"Crisp and clear up-converting from regular DVDs!"4.5 starson by KelleyBurian
Pros: Easy to operate right out of the box, universal remote that's easy to use, sleek design, great connectivity options, reasonable price (got a great sale through amazon.com).
Cons: There really aren't any, except one potentially huge one. It has frozen 3 times in the last 3 months.
Summary: I love this machine! I don't have any HD-DVDs yet, so my opinion is solely based on its picture production qualities when upconverting regular DVDs and its use with a Panasonic TH-50PZ750U tv. The picture is clear and text is awesome. Everyone who has been to my house has commented on the picture quality.
I was a little leary of the wait time that has been mentioned by others--the time for the DVD to be loaded and the XA2 to do its magic. However, the time is literally 7 seconds and only occurs during the initial loading of the DVD--it does not happen each time you ask the DVD player to do something with the disc (i.e. select different scenes, pause then resume play, etc).
Ok, now for the down side. Some people have had their XA2 freeze up and then just keep freezing up so that they can't watch a DVD. This is not the case with my XA2, but I live in fear of it. When it's frozen, it's frozen. The first time it happened, nothing worked--stop, pause, play, select, and eject all resulted in nothing. I simply unplugged the machine, plugged it back in, let the disc reload, and then watched the rest of the DVD. After the 1st time, it didn't happen again immediately. About 5 days later the 2nd incident occurred--just like the first. I then lived problem-free for about 3 months until it happened again last week. I consider this problem to be a lurking evil--it's just an infrequent inconvenience right now but it does signal that all is not happy in The Land Of The XA2. My fear is that it will freeze, I will fix it, it will freeze immediately, I will fix it, it will freeze immediately, and thus will end the short era of Awesome DVD Watching at my house. However, in its defense, I watch a lot of DVDs (about 2 DVDs each weekday and about 3 each weekend day). For all it's use, the XA2 has only been a problem 3 times. I'm toying with sending it back and getting a replacement but the prices have just jumped, so I'll have to pay an additional $200-$300 to get a new one. I will update this post to let interested parties know how the freezing issue turns out.