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Old 09-12-2007, 08:43 PM
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Default questions about XA2

I just sold my xbox addon player and would like to pickup a stand alone player today. I was wondering what the real difference is between the A20 and XA2. I understand it has a reon chip and does a great job upconverting dvd's. Aside from that, what is the difference? Is the picture quality any better? they both seem to support next gen audio. So my real question is, is it worth the extra price for the XA2 or should i go with an A20 instead?

thanks in advance.
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Old 09-13-2007, 12:25 AM
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Well, I have the XA2 and when viewing SDVDs, YES, the picture is definitely better (I own an A1 as well). Watching HD DVDs though I'm not sure you will see a difference, although, I do see a difference between my A1 and XA2 in performance which includes PQ.

As far as audio, the XA2 gives you 5.1 analog out which the A20 does not have, so, if you do not have a HDMI receiver you will not be getting TrueHD sound with the A20.

All I have to say is that the XA2 is a mighty fine machine but you can't go wrong with either one. Especially since you can pretty much pick up the A20 for $299 at Best Buy (on sale).
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Old 09-13-2007, 12:30 AM
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Actually, it's not just having an HDMI input, it's having an HDMI 1.3 input that allows the high-def audio to be unencoded by the pre-pro. HDMI 1.3 is required, I believe, for True HD audio, the next gen DTS, etc.

I have an Aragon Soundstage with a 5.1 analog input, and obsolete DA converters, but a great analog section. With the XA2, I can now use it...

Dan
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Old 09-13-2007, 12:33 AM
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If you've used/seen or prefer (I do) the 1st Generation remotes this is one of them.

Besides the amazing Picture/Audio Quality, I think it's just the Overall Built Quality of the unit.
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Old 09-13-2007, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrspeakers View Post
Actually, it's not just having an HDMI input, it's having an HDMI 1.3 input that allows the high-def audio to be unencoded by the pre-pro. HDMI 1.3 is required, I believe, for True HD audio, the next gen DTS, etc.

I have an Aragon Soundstage with a 5.1 analog input, and obsolete DA converters, but a great analog section. With the XA2, I can now use it...

Dan
I believe that's only if you want your receiver to do the decoding, since all players have the ability to decode TrueHD, HDMI (regardless of version) can then pass it via PCM once it's been decoded by the player.

I'm sure someone will set us straight soon enough
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Old 09-13-2007, 12:38 AM
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One other note, this article here does a very good job of describing why HDMI 1.3 is more hype than anything else. It's a good read.
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Old 09-13-2007, 01:12 AM
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I'm a loudspeaker designer, and an audiophile.

I went with a Toshiba XA2 precisely because I wanted high def audio content without an upgrade to a pre/pro with HDMI 1.3. I was worried about the basic/advanced issue. My hope was that basic would prevail, or at least be common, but the above referenced article indicates this isn't the case. If true, that validates the choice I made.

The XA2 has a pretty darn good analog stage, though the gain is a little low. Having that 5.1 analog out into a processor like the Aragon with a first-class analog stage solves ALL the problems.

No worries about formats, full use of the highest resolution available.

For video, I would hope some of the video codecs will add color interpolation to reduce banding (if they don't already. Anyone know about this?). That's one great thing about a programmable processor like the Toshibas, you can upgrade algorithms (at least within the limits of the silicon).

Though it is funky having to treat AV gear like a PC with updates. I think I've done 4 in the three months I got the player.
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Old 09-13-2007, 01:43 AM
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thanks for your replies.

so i went to check out both the xa2 and a20 after work today and i'll have to agree that the XA1 is built like a tank. that thing is solid! the a2 and a20 look and feel fairly cheap. As far as picture (high def) goes i didnt notice too much of a difference when compared to the A20. The sales rep told me the A20 does a good job converting regular dvd also. So considering the price (im from canada) I chose the A20. I would have loved the XA2 but it's $999.99 here in vancouver. The rep told me he would go down to $849.00 but thats still more than double the price of an A20. I called 3 stores and no store would go lower than $830. So... i have with me still sealed a brand new a20!

as far as sound goes i have a onkyo tx-sr805 it decodes dts hd and dolby true hd. so i dont think i need the analog outs.. correct me if im wrong.

i'll set it up tonight and see how it goes!
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Old 09-13-2007, 01:49 AM
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The DTS HD and True HD won't work, as there are two ways to master audio on HD DVD; basic (which would support this over HDMI 1.3) and Advanced, which apparently does not allow these formats to be sent over HDMI 1.3.

Alas, if what I read is correct, essentially ALL HD DVD uses Advanced. So you will get downsampled DVD quality audio (not bad, but not at the same level), even though your receiver in theory could process the signal.
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Old 09-13-2007, 02:15 AM
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so what you're saying is in order for me to get true HD and dts HD i need to get the XA2 because it uses HDMI 1.3 ?
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