equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Denon AVR-X3100W Home Theater Receiver Review
Tisbury Audio Mini Passive Review
Denon AVR-S700W& Envaya Bluetooth Speaker Reviews
CLONES Audio 25p Power Amplifier Review
Audioengine A2+ Desktop Speakers Review
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Tuesday, 01 January 2008 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
Toshiba HD-A35 HD DVD Player
Introduction Not since VHS vs. Beta has an AV format war been the source of so much turmoil for consumers. More so than SACD vs. DVD-Audio, HD DVD vs. Blu-ray has sparked numerous debates around the water cooler, caused much consumer confusion and even managed to shut down portions of one of the Internet’s largest consumer electronics forum because of – get this – death threats. That’s right, death threats. While consumers flock to stores in droves for HDTVs, it has only been in recent weeks, with radical price drops on players, that consumers are looking toward HD players to actually feed their new HDTVs with beaming, beautiful video content. Consider this review round three. I recently reviewed the Toshiba HD-A20 and raved about it, proclaiming it to be the best HD DVD player on the market at the time. The review ...
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
Toshiba HD-A20 HD DVD Player
Introduction HD DVD vs. Blu-ray. It seems, once again, consumers are in the middle of yet another format war. While round one has seemingly come and gone with the introduction of both parties’ initial efforts a little over a year ago, like all good fights, nothing is ever won in the first round and consumers now find themselves entrenched in round two. You could argue that round one had to go to Blu-ray (despite missing the opening bell by months) with their true 1080p support trumping HD DVD’s 1080i-only resolution. However, the victory was a hollow one, for the first batch of 1080p discs were less than stellar and often looked worse then their HD DVD and sometimes even standard DVD counterparts. Now, both sides have full 1080p support and, with the introduction of the new Toshiba HD-A20 reviewed here, it seems HD DVD’s trump card is now price. At $499 retail, the HD-A20 ...
Tuesday, 01 May 2007 ,  Written by Bryan Dailey
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player
Introduction The HD DVD format has been out for just over a year now, and Toshiba is now on to the second generation of their high-def disc players. HD DVD was first to the market, beating Blu-ray by a few months. Despite a big shot in the arm from Sony’s Playstation 3 and Microsoft’s $179 Xbox 360 add-on HD DVD player, high-def discs have yet to explode the way that DVD did when that format was first launched. The initial reaction of most consumers was that the players were slow and clunky; many of the discs looked good, but some of the transfers were grainy and many felt that the picture quality of HD DVD was a tad sharper than Blu-ray. Hardware and firmware improvements in the first-generation Blu-ray players, such as the Samsung BDP-1000, have closed the gap that existed between the picture quality lead that HD DVD held over Blu-ray. Now, very ...
Thursday, 01 February 2007 ,  Written by Bryan Dailey
Microsoft Xbox 360 HD DVD Drive
Introduction This past holiday season, as people lined up in droves to try to get their hands on a Blu-ray-equipped Sony Playstation 3 video gaming console, little attention was paid to the fact that Microsoft was rolling out their external HD DVD player drive for the already well-established Xbox 360 system. With a base price of $399 for the 20-gig Xbox 360 and $199 for the add-on external HD DVD drive, Microsoft was able to essentially match Sony stride-for-stride in the high-definition format war for just about the same price, as a 20-gig PS3 costs $499 and the 60-gig PS3 is priced at $599. Both systems’ HD disc players can be operated with the game pads, but Microsoft has chosen to include a full-featured infrared remote with their $199 HD DVD player. The Sony PS3 Blu-ray drive controller will set you back another $25. You get a little more hard drive space and a ...
Saturday, 01 July 2006 ,  Written by Bryan Dailey
Toshiba HD-A1 HD DVD Player
Introduction Cracking open the box of my first HD DVD player, I can’t help but think back to the days of the VHS vs. Betamax and DVD-Audio vs. SACD format wars. With the pending release of Blu-ray, the competing high-definition disc format, many consumers are taking a “wait and see” attitude about which one will be the champion of the high-resolution disc. Blu-ray players are going to be in the $1,000 to $1,500 range. However Toshiba is the first to market with their HD-A1 and HD-XA1 players, $499 and $799, respectively. Those thirsty for more HD content have braved the format war controversy and picked up these Toshiba units, which were virtually impossible to find in their first few weeks of release. However, this was partially due to a small inventory rollout from Toshiba. The company tentatively dipped their feet in the water with this player and the initial reports from consumers, AVRev.com staffers and ...
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