Pros Price, picture, sound, SD upconversion, ease-of-use
Cons remote not back-lit (minor issue because my Harmony is)
Summary I have had this player for over a month and I am completely satisfied with the quality of the picture and sound. The player is hooked up to a Panasonic PT-AE500U front projector (at ~70" image size) and the level of detail in the HD-DVD at 1080i is stunning.
I have experienced no image artifacts, ghosting, or related issues. The load-time is quick, and the player's features are very intuitive.
I am particularly impressed with the up-conversion of SD discs - considering what I paid for the HD-A2 it was almost worth the price just for this feature alone. I was using a Panasonic DVD player with component cables and decided to try Samsung's best up-converting DVD player (the HD960) with HDMI. The result was only marginally better than the component hook-up in terms of image sharpness, but was actually worse than component for color and contrast.
It was only after purchasing the HD-A2 that I realized just how good SD-DVDs can look! Regardless of who wins the HD-DVD/Blu-Ray war, I will never regret my purchase because my entire DVD collection now looks phenomenal.
Pros Not a bad machine for the price
Cons The up converter softens the image from the standard disk
Summary you can use one of the extention ports to charge your cell phone.
"FANTASTIC!!!!!"on by sommer182
Pros Great budget HD maching, 720P looks GREAT on Vizio 32XL
Cons Long load times for HD movies
Summary Got this on the $99.99 special at Wal-Mart last November, and have been enjoying it ever since. HD-DVD's look GREAT on my Vizio 32XL 720P LCD TV. Even standard DVD's look better, much better, than on my old DVD player. Even with HD-DVD possibly losing the battle, at $99.99 this was the best electronics deal I've made in a LONG time.
Pros Great Picture, Cheap Price
Cons Horrible Load Times, Long delay on Chapter Skips
Summary I bought this product to as an inexpensive way to be able to purchase all the new movies on one of the new formats (I already have a PS3)and basically got what I expected. The picture quality is great. If you never used a High Def player you will be really impressed. On the negative side, the load times are bad; really bad. It takes up to a minute for the player to power up and sometimes up to another minute for it to load a disc. Also while skipping scenes, it can take up to 30 seconds for the disc to start playing again. Overall for the price this isn't a bad deal. But considering that Warner Bros. has now jumped over to Blu-Ray and the format war has definitely shifted into Blu-Ray's court I would probably buy a cheap Blu-Ray player instead.
Pros Plays HDDVD; Looks nice; Easy-to-Use Menus
Cons Poor DVD upscaling; Remote difficult to use in the dark
Summary As far as being an HD DVD player goes, I give it great marks. Not much to say there that hasn't been said.
But, I also bought this because it was supposed to upscale standard DVDs well. But, I was disappointed for two reasons. First, the picture was noticeably grainier when I upscaled to 720p and sent it to my native 720p projector than when I used my old JVC 480p DVD player and let the projector do the upscaling. Second, and a real design flaw in my opinion, it stretches the standard (4:3) picture to widescreen (16:9). So, even if it weren't grainy, the picture is distorted, and there wasn't an option to change this anywhere that I could find.
So, I was left using my old JVC DVD player for standard DVDs, and upscaling with the Sanyo PLV-Z5, which did had a number of options on how it did the upscaling (none, zoom, stretch, etc.), and did an excellent job of it.
Conclusion: if you only want to use it for HD-DVDs, it's a good choice!