Oppo 981 (also set to 720p), I immediately noticed that the upconversion through the A2 was better. There was more detail, less grain, and better/brighter coloration. I doubt that my wife can tell the difference (will need to coax her into the HT room for AB testing this weekend), but I am fairly confident that if someone else did the switching of the players in an AB testing, I can tell these units apart with this movie. I can't wait to rent an HD-DVD movie and see what that's like.

I have not compared the audio between the Oppo and A2 with this DVD. Of course, the A2 does not have SACD/DVD-A, but A2 re-compresses the decoded audio from DD+ and TruHD soundtracks into 1.5 megabit per second DTS streams - the highest datarate that is supported by SPDIF. Since my integrated amp does not have HDMI, I need the SPDIF and the A2 should sound at least as nice as the Oppo with a DVD. The big question in my mind now is whether I should buy the HD-XA2, which has the Reon HQV video processor, a 12-bit 297 MHz (vs 11 bit/216 MHz in A2) video dac with 4x oversampling and HDMI 1.3 output. I read from a post elsewhere that the video with XA2 does look better than with the A2, if you have eagle eyes. Perhaps Homedad, who has the XA2 and now has the A2 can give us a comparison when he can.

John
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 10:07 AM

 Originally Posted By: Mojo
What is the size of your Sanyo and how far away do you sit from it?

The screen is 16:9 format 104" and I am sitting about 14 feet from it.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 10:10 AM

ihifi, you are already hitting upgrade-itis? I was wondering about the XA2 a few weeks back so that I could use the analog audio to get some HD audio, but for the money, I could start with the A2 and get a newer receiver with HDMI and ALL of the HD audio decoding, including DTS-HD Master Audio, so for now, I am sticking with the A2 and if the funds allow, I will get a different receiver first, but with Christmas coming, and buying gifts for other people, I won't be doing anything on that front for a while.
Posted by: terzaghi

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 10:38 AM

 Quote:


Are you talking about the 360 drive or the 360 HD DVD add on drive??


Hay, I am talking about the internal xbox dvd drive in comparison to the a2. The content I was viewing was a standard def. dvd of transformers.

The internal xbox dvd drive is supposed to have some upconverting capabilities. I always thought dvd's looked great on it, but they looked even better on my a2.

I will watch some hd dvd content on the player tonight or tomorrow.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 10:54 AM

I haven't opened either of the A2 boxes yet, though I plan on installing one later today. I haven't been able to use my Xbox360's add-on HDDVD player since my Xbox went into "Hardware Failure" two days before its 1 year birthday and the day I'd be SOL without warranty service.

Stupidly enough, I was originally wondering about the XA2 since it had the 5.1 analog outs for my non-hdmi receiver. What occurred to me only recently though, is that since the A2 doesn't handle SACD or DVD-A discs, I still need to use those 5.1 inputs on my receiver for the Oppo to play the hi-rez audio.

I guess it's becoming apparent that I'm going to need to upgrade to an HDMI-compatible receiver to take full advantage of all this stuff, and quite frankly, it pi**es me off.

[old man rant on] Used to be, that if you wanted a new format to work with your amp or receiver, it was just a matter of buying the component and hooking up your RCA jacks. Now, because of the digital handshakes of different components, standards and versions, it seems that a person doesn't just need to buy the new component, but also all of the connected components to keep everything compatible.

When I bought my $1200 Denon 3805 two years ago, I figured I'd get 5-7 years out of it. It's not software, which I expect to upgrade somewhat frequently. It's a damn amp, right?
Yeah, I know it decodes Dolby Digital and does bass management and stuff…but really? Two years ? [/old man rant off]

I'm not dumb. I work in fields that involve changing technology. I'm comfortable on computers and often have five running at the same time…rolling my chair between desk positions. All of my friends and family consider me the guy with the latest/greatest and the knowledge of what's hot with this stuff.

But really: should equipment like receivers and TVs need to be updated so often to stay current with the latest digital-copyright infringement protection standard or the latest, newest, bestest version of HDMI?

Is anyone getting annoyed by this stuff? Besides BrotherBob, I mean!

Posted by: Mojo

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 11:02 AM

I am totally annoyed by it. That's why I'm usually 3 years behind the technology curve.
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 11:03 AM

No, I feel your pain as well, Mark. Nowadays, it almost requires a rehaul of the entire system if you want to add something new. It's definitely frustrating. These new technological innovations are quickly outdistancing some of our pocketbooks.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 11:05 AM

If you were sitting 20 feet from it, I doubt you would see a difference. I have a 32" LCD 720p/1080i and I sit 7 feet away. I think I'm right on the hairy edge of seeing a difference. I guess I won't know until I try it.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 11:23 AM

I am, but Mike said I'm not allowed to say anything about it any more. ;\) Thing is, it's not the electronics companies driving this--it's the content companies. And that ain't right.

I'm figuring that if I want to go HD, I need a new TV, a new TiVo, a new receiver, a new disc player, and quite possibly more expensive cable.

Ain't. Happening.

I need a new house, first. Sigh.
Posted by: Wid

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 11:33 AM

I haven't been paying much attention to all the new format crap. I listen to music in stereo, plus a sub, and watch my movies in 480p. I have no immediate plans on changing either.


Long live 2 channel \:D
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 11:41 AM

Way to keep it old school, Rick.





Ya old fart. ;\)
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 11:53 AM

Ok, sorry I've been missing in action. Nick, it was nice to finally meet you in person. \:\)

Looks like I should have done some research. When I watch movies I lose the signal after a few minutes. If I click to the next chapter or back up to the previous chapter it comes back again, however, goes away after a minute or so again.

So what do I do about this Nick and Skyhawk? Will the firmware update on the A2 help? Or, am I needing to update my Z2 in some way? The Z2 is past the warranty, so not sure what that tells me.

Dang, now I'm wondering if I should take the toshiba back?

Skywawk, so your saying the component will still work for Hd DVD movies at 1080i, but regular dvd's will not get upconverted? This really sucks.

How do I upgrade my Sanyo, do I have to call them?
Posted by: gem41573

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 01:22 PM

While one does need to jump through some hoops to take full advantage of the new audio formats of hi-def DVD, I can confirm that a good old optical connection from the HD-A2 to my H/K AVR 635 receiver produces fabulous sound with the 1.5 mbps DTS.

I've invested enough in DVD-A and SACD to not give up the analog inputs on my H/K receiver for hi-def, and since I really have no desire to drop another few hundred on a new receiver when my H/K 635 is still going strong and produces outstanding sound with various formats, I will likely stick with my current arrangement for some time.

Seriously, I think people are looking at all this stuff going on too negatively. If you already have a nice flat panel HDTV, and were not already in the hi-def DVD game, these are very cool things going on. Good HD-DVD players for $100 is awesome. All I needed to do was buy the HD-A2, buy a cheap HDMI cable at monoprice, and I was otherwise all set to go with my plasma, receiver, and cables. And the jump to HD-DVD has really been a revelation.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 01:35 PM

The audio does not bother me, it is getting the HDMI to synch up to my projector... \:\)
Posted by: HAY

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 01:58 PM

[quote=terzaghi]
 Quote:
Hay, I am talking about the internal xbox dvd drive in comparison to the a2. The content I was viewing was a standard def. dvd of transformers.

The internal xbox dvd drive is supposed to have some upconverting capabilities. I always thought dvd's looked great on it, but they looked even better on my a2.

I will watch some hd dvd content on the player tonight or tomorrow.


Great, thanks for clearing that up. I'm still on the fence deciding if I want to go for the 360 HD DVD drive (Christmas) or wait to see if Canadians get any deals this holiday season through Toshiba.

MarkSJohnson, if you could do an A/B between these 2 players it would be greatly appreciated.
Posted by: terzaghi

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 02:20 PM

I have some friends that have the hd-dvd addon for the 360. Haven't seen it in action but they seem to like it.

If you have a non-hdmi version of the xbox like most then you might want to check if that will allow you to take advantage of the new surround sound formats.

I am not sure how component cables with optical audio works with these new formats.

besides that, one disadvantage to the hd-dvd addon for xbox is i think your 360 will be running during movies, and the fan in that bad boy can get loud at times. of course that shouldn't be a problem except MAYBE during really quite dialog scenes.

I have always been under the idea that gaming systems are for games and movie palyers are for movies... but eitherway you decide I'm sure you will be pleased.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 02:32 PM

 Originally Posted By: HAY
MarkSJohnson, if you could do an A/B between these 2 players it would be greatly appreciated.

Hey Hay:
Unfortunately, I won't be able to compare them as my XBox 360 just died. I won't have it back from Microsoft for probably 6 weeks and figured I'd "Craigslist" the HDDVD drive before then since I now have the Toshiba.....
Posted by: terzaghi

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 03:04 PM

let me guess, red ring of death?
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 04:57 PM

How the heck do I create this ISO CD? I downloaded the files from toshibas website, unzipped them, went into the Sonic Record Now burning software. It seems to recognize the 35mb ISO file as it has an icon. I then created a data CD and moved the stuff to a cd. When loaded in the player it says no disc found, I'm using a CD-R just like the instructions say.

I may take this thing back, seems like a lot of headaches just to try to get it working with my projector.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 05:06 PM

"moved the stuff" as in you copied the ISO to the data CD?

You should just have a menu item about burning from the ISO. An ISO is a CD image; you may even just be able to right click and choose "Burn to CD" or something like.

This site appears to have instructions. Packard Bell???
Posted by: EFalardeau

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 05:32 PM

It is important that you don't just copy the files on a data CD since it is a bootable disk for whatever OS is run on the machine (I think it is Linux).
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 05:40 PM

This is ridiculous guys. You really should take this kind of crap back. No one should have to go through this kind of headache. I have no problem with having to spend time upgrading but if you can't get the functionality you paid for without having to go through all kinds of contortions, that just means to me that the manufacturer has poor control over quality or very simply doesn't care about its customers.
Posted by: doormat

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 05:45 PM

Just a quick look at Record now and I didn't see anything about ISO burning. I use Alcohol (the cause of, and solution to, all life's problems) for burning ISOs.
Alternately Oppo recommends using the BurnAtOnce freeware ( http://www.burnatonce.net/downloads/ ) for their firmware upgrades:
# Click on "File".
# Choose "Load New Image..."
# Choose the saved firmware image file from your computer.
# Load a blank CD-R disc and click the big "Write" button. .
Posted by: Lorenzo1000

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 05:50 PM

 Originally Posted By: sirquack
How the heck do I create this ISO CD? I downloaded the files from toshibas website, unzipped them, went into the Sonic Record Now burning software. It seems to recognize the 35mb ISO file as it has an icon. I then created a data CD and moved the stuff to a cd. When loaded in the player it says no disc found, I'm using a CD-R just like the instructions say.

I may take this thing back, seems like a lot of headaches just to try to get it working with my projector.


Randy just download this freeware program. It's very easy to use.

Active ISO Burner
Posted by: doormat

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 05:54 PM

 Originally Posted By: Mojo
This is ridiculous guys. You really should take this kind of crap back. No one should have to go through this kind of headache. I have no problem with having to spend time upgrading but if you can't get the functionality you paid for without having to go through all kinds of contortions, that just means to me that the manufacturer has poor control over quality or very simply doesn't care about its customers.


Generally speaking I agree. However updating firmware should be a fairly simple task (when you know the procedure) and is pretty painless. Setting up a 7.1 system, getting the acoustics and settings right is way more difficult and time consuming than burning and loading an ISO (when you know how). It certainly isn't right out of the box. The problem is poor explanations of the procedure.
Posted by: blackstar79

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 06:19 PM

can't you just connect your Ethernet cable to the A2 for the firmware upgrade? dunno this for sure as i'm in canada and we got @#$@ on the A2 deal (i bring that up every chance i can) oh and for the people aggravated about the constant new handshake issue don't worry! in 2 years once you've upgraded everything to HDMI a new connection technology will come out!
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 06:46 PM

Update, gave up on the ISO.

took the player upstairs and plugged it into my ethernet connection, took about 20 minutes for the auto update from the website.

Anyway, still have the same problem. Need to think about things for a bit now. The picture looks very nice, but after a few minutes a get the Sanyo's blue screen saying no signal. If I click to the next chapter it comes back.

Now, I also tried component, it works fine. In fact the picture looks better than the HDMI in my opinion. So I've thought about using that, however, I can only watch standard DVD's through HDMI.

As mentioned earlier in this thread I usually use my HTPC, which my nvidia card is set to 720p to match my projector. I may just go back to that as I can also use my DVD Theatertek software to scale the 2.35 images before introducing my anamorphic lens.

To me it sounds like based on what I've read on AVSforum, there is a handshake problem to the Z2 via HDMI/DVI. Others with certain Oppo's have had the same problem. I think the Z2 was just introduced about the time HDCP was being talked about, and it truely is not 100% compliant.

HDMI from my HTPC to z2 works great. Looks like this boy may have to wait to get another projector someday. \:\( Unless some of you have other ideas.
Posted by: terzaghi

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 07:45 PM

sorry to hear several people are having problems.

I watched spider man 3 last night (standard def) with the a2 hooked up via hdmi and it worked great. picture was excellent and no problems whatsoever.

I rented children of men hd dvd/dvd combo disk from blockbuster (we have one store in our state which offers hd dvd's)

I popped in the movie on the standard dvd side and watched the opening scene. watched the same scene on standard dvd in both the a2 and my 360.
A difference between the standard def version comming from the a2 and the 360 was harder to distinguish then it was with the transformers dvd. I checked my display settings and apparently the 360 only upconverts to 480p through component cables...
That may be why I was able to spot a difference between the 360 and the a2 last night, not sure why it was harder to tell a difference with the opening scene of this movie.

I then popped the movie in on the hd dvd side into the a2 and compared the same scene to the upconverted a2 version. The hd-dvd version was MUCH clearer and crisper. From 11 or 12 feet away on my 50" 720p/1080i sony lcd rp you could notice a difference easily. looking at the screen closer (a few feet) you could see why. Looking at an old ladies face close up on the standard def version her face was grainy and 'blocky'. Her face was very detailed and 'smooth' on the hd version.

I am happy with the purchase. I did have a little trouble updating the firmware (took about 30 minutes of trial and error because I could not get the a2 to network to my router.. ended up using the iso method).

Mojo, There is a number inside the box you can call and Toshiba will mail you the newest firmware version on cd. So for anyone who has problems networking or burning an iso can use this method. I wouldn't call having to wait on a cd in the mail or plugging in an ethernet cable 'all kinds of contortions'. It would be nice if the firmware was up to date, but did not find the update process extremely difficult.

sir quack, can you provide a link to the avs discussion?

Posted by: terzaghi

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 08:57 PM

here is a review i found of this model at audioholics:

audioholics review
Posted by: gmorf33

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 09:31 PM

Walmart still had a ton when I went over lunch to get mine yesterday. I picked up two. Finally got mine hooked up this morning via HDMI cable straight to my Hitachi 42" Plasma (don't have a receiver yet). No setup problems or wierd issues so far..

I don't have any HD-DVD's yet, but I have played several SD movies straight (just now taking a break to download the firmware and whatnot) without a hiccup. I have it set to 1080i and Downsteam PCM (I'm using TV's speakers). My old dvd player is a Toshiba Progressive scan, which did a nice job.

Started off with Black Hawk Down. Picture quality was about the same, color seemed a bit more realistic, but the grainy effect in alot of this movie was slightly more noticable as well. Not sold yet..

Next I popped in Gladiator (special 2 disc version). Now I started noticing a nice difference, espcially in facial features and details in the armor. Color definately looked more realistic as well. The scene where Commodus is looking out his balcony over the CG Rome and the morning sun is brightly shining in definately looked better. The color was great and the blending of Commodus and the background looked much more natural and real. On my old DVD player it looked alot harsher like he was just cut and pasted on top of a CGI backdrop.

Next up was special extended edition of LOTR: Two Towers. Same concensus as Gladiator, color seemed better and details in faces/hair seems clearer/sharper. Not a huge difference like going from SD to HD cable TV, but enough to notice if you're comparing.

I've got the Firmware disc ready and LOTR: Return of the King ready for my next round of watching/testing pleasure. Now all I need are my Axiom speakers and a receiver.. lol. Can't wait to try some HD-DVD's as well.

So far I'd recommend this if you are still using a regular progressive scan DVD player and want a cheap entry into HD-DVD's. For $98 its hard to say no. Perhaps my very simple setup is why I haven't had any issues like some of you have.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 09:36 PM

Well, I decided to pop the unit in place of my Oppo for a quick install and am having problems with the firmware update via CD.

Can someone confirm that the actual file burned to disc is HD-A2-2501N ?

I downloaded the burnatonce utility and burn the above file, only to get the error message "Error Code : 2007c5c2" when that burned CD is placed in the Toshiba....which, according to Toshiba, means I'm using an incorrect firmware version. (Hence, wanting to confirm the actual file above). It sure seems like it would be the correct one as it was downloaded after correctly selecting the "HDA2 / HD-D2 radio button on Toshiba's site. Also, the Toshiba itself seems to be indicating that it's currently runnin on firmware 1.3T19M and it looks like the new file is firmware V2.5....so unless I've somehow selected the wrong file to burn to disc, it sure SEEMS like it should be an update???!!???
Posted by: gmorf33

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 09:42 PM

Mark, here is the file that i got:

HD-A2-2.5.iso

Taken from this link posted earlier: http://209.167.114.38/support/ceg/downloads/#

I think you have the wrong one.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 10:00 PM

It is very easy to update online, that is if you have a broadband connection. \:\)
Posted by: gmorf33

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 10:06 PM

 Originally Posted By: sirquack
It is very easy to update online, that is if you have a broadband connection. \:\)


Will it auto detect and update without user intervention? My problem is I don't have a cat 5 cable long enough to reach where my TV/DVD is hooked up. I tried running it into my LCD monitor but it was out of the frequency range (computer monitors don't like 30Hz input). I don't have any other TV's that will take HDMI/Components that I could carry over to where my Modem/Router is.

I guess I could memorize the steps and blindly try to navigate to it and update... lol. Probably not a good idea with something like a firmware update >_>
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 10:09 PM

That's good if they mail out the CD.
Posted by: terzaghi

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 10:12 PM

yah, but who knows how long that takes!
probably the good ol' 'please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery' deal
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 10:19 PM

I had the same problem as I didn't have ethernet near my projector. You can use the yellow video RCA cable as well. I just grabbed one of our smaller tv's and plugged the yellow cable into that to get video.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 10:51 PM

 Quote:
There is a number inside the box you can call and Toshiba will mail you the newest firmware version on cd

For everyone that just bought your new Toshiba's register them online with Toshiba and they will mail you a disc for every update. I update mine through the ethernet, to me that's the simplest way rather than waiting for the disc, but they still send me the discs every time an update is put out.
I also bought a 30ft cat5 cable for pretty cheap online, I have four devices (PS3, Xbox360, AX2 and A2) that need to be updated or connected through the ethernet on occasion, so I just run the line from the office modem to the device, update then put the line away until I need it again.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 10:59 PM

 Originally Posted By: gmorf33
Mark, here is the file that i got:

HD-A2-2.5.iso

Taken from this link posted earlier: http://209.167.114.38/support/ceg/downloads/#

I think you have the wrong one.


Interesting. That link brought me to the Canada site and the file is indeed different. Unfortunately, after burning to disc and trying to update, I'm still getting the same error code on the Toshiba!

I had to walk away for a few minutes. Ethernet isn't finding a connection either and I admit that I'm lousy with networking knowledge so the disc is probably better for me to persue.
Posted by: gmorf33

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 11:14 PM

 Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
 Originally Posted By: gmorf33
Mark, here is the file that i got:

HD-A2-2.5.iso

Taken from this link posted earlier: http://209.167.114.38/support/ceg/downloads/#

I think you have the wrong one.


Interesting. That link brought me to the Canada site and the file is indeed different. Unfortunately, after burning to disc and trying to update, I'm still getting the same error code on the Toshiba!

I had to walk away for a few minutes. Ethernet isn't finding a connection either and I admit that I'm lousy with networking knowledge so the disc is probably better for me to persue.


You might try plugging your A2 straight into your cable/dsl modem (bypassing any router/firewall issues) and make sure the A2 is set to DHCP: On

I haven't managed to try the ethernet method yet, but I'm pretty familiar with network settings and whatnot (its part of my job).
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/03/07 11:24 PM

That's how I do it, on the XA2 there is a maintenance menu that allows for ethernet setup and DHCP needs to be on, then you can check your connection. I'll probably take the A2 out of the box tonight and update it also.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 12:14 AM

Okay updading A2 now DHC-on DNS-on, confirm, go to maintenance and update, easy as pie \:\) Downloading 1-36, took 25 minutes.
Put in Transformers and everything looks great!
Posted by: richeydog

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 12:25 AM

EDIT: You guys type too fast. Everything went smoothly I see. I'm going to do it this way. But I need to use my sister's dsl connection cause I'm on dial up...
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 12:28 AM

Everything was successful, I'm sure DSL is faster but you also need to have the A2 hooked up to a monitor.
Posted by: richeydog

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 12:31 AM

I need a monitor to see the A2 menu? Is that the reason why?
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 12:42 AM

Exactly, you will need it to get to the menus which my A2 went to the first time it powered up , the A2 itself will show the progress when updating and the monitor at that point says updating don't turn off. I'm not sure if you need a monitor when updating by disc as I've allways gone through the ethernet.
Posted by: ihifi

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 01:25 AM

Homedad,
Since you have both the HD-A2 and the HD-XA2, how do these two compare in their performance regarding upconverted DVDs and HD-DVDs at 720p/1080i? The HD-XA2 has the Reon HQV video processor, a 12-bit 297 MHz video dac with 4x oversampling (vs 11 bit/216 MHz in A2). Is there a noticeable difference on 720p/1080i ? Thanks.

John
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 01:56 AM

John,
As for HD-DVD if there is a difference in picture quality between the XA2 and A2 from my limited comparison of the two I can't say I've noticed a difference, that may change with more viewing but I don't think it would be significant.
For SD the A2 does a very nice job regarding upconverting, but to me there is a very noticeable differnce between it and the XA2 with the Reon processor. The XA2 makes SD DVD's look better than any player I've ever owned, the picture quality is sharper and better defined to the point where some SD movies almost look like they are in HD. To me spending the extar dollars on the XA2 just for the Reon HQV video processor was worth every cent.
Posted by: ihifi

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 04:05 AM

Michael (HomeDad),

Thank you very much for the follow up. Your impressions are the same as those I have read elsewhere; namely, no/negligible difference with HD-DVD but better upconversion of standard DVD with HD-XA2.

What is interesting on the audio side is that, for people without HDMI on their receivers, both the XA2 and A2 will transcode and output the "core" DTS audio in DTS-HD High Resolution Audio and DTS-HD Master Audio as 1.5 Mbps DTS via SPDIF. For Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby True HD, the A2 transcodes and outputs these also as DTS at 1.5 Mbps, whereas the XA2 ouputs them as 640 Kbps Dolby Digital. In this regard, A2 is little more favorable for people without HDMI for audio. Of course, for receivers that have HDMI, Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby True HD can be sent as PCM over HDMI in both A2 and XA2 and should sound better than the 640 Kbps DD via SPDIF.

Why did everything become so complex when the concept is a simple one of getting both audio and video in one cable/connection?

Thanks again

John
Posted by: gem41573

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 06:28 AM

For anyone burning the firmware to a disc, I can't stress enough to follow Lorenzo's advice and use Active ISO Burner. When I bought my first HD-A2 a couple of months ago, I downloaded the firmware fine, and then burned about 6 coasters with Nero, Roxio, Sonic, etc. I then saw a recommendation on AVS to use Active ISO Burner, and it worked the first time.

Here's what I did last night. I still have Active ISO Burner on my computer. I downloaded the firmware again from Toshiba (first shows up as HD-A2-2501N), and then unzipped it. It shows up as an ISO. I then right-clicked the ISO image file, and I did Open With, Choose Program. I found Active ISO Burner in my desktop list, chose that, then the ISO file should pop up in the ISO burner. I dropped the burn rate to 8X to be safe. Clicked burn. Finished the burn in about a minute, popped the disc in my new HD-A2, and it worked again just fine.

Here's Lorenzo's link again. I've used Active to burn ISO's since I first used it, and it works every time. Nero and Roxio hardly ever work for me with ISO's, so this is a great program.

http://www.ntfs.com/iso-burning.htm
Posted by: terzaghi

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 08:54 AM

I burned it fine with nero version 6. you can open nero express,
the last one on the list says "disc image or saved project"
select that, then change the file type to iso from the pulldown menu and select the update file.

simple as that.
Posted by: Ajax

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 09:35 AM

 Originally Posted By: gem41573
For anyone burning the firmware to a disc, I can't stress enough to follow Lorenzo's advice and use Active ISO Burner. When I bought my first HD-A2 a couple of months ago, I downloaded the firmware fine, and then burned about 6 coasters with Nero, Roxio, Sonic, etc. I then saw a recommendation on AVS to use Active ISO Burner, and it worked the first time.

Here's what I did last night. I still have Active ISO Burner on my computer. I downloaded the firmware again from Toshiba (first shows up as HD-A2-2501N), and then unzipped it. It shows up as an ISO. I then right-clicked the ISO image file, and I did Open With, Choose Program. I found Active ISO Burner in my desktop list, chose that, then the ISO file should pop up in the ISO burner. I dropped the burn rate to 8X to be safe. Clicked burn. Finished the burn in about a minute, popped the disc in my new HD-A2, and it worked again just fine.

Here's Lorenzo's link again. I've used Active to burn ISO's since I first used it, and it works every time. Nero and Roxio hardly ever work for me with ISO's, so this is a great program.

http://www.ntfs.com/iso-burning.htm

I couldn't agree more. I was very frustrated trying to unsuccessfully burn the .iso with Roxio. I downloaded and installed Active ISO Burner, downloaded the firmware zip file (I used the HD-A2-2.5 ISO rather than the 2501N ) , unzipped, clicked on the ISO image file, and up popped Active ISO Burner with the correct path and burner already set. I, too, lowered the speed just to be on the safe side.

I burned the disc, put it into the machine and it worked perfectly. The only interesting thing I noticed was that my A2 only took about 10 minutes to perform the upgrade, rather than the 25 to 35 minutes as stated in the instructions, and which others are reporting. After upgrading, I checked the firmware version and it was, indeed, version 2.5 (up from 1.2). I watched a movie, and everything worked just fine.

Thank you Lorenzo and everyone else who contributed to this thread. I much appreciate the help. \:\)
Posted by: Ajax

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 09:38 AM

 Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
Interesting. That link brought me to the Canada site and the file is indeed different. Unfortunately, after burning to disc and trying to update, I'm still getting the same error code on the Toshiba!

I had to walk away for a few minutes. Ethernet isn't finding a connection either and I admit that I'm lousy with networking knowledge so the disc is probably better for me to persue.

Mark, if all else fails (see my post above), I'll be happy to send you the disc I burned which worked perfectly in my A2. Just PM your address to me. \:\)
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 11:12 AM

 Quote:
The only interesting thing I noticed was that my A2 only took about 10 minutes to perform the upgrade,

It took about 15 minutes to download the update from the Ethernet to the A2, then about 10 minutes for the A2 to install the update. With the disc you get to bypass the first step.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 11:14 AM

Although I love the picture this baby produces on my Z2, when it is working, I think I may have to take it back to wally world. The price was great as well as the performance, however, since the handshake of the two is so flakey over HDMI/DVI it is frustrating and not worth my patience. \:\)
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 11:21 AM

Randy, what's wrong with using component?
Posted by: CV

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 11:21 AM

Sorry about your luck, Randy. Just pretend it wasn't me egging you on to get it.
Posted by: Lorenzo1000

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 11:24 AM

 Originally Posted By: Ajax
 Originally Posted By: gem41573
For anyone burning the firmware to a disc, I can't stress enough to follow Lorenzo's advice and use Active ISO Burner. When I bought my first HD-A2 a couple of months ago, I downloaded the firmware fine, and then burned about 6 coasters with Nero, Roxio, Sonic, etc. I then saw a recommendation on AVS to use Active ISO Burner, and it worked the first time.

Here's what I did last night. I still have Active ISO Burner on my computer. I downloaded the firmware again from Toshiba (first shows up as HD-A2-2501N), and then unzipped it. It shows up as an ISO. I then right-clicked the ISO image file, and I did Open With, Choose Program. I found Active ISO Burner in my desktop list, chose that, then the ISO file should pop up in the ISO burner. I dropped the burn rate to 8X to be safe. Clicked burn. Finished the burn in about a minute, popped the disc in my new HD-A2, and it worked again just fine.

Here's Lorenzo's link again. I've used Active to burn ISO's since I first used it, and it works every time. Nero and Roxio hardly ever work for me with ISO's, so this is a great program.

http://www.ntfs.com/iso-burning.htm

I couldn't agree more. I was very frustrated trying to unsuccessfully burn the .iso with Roxio. I downloaded and installed Active ISO Burner, downloaded the firmware zip file (I used the HD-A2-2.5 ISO rather than the 2501N ) , unzipped, clicked on the ISO image file, and up popped Active ISO Burner with the correct path and burner already set. I, too, lowered the speed just to be on the safe side.

I burned the disc, put it into the machine and it worked perfectly. The only interesting thing I noticed was that my A2 only took about 10 minutes to perform the upgrade, rather than the 25 to 35 minutes as stated in the instructions, and which others are reporting. After upgrading, I checked the firmware version and it was, indeed, version 2.5 (up from 1.2). I watched a movie, and everything worked just fine.

Thank you Lorenzo and everyone else who contributed to this thread. I much appreciate the help. \:\)


Jack and gem41573 are correct. A very important part of burning these kind of ISO files is to lower the speed of the burner. This is not a big file so I always lower the speed to 2X to be sure it burns correctly. ISO burner will work every time. Oh and by the way you have to burn this file on a CD not a DVD.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 11:28 AM

Randy,

You're doing the right thing. If we don't stand up and tell manufacturers that they can't release until their trash is debugged, we'll just keep on getting trash. Make sure you express your true feelings about it by making it one with the floor \:D .
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 11:29 AM

Somehow I doubt that will get back to the manufacturer...
Posted by: CV

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 11:34 AM

Someone needs to record it and YouTube it.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 11:43 AM

 Originally Posted By: sirquack
Although I love the picture this baby produces on my Z2, when it is working, I think I may have to take it back to wally world. The price was great as well as the performance, however, since the handshake of the two is so flakey over HDMI/DVI it is frustrating and not worth my patience. \:\)


Sounds like an excuse to buy a new projector….. Just trying to help you out. \:\)
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 11:52 AM

 Originally Posted By: kcarlile
Somehow I doubt that will get back to the manufacturer...


That's because too many of us are accepting their garbage. They're getting too few returns.
Posted by: Lorenzo1000

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 12:03 PM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew
 Originally Posted By: sirquack
Although I love the picture this baby produces on my Z2, when it is working, I think I may have to take it back to wally world. The price was great as well as the performance, however, since the handshake of the two is so flakey over HDMI/DVI it is frustrating and not worth my patience. \:\)


Sounds like an excuse to buy a new projector….. Just trying to help you out. \:\)


Or Randy you could send it to me. I would gladly give you your money back plus shipping. \:\)
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 12:14 PM

At those prices they got them at, we all up here should have had them buy one for us. The shipping and duty is still way cheaper than the $250 they are selling them for up here.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 12:28 PM

They'll be selling for $50 up here pretty soon.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 12:37 PM

You wish \:\) Some may not agree, but I think Toshiba is doing an excellent job of continuing to upgrade and improve their new and existing models with updates to conform to the rapidly changing HD environment. So what if I have to update the player every so often, it certainly beats a player that you can't update that becomes useless within 6 months.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 12:44 PM

 Originally Posted By: HomeDad
it certainly beats a player that you can't update that becomes useless within 6 months.
But isn't that the point. They shouldn't be releasing things until the standard is, well, standard and not changing. The whole high def thing has been in a constant state of flux(insert Back to the Future quip here) since its inception and neither party should have released anything till they had a stable product. As Brotherbob said not everyone is computer literate that is into HT and these updates are not in their best interests meaning they have a new piece of equipment that is useless because they are not comfortable or don't know how to do these 'easy updates'.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 12:54 PM

I agree wholeheartedly with updates/upgrades. But I expect it to work as advertised out of the box.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 01:02 PM

Now you're just being unrealistic in the constantly changing realm of HD. An upgrade right out of the box appears to be the new norm.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 01:20 PM

UPDATE:
I originally had been using the burnatonce software that was recommended and downloading from the U.S. site with no success whatsoever.

I've deleted burnatonce and all of the downloaded files and am taking it from the beginning with ActiveISO burner and the file from the Canadian site.

Knock on wood, it's one past the first two minutes and I haven't gotten the error code that I was getting my previous 12 attempts.

Keep your fingers crossed!

Jack, thank you so much for the offer! \:\) What's frustrating is that I kept feeling like "I should be getting this…it's not that complicated". I was starting to think that I must have a faulty player.

UPDATE to the UPDATE:
After only 5-7 minutes, I turned around and the player was powered off. My initial concern of another failure was replaced with: "Hey…didn't I read that this is how the update finishes?" Sure enough, I checked the firmware version, and it's 2.5!!! This time was so easy!

Let me pass on Jack's offer …. Pay it forward:

I used the Active ISO software.exe downloaded to burn the file from the Toshiba Canada site and it worked perfectly for the first and only time.

If anyone would like a copy of MY disc, PM me your address. I can duplicate and distribute for anyone.

Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 01:49 PM

Homedad, I did try component, and it looked awesome. When I cycled back/forth from component to HDMI, I thought the component looked better. Granted, I calibrated my component signal with my new AVIA and have not calibrated the HDMI/DVI input.

The bad thing is you can't use regular DVD's via the component signal, they don't get upconverted. This was part of the reason I purchased the player.

I also thought the sound was awesome, lots of action from my surround and rear qs8's. \:\)

Lorenzo, if your serious let me know, maybe we can figure something out.

It has the latest 2.5 firmware.

Randy
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 01:58 PM

Randy,

Are you saying that this DVD player is somehow giving you better "action" from your surrounds than your old one?
Posted by: doormat

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 02:04 PM

 Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
UPDATE:
I originally had been using the burnatonce software that was recommended and downloading from the U.S. site with no success whatsoever.

I've deleted burnatonce and all of the downloaded files and am taking it from the beginning with ActiveISO burner and the file from the Canadian site.


\:\(
OK, now I feel bad. I would like to say that it was Oppo, and not me, that recommended BaO. I have not, in fact, ever used it (as I use Alcohol as stated) and indeed, don't even have an Oppo yet. I merely saw that bit with the instructions on their website as I was researching for a SACD player. My apologies to anyone who made extra coasters based on my post. I hear they can do cool things in a microwave.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 02:17 PM

You SHOULD feel bad, you evil-doer you!

Burnatonce is the, what, like fourth axis of evil?
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 02:22 PM

It could have just been the movie. I was watching Backdraft which was one of the HDDVD's I picked up for $14 during the black friday sale.

However, since my Denon does not do the HD sound formats, I was using optical which is a high bandwidth DTS track.

I was just hearing lots of bass from the surrounds...
Posted by: doormat

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 02:33 PM


Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 02:39 PM

 Originally Posted By: Mojo
Randy,

You're doing the right thing. If we don't stand up and tell manufacturers that they can't release until their trash is debugged, we'll just keep on getting trash. Make sure you express your true feelings about it by making it one with the floor \:D .


Mojo, tell us how you really feel about this player.... Slam after slam... Justified or not (many times not in this thread anyway), you are just too bitter to be healthy... \:\( You could end up getting physically sick with all of the "bitterness" inside you. ;\)

Actually, it is a problem with the Z2 not the A2... So if you don't like the A2, fine, you are just as entitled to your opinion as the rest of us, and we've all heard you. Mine works perfectly fine and with great results. So you can now get off of your soap box and go back to being the great, fun-loving Mojo we all like around here... Seriously, we (myself included) do like you...
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 02:50 PM

The A2 performs great. Mojo, you need to keep in mind the Z2 came out many years ago when HDCP was a new technology. Which unit is at fault, not sure. The Z2 works with other players like my Panny S97S which is HDMI as well. The Z3 works fine with the A2, so I'm thinking the problem lies with the Z2 not being truly HDCP compliant.

Anyway, I will most likely take my A2 back, unless I think of some other option.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 02:58 PM

That is a bummer. Maybe a Z2000 upgrade will be in your short-term future.

I am trying to figure out what to do with my Panasonic S97 myself. It is currently disconnected, and I was going to keep it around for playing DVD-A (only have 1 disc that I got from CV, so not a huge loss), but that seems silly. I may still do some A/B tests of the A2 and S97 for SD DVD upconversion, but then again, maybe not... I just want to enjoy it, and so far I haven't had time with my parents being in town, and I am heading out of town in about 20 minutes for a couple of days for my aunt's funeral. Let us know what you decide to do.
Posted by: Lorenzo1000

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 03:51 PM

 Originally Posted By: sirquack
Homedad, I did try component, and it looked awesome. When I cycled back/forth from component to HDMI, I thought the component looked better. Granted, I calibrated my component signal with my new AVIA and have not calibrated the HDMI/DVI input.

The bad thing is you can't use regular DVD's via the component signal, they don't get upconverted. This was part of the reason I purchased the player.

I also thought the sound was awesome, lots of action from my surround and rear qs8's. \:\)

Lorenzo, if your serious let me know, maybe we can figure something out.

It has the latest 2.5 firmware.

Randy


Randy I sent you a PM.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 05:21 PM

Nick,

You're right and I apologize.

Every CD/DVD player that I have owned in the last 17 years has failed in one way or another within the first few months. I've counted 12 in 17 years. 5 of them have been in laptops or desktops. Some failures have been hardware-related and some software. And with most, I've had multiple failures. The majority of the failures haven't been fatal but rather some feature or combination of features doesn't work. And with some, the performance has degraded to the point where load times were/are slower or disks that once played no longer play even though they appear to be in original condition.

I haven't had this experience with any other consumer component. Why exactly is this happening with CD/DVD players? I don't know how to practically ascertain at the time of purchase what will last and what won't.
Posted by: Ajax

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 06:05 PM

 Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
UPDATE:Jack, thank you so much for the offer! \:\) What's frustrating is that I kept feeling like "I should be getting this…it's not that complicated". I was starting to think that I must have a faulty player.

I used the Active ISO software.exe downloaded to burn the file from the Toshiba Canada site and it worked perfectly for the first and only time.

You're very welcome. Good job, Mark. Glad everything worked out for you. \:\)
Posted by: ihifi

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 06:52 PM

Hi Randy,

I took it upon myself to research your trouble with the Z2 and A2; it turns out they are at other ends of the alpahabet with regard to their lettering and this seems to be the problem. Joking aside, the problem, as you also stated, is that you can use your component for 720p/1080i for HD-DVD but can only get 480p for DVD "upconversion" and cannot use HDMI-DVI at all.The problem with not being able to use HDMI-DVI apparently lies with the Z2 not being HDCP compliant. I am not sure how much you want to pursue this problem, but a solution I found on AVSForum is to use an HDMI stripper (Ophit DVI-to VGA Digital to Analog Convertor) in the following way:

A2<-HDMI-male-----DVI-D-male>>DVI-D-female---Ophit DVI-D female to VGA male digital-to-analog convertor---VGA-male>>VGA-female---Monoprice VGA-female to DVI-I male adaptor---DVI-I-male>>DVI in at Z2

In words:
1)connect HDMI male end of HDMI-to DVI-D cable to A2
2)connect DVI-D male end of this cable to DVI-D female end of the Ophit DVI-D female-to VGA-male digital to analog convertor ($159 at http://www.digitalconnection.com/Products/Video/DDA.ASP)
3)connect the VGA male end of the Ophit convertor to female end of VGA-to-DVI-I
adaptor ($3.57 at http://www.monoprice.com/products/search.asp?keyword=2396&x=0&y=0)
4)connect the DVI-I male end of the Monoprice connector to your Z2
5)turn Z2 on first and let it boot up for 30 secs at least and then turn on A2.

It looks like you may need to spend $165-170 to get the Z2 working, but if this solution works, you will not have to upgrade the Z2 for some time just to be able to use HDMI-DVI.I have not perosnally verified if this solution works, so please assume that this solution has all the associated fine print regarding all the possible disclaimers.

It looks like Lorenzo may also be providing you a solution by offering to buy the A2 from you. I hope you will be happy with whatever you do. Best regards.

John
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 06:53 PM

 Originally Posted By: Mojo
Nick,

You're right and I apologize.

Every CD/DVD player that I have owned in the last 17 years has failed in one way or another within the first few months. I've counted 12 in 17 years. 5 of them have been in laptops or desktops. Some failures have been hardware-related and some software. And with most, I've had multiple failures. The majority of the failures haven't been fatal but rather some feature or combination of features doesn't work. And with some, the performance has degraded to the point where load times were/are slower or disks that once played no longer play even though they appear to be in original condition.

I haven't had this experience with any other consumer component. Why exactly is this happening with CD/DVD players? I don't know how to practically ascertain at the time of purchase what will last and what won't.


I'd be a little jaded too. I haven't had any failures yet (knock on wood) with any of my cd/dvd players, computer related or otherwise.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 07:39 PM


Thanks John,

I read some of the threads on AVS as well. Most likely I won't spend the money. My plan is to use the Z2 as long as possible, maybe until my first bulb blows. \:\) Then at that point I could sell it, explaining to the buyer that it just needs a new $200 bulb.

To be honest the thing has very low hours on it for as long as I have had it...

Once the 1080p projectors come down in price that will be my next step. The only thing is I don't think my anamorphic lens will work with the 1080p movies. \:\)
Posted by: doormat

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 08:35 PM

Wow, Mojo, you sure are unlucky. I've only had one CD drive failure and that was in a laptop that would often see my fists come crashing down upon in rage and frustration.
My first CD player was a Sony 5 disc in '92 that still works flawlessly. My DVD is a JVC from '03 that has never had any problems either. Same goes for any walkman or ghetto blaster I've owned.

Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 08:37 PM

I still have my early 90's Sony 5 disc player as well and still use it. I've never had problems with CD players for the most part.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 10:48 PM

 Originally Posted By: Mojo
Nick,

You're right and I apologize.


No need to apologize. We are all family here. It would be different if you were a "troll" but you aren't by any means, so again, no worries!
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/04/07 11:01 PM

 Originally Posted By: doormat
Wow, Mojo, you sure are unlucky.


I've been rather fortunate in life actually with the exception of CD/DVD players \:\) . I have to figure out how to avoid this problem with my next CD/DVD player purchase. Maybe the answer is to go to a more "esoteric" player or maybe I should really "burn" in whatever I buy during the first week and see if it gives out. Then I can just return it.
Posted by: skyhawk669

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/05/07 04:55 PM

That's what I'm planning on doing, Randy. I'll buy a 1080p projector in a few years when they're a lot cheaper . In the meantime my wife has ok'd a HTPC upgrade for this Christmas so I should be able to buy the bluray/hd-dvd drive, which will allow me to jump on the HD bandwagon.

 Quote:
The only thing is I don't think my anamorphic lens will work with the 1080p movies.


Why do you think it wouldn't work?
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/05/07 07:12 PM

Just a quick note to mention that all is well with my A2.

I bought two of thm, but my Dad didn't want the other, so I'll end up returning it in a few days.

In the end, it was worth it....I'm liking it much better than the XBox add-on. I couldn't compare them directly as my XBox is currently dead, but I'm a happy camper.
Posted by: RickF

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/05/07 08:24 PM

I'm also starting to see some positive results with our A2...

I played with the unit for a couple of hours Friday afternoon and then unplugged it and reconnected the Denon 2910 (do to aggravation), wife and I went away for the weekend so I didn't have time to do any more messing around with the A2. This morning I reconnected the A2 to show my wife there wasn't *that* much of difference between the A2's HD and the up converted SD on the Denon, popped in the 'Last Samurai' HD-DVD and she also said there was not much of a difference she thought ... I then loaded up 'Face-Off' and whoa mule, there's that hi-def I was looking for on Friday with Samurai or Transformers, the difference was incredible.

I did play with the A2 for quite a long time today and am still unimpressed with Transformers and the Last Samurai, like earlier stated the movie Face-Off was incredible and 95% of the SD movies was very impressive, I did notice that whenever I turned off the 'black enhancer' (or whatever it's called) the picture seemed to be a bit better for both HD and SD. Sound-wise, running the A2 to the H/K635 via an optical connect I don't know if I can tell any difference between the A2, Oppo or the 2910 ... the A2 definitely sounds equally as good as the other two units, better? I just can't tell.

Whenever I spoke with Mr. Toshiba on Friday about ordering a firmware disc he did say that some of the older HD disc *may* have pixelation/sound breakup and some of the new disc *may* be 'a little' advanced for the A2 prior to the firmware upgrade but I shouldn't have any problems and to go ahead run it with any disc because "....chances are you won't see any difference".

So....

My take is that the Samurai disc is one of the first generation run disc (somebody mentioned that prior, forgive me for forgetting who) and just isn't a good quality disc, period. The Transformers disc is a new movie and the A2 without the firmware just isn't reading like it should with the upgrade, whereas the Face-Off disc is probably in the middle of the road generation-wise and the A2 is having no ill regards reading the information on the disc and supplying us with an awesome picture ... *the* picture I was looking for on Friday but not finding it 'til Monday, making me a much happier consumer.

I'm thinking maybe the firmware upgrade is *probably* going to help this unit out, thanks again Nick for sending a disc!

\:\)
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/05/07 08:38 PM

I just watched the HD / Transformers movie and the BR / Fantastic 4 (the new one) movie this past weekend. Both of these disks are at the very top of my list for outstanding PQ and SQ. If you were not that impressed with the Transformers movie, I don’t know what to tell you Richard. I found that disk to be nothing short of eye candy and you can most definitely use that one as an HD reference disk. I have not seen one better yet, and I’ve got over 200 HD/BR disks now.

One disk for you to try and if it doesn’t “Wow” you, nothing will. Try Corpse Bride. That movie flat our freaked me out. Between amazing colors, shadow detail and down right unreal detail, it’s right up there with the best of them. Actually, most of the animated movies look amazing on both HD and BR.

Where I’m really enjoying HD and BR is with the old movies that they are transferring. Some of the old John Wayne films are really good. The sound sucks, but they didn’t have much to work with when they were filmed, so I’m not complaining.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/05/07 08:47 PM

I'll agree with Mike about the Corpse Bride, that movie looks amazing in HD, and since the special features were done in SD you can switch back and forth from the movie to the features and really see the difference between HD and SD.
Posted by: RickF

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/05/07 08:56 PM

I may need to try that....I'm thinking about shooting a couple of up close digital pics of the Transformers disc and post 'em to see if you guys can tell a difference. I don't know about picture quality with the camera, we'll see.
Posted by: Wid

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/05/07 09:29 PM


Well I ended up getting one of these HD players. Thanks to a buddy of mine that gave me a gift card for CC. I ended up with the floor model for $129.00. I think I ripped the cd correctly, at least it says it's on there \:\) . I'll get it hooked up tomorrow and see how I like it. It should be a lot better than the old Pioneer that I have, I hope.
Posted by: RickF

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/05/07 09:40 PM

Here's a pic, not nearly as clear and crisp as the A2/TV but it does show how bright the colors are, especially in the skin tones, all of the SD and the Face-Off disc isn't nearly so bright.



Here's one a little more detailed ... not as good as the real picture but not too far off either. I don't know if putting these pics can remotely give you guys an idea of the PQ on the TV, I'm doubting it.


Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/05/07 09:55 PM

This is an exerpt from a review of the Transformers.
 Quote:
Colors are bright, rich, and deep, perhaps a tad too bright, rich, and deep for real life, and a touch glassy, too, but appropriate for a cartoonish movie like "Transformers." Definition is, as we might expect, near flawless, the crispness of the delineation serving to point up every detail in the mechanical creatures.

I read the movie was intentionally made this way to give it that cartoonish feel as the reviewer pointed out.
I believe as you get the opportunity to see more movies in HD you will truly see a difference in most films, some huge some minor, but I have yet to see one that was worse in HD than in SD.
Posted by: RickF

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/05/07 10:00 PM

Michael, being gone all weekend I missed all of the threads regarding the firmware disc and how to burn one....with your firmware upgrade did you notice a relative difference in the PQ between prior and after the upgrade with the Transformers disc?
Posted by: terzaghi

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/05/07 10:15 PM

brother bob, everything regarding burning the firmware disc is burried in this thread somewhere.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/05/07 10:26 PM

Sorry Rick, The first thing I did after taking the unit out of the box was upgrade it, I wish I had thought of playing a movie prior to the update, it would have been interesting to see how the update affected the performance. I can say though that after the update the PQ seemed every bit as good as the PQ of my AX2.
In regards to Transfomers I'm in the same boat as you, I enjoyed the movie but to me it I would give it at 8 out of 10 for PQ, perhaps just because of the way it was filmed, when I watch something in HD I like it to look more real and have crystal clarity.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/05/07 10:39 PM

I am assuming the top one is SD and the bottom is HD.

The HD quality rocks!
Posted by: RickF

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/05/07 10:45 PM

No they are both HD.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/05/07 10:48 PM

I'm betting my money on HD by the way.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/05/07 10:58 PM

I am betting that Sony won't let BR die off until they setup the next gen PS4 which might be sooner than later considering sales are so poor for the PS3. I did se a BR player the other day for $399, BR prices are dropping too.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/05/07 11:23 PM

My son's friends say that the PS3 is worse than the PS2. Is that true?
Posted by: CV

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/05/07 11:30 PM

In what way? It certainly isn't going to dominate in sales this generation, like the PS2 did in the last one, if that's what they're talking about.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/05/07 11:53 PM

They say that the machine isn't reliable. They've reverted to the PS2.
Posted by: CV

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/06/07 12:03 AM

I haven't personally had any problems with reliability. If anything, the PS2 had more hardware issues. Reading all of the gaming blogs, nothing ever seems to come up about PS3 failure rates, whereas the PS2 had its share. It was the console with the most problems until the Xbox 360, which took the crown and then some.

Maybe they're having issues with the backwards-compatibility? I haven't even tried any PS2 games on my system, as I never owned a PS2. Still, I thought the compatibility was in the high 90s, percentage-wise, as it actually had PS2 hardware built-in until the new 40 gig models came out.

Anyway, my PS3 has been rock-solid so far, so who knows.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/06/07 12:31 AM

 Originally Posted By: BrotherBob
No they are both HD.

Strange. I put in Transformers in just a few minutes ago, and the picture at the "top" of your two samples, where they are in the Osprey choppers, looks terrible in your screen shots vs. what I see on mine at 104" of 720p. The second picture you show of the "video conference" scene is a lot closer to what I see all of the time, but still seems a hair less detailed that what I see. Could be just part of taking a photo to share.

Hopefully that firmware disc I made you gets there soon so that you can try that out.
Posted by: richeydog

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/06/07 03:59 AM

 Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
UPDATE to the UPDATE:
After only 5-7 minutes, I turned around and the player was powered off. My initial concern of another failure was replaced with: "Hey…didn't I read that this is how the update finishes?" Sure enough, I checked the firmware version, and it's 2.5!!! This time was so easy!

Let me pass on Jack's offer …. Pay it forward:

I used the Active ISO software.exe downloaded to burn the file from the Toshiba Canada site and it worked perfectly for the first and only time.


Hey Mark, thanks for the tip. I followed your links and it worked perfectly. I'm not computer literate, but somehow I made it work.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/06/07 07:47 AM

I did my upgrade over the weekend via broadband. No hiccups & all works well. Of course, I didn't have anything unusual even before the patch. Mine worked fine with the 7 HD-DVDs I played and a few regular DVDs. Played music CDs as well.

Patch was a non event for me but I thought I might try some of the online features on the HD-DVDs and I need the patch for that.

I guess for once in my life, Murphy's Laws didn't apply double to me since my last name is the same.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/06/07 07:50 AM

I will agree that the difference in quality among some HD-DVDs is very apparent. Some are crystal and others well, it's just not up to spec. Of course, most were older movies and there is only so much they can do.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/07/07 02:55 PM

Will......Not.....Let....This....Thread...........Die.

Did anyone get the coupon for the 5 free HD-DVDs with their Toshiba?

There was no coupon or anything in mine, but I thought ALL Toshibas had the offer? Maybe it was nixed for this "special sale" situation?
Posted by: Hutzal

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/07/07 02:58 PM

Rick,

I still find it VERY strange that you cannot notice the difference between SD DVD and HD DVD.

PQ should not be effected by a firmware upgrade.
Posted by: ianawatchman

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/07/07 03:11 PM

the coupon is on-line at toshiiba's site

ian
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/07/07 03:17 PM

or here....
http://www.thelookandsoundofperfect.com/

They've updated the selection from the last one... Cool. Five more free one's for me.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/07/07 04:21 PM

Or here is the direct link to the .PDF...

Toshiba 5 HD-DVD Movie Rebate Form

Posted by: oldskoolboarder

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/07/07 04:44 PM

Apparently 90K HD DVD players sold this weekend, not limited to just the A2.

Nice movement for HD DVD.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/07/07 05:05 PM

Thanks Everyone! I guess I thought there was going to be a card in the box or a sticker on the box or something! \:\)
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/07/07 05:42 PM

Do you know how many BR players vs. HD players have been sold to date?
Posted by: Hutzal

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/07/07 05:45 PM

I heard that this weekend more HD DVD players sold than the main sony BD stand alone player since its inception.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/07/07 07:08 PM

From DVD Town
 Quote:
This past weekend Wal-mart and Best Buy decided to lower the price of the second generation HD DVD player the Toshiba HD-A2 to $98.

This helped move a lot of Toshiba HD DVD players. An estimated 90,000 units went over the counters to costumers in one single weekend.

In comparison one of Blu-rays best selling stand a lone players the Sony BDP-300 has shipped about 100,000 units since it launch in early June some five months ago.


Sony better come up with a new strategy.
Posted by: oldskoolboarder

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/07/07 07:30 PM

I also saw that AVS had to close the HD and Blu Ray forums because of threats involving police and legal action. This is so surreal.

Heck, it's only entertainment.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/07/07 07:32 PM

Probably from Walmart regarding black friday sales.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/07/07 07:57 PM

That's just the way Sony does things. They truly believe they have the best product and as such people will flock to it. I am seeing the Betamax all over again. If it wasn't for the PS3, I would say Sony would be dropping the BR idea shortly, it has to be costing them dearly.
Posted by: Lorenzo1000

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/07/07 08:45 PM

 Originally Posted By: oldskoolboarder
I also saw that AVS had to close the HD and Blu Ray forums because of threats involving police and legal action. This is so surreal.

Heck, it's only entertainment.


Wow that is just crazy!!!
Posted by: Wid

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/07/07 08:58 PM


Interesting.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/07/07 11:34 PM

I have zero love for Sony.
Posted by: price3

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/08/07 09:44 AM

I like their LCD's, and although I own a PS3 I don't believe they have very good QC in general.
Posted by: ihifi

Re: Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 - 11/15/07 08:46 PM

There is a new firmware released for Toshiba HD-DVD players HD-XA2, HD-A20, HD-A2, HD-A2W, and HD-D2. You can go to this page for more details and to download the zip file for iso image.

John