Toshiba HD-A3

Toshiba HD-A3

Editors' note: Toshiba officially announced it will stop producing HD DVD products, bringing an end to the format war. For that reason, CNET recommends that people avoid buying this player for high-definition movie playback.

The Toshiba HD-A3 is the entry-level model in Toshiba's line of third-generation HD DVD players. We have not reviewed the Toshiba HD-A3, but we have reviewed the step-up model, the Toshiba HD-A30. These models are very similar, with the major difference being that the HD-A30 adds 1080p output and 1080p at 24 frames per second output (also known as 1080p/24) to the HD-A3's feature set. However, as noted in the review, the disappointing image quality of the HD-A30's 1080p output means that many owners would be better off just using 1080i mode--so there's little reason to pay the extra for the HD-A30 over the HD-A3. And while the HD-A30's 1080p/24 output is excellent, it is of little use to most buyers since the vast majority of HDTVs cannot display 1080p/24 signals properly.

Toshiba also offers the HD-A35, which adds support for bitstream output of the new high-resolution soundtrack formats, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. Bitstream output of these soundtracks means that the encoded audio can be sent to a compatible AV receiver with onboard Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding.

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