Print 29 comment(s) - last by masher2.. on Jan 2 at 1:03 PM

Toshiba's latest HD DVD player gets pushed back slightly

Toshiba's HD-XA2 HD DVD player is slightly off schedule according to the folks at Engadget HD. The player was first scheduled to make an appearance in the last week of December, but has instead been delayed until January 3. That is when the first wave of shipments are expected to take place according to "DTV Tivo Dealer," a retailer on the AVS Forum.

The HD-XA2 would mark Toshiba's second “Generation 2” HD DVD player to hit the US market. The first was the HD-A2 which started showing up on retail shelves earlier this month. That player retails for $499, features HDMI 1.2 support and outputs at 1080i.

The HD-XA2 on the other hand retails for $999, supports HDMI 1.3 and will initially offer support for 1080p/60. A firmware update is scheduled to be released sometime in February which will enable 1080p/24 support.

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By Murst on 12/29/2006 10:49:06 AM , Rating: 1
The prices for these players are insane.

The HD war will not be won with $1000 hd players. Whichever format has the first player with HD support and up to 1080p output for under 200$ will win the format war.

RE: Price
By xuimod on 12/29/06, Rating: -1
RE: Price
By xuimod on 12/29/06, Rating: 0
RE: Price
By saratoga on 12/29/2006 10:48:05 PM , Rating: 2
My 1.6GHz Core 1 Duo can decode 1080p24 H.264 easily (~60% CPU). Or at least ones encoded with QuickTime. You're probably doing something wrong or using a slow decoder.

Anyway, CPU time isn't too big a deal. With a fast DSP core, you can do it reasonably cheaply. HD video is CPU intensive if you use general purpose processors, but with a DSP chip, its a lot faster and on cheaper hardware.

RE: Price
By masher2 on 12/29/2006 11:13:43 AM , Rating: 2
> "The HD war will not be won with $1000 hd players"

My first DVD player was more than that. In any case, I paid $450 for my new HD-A2, not $1000...and it came with five free HD-DVDs. The XA2 is the expensive one.

RE: Price
By hubajube on 12/29/2006 11:41:27 AM , Rating: 2
If you guys are worried about price, buy the Xbox HD DVD player for $200 instead. I plan on going that route.

RE: Price
By therealnickdanger on 12/29/2006 12:58:56 PM , Rating: 2
Well, some will be quick to argue that it isn't a valid option since it's not a stand-alone device. Since it requires either a Xbox360 or HDCP-enabled computer, there are other costs involved. However, for people with a 360 or HDCP-PC, then this is the product of choice!

In reality, the Xbox360 route is the best since it is the only player that can do all resolutions without HDMI, so owners of older HDTVs can enjoy the benefits...

RE: Price
By Marlowe on 12/29/2006 8:43:25 PM , Rating: 2
You supposedly dont need the correct HDCP chips anymore thanks to the efforts of 'Muslix64'

RE: Price
By ToeCutter on 1/2/2007 11:47:50 AM , Rating: 2
You supposedly dont need the correct HDCP chips anymore thanks to the efforts of 'Muslix64'

Muslix64's hack removes AACS encryption on HD-DVDs, allowing them to be ripped.

It doesn't do much for HDCP, although several manufacturers have already released "DVI amplifiers" that remove HDCP encryption from the stream.

I think we'll see ALOT of effort directed towards cracking these DRM schemes. I'm sure we'll see work arounds for HDCP and AACS on Blu-Ray as more hackers get their hands on the new hardware.

RE: Price
By rushfan2006 on 12/29/2006 1:29:57 PM , Rating: 2
The HD war will not be won with $1000 hd players. Whichever format has the first player with HD support and up to 1080p output for under 200$ will win the format war.

Good god man..and I always considered myself impatient.

Did you honestly think this new technology would have $200-$400 entry prices?!

Where have you been for the last 20 years or so? Do you not remember the costs among the first VHS VCR's being around $700-$1000? How about the original DVD players that had upwards of $500 for their introductory prices?

It just like all new technology....they gouge you when its new because they know it'll be "hot" with all the people going "oooh oooh I want one I want one!!!".

Give it time, I can all but guarantee you prices will drop link a rock over the next 12 months.

RE: Price
By Murst on 12/29/2006 2:09:03 PM , Rating: 2
Do you not know how to read? Where have I stated that this player should cost $200? I simply made a statement that players like this one will not be what decides what format becomes standard.

RE: Price
By rushfan2006 on 12/29/06, Rating: 0
RE: Price
By Murst on 12/29/2006 3:02:55 PM , Rating: 3
I was going to write up a long reply explaning what my statement meant, but you know what... its friday before the new year's weekend and I'm about to go home, so its not worth it.

Just keep one thing in mind: these are articles, and we can post comments about these articles. There is nothing more annoying than someone taking your comments, making completely baseless assumptions about it, and then attempting to argue from those assumptions - which is exactly what you did. Have a great New Year!

RE: Price
By rushfan2006 on 12/29/2006 4:14:49 PM , Rating: 2
Aye. I agree with you there.

Have a happy new year.

RE: Price
By probedb on 12/29/2006 4:44:00 PM , Rating: 2
New technology is you know how much DVD players cost when they came out???

About the same if not more!!!!

Why do people think new technology can be released at prices that are competitive to existing stuff? Are you a bit mad?

RE: Price
By tuteja1986 on 12/29/2006 7:35:35 PM , Rating: 2
Why can't they offer HDMI 1.5 in the $1000 player...

RE: Price
By CTO on 1/1/2007 11:13:20 PM , Rating: 2
Couple of observations:

(1) Most people do not have TV's that are capable of taking advantage of these technologies. DVD's were a hit because they immediately improved your viewing experience. This is not true with HD-DVD or Blu-Ray. If you don't have a system that supports HDMI or 1080i/1080P you don't really get all of the benefits.

(2) One of the key benefits of DVD was enhanced portability (Netflix would have failed with VHS Tapes) and the ability to navigate to scenes easily. There is not the same paradigm shift from VHS to DVD with these new technologies.

(3) The key question(s): How will people access media? What are the drivers? iPods (@ 128K or 192K) don't sound anywhere as good as CD's nor do iTunes movies/TV shows look as good as DVD, but for MOST people they are acceptable, especially considering their portability and accessibility.

If I was a betting man, I would say that by time there is enough saturation within the market of devices that can tap the potential of these new technologies, people will be leveraging greater bandwidth to have the media delivered on-demand, or via an i-Tunes - like service. I think this will prove to be a difficult obstable for the HD-DVD and Blu-Ray initiatives.

I for one happen to have a great HD TV and I won't leverage iTunes for movies or TV shows, because the quality is not there. I will buy music though, and if it a piece that is truly moving or special, I will get the CD and listen to it in it's full glory...With the state of today's music scene, that is a VERY short list... :-)

RE: Price
By masher2 on 1/2/2007 1:03:08 PM , Rating: 1
> "This is not true with HD-DVD or Blu-Ray. If you don't have a system that supports HDMI or 1080i/1080P you don't really get all of the benefits"

If you have a system that supports at least 720p, however, you get a very large benefit. And that opens up the entire HDTV market which, for the US is now in the 30% penetration range I believe.

But I hear what you're saying. BD/HD-DVD is going to be adopted slower than DVD. Its not just the resolution issue, though. DVDs gained ground for many other reasons than image quality. They were far more durable, had a more convenient form factor, and (quite possibly most important at all), they removed the need to rewind the tape after viewing!

Just traded in my HD-A1
By masher2 on 12/29/2006 9:48:54 AM , Rating: 2
For the new HD-A2, the little brother of the XA2. A real step up from the first-generation equipment, on all counts.

RE: Just traded in my HD-A1
By therealnickdanger on 12/29/2006 12:49:50 PM , Rating: 2
The HD-A1 is very good after the firmware update, but there's no denying the awesomeness of the A2. However, my local Best Buy has several A1s on clearance now for under $250! I'm pretty sure I can haggle them under $200. I use the Xbox360 add-on on my main display, but having another HD-DVD player in the house for the other TV would be nice!

I recently bought four more HD-DVDs that I haven't watched yet because my sub is being repaired... so I'm getting anxious!

RE: Just traded in my HD-A1
By rushfan2006 on 12/29/2006 1:33:42 PM , Rating: 2
I'm in a both a forgetful and couldn't give a shit mood today because I'm under the weather with a nasty cold so this may sound like retarded question of the year 2006 BUT....correct me if I'm wrong...HD-DVD players will also play standard (ie. "normal") DVDs as well right?

RE: Just traded in my HD-A1
By Topweasel on 12/29/2006 1:48:41 PM , Rating: 2
Yes and when using HDMI it is also one of the best upconverters out there. When it came out people where giving their kids there Denon's ($600-$1500 DVD player/upconverters)because of how good the A1 was at it.

At $250 its a bargain for a DVD player with the benefit of also playing the wonderful and pretty HD-DVDs.

RE: Just traded in my HD-A1
By rushfan2006 on 12/29/2006 2:48:38 PM , Rating: 2
I thought so. Thank you for the fast reply. Much appreciated.

By therealnickdanger on 12/29/2006 3:08:57 PM , Rating: 2
Just in case there are any potential buyers out there, if you are looking to take the plunge into HD, one KEY technology you must ensure that you get is a receiver that accepts multi-channel LPCM over HDMI. A lot of current HDMI receivers act only as video pass-through switchers. Getting into HD-DVD (or Blu-Ray) is only fully realized when you can also enjoy the lossless 5.1-7.1 audio, so be sure and confirm this feature on any receiver you buy.

This warning applies mostly to early adopters, since by the time HD-DVD (or Blu-Ray) is more common, most receivers will simply offer native decoding of lossless formats like TrueHD or DTS-HD. This is sort of a work-around, but no less effective.

any word on what the load time for the dvds are?
By Zefram0911 on 12/29/2006 10:38:42 AM , Rating: 2
any word on what the load time for the dvds are?

RE: any word on what the load time for the dvds are?
By Rage187 on 12/29/2006 10:45:26 AM , Rating: 2
8-12 seconds which is a huge improvement.

RE: any word on what the load time for the dvds are?
By XtremeM3 on 12/30/2006 3:08:21 AM , Rating: 2
I have an HD-A2 and this statement is true for that. There is a still a 20-30 secondish warmup time when you initially turn it on tho. It may not be that long, I don't really pay attention. I usually just turn it on as soon as I walk into the room. By the time I'm ready to watch the movie it's ready to go. But yes, 8-12 seconds is right for actual dvd and hd-dvd load times. It does a good job of upscaling but be forwarned. It will only upscale standard DVDs over HDMI. 480p is the max res over component(for standard DVDs). The first day I got it I watched an older movie and noticed that - I've been via HDMI since then.

Aside from that I've been highly impressed with the performance of HD-DVD. I have 2 players, the 360 add-on and an HD-A2. One in the living room and one in the bedroom. I've managed to turn my g/f into a resolution snob now if you will. If it's 480i she's cringing.

500 bucks is still cheaper than ANY Blu-Ray option. Not to mention the internal HD-DVD that I believe Buffalo is going to offer for about $336 I think. HD-DVD is definitely more cost friendly than Blu-Ray.


By ToeCutter on 1/2/2007 11:59:11 AM , Rating: 2
HD-DVD is definitely more cost friendly than Blu-Ray.

When I saw an impressively broad selection of HD-DVDs being offered at Target, right along side regular DVDs, I figured HD-DVD has already won this format war ;-)

By ToeCutter on 1/2/2007 11:53:58 AM , Rating: 2
Keep in mind that even though this player appears at first glance to be very expensive, it represents Toshiba's premium HD-DVD offering.

From what I've heard in other forums, the picture quality is truly exceptional. That said, this unit will only appeal to those with truly exception Home Theater setups.

Apparently, 1080p/24 looks better than the best film transfer on the newer 1080p native projectors.

For the rest of us, the less expensive models (including Xbox HD-DVD) will probably do the job just fine.

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
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