|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
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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
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Bulkiness: yeah this thing is bulky when compared to today's 30-100 dollar cheapo dvd players...but when compared to the more expensive upconverters this thing is not big at all (just look at the denons, pioneers, and other high brand models that can put out the performance that the toshiba does when upconverting) Anyone who is looking to spend this type of money on a this dvd player or any other dvd player in its price bracket will probably deal with this issue.
Remote: yeah its bad....hard to see what button does what and has a bad, uncomfortable feel to it. My harmony 880 had no problem assuming control of the toshiba. Just buy a universal remote. Look into logitech's harmony line, no biggie!
Slow: This is where I scratch my head. I turned it on, pressed the eject button, pop in a dvd, and by the time I go to sit down and get comfortable this thing will start like in 5-10 seconds....everyone needs to go thru this routine to watch their movies! No one pops in a movie and watches it from right there...this slowness issue is a non issue in my book.
Video: SD DVD never looked better to my eyes . I have gone out of my way to look at all the upconverters that I have give thought to(oppo 971, denon 1930 and 2930, and the samsung 860 and 960) with the exception of the 2930 the toshiba IMO was better than the rest. Keep in mind the denon lists for over 800 and only upconverts. When I did HD DVD nothing that I have witnessed Has come even close, not even Blue Ray....so this is where I giggle when I look back and question why the heck I was on the fence about this product to begin with? when you look at the price it is a no brainer, good bargain , and versatile.
Sound: This is where I went crazy! My SD DVD's never sounded better, but then again I wasn't crazy about my cheapo dvd player that I had attached to my Home Theater, but this was the right move. everything sounds louder, theres more bass, vocals are clearer and most importantly the video and audio are top notch and envelop you into whatever you watch thru the Toshiba.
Gen 1 player: yeah gen 1 players are always a risk....anything that's new is always a risk. You become a beta tester for these companies when they first dish out there machines. But that's technology folks and coming from someone who for a living deals with servers and the likes in the IT world.....I'll be the first to say that no technology is perfect. But the fact that Toshiba has made it very clear that they will not neglect the A1 once the A2 comes out is enough for me to pull the trigger on this player which leads me to my next point.
Compatibility: This is a word that in my profession is very important. You don't want to get the biggest and baddest thing just to say that you did and then find out your other stuff doesn't like it. The fact that this gen1 player has analog out and firmwares tells me that: a. this player will stay in tune with most of the technologies (true hd and DD+ in the 2.0 firmware for example) and b. the 5.1 analog will let you keep your current receiver that you probably dished out alot of money for!
I really think the toshiba HD A1 has its bugs and I'm sure future gens will be better, but this format war isn't really going to go anywhere right now so the prices will more or less stay the same for at least another year. So if you're on the fence and want to wait for this thing to be over with, you might wait a while. So why not enjoy this technology now and your current dvd collection as well. You will not be dissappointed.
The picture quality depends on the source material. Some disks are better than others. The surround sound is excellent. I've had some rental disks that made the player gag until I got in the habit of cleaning them before playing them. It only makes sense that with greater data density fingerprints etc would cause more problems.
What surprised me most is the image improvement when up-converting standard definition DVDs. I'd had another up-converting player and this one is much better.
It seems that the remote was designed to look at, not use. My eyesight isn't bad but I have trouble reading the button labels even in bright light. As many have said before me "what were they thinking?", but who uses the factory remotes anyway? You have a programmable multi-function remote don't you?
This machine is really a Linux-based computer with upgradable software - and how long does it take your PCs to boot?
As consumers we would do well to note that Sony owns film and TV production facilities and it may not be in our best interest to cooperate with their efforts to control the delivery technology.
The image quality is Excellent, I had no problem connecting and configurating the HD DVD player. About the sound, the quality is excellent, like almost all players connected through Fiber Optical cables to an audio system with Dolby Digital and DTS decoder.
I simply connect the HD DVD player to the monitor with the appropiate cables; to the H.T. system with Fiber Optic cable, and to the power. Turned it on, configure it ( Languages, screen type, Audio) and that is all I had to do.
I do not give it 5 Stars because the size of the player, it is huge in comparison with any other DVD player. and the remote control is terrible, I can hardly read the words on it, it has no illumination at all, if you are planning to use it in a Home Theater enviroment, it would be really annoying.