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Which HD DVD player is the best???

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Old 03-04-2009, 01:50 PM   #1
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Cool Which HD DVD player is the best???

Hey guys first off I have been reading some of the older blogs and the Blue ray bashing is great. I just ordered a 360 add on from Frys. I could not pass their recent deal up. So I was wondering if we listed the top 10 players which ones would be on it. Anyone got any ideas? I just might replace my A2 since its possessed.

oh and if anyone is looking for cheap HD DVD and Blue rays try half.com you can find some good deals.
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Old 03-05-2009, 07:36 AM   #2
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Hey guys first off I have been reading some of the older blogs and the Blue ray bashing is great. I just ordered a 360 add on from Frys. I could not pass their recent deal up. So I was wondering if we listed the top 10 players which ones would be on it. Anyone got any ideas? I just might replace my A2 since its possessed.

oh and if anyone is looking for cheap HD DVD and Blue rays try half.com you can find some good deals.
The XA2 is easily the best HD DVD player made and it has one of the best SD DVD upconverters on the market. Right behind it is the A35 followed by the A20. You won't find an A35 or XA2 for cheap at this point and the cheapest I have seen them for is around $300-400 on eBay. I was able to get my A20 on eBay for $70 after shipping though. If you want a 1080p HD DVD player then I would go for an XA2 or A35, but if you don't want to spend that much then the A20 will fit the bill. Also, the A20 does support 24 fps.
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Old 03-05-2009, 08:56 AM   #3
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I certainly agree the HD-XA2 or Onkyo and Integra clones are the best HD DVD players. I prefer the HD-XA2 to the Onkyo DV-HD805 only because it comes with a better remote control, otherwise except for cosmetic differences and case weight, there is no difference. I haven't ever seen the Integra clone so I don't know if it is exactly the same as the Onkyo DV-HD805 but I suspect it is.

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Old 03-05-2009, 03:57 PM   #4
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Default Just bought an HD A2.

Where would you say that stands ratings wise?
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:35 PM   #5
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Where would you say that stands ratings wise?
The HD A2 is an excellent upscaler as well.
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:56 PM   #6
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I certainly agree the HD-XA2 or Onkyo and Integra clones are the best HD DVD players. I prefer the HD-XA2 to the Onkyo DV-HD805 only because it comes with a better remote control, otherwise except for cosmetic differences and case weight, there is no difference. I haven't ever seen the Integra clone so I don't know if it is exactly the same as the Onkyo DV-HD805 but I suspect it is.

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The Integra is exactly the same as the Onkyo, just the nameplate is different (and a few other minor things not worth mentioning). I opened the XA2, Onkyo and Integra and they are the same inside. The main difference is that the XA2 cover and sideplates weigh 5.7 pounds vs. 1.75 pounds for the clones. As for components, the clones have a more recent build date (my XA2s say Jan '07 and both the Onkyo and Integra Oct '07), so there could be some newer (and maybe improved, such as the Reon chip) components in the clones.
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Old 03-05-2009, 07:17 PM   #7
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Where would you say that stands ratings wise?
I rank the HD DVD players as follows from best to worst (top to bottom):

HD-XA2/XA1
HD-A35
HD-A20
HD-A2/A1
HD-30
HD-A3/D3

The A30/A3/D3 are of much lesser build quality compared to the first and second generation players. The best SD DVD upconverters can be found in the XA1, XA2, and A35, followed closely by the A20 and A2.
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Old 03-05-2009, 08:53 PM   #8
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The Integra is exactly the same as the Onkyo, just the nameplate is different (and a few other minor things not worth mentioning). I opened the XA2, Onkyo and Integra and they are the same inside. The main difference is that the XA2 cover and sideplates weigh 5.7 pounds vs. 1.75 pounds for the clones. As for components, the clones have a more recent build date (my XA2s say Jan '07 and both the Onkyo and Integra Oct '07), so there could be some newer (and maybe improved, such as the Reon chip) components in the clones.
It is my understanding the chips are all the same, not newer versions and likely not even manufactured later although it might be that the manufacturing process was improved for later models. I don't know if all HD-XA2's were manufactured before the Onkyo/Integra clones or not but I doubt it. Toshiba adding all of the weight with the heavy case was an odd choice, it added transportation cost but provides an illusion of better build quality.

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Old 03-05-2009, 09:15 PM   #9
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It is my understanding the chips are all the same, not newer versions and likely not even manufactured later although it might be that the manufacturing process was improved for later models. I don't know if all HD-XA2's were manufactured before the Onkyo/Integra clones or not but I doubt it. Toshiba adding all of the weight with the heavy case was an odd choice, it added transportation cost but provides an illusion of better build quality.

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I thought the main purpose of the heavy case (other than the obvious benefits of protection and stability) is to reduce vibration. The housing is a component of the build quality. Are you saying a heavy case serves no useful purpose?
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Old 03-06-2009, 05:17 AM   #10
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I thought the main purpose of the heavy case (other than the obvious benefits of protection and stability) is to reduce vibration. The housing is a component of the build quality. Are you saying a heavy case serves no useful purpose?
No, I am saying the DV-HD805 case is heavy enough for that purpose and believe the HD-XA2 is so heavy for appearance purposes only and giving the feel of better build quality. Obviously, manufacturers could put 4" of solid steel case around each player but that wouldn't help performance at all but it would weigh a couple hundred pounds. I think any benefit to be gained by a sturdy case reducing vibration has been accomplished by the metal case for the DV-HD805 which I believe is heavier than the HD-A20 and quiet a bit heavier than the HD-A30, all of which I own. You might compare all of them to the XD-E500 for an example of lightweight and even that player performs well despite its light weight.

I just checked weights of a few of my best players from online specs, the Oppo DV-983H, weighs about 6lbs, the Onkyo DV-HD805 weighs about 9lbs and the HD-XA2 weighs 13lbs. I don't believe the 4lbs extra means anything at all for player performance and of course is achieved by the heavier case. I believe all three of those players have no performance issues that can be improved on with a heavier case.

Some of these inexpensive players that weigh in at around 3lbs might very well do better with a heavier case. I can't say what weight is best and it probably depends on other factors inherrent with each product.

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Old 03-06-2009, 08:11 AM   #11
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No, I am saying the DV-HD805 case is heavy enough for that purpose and believe the HD-XA2 is so heavy for appearance purposes only and giving the feel of better build quality. Obviously, manufacturers could put 4" of solid steel case around each player but that wouldn't help performance at all but it would weigh a couple hundred pounds. I think any benefit to be gained by a sturdy case reducing vibration has been accomplished by the metal case for the DV-HD805 which I believe is heavier than the HD-A20 and quiet a bit heavier than the HD-A30, all of which I own. You might compare all of them to the XD-E500 for an example of lightweight and even that player performs well despite its light weight.

I just checked weights of a few of my best players from online specs, the Oppo DV-983H, weighs about 6lbs, the Onkyo DV-HD805 weighs about 9lbs and the HD-XA2 weighs 13lbs. I don't believe the 4lbs extra means anything at all for player performance and of course is achieved by the heavier case. I believe all three of those players have no performance issues that can be improved on with a heavier case.

Some of these inexpensive players that weigh in at around 3lbs might very well do better with a heavier case. I can't say what weight is best and it probably depends on other factors inherrent with each product.

Chris
I guess neither of us know much about if a solid chassis improves performance, but here's a post from a member here written a few years back regarding the XA1, that seems to know what he talking about regarding vibration. Personally, I think the heavy brushed metal cover and side plates and thick front door satisfy my 'illusions' quite nicely.
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:30 AM   #12
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I guess neither of us know much about if a solid chassis improves performance, but here's a post from a member here written a few years back regarding the XA1, that seems to know what he talking about regarding vibration. Personally, I think the heavy brushed metal cover and side plates and thick front door satisfy my 'illusions' quite nicely.
I just tried to find objective evidence that an extremely heavy case would provide a measurable difference in sound or video quality and could find nothing at all. If it is real that the 4 extra pounds from the same player weighing 9 pounds compared to the same player with a 4 lb heavier case weighing 13 lbs could make a difference, I would think somebody would have proven it. My conclusion remains, vibration caused by the tiny motors in these players or subwoofers in the home theater or other vibration enducing factors will end at some point and I think it is south of the 9 lb weight figure. If you are living next to a railroad track and vibration from that source could cause problems, maybe there is some possible way it could make a difference but I sure doubt it.

That post provided nothing that makes me conclude the extremely heavy case of the HD-XA1 or HD-XA2 make it better than the same player with a 4 lb lighter case. I am extremely skeptical of the ultra light players that feel like they would fly off the shelf if I sneezed but the DV-HD805 isn't in that group and it performs identically to the HD-XA2 in my opinion.

I do agree other than my need to have a player that feels solid and is adequate in weight, I know nothing about the effect of chassis weight on player performance.

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Old 03-06-2009, 10:14 AM   #13
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So where do you rank the 360 AO? I know it does not have the sound quality due to the 360 only being 5.1 DD but its pretty good. Just curious.
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:33 AM   #14
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I would put the AO at the bottom of the list because of the sound quality, but I hear the PQ is on par with the A2/A3. Others that own both can better tell this though.
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Old 03-06-2009, 08:45 PM   #15
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I just tried to find objective evidence that an extremely heavy case would provide a measurable difference in sound or video quality and could find nothing at all. If it is real that the 4 extra pounds from the same player weighing 9 pounds compared to the same player with a 4 lb heavier case weighing 13 lbs could make a difference, I would think somebody would have proven it. My conclusion remains, vibration caused by the tiny motors in these players or subwoofers in the home theater or other vibration enducing factors will end at some point and I think it is south of the 9 lb weight figure. If you are living next to a railroad track and vibration from that source could cause problems, maybe there is some possible way it could make a difference but I sure doubt it.

That post provided nothing that makes me conclude the extremely heavy case of the HD-XA1 or HD-XA2 make it better than the same player with a 4 lb lighter case. I am extremely skeptical of the ultra light players that feel like they would fly off the shelf if I sneezed but the DV-HD805 isn't in that group and it performs identically to the HD-XA2 in my opinion.

I do agree other than my need to have a player that feels solid and is adequate in weight, I know nothing about the effect of chassis weight on player performance.

Chris
Well that HDMI Fantastic guy does seem to know what he's talking about at least as regards to high end CD players, and the importance of minimizing vibration. I really don't believe the XA2 offers greater PQ because of the heavy case, but there does seem to be a lower number of defective units (apart from the shutdown bug), especially compared to the A20 and A2, which have the lighter case. At least I haven't noticed any non-functional XA2s being sold on ebay. At the very least the player looks nicer and feels more solid and offers another layer of protection. I have no problem stacking other players on top of it, it's alway on the bottom of the players I have on my table (I'm still working on my rack, maybe someday I'll have the ambition to finish it).
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