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Worth switching from a Toshiba A2 to A3?

Old 12-02-07, 10:57 AM
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Worth switching from a Toshiba A2 to A3?

I currently have a Toshiba A2 hd-dvd player and was considering selling the A2 to a buddy and getting the A3. Will I gain any benefit by having an A3 player over the A2 or are they basically equal units?
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Old 12-02-07, 11:13 AM
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If you are happy with your A2 I say keep it. Some think it's better than the A3.
Except the two free movies in box.
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Old 12-02-07, 11:14 AM
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Basically equal units except that for audio via optical.

A2 downconverts Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD to DTS 1.5 mbps
A3 downconverts TrueHD to Dolby Digital 640 kbps, not sure how it downconverts DTS HD.
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Old 12-02-07, 01:25 PM
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What would be the "better sounding" down convert out of those two?

Also, my buddy may end up with one of the two models and have it running via hdmi into a Onkyo 705 reciever does either do better in that situation.
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Old 12-02-07, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Arpeggi
Basically equal units except that for audio via optical.

A2 downconverts Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD to DTS 1.5 mbps
A3 downconverts TrueHD to Dolby Digital 640 kbps, not sure how it downconverts DTS HD.
kefrank reports in another thread that there is another difference:
Originally Posted by kefrank
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]

Last edited by lizard; 12-02-07 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 12-02-07, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by pjten101
What would be the "better sounding" down convert out of those two?
Josh Z has said the DTS 1.5 Mbps and DD 640 kbps are essentially the same. I believe that DD is a more efficient codec so the larger bitrate for DTS is irrelevant. An advantage of DD is that there are a few older receivers that do not have DTS decoding capability.
Also, my buddy may end up with one of the two models and have it running via hdmi into a Onkyo 705 reciever does either do better in that situation.
See my post above for another difference that might be of interest.

Last edited by lizard; 12-02-07 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 12-02-07, 02:16 PM
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I believe the onkyo705 he ordered has all the newest decoding options and 7.1 surround. Based on the kefrank info it sounds like A3 would be a better choice if running via hdmi into the receiver. But I think his setup will only be running 5.1 on the home theater room because the other channel of the receiver is being used to power patio speakers.
This makes me think it is a wash with either dvd player running into the receiver via hdmi or am I looking at this wrong?
If I have the A2 or the A3 plugged into the Onkyo705 via hdmi and the receiver decodes DolbyTrue and DTSHD will I get the same sound when running at 5.1 surround regardless of the player, and will it be DolbyTure/DTSHD or will it be the downconverted signal?

Thanks for all the help!
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Old 12-02-07, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by pjten101
If I have the A2 or the A3 plugged into the Onkyo705 via hdmi and the receiver decodes DolbyTrue and DTSHD will I get the same sound when running at 5.1 surround regardless of the player, and will it be DolbyTure/DTSHD or will it be the downconverted signal?
neither the A2 or the A3 can send the TrueHD or DTS-HD MA bitstream to a receiver for the receiver to decode. both will give the same performance over HDMI (aside from the 7.1 advantage of the A3):

-- TrueHD will be decoded in the player and sent as multi-channel PCM to the receiver (true lossless sound)
-- none of the players can decode DTS-HD MA, but they will decode the lossy core (1.5 mbps DTS) and send the decoded multi-channel PCM over HDMI

honestly, the best player choice to pair with the Onkyo 705 is the HD-A35, as it is the least expensive model that can send TrueHD and DTS-HD MA bitstream to the receiver (the others being the XA2 and the brand new Onkyo player).
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Old 12-02-07, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by lizard
Josh Z has said the DTS 1.5 Mbps and DD 640 kbps are essentially the same.
No, I don't believe I've ever said that. What I've said is that 1.5 Mb/s DTS is not the same as 1.5 Mb/s Dolby Digital Plus, despite the similar bit rates, because DD+ is a more effecient codec.
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Old 12-03-07, 11:22 AM
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^Sorry for misquoting you. I just looked it up and I had remembered it incorrectly. You were comparing DD 448 kb/s and DTS 754 kb/s:
...a 754 kb/s DTS track is not necessarily better than a 448 kb/s Dolby track just because the number is larger. Dolby uses more efficient compression techniques than DTS and can usually achieve results at 448 kb/s comparable to DTS at 754 kb/s.
Not quite the same thing, of course.
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