First Impressions of the Toshiba A3

As many have mentioned the first thing you notice is the long time it takes to load but virtually all high def players of both formats experience this problem. Also I have tried several titles out (although not all the way through): Battle Of The Bulge, The Bourne Identity, Transformers and now Batman Begins. I haven’t noticed any weird firmware glitches, ect. and this is with the player coming right out of the box and being hooked up to my Westinghouse 37W3 37" 1080P set. I am holding off on updating the firmware until I really run this sucker through the gambit first. Even though the player is 1080i it does one heck of a job. At $200 with 10 free titles from Amazon.com it was well worth it. One interesting little find thus far though. I borrowed the really nice high end HDMI cable from my Oppo Digital to test it out via HDMI and it was pretty decent but it seemed a little lacking from what I remembered via my 360 HD-DVD drive and HD Component cable, so I dig up some really cheap quality component cables (came with a $20 selector switch that I used to have) and hook it up to my TV and all of a sudden the picture seemed a bit brighter and sharper. So I don’t know what the deal is but at least to my eyes and with my current setup the cheap component cables seem to be a hair better than a high end HDMI setup. This is fine by me as I only have 1 HDMI connection on my set which is currently occupied by my oppo digital and I have 2 component inputs that weren’t being used. So I can have both hooked up and get great picture quality out of both.

Okay watched Batman Begins and Top Gun all the way through and absolutely no playback or freezing up issues at all. Both looked amazing. Even though Top Gun isn’t feature rich and it isn’t the absolute best quality HD-DVD it definitely stands out from the regular DVD release.

Yo Jester-

Your results mirror mine pretty close - except that I have sinse upgraded the firmware to 1.3 and there [B][I][U]is[/U][/I][/B] a perceptible difference - especially in the upconversion of the standard dvd’s.

Still waiting for Bob (rolling56) to get off his dead arse and say something objectively about his new A3.

I am really sold on the fact that this player is really worth the $200 I spent on it-eh!! :iagree: :iagree: :clap: :clap:

[QUOTE=bigmike7;1956293]Still waiting for Bob (rolling56) to get off his dead arse and say something objectively about his new A3.[/QUOTE]All i’ve done is compared the movie 300 to a reg DVD. I haven’t watched a HD-DVD all the way through yet. I rented The Mummy Returns the other day (wife likes those movies) and will watch it maybe later tonight. I did watch HP Order Of The Phoenix (reg DVD) last night using the upconversion 1080 and looked great.

I paid $155 usd for mine after all the crap i went through with Sears.com

I haven’t looked to see what f/w is on it either :doh:

No idea what firmware is on mine. As for upconversion I haven’t tried it since my Oppo Digital has been doing all of that for me.

I called Toshiba and they are sending me a disc with the V1.3 Firmware on it.

You guys need to update the firmware. It will have a big effect on error correction and boot times. Suggest using the downloaded ISO on CD as it’s faster and safer.

Has anyone messed with checking the optical audio versus analog? I’m running optical at this time and haven’t checked the difference yet.

[QUOTE=CDan;1956601]You guys need to update the firmware. It will have a big effect on error correction and boot times. Suggest using the downloaded ISO on CD as it’s faster and safer.[/QUOTE]yeah i’m going to update it. I think the link is posted here somewhere.

I’m downloading 1.3 now and my player has 1.1 on it.

[quote=rolling56;1956602]Has anyone messed with checking the optical audio versus analog? I’m running optical at this time and haven’t checked the difference yet.[/quote]You mean the analog red-white cable?

The optical/toslink is far better than the analog as it can deliver up to 1.5mbps bandwidth, good for Dolby Digital 5.1 up to DTS-ES 6.1.

If you have receiver with HDMI inputs, using HDMI is even better as it can deliver more bandwidth, I think up to 18.4 mbps for 7.1 LPCM (lossless).

[QUOTE=zevia;1956625]You mean the analog red-white cable?[/QUOTE]yes for analog DTS 5.1

[QUOTE=zevia;1956625]The optical/toslink is far better than the analog as it can deliver up to 1.5mbps bandwidth, good for Dolby Digital 5.1 up to DTS-ES 6.1.[/QUOTE]This is what i have it on now

[QUOTE=zevia;1956625]If you have receiver with HDMI inputs, using HDMI is even better as it can deliver more bandwidth, I think up to 18.4 mbps for 7.1 LPCM (lossless).[/QUOTE]I don’t believe i have this option. I’ll have to look at my manual.

Thanks zevia.

[QUOTE=zevia;1956625]You mean the analog red-white cable?

The optical/toslink is far better than the analog as it can deliver up to 1.5mbps bandwidth, good for Dolby Digital 5.1 up to DTS-ES 6.1.

If you have receiver with HDMI inputs, using HDMI is even better as it can deliver more bandwidth, I think up to 18.4 mbps for 7.1 LPCM (lossless).[/QUOTE]

Clarification: The A3 will only deliver DD 640 Mb over optical on down-converted HD sound tracks. The HDMI connect with MPCM is a far more better way to deliver DTS/DD HD audio.

HDMI 1.3 is required for MPCM 7:1 audio over HDMI. If I’m not mistaken, the A3 is HDMI 1.2. I think you need the A30 or A35 for 1.3.

yes for analog DTS 5.1

You’ll get nothing but stereo downmix from the analog outs.

Meybe rolling meant the “Multi Channel inputs”? Or was it the analog 2 ch?

I’m using a fiber optic cable.

Edit:
Updated my firmware to 1.3.

How do you tell which firmware revision you have on your setup?

[QUOTE=Jesterrace;1957377]How do you tell which firmware revision you have on your setup?[/QUOTE]Here Jesterrace > http://tacp.toshiba.com/tacpassets-images/notices/hddvd-checkingfirmware.asp

Also taken from the firmware release thread here is the firmware 1.3 for your HD-A3. I used it yesterday > http://www.tacp.toshiba.com/tacpassets-images/notices/hddvd3firmware.asp burned a CD with the .iso on it with ImgBurn. Takes about 20 minutes.

Yes start up and load times are some what faster. I never had any problem with not reading discs with 1.1 that was on it when i bought it. But it doesn’t hurt to update the firmware.

One of the things the firmware addresses is error corrections. With older FW revisions, a lot of people saw “error xxxxxxxx” and system crashes requiring reboot for the slightest scratch or speck of dust on a disc. 1.3 seems to have remedied a lot of that. You’ll still see occasional freezes or pauses, but they resolve without input now, for the most part. Fewer issues with loss of synch too. That’s my observation, YMMV. I suspect that like burners, these drives can vary a lot from one to the next.

I guess i got a good one. The drives seems solid as a rock right now. Ran 5 movies so far and not a glitch whatsoever. Some of them are my Verb +R DL’s.

Not to mention the terrible scans on some of them. They play great in this player. So far i’m liking it for Mike to see :stuck_out_tongue:

Well, crap. Burned 2 Maxell CD-R Pro discs (Taiyo Yuden) and 2 Taiyo Yuden DVD-R discs and get the unrecognizable disc error each time. I extracted it to ISO format. Tried it with Nero but burned it as a data cd so of course it failed. Tried IMG Burn but got an error each time I tried to attach the file. Tried CD XP Burner Pro with both CD-R and DVD-R in different modes and it refuses to read. I keep getting the error with IMG Burn and don’t know what to do here. The player is fine as is barring the exceptionally long load times and the fact that Serenity crashed in the middle of the movie last night. Worked just fine after rebooting the system though and have played a few other titles through with no problems. BTW my current firmware revision is V1.1 but I would definitely like to get V1.3 on there. EDIT NM. Currently updating via ethernet jack. Much easier with my setup. All I had to do was activate the network settings in the player. I don’t know why but the DL file (when I attempt to download and burn to disc) seems to always come up as a corrupt file. No idea why, I am extracting it with Winrar. Incidentally I found this great guide for updating via both methods:

http://www.highdefforum.com/showthread.php?t=56607