Toshiba A2 or a Xbox360 HD-DVD add on - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 04-26-2007, 11:41 PM
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Default Toshiba A2 or a Xbox360 HD-DVD add on

What HD-DVD player would you get/recommend figuring in all factors HDMI vs Component, Upscaling vs not, cost, ect. ect. I will be using it on a PLV z-4 Sanyo projector (only a 720p display) on a 120 inch screen. I have pros and cons for both so was just curious of your input.

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Jeff
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Old 04-27-2007, 12:55 AM
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I am an owner of the 360 add-on, and while I love the picture quality, I am somewhat upset with the missing audio update that has been promised for the past 5 months. I am using a Mitsubishi DH1000U 720p projector on to a 100" screen.

My friend just purchased an A2 a few weeks back. He is running his on a 720p Panasonis pj on to a 120" screen. I was able to check it out, and to me, the picture quality was very similar to the 360 add-on. At least close enough that I noticed no significant improvement for HD-DVDs. That being said, the upscaling on his A2 is very impressive. It was as good if not a little better than my Oppo 970 player. Also, the A2 does not suffer from the gimped audio that the 360 add-on currently is experiencing.

I would say if you don't already have a good upconverting player, go with the A2. Plus you get 5 free movies with the purchase. Also, while not an issue for me, the 360 can be a little noisey, so the A2 avoids that issue too.

Really depends on your situation I guess. Oh, and I noticed no real difference between his setup with HDMI and mine with component - at least to my untrained eyes.

Good luck. You're going to win either way
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Old 04-27-2007, 04:12 AM
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personally, i would love to have a stand alone player instead of using the add-on. i just feel that the picture and sound quality is much better because it is dedicated to showing hd dvds, while the add-on doesn't have all options available. plus i'm still scared that my 360 might brick again.
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Old 04-27-2007, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shark420 View Post
What HD-DVD player would you get/recommend figuring in all factors HDMI vs Component, Upscaling vs not, cost, ect. ect. I will be using it on a PLV z-4 Sanyo projector (only a 720p display) on a 120 inch screen. I have pros and cons for both so was just curious of your input.

Thanks
Jeff
I think it all depends on how you are going to use it and what your willing to spend. On ebay you could probably get at 360 premium (used) and HD DVD add on for $400 to $450-refurbished for a $100 less than that possibly. I got my 2nd 360 core for $100 but I already had several other components (cable, power supply, controller, ect). Cost of the a2 at Circuit city is $360 to $399-while the A20 is $100 more. I would recommend the a20 out as these 2 as you get 1080p. The 1080p picture quality is noticeable to me but not to some. It is all depending on your set up.

I have listed some Pros/Cons of the regular 360 and the A2 below.

360

Pros:
Gaming
Downloadable content (HD Movies at a cost and HD trailers for free)
Full Media Center Extender from Media Center PC or Streaming Capability from regular PC
-Play all your MP3s
-Stream live and recorded OTA HDTV (depending on PC set up)
-Slide Shows with your pictures
Of course HD DVD
1080P over VGA

Cons:
No DTS
No TrueHD
VGA can look washed out and most TV sets have limited picture settings for VGA. (However, PQ over component can be absolutely stunning in color and picture quality at 1080i.)
No upscaling over component.
A bulky and odd fit for a home theater setup.
You have to have a very strong wireless connection to stream HDTV


A2:

Pros:
Excellent Picture Quality better than the 360 by a small amount.
Plays all sound codecs (TrueHD, DTS, ect)
Beautifully designed look good in any home theater set up.
Nice Upscaling over HDMI

Cons:
None of the extras that the 360 have it is only an HD DVD player.
Must be update right out of the box.
Takes almost a half hour to update.

So like I mentioned earlier it is all dependent on what you want out of your HD player. The A2 has excellent picture quality and if you do not have a wired ethernet connection to your TV or a strong wireless connection at home then I would go with the A2. Although you will have to either wait for the cd from Toshiba or move you A2 into your office for the update.

If you have a Ethernet connection wireless or wired then maybe the 360 is for you. Additional cost of a wireless connection can be as low as $150 dollars. An OTA HDTV card is about $100. A good antenna can be $30. And a large hard drive $120 on sale will get you 400 gb (50hrs of HDTV). Still after spending all of this you may not be able to get HDTV because of your location. Don't bother with a regular TV connection from Direct TV or Turner as the recorded picture quality on these two is not worth the money.

With a sub par wireless signal you can still stream pictures and music to your 360.

So I went with the 360 first and got an A20 later mainly because my set up was already in place. If you don't have a similar set up and don't want to spend an extra $520 and possibly $1000 if you don't have a pc then definitely go with the A2.

Although downloaded 360 HD content is pretty cool
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Old 04-27-2007, 02:10 PM
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Go with the A2. The 360 has some pretty big audio issues right now and will never be able to support lossless sound.

The A2 with five free movies is a better deal for what you get.
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Old 04-27-2007, 03:22 PM
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You can't beat the A2 for the price right now. I have had no problems except with CoM. Quality HD picture and has really improved my SD DVD collection with the up conversion. I couldn't believe how good my SD version of Pirates of the Caribbean looked.
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Old 04-27-2007, 07:00 PM
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just curious, what problems did you have with CoM?
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Old 04-27-2007, 10:15 PM
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Go for the A2. i just got mine yesterday and it is nice, i just have to wait a week for the update disc because i live in an appartment and i'm not near the router so i cant hook the A2 up with an ethernet cable. it is nicer than the 360 add on becuase i just hate leaving my 360 on for extensive periods of time, especially when i am in movie mode. the A2 is sleek, has beautiful picture and audio. I bought the 360 attatchment in november when it came out but wanted a stand alone player better. it seems that the A2 has longer load times, and right now i am experincing some difficulties when it loads discs, and i hope that the update will fix this,
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Old 04-28-2007, 03:07 AM
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I love my 360 for games, but I love my A2 for movies. I have the HD DVD add-on for the 360 and there is really no comparison with the A2, especially with audio.
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Old 04-28-2007, 02:38 PM
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Considering the recent price drop, I'd have to say go with the A2 definitely. I just think its a better overall product.
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