It has been less than a month that Toshiba HD-A1, the first HD-DVD player was out. There were reviews posted on some web sites the first day it got on sale. So it is time for us to create a collection of all those reviews and draw our conclusions.
Ben is the the first in the bunch to pull the trigger and buy the HD-A1 but I am not particularly fond of the review he has done. First of all he has not tested it with a front projection system since, in my opinion, most early adopters will be owners of front projectors. Overall, Ben does like the video reproduction of the device on his Mitsubishi WS55813 rear projection but says the difference between HBO-HD and HD-DVD will not be noticeable and can the quality be achieved by any upscaling DVD player. I strongly disagree with his opinion only because of the fact that upscaling cannot ever compare to the native image resolution regardless how bad is the transport.
John gives it 6.7 out of 10 blaming it on lack of 1080p (total agreement), slow start up and loading times. On the good side reviewer mentions the firmware is upgradable which makes me believe that all of the slow start up and load times will be fixed.
Covers deinterlacing capabilites of HD-A1 on component and HDMI set to output 480p. While it was very interesting for me to see the data, most people will be utilizing 1080i and depend on their display device for 1080i to XXX transfer. Reviewer plans a full review in next few weeks which I look forward to read.
Both are very good reviews and cover all the good and bad. I highly recommend taking the time and reading somewhat lengthy articles.
The system is not yet ready for the everyday use due to the delays in start up and loading ( unless you are very calm person, do yoga daily and can contain yourself in any situation). As a source device it is unbeatable by picture quality and this can serve as justification for someone to buy it. I will wait until Blu-Ray is out and compared and first wave of glitches is cleaned up.UPDATE: Kris Deereing of HomeTheaterHiFi.com has an extensive review of the HD-A1
and some available titles.