My Toshiba HD-A20 Nightmare - High-Def Digest Forums
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-17-2008, 09:34 PM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 5
Default My Toshiba HD-A20 Nightmare

Folks, I bought a Tohiba HD-A20 player from Best Buy last June - yup, full pop price back then - and I have really, really wanted to love HD-DVD.

I had a PS3 since January '07 and the Blu-Ray is awesome. But...I love the underdog, and I hate to see Sony yet again get a near monopoly like they had for 20 years with CD. Besides, some great stuff was out or coming only available on HD - Matrix, Heroes and Battlestar Galactica were pretty big motivators.

So off I go and deal with the usual pathetic Best Buy web experience to get me my big buck, spanking new Toshiba HD-A20.

And it's all been downhill since then.

For the first few months, I used the component video output and things were passable. Although I wasn't getting upsampling of regular DVD's, for the most part HD's worked, although there were plenty of freezing issues, garbled sound or distorted sound spots as well as times when the sound went out of sync and distorted, corrected by restarting the player - a pain in the ass, but at that stage I hadn't used enough HD-DVD's to know if there were disc issues or what.

In September, I got a lovely Nordost HDMI cable - and right away, things turned into a nightmare.

Suddenly, in almost 3 out of 4 cases, when booting a new disc, the A-20 would issue a loud 'pop' - and then output FULL VOLUME - nearly ripping the speakers right out of my $7k plasma, not to mention terrorizing my kids. I would leap at the player to shut it down before it blew out my speakers, and only after restarting and going through the agonizing cycle several times did the player revert to normal volume. This went on for a month, at which point I figured I had a faulty cable, and I got a new one - only to have the same thing happen again - consistently.

Having now concluded the player was the culprit, I contacted Toshiba Canada customer support, where I was told that the firmware was at issue, and that I should download the latest version.

I tried to connect my player to my laptop (whatever idiot didn't bother to give HD players an internet connection like Blu?) and of course - it didn't work. I downloaded and burned the ISO file per the instructions, and that failed - even burning the extracted file onto different brands of DVD-R and CD-R.

You might guess that I'm losing confidence at this point - especially as my Blu-Ray is operating flawlessly, beautifully - and downloading updates for it is a charm.

But...I persevere on, really wanting to hold on to my fantasy of being the champion of the underdog. I continue to buy HD-DVD's - even buying the HD version over the BR version when there are releases I like on both.

Now, it is late October and I call those friendly experts at Toshiba Canada to request a firmware update disc, which they happily tell me they will send out right away.

By early November, nothing arrives, yet at this stage, I have a least figured out how to deal with the sound bomb explosions - when the disc finishes loading and I hear the first loud 'pop', I pull the HDMI cable out of the player and re-insert it - and by doing so, I get the player back to regular volume.

But as I pull out the cable, I get a fairly nice shock - I can feel there is a huge current flow that cannot be right.

Picture and sound have the usual inconsistencies and problems, but still, at least I've figured out how to save my plasma's speakers from this thing.

I soldier on. I buy the Sopranos 6.2 box - and the discs load, but can't get past the menus - which don't work. wanting this to be a disc issue and not yet another player issue, I take the set back to the retailer for a replacement, yet not surprisingly, the replacements don't work either.

Another call to Toshiba Canada and I learn that they can't find a record of my first call. They promise to send another. They give me a reference number. It never arrives. I call again in December. They open a new file, promising it will be sent. Before Christmas I call, and am told the disc was sent on December 10th - they helpfully advise me that probably the Christmas mail is the cause of delay. I ask where it is mailed from, and they tell me - same city I live in.

Fast forward to January. After another call to Toshiba, a firmware disc arrives, postmarker January 9 - the day after my last phone call. Obviously, Toshiba lied to me for two months.

But being so happy my ordeal was about to end, I don't worry about that - I pop open the Toshiba HD-A20 and stick my firmware 2.7 update disc in - and... I get an error code.

Now...I'm getting pissed. I sit down to watch disc 3 of Battlestar Galactica and get a whopper of an electrical shock pulling out the HDMI cable, and the disc starts stuttering and freezing.

I call Toshiba and tell them - I've had enough. After hearing of my ordeal, the Toshiba customer service rep, with a firm grasp on the obvious, tells me that I "must have a lemon'. No kidding. He passes me on to their service department for help, where I'm told that I must take it to a service depot halfway across the city, which is open 9 to 5 Monday to Friday (yes, I have a full time job - who doesn't who is a HD customer?) where they will either repair or 'refurbish' the unit.

And I explode. I paid $550 for a lemon that I have to take time off work to drop off at a service depot, where it'll lay around for a month at which point I'll get this dud back and start over again? I tell 'em - this thing has so many issues and is so damned dangerous it should be trashed, and my patience has ended - and by the time this gets sorted out, the format will be (mercifully) dead anyways.

Another call to Toshiba and I effectively get the brushoff.

Folks - message here is simple.

There's several reasons why HD-DVD has died.

Toshiba brought players to market which were not safe and which had not yet been completely engineered. They plain out sold product before it was complete and ready to market. They can't support the product and won't make good.

My next step is a small claims court action to recover the cost of my player and discs. It's tough to get names of Toshiba executives to name in the action, because they deliberately don't want to have their nanes known. Can't blame 'em there, if I were selling this junk, I would want to avoid having my name known too.

HD-DVD for me has been a nightmare.

Next time, screw the underdog. I'm sticking with the winners, not the losers.

Cheers.

Last edited by Robert H.; 01-18-2008 at 09:28 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-17-2008, 09:56 PM
Barricade's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 468
Default

Not much to say, other than a bad experience. Just do what you think is best.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-17-2008, 10:28 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 177
Default

I really don't know what you expected to accomplish with this post. Your case is obviously not the norm, or there would have been a huge backlash from the public. Technology isn't perfect.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-17-2008, 10:33 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 175
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert H. View Post
I call Toshiba and tell them - I've had enough. After hearing of my ordeal, the Toshiba customer service rep, with a firm grasp o the obvious, tells me that I "must have a lemon'. No kidding. He passes me on to their service department for help, where I'm told that I must take it to a service depot halfway across the city, which is open 9 to 5 Monday to Friday (yes, I have a full time job - who doesn't who is a HD customer?) where they will either repair or 'refurbish' the unit.

And I explode. I paid $550 for a lemon that I have to take time off work to drop of at a service depot, where it'll lay around for a month at which point I'll get this dud back again and start over again? I tell 'em - this thing has so many issues and is so damned dangerous it should be trashed, and my patience has ended - and by the time this gets sorted out, the format will be (mercifully) dead anyways.

Another call to Toshiba and I effectively get the brushoff.

Folks - message here is simple.

There's several reasons why HD-DVD has died.
I know this sucks, but almost every CE company is like this when dealing with hardware. It's the last thing they want to think is the problem. Sony service is likewise a nightmare. Not to mention most of the personal computer companies.

You kinda owe it to yourself to take one more shot at it. Don't you have a relative or friend who could bring the unit in for service for you? Once you explain to the service center tech about the shock when you pull the HDMI cable, I'm sure they'll declare it a dud and get you a working unit. It's better than having a paperweight.

Good luck.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-17-2008, 11:02 PM
aiquoc's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 144
Default

Doesn't surprise me, Toshiba products have never been known to be hot items...I mean come on, who would want to ever admit that they have a Toshiba Notebook!? WORSE NOTEBOOKS EVER!!!!!!!!! Cheap priced for a REASON!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-17-2008, 11:32 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 175
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by aiquoc View Post
Doesn't surprise me, Toshiba products have never been known to be hot items...I mean come on, who would want to ever admit that they have a Toshiba Notebook!? WORSE NOTEBOOKS EVER!!!!!!!!! Cheap priced for a REASON!
Toshiba has multiple notebook lines. Their Satellites are consumer and can be hit and miss. Their Tecra business line was damn solid when I owned one.

The point is every company has duds from time to time.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-18-2008, 12:31 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 101
Default

Quote:
(whatever idiot didn't bother to give HD players an internet connection like Blu?)
They do have an ethernet port. I've never had a problem upgrading my firmware and I have the A20. It's been so much better than the 3 blu-ray players i've been through. I've never had problems with anything, and was the reason why I wanted this format to win over blu. You definately purchased a lemon, but to say the format failed because you couldnt do a firmware update and that you had one defective unit it is absurd.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-18-2008, 07:23 AM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 5
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slove View Post
They do have an ethernet port. I've never had a problem upgrading my firmware and I have the A20. It's been so much better than the 3 blu-ray players i've been through. I've never had problems with anything, and was the reason why I wanted this format to win over blu. You definately purchased a lemon, but to say the format failed because you couldnt do a firmware update and that you had one defective unit it is absurd.
How many people have their TV beside their computer?

At any rate, there are multiple reasons why HD-DVD failed, but clearly, one of the is that they put a product out in the market that was not yet finished (the subsequent firmware updates confirm this, for those fortunate enough to get them), and it's been near impossible to get the updates to work - as opposed to the seamless Blu-Ray experience.

Hey, as I said from the outset - I wanted HD-DVD to win. I put my money where my mouth is.

But the product let me down, and the format backer's support of it told me they couldn't care less.

Other factors, aside from the PS3 base:

1. Overpriced discs: where there are dual releases, too often the HD-DVD is priced higher than the Blu, due to the useless combo format. Why on earth would the backers of a struggling format price their product higher than the competitor, and justify it by adding a feature that nobody wants (and seems to contrdict the purpose of the format), and a feature that causes even more problems for many players?

2. Bone-headed product mistakes: - the trainwreck packaging and lousy transfer on Battlestar Galactica. The hugely overpriced Star Trek. The underfeatured 300 - priced higher for less content.

3. The deficiencies of the format itself - lack of wireless connection, less disc space, etc..

And so on.

My experience cannot be unique. For a premium product, I expected better. The A-20 didn't stay in the market for long, Toshiba discontinued it rather quickly - likely due to these issues.

HD-DVD is, of course, no longer a premium priced product, it's the cut-price format, however, the discs are still overpriced, which will cause the strategy of rock bottom pricing on players to fail.

I have bought 3 Toshiba laptops, by the way, no major problems, but they lost a customer with this one.

But I'll probably buy one last Toshiba product. I have a lot of HD-DVD's, and when the players go on clearance in the spring, I'll pick up one to play my collection, they'll probably be $100 by that point.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-18-2008, 07:43 AM
Blinx123's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,787
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert H. View Post
How many people have their TV beside their computer?
At any rate, there are multiple reasons why HD-DVD failed, but clearly, one of the is that they put a product out in the market that was not yet finished (the subsequent firmware updates confirm this, for those fortunate enough to get them), and it's been near impossible to get the updates to work - as opposed to the seamless Blu-Ray experience.

Hey, as I said from the outset - I wanted HD-DVD to win. I put my money where my mouth is.

But the product let me down, and the format backer's support of it told me they couldn't care less.

Other factors, aside from the PS3 base:

1. Overpriced discs: where there are dual releases, too often the HD-DVD is priced higher than the Blu, due to the useless combo format. Why on earth would the backers of a struggling format price their product higher than the competitor, and justify it by adding a feature that nobody wants (and seems to contrdict the purpose of the format), and a feature that causes even more problems for many players?

2. Bone-headed product mistakes: - the trainwreck packaging and lousy transfer on Battlestar Galactica. The hugely overpriced Star Trek. The underfeatured 300 - priced higher for less content.

3. The deficiencies of the format itself - lack of wireless connection, less disc space, etc..

And so on.

My experience cannot be unique. For a premium product, I expected better. The A-20 didn't stay in the market for long, Toshiba discontinued it rather quickly - likely due to these issues.

HD-DVD is, of course, no longer a premium priced product, it's the cut-price format, however, the discs are still overpriced, which will cause the strategy of rock bottom pricing on players to fail.

I have bought 3 Toshiba laptops, by the way, no major problems, but they lost a customer with this one.

But I'll probably buy one last Toshiba product. I have a lot of HD-DVD's, and when the players go on clearance in the spring, I'll pick up one to play my collection, they'll probably be $100 by that point.
Err. Question: Why do I need to have my TV near a computer just to plug my HD-DVD player to the internet?

Everyone should have a external router those days.
Especially as it's far more complex to access internet with a integrated modem (using a external unit like the PS3 or a HD-DVD player.)

And to the rest of this rant/flaming/trolling/whatsoever: I don't think Toshiba is to blame but the costumer. I mean: If you stick to a half defect hardware for several months it's your fault.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-18-2008, 07:50 AM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 5
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blinx123 View Post
Err. Question: Why do I need to have my TV near a computer just to plug my HD-DVD player to the internet?

Everyone should have a external router those days.
Especially as it's far more complex to access internet with a integrated modem (using a external unit like the PS3 or a HD-DVD player.)

And to the rest of this rant/flaming/trolling/whatsoever: I don't think Toshiba is to blame but the costumer. I mean: If you stick to a half defect hardware for several months it's your fault.
I don't like to get roped into argumentative posts like this online, however, to correct some simple facts:

It's a pain to connect the router to the player to the internet. Blu is seamless.

But to the snippy comment about waiting for months with defective hardware:

First, why should I have received defective hardware in the first place?

Second, please read my first post thoroughly. I describe the ordeal in detail,and the steps.

To recap: At first I used component video. The problems really got bad when, after several months, I went to HDMI. I contacted Toshiba promptly when I concluded, after cable changes, that it was the player not the cable.

Actually, I had tremendous good faith, I tried everything before contacting Toshiba. I did my due diligence. Toshiba failed me. The logic of blaming the consumer for a product that was sold incomplete and inadequately engineered escapes me, but then again, I am neither an apologist nor a troll, just a consumer who has been stiffed.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Toshiba HD-A20?? BostonMA HD DVD Software General Discussion 14 03-29-2007 06:08 PM
Toshiba's New HD-A20 is now Up/Listed on .ca bembol HD DVD Hardware General Discussion 1 03-29-2007 06:56 AM
Toshiba A20 BuyHDOnline HD DVD Hardware General Discussion 22 03-14-2007 02:51 PM
Toshiba A20 $599 MichaelHDDVD High Definition Smackdown 7 01-08-2007 12:32 PM
Toshiba HD-A20 1080p/24 @ $599 rumour Feyd High Definition Smackdown 8 01-07-2007 04:31 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off