Other Source Component Reviews

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 |  Feb 11, 2007  |  0 comments

There's probably a smug look on the face of the cynics among us right now. You know, the types who are so negative about the format war that they're willing to ignore the fact that we not only have high-def on a disc, but we have the best HD we've ever seen and heard, period. And Toshiba, which launched the HD DVD format with two players in Spring of 2006, released its second generation players in December and January, with not even a full year in between the two generations.

Ultimate AV Staff  |  Nov 01, 2006  |  First Published: Nov 02, 2006  |  0 comments


  • $999

  • Digital Video Output: HDMI (ver. 1.3)

  • Video Upconversion: 720p, 1080i/p

  • Audio Decoding: DD, DD+, Dolby TrueHD, DTS

  • Ins and Outs: HDMI 1.3, others TBD

  • Feature Highlights: HDMI 1.3, 1080p output, full Dolby TrueHD decoding, upconverting HDMI and component outputs for standard-def DVDs


N. Browning  |  Oct 15, 2004  |  First Published: Oct 01, 2004  |  0 comments
Hard-disk and DVD recording in one sleek box.

DVD recorders are quickly replacing VCRs as the component of choice to capture and archive TV shows—and rightly so. After all, the picture quality is generally better, and the discs take up a lot less shelf space than VHS tapes. Still, blank disks are relatively expensive, especially the rewritable varieties. In addition, rewritable discs aren't as compatible with conventional DVD players as the write-once discs.

Chris Lewis  |  Nov 07, 2004  |  First Published: Nov 01, 2004  |  0 comments
Toshiba gets in on the universal-for-everyone game.

If you sift through the Home Theater archives over the last few years, I think you'll find that I've been as optimistic as anyone about the future of universal disc players. That's saying something, too, because optimism isn't exactly my natural state. Still, even as sure as I was that universal players had a bright future, I wouldn't have dared predict that, a couple of years after the debut of the first model, there would be so many others to swell the ranks. It's not just the proliferation of players over that time period that's noteworthy, but also that they exist in healthy numbers at all price points, from the four-figured high-end realm through the around-$1,000 middle range and right down to the priced-so-that-almost-anyone-can-afford-them territory that we're exploring here.

Mike McGann  |  Feb 02, 2002  |  First Published: Feb 03, 2002  |  0 comments
The SD-5700 affirms Toshiba's quest to continually advance DVD-playback technology.

In those dark days when it seemed like DVD would never launch—tied up by lawyers, Hollywood types, and so on (the same folks who are now working so hard to mess up HDTV)—some of the truest of true believers were lodged in an office building in Wayne, New Jersey. Their mantra was, "DVD is coming, and Toshiba will bring it to you." After almost two years, DVD did come, and Toshiba's first players were worth the wait. Since dragging the world (OK, maybe just Hollywood and a few attorneys) kicking and screaming into the DVD era a few years back, Toshiba has put out a series of low-cost, high-performance DVD players that earned justifiable praise from critics and enthusiasts alike.

Chris Lewis  |  Dec 27, 2000  |  First Published: Dec 28, 2000  |  0 comments
Progressive isn't just a buzzword anymore.

The march of technology has always been a double-edged sword. On one edge, progress brings new and, on most occasions, better products that give us a higher-quality viewing and listening experience with more options, increased ease of use, etc. On the other edge, new technology has a way of making its predecessors (that we often paid a lot of money for) old-fashioned at best—and, at worst, obsolete. Technology manufacturers do seem to be getting more empathetic about this. Computers are considerably more upgradeable than they were a few short years ago. Even in the consumer electronics world, we're seeing more and more attention being paid to futureproofing the current crop of upgradeable preamplifier/processors and televisions—two product groups that are probably the most susceptible to change these days. As tough as deciding what to buy in any technology-based market is determining when is the best time to buy it.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Dec 28, 2005  |  0 comments
Oh, mama, can this really be the end?

This universal disc player may mark the end of an era. Bear in mind that I did say may.

Mike Wood  |  Feb 28, 2001  |  First Published: Mar 01, 2001  |  0 comments
Toshiba's SD-9200 and Onkyo's DV-S939 are part of a new breed of what might as well be called "super" DVD players. Like a handful of others, they're high-quality DVD players that offer a progressive-scan video output and can decode the high-resolution audio signal from DVD-Audio recordings. With the category becoming almost appliancelike, these players are a welcome addition to any writer's queue of review products.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 14, 2007  |  0 comments

Toshiba recently issued an update for its second-generation HD DVD players, primarily for the HD-A20 and the HD-XA2. I installed the update on an HD-A20, the middle model in Toshiba's HD DVD lineup (though shortly to be superceded in the launch of a third generation).

Adrienne Maxwell  |  Nov 07, 2004  |  First Published: Nov 01, 2004  |  0 comments
The benefits are apparent.

Several years ago, I attended a David Copperfield show in Las Vegas and was invited onstage to be a part of one of his magic tricks. Sadly, it wasn't anything exciting, like being levitated or sawed in half. He just guessed my phone number after I wrote it down on a piece of paper and quickly burned up the paper. (No, he never did call.) Still, it was fascinating to try and figure out how he did that trick and the other more-impressive ones I witnessed that evening.

Peter Putman  |  Nov 07, 2004  |  0 comments

As the transition from analog to digital TV chugs along, there have been some significant advances in the design and performance of set-top receivers. The earliest models, from 1997 to 1998, including RCA's DTC-100 and Panasonic's TU-DST50W, were fairly large, heavy boxes painted an imposing dark gray that had a limited amount of functionality and weren't all that sensitive to terrestrial 8VSB digital TV broadcasts.

Chris Chiarella  |  May 01, 2004  |  0 comments
Where's the DVR? Come to think of it, where isn't the DVR?

Amazing but true, many TiVo and ReplayTV owners out there just see the devices as neat, little living-room boxes that record their television programs, and they simply don't care about the technology inside. Thanks to steady improvements in digital-video-recorder technology, consumers don't have to care if they don't want to. Not to be like that weirdo in the mask and spoil the magic trick, but there's a simple hard disk drive inside—in many cases, the same exact brand and model you have inside your PC. However, while computer-based "video capture" applications seem to have plateaued in terms of features and convenience (at least for now), the more user-friendly dedicated DVR hardware has undergone some interesting transformations, in and out of the home theater.

David Vaughn  |  Jul 08, 2007  |  0 comments

The past year and change has been an interesting time for home theater enthusiasts, with the introduction of two competing high-definition movie formats, HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc. The scenario is very reminiscent to the 1980's when VHS and Betamax had their own slugfest for the wallets of consumers, but in this new "war" the battleground has evolved.

Chris Chiarella  |  Feb 14, 2007  |  0 comments
It’s curious timing for a new PS2 accessory, but this one is a dandy. For those of you who just couldn’t wait for the debut of the PS3, or, more to the point, couldn’t afford to buy one of the scarce wonder boxes off of eBay, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy your favorite PlayStation titles in high definition right now, thanks to the Xploder HDTV Player for PlayStation 2 ($40).
Robert Scott  |  May 17, 2005  |  0 comments
This universal disc changer makes beautiful music.

As most of the world scurries down the MP3 hole, gobbling up low-quality music files for the sake of convenience, I prefer the loftier heights of DVD-Audio and SACD. Not only are these formats of a higher quality than CD (not to mention a much higher quality than MP3), they offer multichannel mixes that make full use of 5.1-channel home theater audio systems. And, with a universal disc player, I can buy the music I want to hear, regardless of the format on which it is released.

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