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Worth waiting for the A3?

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Worth waiting for the A3?

Old 09-01-07, 05:29 AM
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Worth waiting for the A3?

So, I'm chomping at the bit to pick up an HD DVD player to pair with the 1080p projector that I have on the way. I'm close to ordering the HD-A2, but I'm wondering if it will be worth it to wait a month or two for the HD-A3 instead.

The cheapest price on the A2 right now is around $235 and I'm guessing the A3 will be near that price point shortly after its release based on its MSRP. The specs seem pretty much identical between the two, so what could the A3 potentially have over the A2 that won't/can't be updated in the A2's firmware? Faster boot up and disc load times? Even better upconversion of SD-DVD? Can anyone think of anything essential that would be worth waiting for besides the less tangible "3rd gen = more mature product" concept?
Old 09-01-07, 09:49 AM
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True 1080p you will need to consider at least the A20, not the A2 or A3.

Last edited by TGM; 09-01-07 at 09:55 AM.
Old 09-01-07, 10:38 AM
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If it was me, I'd wait until the Gen 3 models come out and see how they perform. The gen 1 models take a couple minutes from power off to watching the movie, and I think the gen 2 models cut that time in half, but it still takes quite long. If gen 3 can cut this time in half again, the startup time will become tolerable.

Picture-quality wise, I imagine they are all equal (equal meaning outstanding), whether 1080i or 1080p. The Gen 1 units had many issues with skips and hangs especially with combo discs. The Gen 2 units are more stable, but still had problems with certain titles. Hopefully again, the gen 3 units will have more tolerance with problematic discs and not suffer the problems of the previous players.

One last thought. Gen 3 players will be supported for an extra year with firmware updates over the gen 2 models.

Last edited by PerryD; 09-01-07 at 10:43 AM.
Old 09-01-07, 10:57 AM
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didn't know the start up time was that bad for the A2... good thing didn't order one (waiting for better deal/model).
Old 09-01-07, 11:02 AM
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Gen 2s have a 20 - 30 second boot time, it really isn't bad at all in practice, but agree you'd be better off waiting for the A3 which drops it to under 10s.

But considering the Amazon deal essentially dropped the price of the A2 < $200, it was a tough deal to beat.
Old 09-01-07, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Ocelot
didn't know the start up time was that bad for the A2... good thing didn't order one (waiting for better deal/model).
It's not bad at all. I have a rear projection TV and I'm ready to pop an HD DVD in the A2 before the TV is fully 'heated up.' And, if I'm already watching TV, by the time I change my input source to HD DVD, flip on the receiver, and unpack the movie I'm watching, the A2 will be ready. When you consider the other 'prep work' you have to do with your other home theater stuff in order to watch something, the A2 is really no different. In fact, based on what you have to do, it might even pale in comparison.
Old 09-01-07, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by TallGuyMe
True 1080p you will need to consider at least the A20, not the A2 or A3.
i'm not too concerned about a player that outputs 1080p. my projector de-interlaces 1080i flawlessly according to video tests from multiple reviews, so basically i would see no difference from a 1080p player - certainly not $100 worth.

the only real consideration is that i won't have 1080p24 (which the projector supports), but that doesn't seem worth $100 either at this point.
Old 09-01-07, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by PerryD
The Gen 2 units are more stable, but still had problems with certain titles. Hopefully again, the gen 3 units will have more tolerance with problematic discs and not suffer the problems of the previous players.
which titles? the combo discs mainly? and have any of those problems been addressed by firmware updates?

One last thought. Gen 3 players will be supported for an extra year with firmware updates over the gen 2 models.
when does firmware support for the gen 2 models expire?
Old 09-01-07, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by kefrank
which titles? the combo discs mainly? and have any of those problems been addressed by firmware updates?


when does firmware support for the gen 2 models expire?
Right, I think it's mostly combo titles, Children of Men and Happy Feet had very high problem rates with both Gen 1 and Gen 2 units.

My Gen 1 HD-A1 skips on probably half of the titles I watch, just a little jitter here and there, it used to cause the sound to get off from the picture, but it looks like a recent firmware update fixed that.

As far as firmware updates, I don't know the exact answer. The last update (2.3) for the Gen 1 was a couple months ago, so they are still supporting Gen 1 for now.
Old 09-01-07, 10:45 PM
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I'm waiting for the Onkyo reviews myself.
Old 09-02-07, 09:11 AM
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Kinda off topic but what 1080p projector did you get?
Old 09-03-07, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by RichC2
Gen 2s have a 20 - 30 second boot time, it really isn't bad at all in practice, but agree you'd be better off waiting for the A3 which drops it to under 10s.
I was counting the total time from power off until the disc starts playing. The Toshiba players (gen 1 especially) have long boot times (just powering the machine on), but are also very slow to start playing the disc. Although I haven't timed the A2, I can't imagine that you are watching the movie within 20 seconds (or even 30 seconds). Compared to the PS3 (not trying to make this a HD-DVD vs Blu-ray post), where it is literally maybe 3 seconds from the point of power off to watching the movie.

For me, the startup time wasn't the deal breaker with my A1, I knew going in that it was going to be a couple minutes. I have the Sony VW50 projector, and it takes close to a minute to warm up also, so the waiting a little longer for the HD player isn't so bad. What I do hate is the jitter I get while watching the movies, and especially hate (and I mean throw the player out of the window-type hate) is when the player hangs completely (I had to unplug my unit to recover from Children of Men crashing).
Old 09-03-07, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by kefrank
i'm not too concerned about a player that outputs 1080p. my projector de-interlaces 1080i flawlessly according to video tests from multiple reviews, so basically i would see no difference from a 1080p player - certainly not $100 worth.

the only real consideration is that i won't have 1080p24 (which the projector supports), but that doesn't seem worth $100 either at this point.
Same thing with my JVC RPTV, I currently saw no difference between BR movies in 1080p from the PS3 and the 1080i hd-dvd's from my 360 add on

Was tired of the add on, so the A2 deal was perfect for me, should arrive by thursday
Old 09-03-07, 02:18 PM
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I have the first gen and didn't hate the startup time until I get a PS3. As a result, I am thinking about upgrading, but will wait for the 3rd gen.

You don't know how bad you have it until you get something better.
Old 09-04-07, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by mhinkley
Kinda off topic but what 1080p projector did you get?
Epson Powerlite Home Cinema 1080. I'm out of town, but it should be waiting for me when I get home.

I think I've decided to wait for the A3. I can go another month without HD DVD.
Old 09-04-07, 01:00 PM
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Are there any reviews for the third-gen Toshibas yet?
Old 09-04-07, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
You don't know how bad you have it until you get something better.
I realize how bad I have it everytime I put a non-region 1 DVD into my Oppo.

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