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Recommending a HD-A3 to a friend ... Good Plan?

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Old 03-05-2008, 12:32 PM   #1
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Default Recommending a HD-A3 to a friend ... Good Plan?

Hey,

I have a friend that had a 27 Inch CRT TV for years only to have a sudden failure. Anyway,.. he bought a LCD 720p set and I don't know if he is getting any type of HD for it. He has a regular DVD player likely hooked up via component.

So,.. I just sent him a email with a link to the $99 HD-A3 players at Best Buy mentioning that although HD DVD lost the format war this player is a great upconverter that will output 720p directly via HDMI and produce a much higher quality image then he is used to.

Now,... Was this silly? This fella owns LotR extended and nothing else but rents DVD's often. He doesn't have room for a movie "collection" because he lives in a small one room apartment in SF. Maybe the local video shops have HD DVD and maybe they don't.

My thinking was just getting a better upconverter that outputs via HDMI should make a big difference.. Is that just wishfull thinking?

Is the HD-A3 buggy as can be or would it be similar to other high quality upconverting players?

-Brian
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:35 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhampton View Post
Hey,

I have a friend that had a 27 Inch CRT TV for years only to have a sudden failure. Anyway,.. he bought a LCD 720p set and I don't know if he is getting any type of HD for it. He has a regular DVD player likely hooked up via component.

So,.. I just sent him a email with a link to the $99 HD-A3 players at Best Buy mentioning that although HD DVD lost the format war this player is a great upconverter that will output 720p directly via HDMI and produce a much higher quality image then he is used to.

Now,... Was this silly? This fella owns LotR extended and nothing else but rents DVD's often. He doesn't have room for a movie "collection" because he lives in a small one room apartment in SF. Maybe the local video shops have HD DVD and maybe they don't.

My thinking was just getting a better upconverter that outputs via HDMI should make a big difference.. Is that just wishfull thinking?

Is the HD-A3 buggy as can be or would it be similar to other high quality upconverting players?

-Brian
The A3 is a very good UC player. If he isn't interested in HDM at this time, it's a good and inexpensive solution, IMO!
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:39 PM   #3
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The A3 is a very good UC player. If he isn't interested in HDM at this time, it's a good and inexpensive solution, IMO!
I agree. Since he is not a movie collector, this is a fine decision.
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:45 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by bhampton View Post
Hey,

I have a friend that had a 27 Inch CRT TV for years only to have a sudden failure. Anyway,.. he bought a LCD 720p set and I don't know if he is getting any type of HD for it. He has a regular DVD player likely hooked up via component.

So,.. I just sent him a email with a link to the $99 HD-A3 players at Best Buy mentioning that although HD DVD lost the format war this player is a great upconverter that will output 720p directly via HDMI and produce a much higher quality image then he is used to.

Now,... Was this silly? This fella owns LotR extended and nothing else but rents DVD's often. He doesn't have room for a movie "collection" because he lives in a small one room apartment in SF. Maybe the local video shops have HD DVD and maybe they don't.

My thinking was just getting a better upconverter that outputs via HDMI should make a big difference.. Is that just wishfull thinking?

Is the HD-A3 buggy as can be or would it be similar to other high quality upconverting players?

-Brian
If you're thinking just plain upconverting, why $100 for an upconverter? You can get them cheaper and they will do pretty much the same thing. No matter what many on this forum will tell you, the A3 is not a "phenomenal" upconverter, it is an "ok" upconverter. Alone the same lines as the $50 cheapo's you can find at Wal-Mart. If you want a better one, spend the extra $30 for the A30, or get a high quality UC DVD player. Not that I'm trying to bash the A3, but the whole "might as well" argument is pretty weak now. If he doesn't want to spend the money, he can get a decent upconverter for less just about anywhere without paying the extra price for the HD-DVD portion he may or may not use. If he wants the HD-DVD side, by all means get the A3.
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:51 PM   #5
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one other thing for your friend to consider - the A3 (or any HD player) is much slower starting up, loading discs, and skipping around than a standard DVD player. I can deal with the slowness since I have a bunch of HD-DVDs, but if this is only to be used as an upconverting player and your friend is impantient, just be warned.
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:53 PM   #6
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I say go tell him to go with the A30, which is a much better upconverter than the A3 and it is only a little more expensive.
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:56 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by digs5446 View Post
one other thing for your friend to consider - the A3 (or any HD player) is much slower starting up, loading discs, and skipping around than a standard DVD player. I can deal with the slowness since I have a bunch of HD-DVDs, but if this is only to be used as an upconverting player and your friend is impantient, just be warned.
+1 This is a very good point! This could be a source of big irritation for someone who doesn't care about the HD-DVD. If he's used to the "quick" load times of the DVD players, he my find this to be more hassle than he wants and could come back to haunt you. A very valid concern to remember.
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:05 PM   #8
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Actually,

I'm starting to re-think this a bit.

I'm hot for him to see something 720p native on the set because I think he will be stunned. But,.. in his location in SF he should be able to just plug in the antennae from the roof and pick up all the local channels in HD.

(I have to ask him how that part of it is going.)

I just don't know. The set he bought will upconvert for him by design because everything has to be processed for the sets native ratio and the difference between his regular DVD player being upconverted by the set may not be that large.

If NetFlix was still doing HD DVD,.. this recommendation would be a no-brianer given his viewing habits but .... I just don't know.

-Brian
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mobiushky View Post
If you're thinking just plain upconverting, why $100 for an upconverter? You can get them cheaper and they will do pretty much the same thing. No matter what many on this forum will tell you, the A3 is not a "phenomenal" upconverter, it is an "ok" upconverter. Alone the same lines as the $50 cheapo's you can find at Wal-Mart. If you want a better one, spend the extra $30 for the A30, or get a high quality UC DVD player. Not that I'm trying to bash the A3, but the whole "might as well" argument is pretty weak now. If he doesn't want to spend the money, he can get a decent upconverter for less just about anywhere without paying the extra price for the HD-DVD portion he may or may not use. If he wants the HD-DVD side, by all means get the A3.
I never seen anyone use the words "phenomenal" upconverter when describing the A3... Not saying no one has, but since you used phenmenal in quotes and also stated "many people on here, I guess you would have to be correct. I seen good, very good and excellent, just not phenomenal..

I have the A2 and the upconverting is IMO very good. I have a Pannasonic plasma with a good scaler in it and have and conected it with the A2, PS and a one of those $99 UC players. The A2 does perform noticably better (to me), but nothing near jaw dropping like HD. And performance will varry from SD DVD to SD DVD..

Scalers in many TV's now a days will be close to or as good as many UC DVD players including the A2/A3. But that would depend on the progressive scan DVD player and your TV.. Bottom line, for $90 you getting a very good UC player and also has very great sound support. And if you or any of his friends have HD DVD's to swap, it's a no brainer. You can find many HD DVD's now for DVD prices if he likes to buy them.

Oh, and that whole 10 seconds (or whatever it is) to load a DVD..... Man I just don't know what to do with all that free time.. It is so dam annoying I just want to throw my remote at my TV everytime I load them...

It takes about the same time to load as it does to insert it, go back to my couch and find the play button. But I am a little slow now a days..


TMK, Netflix is supporting HD DVD to the end of this year.. They are just not going to get any new HD DVD during this period. But they still have a bunch (hundreds) to choose from.


just my ..
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Old 03-05-2008, 02:10 PM   #10
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plus they still do include Bourne Identity and 300 right? that may sweeten the deal a little bit for him, but i understand the points others brought up.

my dad got an A2 last year and was completely blown away with how good Spiderman 3 looked upconverted. i'm guessing the A2 and A3 have similar capabilities, but i think it really is subjective, meaning what looks great to some may look crappy to others. is there any way in which you could bring one of your players over to his place so he can get a better feel for it?
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Old 03-05-2008, 02:26 PM   #11
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Tell him to check Wally World. All of the wally marts around here have A3's for $75.

I *ALMOST* bought one for myself to keep as a backup if my A2 ever dies, but decided against it last minute.
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Old 03-05-2008, 02:47 PM   #12
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So Brian . . .

No luck in convincing you friend about the wonders of BD? They also have UP DVD circuits and Netflix will be expanding their BD titles and number of each. Plus BBI carrys them in store.

?
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Old 03-05-2008, 02:58 PM   #13
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I never seen anyone use the words "phenomenal" upconverter when describing the A3... Not saying no one has, but since you used phenmenal in quotes and also stated "many people on here, I guess you would have to be correct. I seen good, very good and excellent, just not phenomenal..

I have the A2 and the upconverting is IMO very good. I have a Pannasonic plasma with a good scaler in it and have and conected it with the A2, PS and a one of those $99 UC players. The A2 does perform noticably better (to me), but nothing near jaw dropping like HD. And performance will varry from SD DVD to SD DVD..

Scalers in many TV's now a days will be close to or as good as many UC DVD players including the A2/A3. But that would depend on the progressive scan DVD player and your TV.. Bottom line, for $90 you getting a very good UC player and also has very great sound support. And if you or any of his friends have HD DVD's to swap, it's a no brainer. You can find many HD DVD's now for DVD prices if he likes to buy them.

Oh, and that whole 10 seconds (or whatever it is) to load a DVD..... Man I just don't know what to do with all that free time.. It is so dam annoying I just want to throw my remote at my TV everytime I load them...

It takes about the same time to load as it does to insert it, go back to my couch and find the play button. But I am a little slow now a days..


TMK, Netflix is supporting HD DVD to the end of this year.. They are just not going to get any new HD DVD during this period. But they still have a bunch (hundreds) to choose from.


just my ..
I'm not recommending he steer his friend away from the A3. I'm saying there is no need for it. There is no reason to spend the extra money JUST for an upconverter and have to live with the hassles that do exist with the A3. BUT, if he wants to partake in the HDM movement, by all means, get an A3. Right now it's still a better bet for the uninitiated than BD is.

What bugs me is that there are a lot of poster who seem to think that getting an HD-DVD is the ONLY way to go for UC DVD's. When frankly there are other options and there is nothing wrong with recommending cheaper or more appropriate options to the buyer.

Personally, I would tell the guy to get a nice cheap UC DVD player for now unless he wanted to get some HD-DVD while it lasted. But there's no point telling a guy he HAS to get a $100 DVD player if he only wants to spend $50. If he wants to spend that much, go for it.
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Old 03-05-2008, 03:03 PM   #14
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If he likes to rent from Blockbuster or Netflix or borrow videos from family or friends, I would sure steer him towards a Blu-ray player. Even a Profile 1 player like the Sony BDP-S300 plays all Blu-ray titles, is only $250 delivered now from Sony Style and a much better idea than the HD-A3 unless he just likes having a bunch of boxes around like I do.

Chris
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Old 03-05-2008, 03:15 PM   #15
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Even a Profile 1 player like the Sony BDP-S300 plays all Blu-ray titles, is only $250 delivered now from Sony Style and a much better idea than the HD-A3 unless he just likes having a bunch of boxes around like I do.

Chris
Not to knock the idea of proposing blu-ray, but Chris, what discount rock are you smoking and where can I get some??

Sony Style Current price: $399.00

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