HD-DVD Players? - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:27 PM
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HD-DVD Players?

I was searching for some Hi-Def movie titles and some are only available in HD-DVD format. The price on HD-DVD is significantly lower (for obvious reasons) and for a few dollars can pick up some good movies.

What HD-DVD players are out there that output 1080p and are reasonably priced? Any suggestions?

I keep searching top-rated HD-DVD players and cant seem to find anything w a "clean" answer.
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:45 PM
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I think the HD-XA2 is regarded as the flagship of Toshiba HD DVD players. If you feel it's too expensive, you can look for the HD-A35.
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Old 08-24-2009, 01:10 PM
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1080P HD -DVD Players from Cheapest to Most Expensive (with Price Estimates)

Tier 1: Toshiba HD-A20, Toshiba HD-A30 ($50 -$100)
Both play 1080P/24, and internally decode Dolby TrueHD for output via HDMI as PCM (no bitstreaming or multi-channel analog outputs) . The A30 supposedly upscales standard DVD a little better than the A20 does. When using the toslink or coax digitial audio output: The A20 will output audio as DTS, the A30 will send audio as Dolby Digital or DTS depending on the source soundtrack. Both output a very nice picture.
Upscaling:
Anchor Bay VRS Chipsets in both players

Tier 2: Toshiba HD-A35 ($100 - $200)
Plays 1080P/24, decodes both DTS-HD MA and Dolby TrueHD internally for output via multichannel analog outputs or PCM via HDMI, also Bitstreams both DTS-HDMA and Dolby TrueHD via HDMI v1.3.
Upscaling:
Upscales very well (Anchor Bay VRS Chipset identical to the A20 and A30).

Tier 3: Toshiba HD-XA2 (Best), Onkyo DV-HD805 (identical player with lesser remote), Integra DHS-8.8 (identical player with lesser remote) ($225 - $400, The XA2 is the most common)
These player's are identical with rebadging for different brands. The only difference is that the XA2 has a fancier remote that allows users to access a video customization screen. The 805 and 8.8 can access the screen when used with an XA2 remote. These flagship HD-DVD players have the best video processors for excellent upscaling and hd-dvd playback. All output 1080P/24, decode both DTS-HD MA and Dolby TrueHD internally for output via multichannel analog outputs or PCM via HDMI, also Bitstreams both DTS-HDMA and Dolby TrueHD via HDMI v1.3. These players are thought to have the highest build quality of 1080P output HD DVD players.
Upscaling:
Upscaling quality is the best among HD DVD players (HQV Reon chip).

Other Tier: Samsung BD-UP5000, LG BH100, and LG BH200 ($150 - $300)
These 3 players play Blu-ray and HD DVD discs. The first 2 have well-documented issues that may deter some buyers. The LG BH200 has some issues, but on the whole is a very good player, it can be challenge to find one at a good price.
Upscaling:
The Samsung uses the HQV Reon chip for upscaling.
The LG BH200 uses the Marvell QDEO chip.
The LG BH100 ????

Honestly, if you're focussed on getting into HD-DVD inexpensively, I'd go with an A20 or A30. If money is no object and you want the best, go with an XA2 or similar . I think you will be very pleased with the picture quality.

Hope that helps.

Last edited by kdigit0l; 08-26-2009 at 11:28 AM. Reason: A30 audio clarifiaction pointed out by another member. Added upscaling chip details.
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Old 08-25-2009, 05:54 PM
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What processor/chipset does each model use?
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Old 08-25-2009, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desaho View Post
I keep searching top-rated HD-DVD players and cant seem to find anything w a "clean" answer.
Check out the FAQ on AVS here. Lots of useful info.
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Old 08-25-2009, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdigit0l View Post
1080P HD -DVD Players from Cheapest to Most Expensive (with Price Estimates)

Tier 1: Toshiba HD-A20, Toshiba HD-A30 ($50 -$100)
Both play 1080P/24, and internally decode Dolby TrueHD for output via HDMI as PCM (no bitstreaming or multi-channel analog outputs) . The A30 supposedly upscales standard DVD a little better than the A20 does. When using the toslink or coax digitial audio output: The A20 will output audio as DTS, the A30 will send audio as Dolby Digital. Both output a very nice picture. [/B][/COLOR]
The only comment I would add here is . . the output digital signal via toslink from the HD-A30 is a function of what source digital track is selected. A DTS track selected to play from a disc will result in a DTS digital track being output via the toslink connection. Whether outputting Dolby Digital or DTS, it is limited to the core 5.1 lossy signal, although it can pass on DD+ higher audio bit rates if present.

Last edited by Rich86; 08-26-2009 at 01:26 AM.
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdigit0l View Post
Other Tier: Samsung BD-UP5000, LG BH100, and LG BH200 ($150 - $300)
These 3 players play Blu-ray and HD DVD discs. The first 2 have well-documented issues that may deter some buyers. The LG BH200 has some issues, but on the whole is a very good player, it can be challenge to find one at a good price.
All 3 have various issues. The BH100 is the worst, incapable of even loading HD DVD menus due to lack of standardized HDi. Handshake problems and both audio/video dropouts afflict the BH200 (even after the most recent firmware update). The 5000 isn't afflicted with any of the above problems but the last firmware update was sadly in November 2008. I would definitely avoid the BH100 but you'd most likely be okay with the Samsung. If I was aware of what equipment you'd be connecting to it, I would know whether to recommend the BH200 or not (Pioneer is generally not recommended).
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:50 AM
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So the Toshiba HD-XA2 is really better than the A35? Does it do 7.1 as well?
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juio View Post
So the Toshiba HD-XA2 is really better than the A35? Does it do 7.1 as well?
I don't own or use a HD-XA2, so take my comments accordingly . .

The HD-A35 is an excellent player, especially running the latest firmware (4.0).
The HD-XA2 is generally considered to be the best overall player ever offered due to build quality (hopefully meaning it lasts longer) and better upconversion capabilities due to the upscaling chip used inside. But the A35 is an excellent upconverter also.
I think everything else is a wash. I don't think 7.1 audio is much of an issue, as I don't believe there are many HD-DVD titles that even offer it (maybe 1 or 2?). But I believe both players will bitstream 7.1 audio, but neither offer analog outputs for 7.1 (5.1 only).
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:54 AM
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XA2 has at least 5.1 analog out based on a quick BING search.
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