My HD-A1 review

L

landlocked

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 9, 2006
116
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Columbus, OH
First off, the idiot who designed the remote should be fired. I can't even make out the buttons while looking at it in daylight...and I'm *only* in my 30's.

That being said, I picked up Van Helsing with my new HD-A1 earlier this week. I got through the setup without issue and was warned of the slow load times.

I went to update the firmware but it was apparently current so I didn't worry about. The movie, however, still continued to have pixelation and dropped audio issues at several points. The disc, again, was new so if it is the source of the issue, it has to be in the manufacturing process or, of course, in the player.

My dear wife came home from work and remarked how nice the picture was. I was honestly expecting the "Oh, so you finally found one and bought it, eh?" look, but lucked out.

I watched a second, non-HD movie last night -- Blade Trinity. Even if this format flops, I will have one heck of an upconvert unit. I was really impressed with the solid image.

I joined one of the online rental places and got a couple of HD flicks for this weekend. :D
 
charper1

charper1

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Supporting Founder
May 18, 2004
18,442
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I'm Nationwide
So when a a user jumps on the BD unit you back that up, but when another, jumps on the HD-DVD with first-hand exp you don't? Odd? One more reason I am waiting on 2nd generation units or at least my own side-by-side tests. Seems both current offerings are not 100% up to snuff for true audio/video-philes wanting superior quality.
 
vurbano

vurbano

On Double Secret Probation
Supporting Founder
Apr 1, 2004
23,813
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charper1 said:
So when a a user jumps on the BD unit you back that up, but when another, jumps on the HD-DVD with first-hand exp you don't? Odd? One more reason I am waiting on 2nd generation units or at least my own side-by-side tests. Seems both current offerings are not 100% up to snuff for true audio/video-philes wanting superior quality.

This is one of the few HD DVD's I own and it is flawless. When the movies where not up to snuff I have reported that:

vurbano said:
I agree. I thought it was crap. And there is a scene in the movie after boot camp where they finally get into battle that looks great. It shows you what the whole thing should have looked like.:(

But that is a transfer issue and I invite you to go research my posts since you are digging it up!. By every report I have read, Blu ray to date has failed to produce a great movie so far and the reason is the limited 25 Gb disk space using mpeg2 and uncompressed audio. The only negatives Ive heard about the HD -A1 are glitches in slowness of operation not PQ. PQ is some of the best Ive seen on my set depending on the movie. Perhaps you should buy or try the machine so that you dont speak in ignorance.
 
Last edited:
vurbano

vurbano

On Double Secret Probation
Supporting Founder
Apr 1, 2004
23,813
104
Newport News, VA
landlocked said:
First off, the idiot who designed the remote should be fired. I can't even make out the buttons while looking at it in daylight...and I'm *only* in my 30's.

That being said, I picked up Van Helsing with my new HD-A1 earlier this week. I got through the setup without issue and was warned of the slow load times.

I went to update the firmware but it was apparently current so I didn't worry about. The movie, however, still continued to have pixelation and dropped audio issues at several points. The disc, again, was new so if it is the source of the issue, it has to be in the manufacturing process or, of course, in the player.

My dear wife came home from work and remarked how nice the picture was. I was honestly expecting the "Oh, so you finally found one and bought it, eh?" look, but lucked out.

I watched a second, non-HD movie last night -- Blade Trinity. Even if this format flops, I will have one heck of an upconvert unit. I was really impressed with the solid image.

I joined one of the online rental places and got a couple of HD flicks for this weekend. :D
IMO you need to go find another copy of Van helsing. I also read a review of Constantine where the review admitted that even though he hated the movie, he still said it was almost reference quality. From what I have seen and read about the following are quite good:

Doom
Serenity
Apollo13
Blazing saddles
VH
U571
Riddick

stay away from FMJ though.
 
Last edited:
teamerickson

teamerickson

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 20, 2006
1,716
0
El Dorado Hills, CA
Riddick looks great too.

I guess some people are holding their breath that Blue-Ray might someday look as good as HD DVD (HD DVD looks better is the general opinion so far!). Their not giving up hope. Untill then, I'm loving the best picture quality DVD has to offer. If Blue-Ray becomes better, I'll buy one. I just hope I don't have to. :D
 
vurbano

vurbano

On Double Secret Probation
Supporting Founder
Apr 1, 2004
23,813
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teamerickson said:
Riddick looks great too.

I guess some people are holding their breath that Blue-Ray might someday look as good as HD DVD (HD DVD looks better is the general opinion so far!). Their not giving up hope. Untill then, I'm loving the best picture quality DVD has to offer. If Blue-Ray becomes better, I'll buy one. I just hope I don't have to. :D
I'll buy the PS3 if it works and Blu ray gets its act together, 1 grand is too much for me. Of course they will have to reauthor the movies.
 
E

emtownsend

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 19, 2004
153
0
Post Falls, ID
Pictures of my HD-AX1 installed in my custom rack... The custom wrap for it is made by Middle Atlantic; as is the rest of the rack components...
HD-AX1
So far, I'm loving the player both for SD and HD. Now, if they would just get a move on releasing the new movies! :)
 
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vurbano

vurbano

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Supporting Founder
Apr 1, 2004
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Newport News, VA
emtownsend said:
Pictures of my HD-AX1 installed in my custom rack... The custom wrap for it is made by Middle Atlantic; as is the rest of the rack components...
HD-AX1
So far, I'm loving the player both for SD and HD. Now, if they would just get a move on releasing the new movies! :)

Very Nice. WOW. Stuff like that is why I never post pics of my setup.
 
jgantert

jgantert

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 7, 2004
1,903
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Aberdeen, MD
vurbano said:
Very Nice. WOW. Stuff like that is why I never post pics of my setup.
Yeah, my setup is pretty ghetto as well. I have the cheap black rack from Target and a million wires behind it! Plus my rack is too small to hold all my stuff, so I stack some components on top of the rack as well. :) haha

One of these days I'll get a nice projection TV entertainment center, but who knows when that will happen!

-John
 
S

Sean Mota

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
19,039
1,738
New York City
emtownsend said:
Pictures of my HD-AX1 installed in my custom rack... The custom wrap for it is made by Middle Atlantic; as is the rest of the rack components...
HD-AX1
So far, I'm loving the player both for SD and HD. Now, if they would just get a move on releasing the new movies! :)

Wow that is very nice... my setup is too primative to show it on pictures :) Where did you get that cooling fan? is the temperature 73 the actual temperature inside the rack? how is the noise level of those fans?
 
E

emtownsend

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 19, 2004
153
0
Post Falls, ID
Thanks!

Thanks! :)

The fans are made specifically for rack mounts from Middle Atlantic. They are very quiet (about like the Z3 fan noise or better) and you can set the temp at which they go on. There is also an alarm that can sound if it goes over another preset value. They did, however, cost the bomb (we're talking over $350!). But, I was spending a lot of money on making it look and sound good so I figured it was worth it. The temp shows the interior rack temp. The temp is 73 degrees because I was working in the back where I have a small halogen light so I can see what I am connecting. It gets kinda warm after several minutes of use.
The blue lighting on the rack temp is not too distracting either...
I tell ya, when I set out to do this home theater, it grew well beyond what I had THOUGHT I would have. Each seperate piece of that rack system cost money; ie.. The shelf + the custom surround face plate + the trim + the screws + the fans, etc... Then throw in all the equipment... :eek:
Anyway, I do enjoy it (and it has a great WAF when done) and you only live once!!
 
Last edited:
Ilya

Ilya

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Feb 16, 2004
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Impressive! I am curious, how do you connect all the cables? Do you just pull out one component at a time, or is there any way to get to them from the back?
By the way, it's HD-XA1, not AX1 ;)
 
E

emtownsend

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 19, 2004
153
0
Post Falls, ID
Thanks Ilya! hehe Got the X's and A's confused.
I have an access area in the back. The rack goes through the wall and into a closet in the room behind it. The access is hidden when the closet doors are closed. When the room was being finished, I asked them to extend the closet a few feet wider so this could be installed. I'll have to see if I can muster a pic of that area too.
 
cebbigh

cebbigh

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
May 24, 2005
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Frostbite Falls
My HD-A1 should arrive tomorrow. What should I expect regarding PQ. Is it on a par with Discovery HD?
 

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