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HD-A3 HD DVD Player and 10 Movies - $199

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HD-A3 HD DVD Player and 10 Movies - $199

Old 11-18-07, 09:30 PM
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HD-A3 HD DVD Player and 10 Movies - $199

http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.htm...rd_i=193642011

AWESOME deal.

Last edited by Damed; 12-04-07 at 03:23 PM.
Old 11-18-07, 10:24 PM
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Limited list of free titles, but a good deal still...
Old 11-18-07, 10:24 PM
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Thanks for the thread, Damed. . .that's MIGHTY tempting. . .
Old 11-18-07, 10:45 PM
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MAN!!!!!!!, how come Canada continues to get shafted on these FREE HD / Blu-Ray / player bargains.
Old 11-19-07, 03:28 PM
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I just picked up a second player. For $200 I get 8 titles that would run me $120 - $160 anyway. I don't count 300 or Bourne because I have multiple copies of those now. I already have HD at my apartment on LI, now I need to upgrade all my stuff in Rochester
Old 11-19-07, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by JimRochester
I just picked up a second player. For $200 I get 8 titles that would run me $120 - $160 anyway. I don't count 300 or Bourne because I have multiple copies of those now. I already have HD at my apartment on LI, now I need to upgrade all my stuff in Rochester
I bought an A3 during the Best Buy deal because the movies almost made the player free. I sold my extra copies of 300 and Bourne Identity which knocked another $30 off the cost.

These deals are just too good to pass up.
Old 11-19-07, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by howwon
MAN!!!!!!!, how come Canada continues to get shafted on these FREE HD / Blu-Ray / player bargains.
Because you had the unmitigated temerity to allow the "Northern Peso" to pass parity with the 'murican dollar ...





(Insert appropriate smiley here)
Old 11-19-07, 06:39 PM
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I did order this last night and got the notice that the A-3 shipped UPS today. (Original shipping date estimate was 11/26.) Very nice! It will beat my Monoprice HDMI cable here. The 3 free titles I chose have yet to ship.
Old 11-19-07, 07:29 PM
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Well kids...

Black Friday @ Best Buy there will be the $199 Toshiba A3 HD Player + 2 in Pack DVDs (Bourne Identity & 300) + 5 Mail in Rebate DVDs + There is this 10% off Coupon (see below) + MAYBE, JUST MAYBE You can still get 3 more additional DVDs of your choice by printing out this page from their website that is still up (See Below)

Coupon for 10% off
http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=8b4hamq&s=1

Plus 3 of your choice Page
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....at135100050035
Old 11-19-07, 09:35 PM
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Thanks OP, I almost jumped on this at Best Buy a few weeks ago but I really hate that store... Picked up 3 Kubrick titles to boot: Eyes Wide Shut, Shining, and Clockwork Orange
Old 11-19-07, 09:58 PM
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1080i vs. 1080p...

Since Amazon is offering 3 players as part of this deal, and the cheaper one outputs in 1080i, while the two more expensive ones output in 1080p, I did a little research tonight into the difference. This is significant if you have an HDTV that displays a 1080p picture and accepts 1080p input. If you get a player that only outputs 1080i, your HDTV will have to convert the signal to 1080p.

I found this series of 3 articles from the past 3 years which not only explain this issue in-depth but provide a chart of HDTVs showing how well they performed at converting 1080i to 1080p:

2007: http://www.hometheatermag.com/hookme...ok2/index.html

2006: http://www.hometheatermag.com/hookmeup/1106hook/

2005: http://www.hometheatermag.com/hookmeup/0506halfrez/

The bottom line is that around half the HDTVs out there (a third of the 2007 models) fail the primary test used to measure proper conversion of a 1080i signal to 1080p. The writer also uses a secondary test to detect conversion failure specifically during horizontal pans which over 80% of HDTVs fail. When conversion fails, it can cut the image resolution by up to 50%.

If you pay more for a player that outputs 1080p and your TV can accept a 1080p input, then you will be bypassing your TV's conversion process and should get the proper 1080p picture directly from the player.

I think these articles are a really strong argument for paying an extra $100 or so to get a player that outputs 1080p natively. They seem to have proven here that 80% of HDTVs will show a better picture when they receive a direct 1080p signal rather than having to convert from 1080i.

Last edited by JediJones; 11-19-07 at 10:02 PM.
Old 11-20-07, 09:37 AM
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Thank you for posting! I missed out on the deals at Best Buy and Wal Mart a few weeks ago and was very happy to get a shot at it! Told my wife this could be her gift to me, so she's 100% on-board (happy wife = happy life).
I picked up 3 DVD's I had wanted to buy regardless of the format: Knocked Up, Departed, and Hot Fuzz! Can't wait to get it!
Old 11-20-07, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by JediJones
The bottom line is that around half the HDTVs out there (a third of the 2007 models) fail the primary test used to measure proper conversion of a 1080i signal to 1080p. The writer also uses a secondary test to detect conversion failure specifically during horizontal pans which over 80% of HDTVs fail. When conversion fails, it can cut the image resolution by up to 50%.

If you pay more for a player that outputs 1080p and your TV can accept a 1080p input, then you will be bypassing your TV's conversion process and should get the proper 1080p picture directly from the player.

I think these articles are a really strong argument for paying an extra $100 or so to get a player that outputs 1080p natively. They seem to have proven here that 80% of HDTVs will show a better picture when they receive a direct 1080p signal rather than having to convert from 1080i.
Sure now you tell me

I have the A3 hooked up to a 47" Philips and the picture is every bit as good as my SONY BluRay outputting 1080p. Hopefully it will be that good for my next TV here in Rochester.
Old 11-20-07, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by JediJones

I think these articles are a really strong argument for paying an extra $100 or so to get a player that outputs 1080p natively. They seem to have proven here that 80% of HDTVs will show a better picture when they receive a direct 1080p signal rather than having to convert from 1080i.
JediJones, thanks so much for the post and sharing your research.
I always seem to have an internal battle with being a cheapskate, but wanting to get the best overall value.
It seems spending the extra bucks now is the smarter thing to do long term value-wise.
Old 11-21-07, 08:54 AM
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For the $100 I may just exchange for the A30 however I'm still waffling due to the stunning picture I get from the A3 already
Old 11-21-07, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by JimRochester
For the $100 I may just exchange for the A30 however I'm still waffling due to the stunning picture I get from the A3 already
If you plan on getting a 1080p TV in the next 3 years, I'd say it probably makes sense. I am thinking of doing the same thing...

Does the A30 have the same optical audio hindrance the A3 has? I have an A2, so I don't want to move to an A30 if I lose my optical audio...

Of course, for those wanting the best audio experience, please note this:
Even though all the literature says that it passes the new audio formats (True HD, DD+, etc), these players do not pass these formats via the HDMI cable to be decoded by the AVR. It makes its own decoding, and the Toshiba customer service rep said it passes "its own version" of the new formats, and only in 5.1
The ONLY player that as of today can pass the new audio formats via the HDMI cable to be decoded by a capable AVR is the HD-A35.

I had heard that before, but I copied and pasted the above paragraph from an Amazon.com post.

Last edited by kenbenobi; 11-21-07 at 09:44 AM.
Old 11-21-07, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by JimRochester
For the $100 I may just exchange for the A30 however I'm still waffling due to the stunning picture I get from the A3 already
If you get a "stunning picture" from the A3 you should stick with it. Many current 1080p displays ought to de-interlace 1080i content well, although some do not, as the information posted by JediJones suggests. But what wasn't said is that at least one report says that the A30 also doesn't do a good job of 1080p output:
http://review.zdnet.com/video-player...-32563583.html

The A30 converts the 1080p/24 information on the disc to 1080i/60, for reasons having to do with the chip used, and then de-interlaces it to 1080p/60. It apparently doesn't do this correctly. Whether or not this can or has been fixed by a firmware update, I couldn't say. But for a display that does a good job of de-interlacing, one might get a better picture by feeding it a 1080i input than the 1080p from the A30.

Be aware that all 1080p displays must be able to de-interlace 1080i because that is the broadcast standard (for bandwidth reasons). If you have a display that does a good job, the A3 will give an excellent picture. [Unlike de-interlacing 480i SD DVDs, all the information is there when going from 1080i to 1080p.] If you are in the market for a new 1080p display someday, check reviews to be sure that it passes the de-interlacing test.

Sorry to muddy the waters here, but don't assume that because the A30 has 1080p output it will necessarily give a better picture. It may not.
Old 11-21-07, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by kenbenobi
If you plan on getting a 1080p TV in the next 3 years, I'd say it probably makes sense. I am thinking of doing the same thing...

Does the A30 have the same optical audio hindrance the A3 has? I have an A2, so I don't want to move to an A30 if I lose my optical audio...

Of course, for those wanting the best audio experience, please note this:
Even though all the literature says that it passes the new audio formats (True HD, DD+, etc), these players do not pass these formats via the HDMI cable to be decoded by the AVR. It makes its own decoding, and the Toshiba customer service rep said it passes "its own version" of the new formats, and only in 5.1
The ONLY player that as of today can pass the new audio formats via the HDMI cable to be decoded by a capable AVR is the HD-A35.

I had heard that before, but I copied and pasted the above paragraph from an Amazon.com post.
This may be too technical to discuss here but for more information about audio and the high def formats, I highly recommend Josh Z's column on the subject:
http://www.highdefdigest.com/news/sh...Explained/1064

[tech talk on]In order to get lossless audio from the A2 or A3 (or A30) you would need a receiver with an HDMI connection. The optical S/PDIF connection doesn't have the bandwidth for lossless audio. When using optical, the A2 reportedly changes DD+ and Dolby TrueHD to DTS 1.5 Mbps (for this you would need a DTS capable receiver). The A3 changes DD+ and Dolby TrueHD to DD 640kbps, which ought to work on any Dolby capable receiver. [Note: DD 640 kbps and DTS 1.5 Mbps should sound about the same, DD is more efficient, so don't get hung up on the numbers thinking DTS is "better".]

None of the three players have analog 5.1 outputs for lossless audio to older receivers (The A35 does have analog out). Nor can they output Dolby TrueHD as a bitstream to one of the newer HDMI 1.3 receivers with on-board decoding, from what I have read. But since the players can decode TrueHD and send it as PCM over HDMI, you CAN get lossless sound with an HDMI equipped receiver. Whether you could actually hear a difference between lossless sound and DD or DTS over optical, in a properly controlled test, depends on how good your surround sound setup is and how good your "ears" are. I know that I can't discern the difference with my setup.[tech talk off]

Last edited by lizard; 11-21-07 at 11:13 AM.
Old 11-21-07, 11:14 AM
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I just took the plunge please someone tell me I did the right thing...
Old 11-21-07, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by CaptainRon
I just took the plunge please someone tell me I did the right thing...
*pat on the head* You'll be fine. Just enjoy.

I'm still on the fence for this deal because the 3 free title list aren't my cup of tea. If you can find 3 out of their list, it should be a no-brainer. Upgrade later and enjoy the basically $100 player (assuming you value the movies at about $10 or so each).
Old 11-21-07, 12:30 PM
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which one of the 3 players is best?
Old 11-21-07, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by kenbenobi
Does the A30 have the same optical audio hindrance the A3 has? I have an A2, so I don't want to move to an A30 if I lose my optical audio...

Of course, for those wanting the best audio experience, please note this:
Even though all the literature says that it passes the new audio formats (True HD, DD+, etc), these players do not pass these formats via the HDMI cable to be decoded by the AVR. It makes its own decoding, and the Toshiba customer service rep said it passes "its own version" of the new formats, and only in 5.1
The ONLY player that as of today can pass the new audio formats via the HDMI cable to be decoded by a capable AVR is the HD-A35.

I had heard that before, but I copied and pasted the above paragraph from an Amazon.com post.
I'm not sure what you mean by optical hinderance. In my apartment in NY setup, I have an A3 and a SONY Blu Ray with a 47" Philips 1080p display going through a Yamaha(?) HTIB. It does not have HDMI so I use the optical cable on both players so I believe I am getting just DD 5.1. The room is only about 10' x 12' so it's not a big space to fill with sound.

On my home setup in Rochester; I'm still using a 7 year old Mitubishi 55" HDTV rear projection with no HDMI. So I have a SONY DVD hooked up to a Yamaha home theater. That's the one I'd like to upgrade.

Last edited by JimRochester; 11-21-07 at 01:08 PM.
Old 11-21-07, 02:44 PM
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Damn, ordered Monday night and I just watched Bourne Identity
Used Super Saver Shipping to boot
Old 11-21-07, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by JimRochester
I'm not sure what you mean by optical hinderance. In my apartment in NY setup, I have an A3 and a SONY Blu Ray with a 47" Philips 1080p display going through a Yamaha(?) HTIB. It does not have HDMI so I use the optical cable on both players so I believe I am getting just DD 5.1. The room is only about 10' x 12' so it's not a big space to fill with sound.

On my home setup in Rochester; I'm still using a 7 year old Mitubishi 55" HDTV rear projection with no HDMI. So I have a SONY DVD hooked up to a Yamaha home theater. That's the one I'd like to upgrade.
I believe this is exactly what I was talking about:

Originally Posted by lizard
When using optical, the A2 reportedly changes DD+ and Dolby TrueHD to DTS 1.5 Mbps (for this you would need a DTS capable receiver). The A3 changes DD+ and Dolby TrueHD to DD 640kbps, which ought to work on any Dolby capable receiver. [Note: DD 640 kbps and DTS 1.5 Mbps should sound about the same, DD is more efficient, so don't get hung up on the numbers thinking DTS is "better".]
And yes, I am getting hung up on the perception that DTS is better, and that the higher bitrate is better. Thanks, Lizard, for that explanation. You are probably right about not being able to tell the difference. Maybe I won't be able to tell the difference. But in my mind, I would not upgrade to an A-3 for this reason. Does anyone know how the A-30 handles audio? Or the A-35?

Last edited by kenbenobi; 11-21-07 at 03:28 PM.
Old 11-21-07, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by kenbenobi
But in my mind, I would not upgrade to an A-3 for this reason. Does anyone know how the A-30 handles audio? Or the A-35?
i assume you mean audio over optical - all third gen players handle it the same as the HD-A3: downmix to [email protected] that being said, the HD-A3 supports 7.1 channel audio over HDMI, while the HD-A2 does not, so if you have an HDMI receiver (supporting 7.1 channels), the A3 is definitely preferable to the A2. if you're limited to optical, it's really up to how much stock you put in [email protected] being better than [email protected]

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