Pros Has a nice picture while it works.
Cons Did not work right out of the box on HD movies.
Summary We bought the A30 instead of the A3 because it was supposed to be the better player. The picture that shows up on my 1080p screen is very nice but it didnt work on HD movies without a firmware update. Now you have to get the firmware off of the Toshiba website but when we tried this we kept getting error messages. Then we called Toshiba and they told me that they were going to send me the firmware in the mail in 7-10 days. What it comes down to is that when we bought this player 3 weeks ago I sent off for the firmware and have yet to receive it. It is ridiculous in my opinion that you have to update something before you can use it for what it was intended for, PLAYING HD MOVIES. If it wasn't for my wife this thing would be smashed in the street right now. This will be the only Toshiba product that will ever grace my home. As I type this we still have not gotten the firmware and cant use our player without having to start and stop it several times on HD movies.
Pros Great picture
Cons Slower "boot up" than a regular DVD
Summary My time isnt so valuable that Im going to ***** about a 30 second delay as the unit boots up. It is a bit slower than a standard DVD but its not so bad that Im going to give it a poor review. Some say they had to wait two minutes.
If you have a larger TV (I have a 60" 1080p sony), you have to get this. I watched the non-HD-DVD Lord of the Rings (as well as a ton of other movies) on my old DVD (progressive scan) and couldnt get past the "pixal" look on their faces when they did closeups. The HD-DVD up conversion is near perfect. HD-DVDs are amazing and seamless during high action scenes. Its definately better than HD movies on Cable, by far.
I havent had the techincal issues some others have had here. I hit open/eject and about 20 seconds later I have a disk in... about 20 seconds after that Im watching a movie. Some standard DVDs did not upconvert well (Oceans 13 and Bourn Identity come to mind) with a kind of shadow effect, but every other movie we have (about 60) looked great.
If you have a large set and love to watch movies, give it a try. If your set is 50" or smaller it may not be worth it.
Pros Great picture quality, great sound quality, brings my Bravia (XBR2) to life!
Cons Have to restart discs from the beginning if you press the stop button.
Summary I upgraded to this player from my xbox hd add on and I have been nothing but impressed. It takes a minute or so to load up a disc from pressing the on button, but it's not bad. I got 10 free movies with this player and I got it for less than half of the original price,so I can't complain about the cost upgrade from the HDA3 player. Now, these guys are saying that there is no difference in resolution from 1080i to 1080p, but I have to disagree. I have compared a number of films (The Order of the Phoenix, Bourne Identity, Knocked Up) between the two and 1080p looks better than 1080i. The edges look sharper and the noise level is reduced. Great player!!!
Pros Upconverts std DVD to near HD quality
Cons Slow startup.
Summary Purchased HD Player 12/23/07 after purchasing Panasonic 56" 1080P TV. Price reduced to $250 plus 7 free HD-DVD movies (at $25 per HD-DVD movie or $175 worth of movies, the player only costs $75, much better than the $450 Blu-Ray). On new TV, excellent picture with even old std DVDs.
"Pretty good."on by gccc44
Pros Makes regular dvds look better.
Cons dated styling
Summary I'm not audiophile, but I just hooked up my new Pioneer Elite monitor along with a Pioneer 92 a/v reciever and a Toshiba A 30 HD DVD player. I played a HD DVD of "Knocked Up" and it looked pretty good and then I played a regular dvd of "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World". (the funniest movie ever made), and it really seemed to make the regular dvd look a whole lot better. In fact, I was so pleased with the upconverting that I wonder if I'll even bother replacing my regular dvds with HD versions. I also played a regular dvd of "the incredibles" and it looked pretty darn good. Again, maybe not as good as HD DVD, but I was happy. However, I am not as picky as most of you on this site. I played the regular dvds at 1080p/24 frames and I could see jagged edges and funky stuff happening in certain areas of the picture, but when I switched it to 1080i maximum output, all that jagged stuff went away and it looked very good.
Hey, it may not take much, but I'm happy with the purchase. The also had two free HD DVDs in the box.
All the connections were with HDMI cables.
One other thing that may help is to know that I don't actually like the super clarity of HD DVDs..... the picture is actually sharper than the human eye can see, so it makes the movie look a bit 'unrealistic'. I turned down the sharpness on the Pioneer monitor to take a little edge off the super sharpness. Call me nutty, but I like a bit more "softness" to the picture. To me, that looks more natural.
I'm pretty pleased with everything, although I haven't really gotten in there and played around more than the basics.