|Item Weight||20 pounds|
|Product Dimensions||13.9 x 16.9 x 4.1 inches|
|Item model number||HD-A1|
Toshiba HD-A1 HD-DVD Player
- Plays high-def HD DVD discs for sharper, more detailed picture performance than standard DVD discs ; measures 17.7 x 4.3 x 13.4 inches (WxHxD)
- Backwards compatible with current DVD and CD formats; upconverts DVD movie discs to near high-definition
- Ethernet port for upgrades; USB port on front; compatible with MP3, WMA, and JPEG files
- Connections: composite (1 out), S-Video (1 out), component (1 out), HDMI (1 out), USB, Ethernet
- DVD offer Dolby True HD/Dolby Digital/DTS decoding; coaxial and optical digital audio outputs
Customers also shopped for
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Have a question?
Find answers in product info, Q&As, reviews
Please make sure that you are posting in the form of a question.
HD DVD, DVD, CD PLAYER W/HDMI
Get ready for the next generation of DVD entertainment with the Toshiba HD-A1 DVD player, which is compatible with the new HD DVD format. It combines the superior image and sound quality of high-definition images and multichannel surround sound with the convenience of DVD disc playback. In addition to the new HD DVD format, you'll also enjoy backward compatibility with your current DVD movie CD audio libraries, as well as content burned onto DVD-R/RW, DVD-RAM, CD-R/RW. The HD-A1 also scales standard definition DVD output via the HDMI connection to a resolution of 720p or 1080i to match your HDTV's performance. And because the conversion takes place in the player, the signal remains free from excessive digital-to-analog conversion artifacts. High definition output is only available from the HD-A1 via an HDMI connection. To get the most out of this player, you'll want to connect it to an HDMI compatible HDTV.
HD DVD movie discs provide the ability to search the on-screen menu, make changes to set-up options or access other menu functions while the movie is playing. Scene searching is facilitated with thumbnail images on the TV screen that allow you to use the cursor to go directly to a specific scene. You can even access bonus material like directorÕs comments while the movie is playing without going back to the discÕs menu. DVD playback features include fast forward/reverse, slow play, step play, time search, and parental lock.
The HD-A1 has built-in processors to handle the multi-channel decoders for Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD (2 channel), DTS, and DTSHD. It employs the use of four DSPs to decode the multi-channel streams of the wide array of audio formats. These 32-bit floating-point DSPs are world renown for their high accuracy and are employed in many high quality audio solutions in the home theater market.
This DVD player includes a USB interface on the front panel, enabling you to connect "mass storage classification devices"--i.e., external hard drives, portable thumb drives, and compatible MP3 players/digital cameras--and play JPEG, WMA, and MP3 files. You can also connect the player to the Internet via an always-on broadband connection using the Ethernet port in the rear. In addition to accessing special HD DVD sites, this function can be used to access firmware updates when available. Here's the full listing of video and audio connections:
- Composite A/V: 1 out
- S-Video: 1 out
- Component Video: 1 out
- HDMI: 1 out
- USB: 1
- Digital audio: 1 coaxial, 1 optical
HD DVD Disc Format
Officially endorsed by the DVD Forum industry organization as the next high-capacity DVD disc, the HD DVD format delivers sharper, more detailed picture performance than standard DVD discs. Moreover, the HD DVD format opens new avenues of interactivity including enhanced on-screen menus, scene searching, directorsÕ commentaries and the potential for online shopping. HD DVD discs can offer both the current DVD and HD DVD formats on one disc, which means that special HD DVD discs will play in older DVD players as well as new high definition players.
HDMI is a lossless, uncompressed, all-digital audio/video interface to link any audio/video source (such as a set-top box, DVD player, or AV receiver) with your TV--all over a single cable. HDMI supports standard, enhanced or high definition video, plus multi-channel digital audio on a single cable. It supports all ATSC formats--standard (SDTV), enhanced (EDTV), and high (HDTV).
Component video (also called Y/Pb/Pr) features a three-jack video input, which provides separate connections for luminance (Y), blue color difference (PB) and red color difference (PR). This results in increased bandwidth for color information, resulting in a more accurate picture with clearer color reproduction and less bleeding than you would get with S-Video or composite (RCA yellow video plug) connections. You will need a separate RCA left/right audio cable for sound.
DVD-RAM is the most flexible of the recordable DVD formats when it comes to recording, editing and playback. With a DVD-RAM disc, you'll be able re-record content approximately 100,000 times.
What's in the Box
HD DVD player, remote control (with batteries), printed operating instructions
Top customer reviews
For video, I set the output to HDMI and the resolution to 1080i (even though my TV is an older 720p model). A supplemental sheet that comes with the manual recommends that, for HD-DVD discs, the resolution be set to the native format of the disc rather than that of the TV. Every HD-DVD I've read about thus far is encoded at 1080-line resolution, so I set the player at 1080i. I haven't yet noticed anything in the manual regarding what to do for regular DVDs, so I experimented a bit and concluded that 1080i is the best setting for DVDs as well. Thus, I set the thing at a resolution of 1080i and plan to leave it there.
I connected the player to my TV's DVI input using an HDMI-to-DVI adapter, then connected the six analog 5.1 audio outputs on the back of the player to the analog 5.1 inputs on my stereo receiver, then calibrated the audio for speaker size and distance using the "Setup" feature. Note: The owner's manual doesn't mention that the "Setup" button is hidden under a sliding panel on the lower end of the remote control.
My only complaint is that the remote control is an un-backlit version of the backlit remote that comes with the more expensive HD-XA1 player offered by Toshiba. The only way I can read it is with a flashlight. Fortunately, once I got things figured out, I found that I really only need to use a few key buttons, the positions of which are easily memorized. Also, there ought to be a label on the sliding panel that hides the setup button.
The menu of an HD-DVD disc can be accessed and operated while the movie is playing. This is much cooler than it sounds. The features that can be operated from the menu are much more sophisticated than those on a regular DVD.
Picture quality is phenomenal, even on my 42" 720p LCD rear-projection TV (a 3-year-old model that's already antiquated). It's obvious that HD-DVD is designed to be optimatlly viewed on a high-quality big-screen 1080-line TV (at least 60") in order to achieve a true home-cinema experience. I calculated that the ideal TV for my living room (viewing distance = 12 feet) would be a 65" screen with 1080-line resolution.
The picture quality is even better than what I get from HD satellite and broadcast channels. I could detect no video-compression artifacts in either of the HD-DVDs that I've watched thus far, even in scenes with lots of complex high-speed motion. In addition to extreme picture clarity, HD-DVD offers a very noticeable improvement in color gamut over DVD. Watch an HD movie, and you'll see real-world colors you've never seen on TV before. Once I switched back to watching a regular DVD, the color seemed a bit phony-looking.
What really caught me by surprise was the quality of the sound when using the Dolby Digital Plus soundtrack. Right now, the only way to listen to the DD+ soundtrack in its pure form is to connect to the analog 5.1 outputs on the back of the player, which involves a bit of extra cabling. It's well worth the trouble, however. DD+ apparently allows the use of a much lower compression ratio than ordinary DD or DTS. The surround effects are much more like those you'll hear in a good theater, and the realism and clarity of the sounds is absolutely electrifying. You can, alternatively, connect to your receiver via digital optical cable, in which case the DD+ track gets converted to ordinary DTS (possibly losing some of its quality in the process).
We're in the midst of the TV Revloution, with a combination of new display technologies, new audio/video formats, and new audio/video media. The biggest problem has been the scarcity of HD material to watch on your HD television, and the lack of pre-recorded HD media (the obscure D-VHS format having been the only option until now). It will probably be quite some time before a sizeable portion of the cable/satellite/broadcast universe converts to HD. Even the local ATSC digital terrestrial broadcasts in my area are still standard definition much of the time, and my HD satellite programming package only provides me with 3 full-time HD channels and 3 channels that are mixed HD/SD.
HD-DVD and BluRay discs could enable people to gain access to a lot of high-quality HD material while we wait for the cable/satellite/broadcast industry to catch up. After that, HD discs will be able to fulfill the same function that DVDs and VHS tapes currently provide, enabling you to own or rent a wide variety of programming for viewing at your convenience. Now that I've watched a couple of HD-DVDs on my HDTV, I may never want to buy or rent a regular DVD again (even though, admittedly, the HD-A1 does a very nice job of playing regular DVDs). Sales of HD players and discs could also drive sales of big-screen 1080-line TVs as well, as this is the only type of TV that would enable the home-theater enthusiast to really take full advantage of what HD-DVD and (theoretically) BluRay have to offer.
Well now that I'm all set up I have to say this player does not dissappoint. Toshiba did a bang up job of making a quality piece of technology. The upconverting feature is great, and while it varies from SD DVD to SD DVD you notice a difference. Now watch something like Batman Begins HD and now you're soaring. With TrueHD capabilities, it's surprising how HD hasn't taken over this format war and blown it out.
Drawbacks are mainly for being a first gen player would be, that it is a bit bulky. Loading takes some time, and the remote makes you feel reminiscent of the 70s. But all are minor once you compare to everything else out there. And thanks to Toshiba's tech support and firmware updates, many small glitches like audio sync, SD DVD freezing and even load times have been remedied.
I recommend getting this player over any other next gen one after this. As it will be the only one with 5.1 analog. They're scrapping that off the next ones down the road.
Blu Ray promised alot. And hasn't delivered. Almost quite literally as Sony is having their problems. Let's hope the studios see this too, and jump on the HD wagon in time for the holiday season, and we can get all our favourites in HD.
The first HD-DVD I played was Troy. First thing that impressed me was the menu system. It's very smooth in that you can change settings on the fly and access special features while the movie is playing. This is different than DVDs, where you have to hit 'menu' to bring up special features.
Now on to the really good stuff... the picture quality is astounding. It's just as clear and as colorful as watching Discovery HD, with a couple extra advantages. There is no 'macroblocking' where you see squares during quick movement. The other advantage is that the video is very smooth during panning shots. Usually with broadcast HD you get jitter during slow moving shots. You can really see a lot of detail in your movies and it's just a pleasure to see.
The sound is improved as well. How can you beat 5.1 lossless sound?
Lastly, I was expecting this player to be very slow since that's about the only complaint I've heard. Maybe it's because I immediately updated to 2.0, but I really didn't think the player was as slow as I thought it was going to be.
I'm very excited about HD-DVD and hope the good movies keep rolling out. I'm picking up Batman Begins soon and have heard it looks great.
I was also quite amazed at the way the HD A-1 plays standard DVDs; It's upconversion capability has to be seen to be believed. Soon after the purchase I placed my fairly new Denon 3910 on eBay, as its picture or sound quality just couldn't compete with the HD A-1.
You will get to enjoy your standard DVD collection all over again, as the Toshiba's upconverting quality of standard DVDs is on paar with the current selection of Blue Ray movie releases. Seeing is believing!