Toshiba HD-XA2 - High-Def Digest Review - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 03-04-2007, 02:19 PM
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Default Toshiba HD-XA2 - High-Def Digest Review

Does Toshiba's top-of-the line second gen HD DVD player live up to all the hype? Joshua Zyber takes an in depth look at the XA2 in the first of what we hope will be many more High-Def Digest hardware reviews in the months and years to come.

Full review here:
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Old 03-04-2007, 03:33 PM
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Great review, looking forward to some more hardware reviews
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Old 03-04-2007, 04:38 PM
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The review flagged the big problem, which is the dropping out of the LFE on 5.1 analog. When I first set mine up, I thought it was busted because my test patterns gave me almost no bass.

I shoud say though that this unit is a GREAT upscaler, noticably better than my old Sony. So it has good dual use as HD-DVD & high-end DVD player.

If you are going to get an HD-DVD player, this is the one to get.
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Old 03-04-2007, 07:23 PM
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Excellent review Josh.

Sounds like it's got some promise but some bugs certainly need to be worked out. We need to check out other reviews too to see if the same LFE issues and video stutter problems surfaced. This is a unit I am eying for a later summer purchase after just selling my A1. Hope they can rectify some of this.
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Old 03-04-2007, 08:48 PM
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Good honest review!

I can relate to your feelings of reservation regarding fears that any HD-DVD
title might play or not.

I have a early XA1 and have gone "NEUTRAL" with the Sony Blu-Ray
player a couple months ago..

I can tell you this, I now buy ALL my discs on BLU-RAY and ONLY IF I
have to on HD-DVD in regard to the Universal titles.

My last HD-DVD purchase was "Hollywood Land" and I have never been
able to view this without a error and re- boot.

It seems Toshiba seems determined to bring product forward without exhaustive testing.
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Old 03-04-2007, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by firelizard View Post
Great review, looking forward to some more hardware reviews
Agree. It would be nice to read more hardware reviews or even hardware news. Anything 1080i/p related
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Old 03-04-2007, 09:51 PM
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Excellent review. You really helped me decide to put off purchasing the XA2. It's a player with great potential but the audio issues are a definite deal breaker for me. It's like a one two punch. First, they remove the DTS core output from DD+ codec and then they manage to screw up the .1 analog output. Yikes! They obviously are not audio enthusiasts.

Perhaps I will have to wait until the third generation but by then my interest in HDDVD may be gone. In the meantime, I will enjoy BluRay.
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Old 03-04-2007, 10:49 PM
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Well, before I sold my A1, I had ZERO issues. After 2.0 firmware, playback was flawless. Rock solid.
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Old 03-04-2007, 11:41 PM
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Default Any experience with HDMI to DVI problems?

Hi Josh,

Thanks for the comprehensive review.

Have you had an opportunity to test for any of the HDMI to DVI issues reported on other forums? In particular I'm interested in the color space problems others and I have reported.

In your review you reference the High-Def Digest article describing the version 1.3 firmware upgrade. The first bullet outlining what the firmware does states:

Colorspace issues via HDMI-to-DVI connections corrected

On my HD-XA2 I have seen no improvement in this problem. Can you provide any additional information that supports the article's assumption that this problem was addressed by the firmware, or share any insights regarding this problem?

Despite this problem after adjusting the player's Brightness and Contrast controls I find the HD-XA2 provides an excellent image to my untrained eyes. Overall the players has performed almost flawlessly. I have 20 HD DVDs that I have had a chance to view. All of them play without problems except for the HD side of Hollywoodland. It fails to load despite installing the firmware upgrade. Even re-booting has no effect.

Thanks again.

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Old 03-05-2007, 01:44 AM
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Default A few questions about the review

Hi Josh - thanks for an excellent review. A few comments/questions if you will please:

1) In the review you mention that the audio Dynamic Range Compression strangely defaults to the On position. On my unit it defaults to AUTO. According the the manual they make it sound like a smart feature whereby based on encoded instructions in the HD DVD they turn this feature on/off for you. With this in mind is AUTO still a good choice? Or would you highly recommend just keeping it off. When it does what it is designed to do, what's the benefit anyway?

2) Another consideration for choosing the XA2 over the A2 would be future support for 1080p24. Do you agree? As I understand it the XA2 will get this update later this year, and not the A2.

3) Regrading the player losing its place if you switch over to another video source and then back while the 1080p setting is active - this is indeed annoying. I haven't had a chance to test this however after updating to the 1.3 firmware. I thought for sure I read a post where someone reported that this problem was resolved with 1.3. I know you said your review was based off of 1.3 but was wondering perhaps if you may have noticed this with an earlier firmware but not rechecked it under 1.3?

4) Regarding the LFE issue - are you sure this is not an issue with your AVR as opposed to the XA2 itself?

Thanks for an excellent review!
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