Resume Hd Format – resume hd format
By Chris Boylan
Anticipation… It’s Making Me Wait
If acceptable things appear to those who wait, again HD-DVD had bigger be good. Because from the time you put in a disc, to the time article appears on screen, you’ll be waiting… and waiting… and waiting. There are several affidavit for this, including aboriginal accouterments and software which has not yet been optimized and tweaked over assorted generations, but also, a brace of appearance in the HD-DVD architecture itself accomplish the loading action slower than DVD will anytime be. First, anniversary HD-DVD disc has a baby accession area of the disc which is formatted in accepted DVD approach with meta abstracts that allows the HD-DVD disc to “tell” beforehand DVD players not to try to comedy it. There is additionally the agnate of a “barcode” imprinted on the HD-DVD disc apparent itself (you can see it by captivation the disc up to the ablaze at an angle), which is scanned by the laser, and again akin up with a agnate abstracts amount in the HD-DVD’s meta data. If the numbers do not bout (e.g., a “bootleg” disc), again the disc will not play.
Toshiba’s HD-XA1 looks and feels like a allotment of high-end home amphitheater equipment.
Toshiba’s HD-DVD audience disc featured trailers and cine clips in HD, as able-bodied as a affecting breach awning audience that compared accepted def to aerial def programming.
Assuming you accomplish it through the antecedent disc loading time, after active out of patience, packing your assemblage aback up and abiding it to the store, you’re in for a treat. I’ve auditioned about 10 titles so far on HD-DVD, from Warner and Universal and they ambit from actual acceptable to outstanding in account and complete quality. Some of my admired aboriginal advertence discs are Warner’s “Unforgiven,” and Universal’s “Bourne Supremacy” and “Serenity.” These titles affectation absurd account detail, accustomed well-saturated colors, and bright clear detached beleaguer complete advance that will acquiesce your home amphitheater to absolutely attending and complete its best.
In agreement of video quality, the HD-DVD architecture is able of abounding Aerial Analogue 1080p resolution (1920X1080 pixels, accelerating scan) — that’s six times the account detail accessible on a accepted DVD. The HD-XA1 “only” supports up to 1080i (1920X1080 interlaced) resolution, but this still looks accomplished on any aerial affection HD-capable display. The software we’ve auditioned so far has all been baffled in 1080p format, so already the players appear up to acceleration and abutment 1080p, they will be able to booty advantage of the abounding resolution of accepted and approaching HD-DVD titles.
In accession to 1080i, the Toshiba supports aerial analogue 720p (1280X720) achievement resolution, as able-bodied as accepted analogue 480p and 480i achievement (720X480 pixels) for affinity with a advanced array of affectation devices. If you accept a projector or collapsed console affectation with a congenital console resolution of 1280X720 pixels, again you ability accept that you’re best off selecting “720p” for your achievement resolution. But you’d be wrong. The video scaler in the Toshiba (the chipset and software that catechumen the 1080p video from the disc to 720p output) isn’t up to snuff with scalers that are congenital into best HD-compliant displays. There are apparent artifacts, like pixel-blocking absolutely arresting on the HD-DVD card text, and in cine credits. You’re bigger off ambience the achievement architecture on the Toshiba to 1080i, and aloof let your TV (or outboard video processor) do the architecture conversion.
Sound to Bout the Picture
In agreement of complete quality, HD-DVD’s ahead over accepted DVD is as absorbing as the video improvements. Accepted DVD’s Dolby Agenda clue is bound to 5.1 channels of aeroembolism audio at a abstracts amount of 448 KBPS (kilobits per second). DTS advance can go a bit college in bandwidth but not much. On HD-DVD, the best frequently acclimated “Dolby Agenda Plus” beleaguer architecture supports up to 7.1 detached channels at abstracts ante of up to 3 MBPS (megabits per second) — that’s about 7 times the bandwidth of DVD’s audio capabilities. On titles like “Serenity” which includes a 5.1-channel 1.5 MBPS audio track, you can apprehend the aberration with effortless reproduction of explosions, gunshots and music, after accident any capacity or audibility in the chat track.
The HD-XA1’s alien feels actual “high-end” but it’s a bit awkward to use.
When DTS is Not Absolutely DTS
The added ambagious aspect of the complete on this Toshiba amateur is that, if you use a accepted allure or fiberoptic (aka “S/PDIF”) agenda audio adapter amid the amateur and your receiver or beleaguer processor, your processor is activity to acquaint you that you are alert to DTS complete alike admitting the disc itself may not accept a DTS soundtrack. Huh? I’ll accept I was addled by this until I batten with HD-DVD authority Mark Knox who is currently consulting with Toshiba for the HD-DVD launch.
Mark explained that the HD-DVD architecture supports assorted absolute audio basic layers. In accession to the cine soundtrack itself, there are complete furnishings associated with the bury menus, and potentially annotation advance as well. All of these elements charge to be alloyed calm by the amateur so that they can all be aural at the player’s output.
In adjustment to do this mixing, the cine soundtrack (Dolby Agenda Plus or DTS) charge be decoded into uncompressed multi-channel PCM (pulse cipher modulation) format. The pieces are all assembled, again this uncompressed agenda audio beck is beatific out through the HDMI output. So if you accept an HDMI-enabled audio processor or receiver – one that supports multi-channel PCM audio – again you can break the PCM anon into acceptable ancient analog complete for achievement to your speakers.
But abominably best of the home amphitheater processors and receivers out there today do not accommodate HDMI support. They alone abutment agenda audio via the above S/PDIF accepted (those allure and fiberoptic cables we were talking about earlier). S/PDIF does not abutment multi-channel PCM, so the Toshiba engineers had to accept one architecture (either Dolby Agenda or DTS) to use. They chose DTS. So already all the sounds are alloyed in PCM, the consistent datastream is again re-encoded into DTS. It’s all done actual bound (I noticed no lag or lip-synch problems on any titles) but, because DTS is a lossy codec, the audio will lose a bit in the conversion.
If you’re an audio purist, who wants to get the accomplished affection audio arresting out of this HD-DVD player, and your receiver does not accommodate HDMI support, again you’re bigger off application the Toshiba player’s multi-channel analog achievement (6 cables) to backpack the audio to your receiver. It’s awkward, yes, but such is the amount of actuality a cool tweaky audiophile/videophile aboriginal adopter.
The adjustment to this hardly added complicated accoutrement is absolutely astounding complete quality. A high-end beleaguer complete arrangement will absolutely flash aback fed with a high-quality aerial bit-rate Dolby Agenda Plus soundtrack. Accumulate in apperception that you may charge to calibrate your home amphitheater arrangement alone for the Toshiba player, aback it will not use your receiver or processor’s congenital agenda analog converter. The Toshiba player’s accoutrement card includes analysis accent bearing for all six channels so you can acclimatize the levels and apostle ambit settings to get the best authentic blend. If you’d rather accumulate things simple, again use the S/PDIF affiliation and accept to the soundtrack re-encoded in DTS. It doesn’t complete bad at all. And at atomic you’ll apperceive why it says “DTS” on your receiver’s affectation
Component or HDMI? That is the Question
In accession to allotment the best audio connection, you’ll appetite to baddest the best affection video adapter for your specific system. You may not accept a choice. Our advertence Loewe 38-inch HDTV-enabled CRT adviser does not accommodate HDMI or DVI inputs — alone basic video. So we acclimated basic video for this display. The oft-maligned “image coercion token” which the studios could use to anticipate abounding hi-def video resolution from actuality anesthetized through a basic video connection, has yet to be activated on any of the HD-DVD titles currently available. So you’ll get your abounding 1080i resolution over basic video, as continued as your affectation can handle it.
But the Toshiba player’s upconversion of accepted DVDs to 1080i or 720p aerial analogue achievement alone works over the agenda HDMI output. So if your adviser has either an HDMI or DVI agenda input, again you’ll appetite to use the Toshiba’s HDMI output, instead of basic video. Abominably this may not be as simple as it sounds.
We activated the HD-XA1 with three DVI-enabled or HDMI-enabled displays — an NEC 23-inch LCD adviser (using an HDMI-to-DVI adapter), a Sanyo PLV-Z2 LCD projector and a Vizio 42-inch LCD HDTV. On both the NEC and the Sanyo display, the accoutrement card of the Toshiba amateur was arresting on the displays, but already we approved to comedy either a accepted DVD or an HD-DVD, the amateur displayed an absurdity bulletin “HDMI ERROR I” and playback stopped. On the Vizio display, the HDMI achievement formed properly, admitting we did accept to bung and unplug the HDMI cable already in adjustment to get it to work.
Mark Knox told me that the complication of the HDMI “handshake” amid antecedent and affectation does accomplish it abundant trickier than analog outputs, but that affinity issues are abundant beneath accepted on added contempo best affectation accessories (the Vizio HDTV was aboriginal appear in July, 2006, the NEC and Sanyo displays are somewhat older). Some of these issues accept allegedly been ameliorated with firmware upgrades, so if you accept an HDMI or DVI-compatible affectation that causes agitation aback acclimated with the Toshiba player, again acquaintance Toshiba’s abstruse support. It’s accessible that your botheration is adapted in a after afterlight of the firmware.
The HD-XA1 appearance a automated aperture that hides the controls abaft a glassy metal console aback not in use.
The ergonomics of the Toshiba HD-XA1 are a absolutely alloyed bag. The amateur itself feels like a high-end audio piece, heavy, sleek, with a super-cool automated aperture that flips up or bottomward to burrow or acknowledge the minimalist controls on the assemblage itself. But it’s not after its ergonomic challenges. In accession to the apathetic boot-up and disc loading times, there are a few added operational issues that are beneath than ideal: the automated backlighting of the alien seems a bit haphazard, and the button blueprint and allocation is too compatible to be simple to use in the dark. Unlike accepted DVD, HD-DVD does not assume to accept a “resume play” function. If you stop the disc, again restart it, it goes aback to the alpha of the feature, instead of resuming area playback larboard off.
Also, the amateur seems to be added acute to disc issues. On a few of the HD-DVD titles I auditioned (all of which were factory-sealed new discs), playback would benumb or jitter a bit. Generally speaking, demography out the disc and wiping it radially (from central bend to alfresco edge, in a beeline line) with a bendable affection bolt would boldness the problem. I additionally had a few accepted DVDs with ablaze scratches that would not comedy aback appropriately on the Toshiba, area they played aback altogether on our advertence Pioneer Elite DVD player.
But the HD-DVD architecture itself offers some cogent ergonomic improvements over DVD, namely the menus, which bury the affection allure — this agency you can admission the menus, including alteration audio tracks, examination capacity and enabling or disabling annotation tracks, after endlessly the film.
Also, because HD-DVD supports assorted circumstantial audio and video streams, it’s accessible to pop-up a video annotation window on top of the screen, with the cine still arena in the background. This is, of course, abased on the title. For an example, about-face on “The Abounding Experience” on the “Bourne Supremacy” HD-DVD. Aback you actuate the video commentary, the amateur automatically lowers the aggregate of the capital affection so you can apprehend the annotation instead. This offers a qualitative advance over what is accessible on DVD. And as time goes by, I’m abiding HD-DVD arrive engineers will acquisition alike added artistic means to use this technology.
So, Buy Now or Adjournment for the Abutting Generation?
This is a abstract question. If you’ve got a ample awning HDTV (42 inches or larger) and a aerial affection audio beleaguer complete system, the allowances of HD-DVD’s bigger complete and account over accepted DVD will be anon obvious. If you absolutely appetite to accompany home that cine amphitheater acquaintance (but after those annoying assemblage babble at the screen), again you artlessly charge own one of these players. The amount tag (MSRP: $799) is a bit abrupt aback compared to accepted DVD players, but a arrangement aback compared to the aboriginal bearing Blu-ray Disc players, which are currently affairs for $1000 or more. Also, agnate performance, admitting after the high-end attending and feel, is accessible in Toshiba’s HD-A1 amateur (MSRP: $499) and RCA’s clone, the HDV5000 (also $499).
There are some limitations: apathetic operation and apathetic start-up time, abridgement of abutment for multi-channel Dolby TrueHD, abridgement of abutment for agenda pass-through of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Adept Audio tracks, abridgement of abutment for 1080p congenital achievement and hardly cool HDMI support. All of these issues will assuredly be bound or at atomic bigger in a abutting bearing player. But how continued will this adjournment your gratification, and are you able to wait?
Overall, the HD-XA1 is an accomplished aboriginal effort, and a aces abutting footfall in the change of DVD. Aerial Analogue DVD is here. Are you ready?
Where to Buy Toshiba’s HD-DVD Players:
Toshiba HD-A2 on OneCallToshiba HD-XA2 on OneCall (replacement for HD-XA1)
What’s in the Box?
Toshiba America, Inc.1251 Avenue of the AmericasSuite 4110New York, NY 10020
Websites: ° Toshiba America Customer Products, LLC° Toshiba USA Home Page