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Any new HD-DVD players on the horizon?

Old 03-24-07, 10:27 AM
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Any new HD-DVD players on the horizon?

I remember an article a while back mentioning players from China that could affect prices via competition. I do not remember seeing a timeline. I also haven't seen anything lately from any manufacturers mentioning any upcoming HD-DVD players.

Are the HD-A2 / A1 and the Xbox 360 the only real options out there at this point (at that price point) and have there been any announcements of another player in the next few months? Any other companies going to get in on the action?

I'm still up in the air about getting a player and it would be nice to know at this point what the announced plans for the near future are.

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Old 03-24-07, 11:22 AM
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Onkyo is supposed to be releasing a HD DVD player sometime this year. I don't think the Chinese players will drop until this Fall. The retail price of the A2 is dropping to $399 on 4/1. So you may be able to find one around the $300 mark.
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Old 03-24-07, 11:31 AM
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Just saw the new Circuit City ad for 4/1. The A2 is listed for $399, plus you get to choose 4 FREE movies with the purchase. Plus, Toshiba gives you 5 free movies via mail. So for $399, you get 9 movies. That's a damn good deal.
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Old 03-24-07, 11:35 AM
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Good to know. I may still hold off a bit but that price makes it more tempting. This format war is killing me.

I really want to pick up an HD-DVD player with my tax return but so far all of the movies I've wanted to buy recently aren't available on HD-DVD any way. I won't want to start replacing my current DVD collection at this point, with the exception of a few titles. If I knew the upconversion would be noticeable with my current collection, I might go ahead and pick one up, but I haven't really heard much about that.

But the format war is the biggest drawback. A friend told me that he was certain he read that Casino Royale was coming out on both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, which I argued (we did not have an internet connection nearby to verify) and I told him that if it was, I would go pick it up along with an HD-DVD player the next day (this was the day before its release).

Sure enough, when I got home I checked and it's a Blu-Ray only title. So I picked it up on regular DVD instead.

So, I do have some flexibility on when I buy an HD Player and obviously in time things will get cheaper and better. But I'm trying to feel out whether now is a good time or not. If there were 4 or 5 great movies on HD-DVD that I could pick up that I don't already own on DVD, I would be more inclined. I haven't looked at the release list in the past few weeks so perhaps it's time for me to revisit that.
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Old 03-24-07, 12:33 PM
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Regarding upconversion, the A1/XA1 do a terrific job. The XA2, which is the most expensive, does even better with the Reon chip inside. The A2 is supposed to be good at upconverting, but not as good as the 3 mentioned above. The A1 that I have is the best upconverting player I've seen. I've tried out several brands, including Oppo, and it destroys them in pic quality. I'm sure some of the uber expensive Denons are just as good.
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Old 03-24-07, 05:23 PM
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I checked out the Toshiba offers... looks like you can get some great movies with it. I can certainly pick one from each category that I would like (with a few of them being rebuys from my SD collection, but they're free, so okay )

Looks like I can give this some real though after 4/1. I won't buy any more movies before then so I have a few extra options when it comes to purchasing HD discs.
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Old 03-24-07, 09:29 PM
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9 movies and a player for 400. Why not people. Even if you never buy another HD-DVD if you have not already got an upconverting player this should be an easy decision.
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Old 03-24-07, 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by speedyray
9 movies and a player for 400. Why not people. Even if you never buy another HD-DVD if you have not already got an upconverting player this should be an easy decision.
You could already get a HD-A2 at Amazon with free shipping for about $350 and get the Toshiba free movie deal, so the $400 offer isn't all that much different. A little better (and maybe good enough to get me to jump) but not a ton. I would much rather purchase a player locally than online.
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Old 03-24-07, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by speedyray
9 movies and a player for 400. Why not people. Even if you never buy another HD-DVD if you have not already got an upconverting player this should be an easy decision.
As an A1 owner I can say here's why - because for 99 more dollars you could get a 20gb PS3 and have access to more movies in the coming 6 months. Look at the release calendar for Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD. It sucks on the HD-DVD side.

No, the PS3 won't upconvert. But you'll be able to watch some new releases.
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Old 03-25-07, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Lord Rick
As an A1 owner I can say here's why - because for 99 more dollars you could get a 20gb PS3 and have access to more movies in the coming 6 months. Look at the release calendar for Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD. It sucks on the HD-DVD side.

No, the PS3 won't upconvert. But you'll be able to watch some new releases.
HD DVD has announced almost 60 new releases so far for the next three months:

March 27, 2007
Children of Men (Universal)
Happy Feet (Warner)
March of the Penguins (Warner)
National Geographic: Relentless Enemies (Warner)

April 03, 2007
The Good Shepherd (Universal)

April 10, 2007
Dog Day Afternoon (Warner)
Payback: Straight Up - The Director's Cut (Paramount)
A Scanner Darkly (Warner)

April 17, 2007
Feast (Weinstein)
The Game (Universal)
The Jerk (Universal)
School for Scoundrels (Genius)
Smokin' Aces (Universal)

April 24, 2007
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Universal)
Failure to Launch (Paramount)
The Nutty Professor (1996) (Universal)
Planet Earth: The Complete Collection (BBC)

May 01, 2007
Alpha Dog (Universal)
Dreamgirls (DreamWorks)
The Hitcher (2007) (Universal)

May 08, 2007
Battle of the Bulge (Warner)
Black Christmas (2006) (Weinstein)
Harsh Times (Weinstein)
The Road Warrior (Warner)

May 15, 2007
The Fountain (Warner)

May 22, 2007
The 40-Year-Old Virgin (Universal)
The Complete Matrix Trilogy (Warner)
Flags of Our Fathers (DreamWorks)
Freedom Writers (Paramount)
The Hurricane (2000) (Universal)
M:I-2 (Paramount)
Mission: Impossible (Paramount)
The Skeleton Key (Universal)
Smokey and the Bandit (Universal)
The Ultimate Matrix Collection (Warner)

May 29, 2007
The Big Lebowski (Universal)
Dragonheart (Universal)
The Frighteners: Director's Cut (Universal)
Lost in Translation (Universal)
Midnight Run (Universal)
The River (Universal)

June 05, 2007
Coming to America (Paramount)
Trading Places (Paramount)

June 12, 2007
Born on the Fourth of July (Universal)
Bruce Almighty (Universal)
Daylight (Universal)
Liar, Liar (Universal)
Monty Python's Meaning of Life (Universal)
Sneakers (Universal)

June 26, 2007
American Me (Universal)
Being John Malkovich (Universal)
Bulletproof (Universal)
Freedom: Vol. 1 (Bandai Visual)
Mallrats (Universal)
Meet Joe Black (Universal)
Mystery Men (Universal)
The Watcher (Universal)

July 03, 2007
The Untouchables (Paramount)
The Warriors: Ultimate Director's Cut (Paramount)
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Old 03-25-07, 08:11 AM
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OP, to answer your question about new players on the horizon, the Toshiba HD-A20 HD DVD Player is available for pre-order at Amazon. It is listed as "Availability: In stock soon."
- Features 1080p 50/60hz playback
- Dolby Digital Plus / Dolby TrueHD / DTS HD Core 5.1 / Uncompressed PCM audio via HDMI
- DVD Upscaled to 1080p playback
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Old 03-25-07, 11:53 AM
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Those aren't many *new* releases!!! (Think Children of Men, not The Jerk)

Last edited by Lord Rick; 03-25-07 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 03-25-07, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by fryinpan1
OP, to answer your question about new players on the horizon, the Toshiba HD-A20 HD DVD Player is available for pre-order at Amazon. It is listed as "Availability: In stock soon."
- Features 1080p 50/60hz playback
- Dolby Digital Plus / Dolby TrueHD / DTS HD Core 5.1 / Uncompressed PCM audio via HDMI
- DVD Upscaled to 1080p playback
Thanks. I did come across the A20 while browsing amazon the other day but I thought it was a typo for the A2 in their product database or something... it looked the same as the HD-A2 and it said it was first listed on Amazon on October 2, 2001.

It's good to see another option (along with the price reduction!) and it looks like the HD-A2 still does everything I need it to. My TV will only do 1080i (Samsung DLP) so I see no reason to spend the extra $200 for the A20. I would likely need a new player by the time I upgrade my television any way.
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Old 03-25-07, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Lord Rick
Those aren't many *new* releases!!! (Think Children of Men, not The Jerk)
True. Hopefully this isn't the full picture. I see 3 titles on that entire list that I would consider buying since I own anything else interesting on SD already.
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Old 03-25-07, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Thor Simpson
True. Hopefully this isn't the full picture. I see 3 titles on that entire list that I would consider buying since I own anything else interesting on SD already.
Sadly, that *is* the full picture. For now, anyway.

I think of my A1 as a very good upconverting SD-DVD player (which it is, by the way). The consensus is that it's better than the Oppo. The cons are that it's a little slow and it has more difficulty with burned media than the Oppo. But the picture is phenomenal. And as long as I burn DVD+R (never -R) and use Nero in DVD-ROM compatibility mode, there are no problems. Even on double layer +Rs.


I only paid $230 for the player (used), so it's not so bad. That's cheaper than the Oppo. But if I had paid $500 for it, I'd be more annoyed than I am.
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Old 03-25-07, 03:22 PM
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What about dual-format players... (LG?)

Any recent news on those, or reviews on quality?
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Old 03-25-07, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Thor Simpson
What about dual-format players... (LG?)

Any recent news on those, or reviews on quality?
The LG player is not allowed to have the HD-DVD logo on it, because it doesn't meet the full spec. It leaves out some features - I forget which ones, because the damn thing is supposed to be $1200, so I don't really care.

As I've said before, when someone sells a decent Blu-ray player for $299, I'll be moving to Blu-ray.

I imagine when all the Chinese HD-DVD players hit this summer, Sony or someone will respond.
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Old 04-05-07, 09:28 AM
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The Toshiba HD-A20 HD DVD Player is now shipping from valueelectronics and Amazon shows it as in stock too.
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Old 04-05-07, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Lord Rick
Those aren't many *new* releases!!! (Think Children of Men, not The Jerk)
Personally, I'm a hell of a lot more excited about catalog releases getting the HD treatment than things that came out in the past year or two.

I'm not saying that Children of Men isn't good. It's damn good, and I own it. But stuff like Forbidden Planet, Casablanca, MP's Meaning of Life, The Road Warrior, etc. are what really get me excited.

For every Children of Men, there are dozens of titles that (in my opinion) range from mediocre to unwatchable (Stealth, Doom, Van Helsing, Tokyo Drift, whatever)... maybe I'm just getting old, but I have virtually no interest in current theatrical stuff, with a few exceptions.
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Old 04-05-07, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by bboisvert
I'm not saying that Children of Men isn't good. It's damn good, and I own it. But stuff like Forbidden Planet, Casablanca, MP's Meaning of Life, The Road Warrior, etc. are what really get me excited.
Likewise. And I think part of it for me too is that recent theatrical releases are expected, so when they're announced, there's no wave of surprise like there is with catalog titles.
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