Manufacturer: Toshiba Part number: HDA2
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as of 07/09/2014
CNET editors' review
price range: $369.99
- Reviewed by: Matthew Moskovciak
- Edited by: David Katzmaier
- Reviewed on: 05/22/2007
- Released on: 12/15/2006
The good: Relatively inexpensive; excellent image quality on HD DVD; solid upscaling performance on DVDs; Ethernet jack for firmware upgrades; onboard Dolby TrueHD decoding; much faster load times than its predecessor.
The bad: No 1080p output; HD DVD could lose the format war; no multichannel analog outputs.
The bottom line: Offering most of the performance of more expensive players, the HD-A2 is an excellent value for budget-minded buyers looking to jump into HD DVD.
The best Toshiba so far
by nelll81 on December 15, 2006
Pros: Slim design, Faster movie loading time, better remote control.
Cons: Lacks of the 5.1 surround sound for standard DVD, It should be easier to upgrade firmware via USB wireless internet connection and its finish is fine but is finger print sensitive.
Summary: The Toshiba HD-A2 is a piece of art, not perfect but art anyways. Mission impossible III (HD) did its job with my Panasonic HDTV 1080i, that was the first movie ...
Summary: The Toshiba HD-A2 is a piece of art, not perfect but art anyways. Mission impossible III (HD) did its job with my Panasonic HDTV 1080i, that was the first movie that I watched in the Toshiba HD-A2. I’m not going to be saying silly comments or be too technical about it. If you want to see it before you buy it go to Best Buy they have the HD-DVD demo and you can change the movies at your pleasure. The war between HD-DVD and blue ray is already in the field so I say bringer on.
For more info in which HD-DVD movies you should buy go to http://hddvd.highdefdigest.com/reviews.html
It was a lot of help for me to decide.Updated
To help more in this complicated subject here is part of the article from
http://www.hometheaterblog.com/hometheater/2006/12/toshibas_hda2_f.html , I hope this is more help to decide wich way to go.
Below is Evan Powell's (Projector Central) appraisal of the 1080i vs 1080p controversy.
The truth is this: The Toshiba HD-DVD player outputs 1080i, and the Samsung Blu-ray player outputs both 1080i and 1080p. What they fail to mention is that it makes absolutely no difference which transmission format you use—feeding 1080i or 1080p into your projector or HDTV will give you the exact same picture. Why? Both disc formats encode film material in progressive scan 1080p at 24 frames per second. It does not matter whether you output this data in 1080i or 1080p since all 1080 lines of information on the disc are fed into your video display either way. The only difference is the order in which they are transmitted. If they are fed in progressive order (1080p), the video display will process them in that order. If they are fed in interlaced format (1080i), the video display simply reassembles them into their original progressive scan order. Either way all 1080 lines per frame that are on the disc make it into the projector or TV. The fact is, if you happen to have the Samsung Blu-ray player and a video display that takes both 1080i and 1080p, you can switch the player back and forth between 1080i and 1080p output and see absolutely no difference in the picture. So this notion that the Blu-ray player is worth more money due to 1080p output is nonsense."
24 out of 26 users found this user opinion helpful.
Low Price w/ Problems
by G716 on April 11, 2007
Pros: Affordable, great picture
Cons: Compatability, bugs
Summary: Bought this new online for a very low price ~$300USD, and was happy with it until I unpacked it and noticed I would need a DVI-HDMI cable to connect it ...
Summary: Bought this new online for a very low price ~$300USD, and was happy with it until I unpacked it and noticed I would need a DVI-HDMI cable to connect it to my DVI, but not HDMI, projection Mitsubishi TV.
No problem, got the DVI-HDMI cable and was ready to go. No picture.
Turns out there is a known bug that requires a patch (firmware) from Toshiba if you want to run a DVI-HDMI connection. No problem, called Toshiba to get Firmware - not available for three weeks, I'm told. But I can downloaded into the DVD player direct, the rep tells me. Try multiple times, without effect. Call customer support: "yes, some DVD players have a bug preventing downloads. you will have to wait for the CD firmware to arrive." Ok. Two weeks later I get my CD with the patch. Ready to go. Plays movies great now.
After a few weeks I noticed a consistent tendency of the DVD player to freeze up and turn non-responsive. I am unable to communicate with the DVD in any way. The only option is to turn the unit off. This happens once every 10 discs played.
I also notice the HD-A2 will not play discs that are slightly scratched or dirty, while my other DVD player will play these DVDs. After a good wipe of the disc it plays, but with the scratches it still skips during playback. Perhaps this is a very sensitive DVD player.
Load times are very long. After I turn the power on, it takes a minute or more, but not more than two minutes for the DVD menu to show up. Its a bit disconcerting when you want to show off your new toy. No matter I press on, because the picture is great.
The picture quality is fantastic and the sound is what you would expect.
Connecting the unit is fairly easy and intuitive (providing you have HDMI on your TV).
All in all a good DVD player for the money, but troublesome to own, and a bit dissapointing in reliability.
18 out of 19 users found this user opinion helpful.
Great picture. Nice remote. Nice look.
by altobone on December 16, 2006
Pros: Great picture. Nice remote. Great sound.
Cons: Wish it was 1080p now.
Summary: This player is blowing me away. I've looked at the difference between HD-DVD and Blu Ray, and HD-DVD just has a better picture in the demos I've seen. ...
Summary: This player is blowing me away. I've looked at the difference between HD-DVD and Blu Ray, and HD-DVD just has a better picture in the demos I've seen. I was told by a salesmen at Magnolia after I purchased the HD-A2 that the next firmware upgrade will include an upgrade to 1080p. There is a small letter p next to the 1080i indicator light on the digital display as well. It's hard to imagine the picture looking any better though. Batman Begins in HD-DVD is truely stunning! The player works great, buy it!
8 out of 10 users found this user opinion helpful.
Doesn't support DVI
by daymon74 on January 6, 2007
Pros: Don't know yet
Cons: Doesn't support DVI
Summary: I bought this unit ready to begin my HD DVD journey and got stopped in my tracks. My Sony HDTV only supports DVI, no HMDI. So I used a cable ...
Summary: I bought this unit ready to begin my HD DVD journey and got stopped in my tracks. My Sony HDTV only supports DVI, no HMDI. So I used a cable that runs one side HDMI and the other DVI. I could only get 480p out of the unit. So I called Toshiba only to have them tell me that this was a problem that were aware of and they were "working on it". I have no confidence in the problem being resolved and will have to buy a new HDTV to get a HDMI input. Would have been nice to have been made aware of this problem before I bought the unit. I have to go component cables and only get 720p for my HD DVD's. 500 dollars for a unit that only half works. Would not buy this unit againUpdated
The latest Toshiba firmware download fixed my problem. I now can get 1080i coming out of the HDMI output on the HD DVD player going into a DVI input on my T.V. I can now sleep peacefully.
8 out of 11 users found this user opinion helpful.
Perfect addition to my Onkyo and Vizio. Achieved 6.1 audio on optical cable!
by chrislayton on January 10, 2007
Pros: Absolutely crystal clear picture perfect and awesome sound
Cons: I have heard some bellyache about not being able to achieve 5.1 sound except through the HDMI cable but that is simply not true.
Summary: I just got this yesterday in the mail from OnSale.com at a super deal (purchased on sale for $385 plus free shipping) The construction of this machine is definately ...
Summary: I just got this yesterday in the mail from OnSale.com at a super deal (purchased on sale for $385 plus free shipping) The construction of this machine is definately of the most streamlined and advanced design out there and is very well made. For the money I think it is an excellent buy. I popped in my Serenity HD-DVD and it produced an absolutely fabulous picture down to the minute hairs on the characters and outstanding color saturation. The Serenity DVD is recorded in 5.1 and my Onkyo HTS790 (purchased for $399.99 from Circuit City.com) is connected to it via digital optical cable and positively confirmed that it was playing in 5.1. Then I put in the standard DVD movie Gladiator recorded in 6.1 and again my onkyo positively confirmed that it was playing in 6.1 and I could hear the individual sounds coming from each speaker (the side rear and back rear in my 7.1 system combined since the movie was a 6.1 and not a 7.1 which I am anxiously waiting for) This system is connected to my Vizio 50" HDTV by the way in case you were wondering what I was viewing it from (purchased also from Circuit City.com for $1500) Honestly I don't know what everyone is bellyaching about in regards to their not being able to get 5.1 sound out of the HD-A2. Perhaps a better reading of the instructions might help. Anyway, this system makes for one tremendous home theater (sort of makes it hard to want to go out to the movie theater anymore except to see new releases but their sound doesn't match the sound of this system)
5 out of 6 users found this user opinion helpful.
Good video quality, quirky operation.
by thorenj on February 7, 2007
Pros: Lovely picture quality, player design is beautiful
Cons: hdmi connection is unreliable, badly designed remote, sometimes doesn't start up properly, navigation by remote control is really sloppy, bookmark feature doesn't exist.
Summary: This is a gorgeous unit, and plays hd dvd content with beautiful results. After a month of use, however, I returned the unit because I didn't want to live ...
Summary: This is a gorgeous unit, and plays hd dvd content with beautiful results. After a month of use, however, I returned the unit because I didn't want to live with it's quirky problems.
1) Half the times I powered it up, it would sit indefinitely with 'welcome' on the lcd display and no video output via the hdmi connector to an hd tv. The tv reported 'signal out of range', and the remote control was inoperative. Pressing the power-off button for 10 seconds to reboot the player would generally fix the problem, but sometimes 2 reboots were required. This seems to be similar to the kind of hdmi problems cnet reviewers have seen on other toshiba hd dvd players.
2) Navigation using fast/slow forward/reverse is very sloppy. The unit always overshot scenes I was trying to locate, almost as if the cpu was not fast enough to keep up. When one gets to a spot using that kind of navigation and presses 'play' video starts playing immediately, but the sound is silent for 5 seconds.
3) The design of the remote control is somewhat un-ergonomic, and even after using it for a month, it was almost impossible to remember where the fast forward/reverse buttons were, and pressing the wrong button was more the rule than the exception. They should look at a sony remote for good design clues.
4) Toshiba claimed support for "bookmarks" but it was impossible to find, and there is no mention in the manual. Tech support said bookmarks were not available. Bummer.
Enough irritations for a premium player that I decided I could live without it.
2 out of 2 users found this user opinion helpful.
by brykos on January 27, 2007
Pros: Georgeous Hi-Def, great clean-up (upscaling) of SD DVD's
Cons: so far no poblems
Summary: Just purchased yesterday for $395.88@ Electronics Expo. Watched King Kong last night. Picture was fanatstic, sound quality quite good thru Tsolink. Watched 2 SD DVD's so far & ...
Summary: Just purchased yesterday for $395.88@ Electronics Expo. Watched King Kong last night. Picture was fanatstic, sound quality quite good thru Tsolink. Watched 2 SD DVD's so far & it really cleans them up vs a standard def player. I think that may be a better way to describe "upscaling" in practical terms, JMHO.
I need to do some tweeking w/ the audio, but I'm very pleased so far w/the down-rezzed sound via optical (no HDMI on my receiver). I didn't list the lack of analog inputs as a con because it's clearly noted that this unit does not have them, although it would have been nice if it did. As far as slow boot up & load times, this unit isn't much slower than my SD DVD player, so that glitch seems to have been taken care of by Toshiba.
For the money, I'm personally more comfortable spending what I did vs the XA2 or Blu-Ray, considering I'm rolling the dice on how the format war is going to play out.
I'll come back & edit this as I get more use of this unit.
3 out of 5 users found this user opinion helpful.
Come On C-net...
by menssie on October 17, 2007
Pros: Toshiba looks quite promising.
Cons: Looks like C-net is bised, siding with Blu Ray.
Summary: I haven't tried this player out yet, but I came to C-net trying to get an idea about this model. Instead, I find that the more C-net reviews I ...
Summary: I haven't tried this player out yet, but I came to C-net trying to get an idea about this model. Instead, I find that the more C-net reviews I read, the more discouraged(A nice way for saying it ticks me off...), I become with their responses. For example when I look at these write-ups, 2 of the categories I look at immediately are "The Good", and "The Bad" categories. Take this HD-A2 write-up for example: The second entry is; "HD DVD could lose the format war". What in the heck does that have to do with a feature that categorizes "Bad" and helps the consumer to make an educated decision and/or purchase? Are you telling me I should go with Blu Ray because your Crystal Ball says that is the Format of the future? Did I or the rest of the world miss something here? Case in point, Blu Ray could lose and HD DVD could win, so why such a LAME statement? Face it C-net you are simply Blu Ray biased and most likely getting a financial Sony kickback with ignorant statements like that! Be neutral and fair so people don't get confused when trying to figure out this already confusing technology.... Thanks, be nice and remove the ignorance!
2 out of 3 users found this user opinion helpful.
Good Picture, Disappointing Features
by AJones4 on February 23, 2007
Pros: Much better picture quality than standard dvds, sturdy build quality, great price
Cons: Picture quality isn't 1080p, backwards operation, many features don't work
Summary: Though high definition disc players haven't quite caught on, recent entries such as the HD-A2 and PS3 are making it easier to take the leap into pre-recorded high definition ...
Summary: Though high definition disc players haven't quite caught on, recent entries such as the HD-A2 and PS3 are making it easier to take the leap into pre-recorded high definition content.
When first booting up the unit, the most notable improvement over the HD-A1 made itself clear: it's much quicker, though still not up to the speed of most current DVD players. Picture and sound quality were HD quality, though on a larger 1080p television set, there is a slight noticeable difference between this unit and Blu-Ray players. This becomes even more apparent when you sit close to the television (as the experience was meant to be).
Most major functions work properly with quick response. However, some features are outright missing. Repeat doesn't seem to work, nor does some of the menu controls.
All in all, this is a good player for experiencing HD content, though not the best. Format aside, it's definitely a smart buy for those who don't want to make a larger investment into such a new technology.
2 out of 3 users found this user opinion helpful.
This product is simply better than Blue-Ray
by fmtsolutions on February 13, 2007
Pros: Incredible picture, sound and design
Cons: The format war is still in the way
Summary: Before I start this review I want to mention a couple of things. I am not a professional tech geek, do not work for any electronics manufacturers and have nothing ...
Summary: Before I start this review I want to mention a couple of things. I am not a professional tech geek, do not work for any electronics manufacturers and have nothing against SONY as I have a 50 inch SONY TV that I would not trade for anything. That said,after spending hundreds of hours deciding between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD I decided that I could not decide so I went out and bought the new Toshiba HD-A2 but also bought the SONY Playstation (which I ended up returning). Since I have the capability to connect up to 4 units with HDMI I decided I wanted both and opted against the new LG player that can play both formats because it lacks certain capabilities in the menu when it comes to playing HD-DVD disks. For $1,200.00 that is unacceptable to me.
OK so I hooked both up and immediately noticed the following when playing them on the same 50 inch SONY HDTV.
The Toshiba had a much finer picture that was actually better than my reception through DirecTV HD. My wife and I could not believe that clarity, colors and rich sound. That is saying a lot since we are not neophytes when it comes to home electronics equipment.
When I played a regular DVD on the A-2 using the upconversion mode it was obviously not as good as my HD-DVD but every bit as good as the OPPO 981 player I owned as well as a Panasonic upconverting player I had.
Next I tried the SONY PlayStation which I purchased in large part because of the reviews from the CNET Editors regarding Blu-Ray players and the PS3. I figured I could get the Blu-Ray capability by spending less on a PS3 then on the other Blu-Ray players available many of which are way overpriced. The first thing I noticed was for the non-game playing consumer (probably most people over 40 or 50 years of age) all the bells and whistles that the PS3 has to offer are useless. The next thing I noticed was how bad the instruction manual was. Luckily I bought a Bluetooth SONY remote to use because using the controller is not easy unless you are familiar with games like ps2 or Xbox360. OK so I get it set up and notice that the machine makes a lot of noise. Why? Because it has a hard drive so like any computer it makes a motor noise. This is a very important point for those of you who are thinking of getting the PS3 basically as a less expensive way to get a Blu-Ray player and not for the games. This is very annoying and will bother many consumers who just want to watch a movie. The PS3 has a lot of great extras including 1.3 HDMI and the ability to play more types of disks formats (however it does not upconvert standard DVDs). The picture was OK but I have to tell you not as good as the Toshiba A-2 and anyone who thinks otherwise is either talking themselves into believing it is as good or they have poor vision. Interestingly many of the other professional reviews at other websites and magazines prefer the Toshiba HD players to the Blu-Ray players and when you factor in how absolutely silly SONY and the other manufacturers are when pricing their Blu-Ray players, I think they still have a hard sell which is why I would not write off HD-DVD.
A couple of things I would also like to respond to regarding the Toshiba HD format and player:
As far as the disks taking 20 or 30 seconds to load, who cares? What difference does it make to any consumer if a disk loads in 15 seconds or 30 seconds. Once it starts it starts. It is quiet and smooth in it's functionality and that is what matters.
Also the idea that Blu-ray will bury the HD-DVD format is jumping the gun. After all the HD-DVD format has studios like Warner Brothers, HBO, New Line Cinema, Paramount and Universal as well as computer companies like Microsoft and HP. Although Blu-Ray has more studios currently backing Blu-Ray format the studios and companies backing HD-DVD are not all going away. That combined with the ridiculous pricing of the Blu-Ray products and the shortcomings of most of them should reassure anyone thinking of purchasing the Toshiba HD players that they will not become a dinosaur anytime soon. As Warner Brothers Studios recently announced they are going to go to producing DVDs that will play on either Blu-Ray or HD-DVD players, don't be surprised if other studios follow their lead.
I debated giving this product a 9 or 10 rating. I opted for the 10 because I just do not see anything wrong with it. Giving it a 9 because it does not play Blu-Ray would be unfair and not a real rating based on it's performance.
My advice is to GET THE HD_DVD PLAYER. IT IS SIMPLY A BETTER PRODUCT FOR MORE THAN HALF THE PRICE of Blu-Ray!
2 out of 3 users found this user opinion helpful.
- Manufacturer: Toshiba
- Part number: HDA2
- Description: Experience the full potential of your HDTV.Take everything you love about DVD. Now add High Definition movies, and increased interactivity through the Internet and your home network. Toshiba HD DVD players are designed to be backwards compatible with your current DVD and CD collection. HD DVD is the combined effort, and the official next generation DVD format of the DVD Forum. Experience the evolution of DVD - HD DVD.
- Component type HD DVD player
- Form factor Tabletop
- Dimensions (WxDxH) 16.9 in x 13.6 in x 2.6 in
- Media Type CD-R,
- Video D/A Converter 11bit / 216MHz
- Audio D/A Converter 24bit / 192kHz
- Built-in Audio Decoders DTS-HD decoder,
Dolby Digital Plus,
- Media Load Type Tray
- Picture Modes Letterbox,
Pan and scan
- DVD Repeat Modes A-B repeat
- Upscaling Yes ( Up to 1080i )
- Supported Digital Audio Standards PCM
- Picture zoom Yes
- TV screen saver Yes
- Additional features ColorStream Component Video Output ,
On-screen display ,
Slow motion mode ,
Parental lock ,
Video black level expansion
- Sound Output Mode Stereo
- Digital Audio Format Dolby Digital output,
DTS digital output
- Connector type 1 x HD component output ( RCA phono x 3 ) - Rear,
1 x Composite video output ( RCA phono ) - Rear,
1 x S-Video output ( 4 pin mini-DIN ) - Rear,
1 x Audio line-out ( RCA phono x 2 ) - Rear,
1 x HDMI ( 19 pin HDMI Type A ) - Rear,
1 x Digital audio output (optical) ( TOSLINK ) - Rear,
1 x Network ( RJ-45 ) - Rear,
2 x USB - Front
- Type Universal remote control - Infrared
- Features Glow buttons
- Cables Included 1 x A/V cable
Specs: HD DVD player,
Up to 1080i,
16.9 in x 13.6 in x 2.6 in
Specs: HD DVD player,
Up to 1080p,
16.9 in x 13.6 in x 2.6 in