Question About THE A2 - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 09-03-2007, 04:00 AM
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The Toshiba A-2 is being offered at my work(Futureshop)for a special price with 3 movies instantly and 5 by mail. I currently have the xbox360 add-on but don't like watching movies hearing my xbox running the whole time, not to mention if the xbox breaks what am I suppose to do about my HD and SD movies. So that in mind I'd like to get a stand-alone player and due to the fact that my TV is 1080i I don't think for now I'd need the high end version(the A-20 I think it's called). Anyways I read some articles and reviews and liked what I read but something jumped out at me. It said that it upconverts SD via HDMI cable. My TV doesn't have HDMI but rather component and S-Video so does that mean it won't upconvert or did I read that wrong? Also I realize that HDMI transfers a signal faster and therefore will be better quality picture but if I were to buy the A-2 and I'm running it with component will it be true 1080i or will that only be achieved with HDMI? And based on what I'm running now with the xbox360 add-on is that 1080i I always wondered if it was because it's run into the xbox360 through USB and I've been told USB can't transfer 1080i. Any help I can get with this would be much appreciated, thanks guys.
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Old 09-03-2007, 12:18 PM
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For an explanation of what HDMI does, read this: http://forums.highdefdigest.com/show...30&postcount=7 It's pretty long and technically detailed, but it's a pretty brilliant description of how this stuff works.

Does your TV have DVI? If it's not a CRT, I have trouble believing that it doesn't have one. DVI looks like this: http://www.atmarkit.co.jp/fsys/cable...vi_d-box-l.jpg

I really don't understand your question about USB. USB's bandwidth is 480 Mb/s, so it is capable of transmitting any sort of compressed video stream on disc, but it's nowhere near strong enough to transmit uncompressed HD video to a TV, for instance. It could do DVD-quality video, but not a whole lot higher.

I'm not familiar enough with the Xbox to know where its video decoders lie. If they're in the main unit (likely, considering the processing power required to decode digital video), then the add-on transfers the compressed bitstream to the main Xbox, and it decodes and outputs the signal. USB has more than enough bandwidth to handle that.

You can get 1080i out of an HD-DVD over component cables, but due to licensing restrictions, you'll only get 480p out of any copy protected DVD. To bear the DVD logo, a player cannot output video from a DVD with CSS source at anything higher than 480p over non-encrypted lines--i.e., anything less than HDCP-enabled DVI or HDMI.

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Also I realize that HDMI transfers a signal faster and therefore will be better quality picture
Speed has nothing to do with it. From that big post of mine I linked you to,

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Originally Posted by Aurora View Post
Essentially, HDMI transmits uncompressed digital video from the player to the display device. The reason is offers a superior picture to component video is that you skip an additional analog-to-digital conversion. When you play back a digital disc, this is what happens:
Component: Decode digital, digital-to-analog conversion, send analog over component, HDTV receives analog signal, preforms analog-to-digital conversion, displays image
HDMI: Decode digital, send digital over HDMI, HDTV receives digital signal, displays image
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:42 PM
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I appreciate the reply, here's a link to the TV I own and it truly doesn't have DVI or HDMI I know I was as surprised as you http://products.howstuffworks.com/jv...-tv-review.htm

I'm somehwhat technical and was able to follow your explanation but bottom line if I buy this player and hook it up with component cables will it be playing in true 1080i for sure or did you mean it will be downscaled that's the part that confused me. As for SD DVD's they won't go better then 480 was my understanding of what you said unless you have a HDMI or DVI cable but is 480 upconverted or would that be the same quality as any normal DVD player? Lastly the add on drive plays the HD DVD while the compressed information is transmitted via USB into the xbox where it is processed and output on the TV. Therefore I'm assuming you mean right now it's not really true 1080i is that correct. Thanks for the help it's humbling to come on these boards with super tech savvy people when you're used to being the expert with basic knowledge of how this stuff works. I know the basics of high definition but I couldn't tell you what's 720 or 1080i or 1080p. Appreciate the knowledge I'm learning lots.
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Old 09-03-2007, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by nramsay View Post
I appreciate the reply, here's a link to the TV I own and it truly doesn't have DVI or HDMI I know I was as surprised as you http://products.howstuffworks.com/jv...-tv-review.htm
Wow, it doesn't. I didn't know they made these sorts of TVs.

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Originally Posted by nramsay View Post
if I buy this player and hook it up with component cables will it be playing in true 1080i for sure
To my knowledge, the Toshiba does 1080i. It doesn't do true 1080p, but instead does 1080i60 and relies on the TV's de-interlacing to convert to 1080p (same quality, just more overhead).

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Originally Posted by nramsay View Post
As for SD DVD's they won't go better then 480 was my understanding of what you said unless you have a HDMI or DVI cable but is 480 upconverted or would that be the same quality as any normal DVD player?
DVDs are actually encoded in interlaced video, which is why there are PAL and NTSC DVDs, and no such thing for HD movies, natively 480i. 480p is technically upscaled because progressive scanning is better than interlaced scanning, but the resultant progressive image from DVD doesn't really look better since it's starting with the same source material, it just has smoother motion (interlaced scan often has flicker, and isn't quite as adept at fast moving images as progressive).

With the component cables and conversion to 480p, you'll get a smoother image, but not any more resolution than you'd get without conversion to progressive scan.

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Originally Posted by nramsay View Post
Therefore I'm assuming you mean right now it's not really true 1080i is that correct.
It should be true 1080i. I don't know why it wouldn't be. You can't really have "fake" 1080i like you can have "fake 1080p" (the result of a 1080i60 picture deinterlaced to 1080p30, or 1080i50 to 1080i24/5).
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Old 09-04-2007, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by nramsay View Post
And based on what I'm running now with the xbox360 add-on is that 1080i I always wondered if it was because it's run into the xbox360 through USB and I've been told USB can't transfer 1080i. Any help I can get with this would be much appreciated, thanks guys.
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Originally Posted by Aurora View Post
I really don't understand your question about USB. USB's bandwidth is 480 Mb/s, so it is capable of transmitting any sort of compressed video stream on disc, but it's nowhere near strong enough to transmit uncompressed HD video to a TV, for instance. It could do DVD-quality video, but not a whole lot higher.
http://www.dvdforum.org/hddvd-tech-intro-eng.htm


The Maximum data transfer rate of HD DVD is 36.55Mbps where a USB 2 can do 480Mbps so a USB 2 interface can easily handle a HD DVD drive at both 1080i or 1080p.

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Originally Posted by nramsay View Post
Anyways I read some articles and reviews and liked what I read but something jumped out at me. It said that it upconverts SD via HDMI cable. My TV doesn't have HDMI but rather component and S-Video so does that mean it won't upconvert or did I read that wrong?
HD DVD's will be 720p or 1080i over both HDMI & Component for now, there is a bit that in the future will be used that will down convert Component but it isn't in use yet. I have heard it won't be used for another year, but who knows.

As for DVD's, I tried this to be sure but it looks like it will only do 480i/480p over Component so if you want to upconvert you will need to use HDMI.
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