CNET First Look
Toshiba HD-A20 HD DVD playerThe Toshiba HD-A20 HD DVD player is nearly identical to the HD-A2 except for the addition of 1080p output via HDMI and some minor cosmetic changes.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:01 >> Hi, I'm Matthew Moskovciak associate editor at CNET.com and this is the Toshiba HD A20 HD DVD player. This is in the middle of Toshiba's lineup and it's a step up to the cheaper HD A2. And as you can see, the look is pretty much the same. If you flip down the panel, you'll see there's some playback controls as well as two extension ports, which don't have a use right now. If you look at the top of the player, you'll see the logos for the soundtrack supporter. The A20 supports Dobie True HD, which is a lossless high resolution audio format. And that means the A20 can decode this format inside the player and send it out via the HDMI output. Looking around the back to the connectivity, you'll see there's an HGMI output. And the big step up feature for the A20 over the cheaper A2 is that this supports 1080P output versus 1080I output. The other features, you'll see an Ethernet port which can be used to upgrade the firmware, which is nice, and there are some Blue Ray Players that don't have this while ever HD DVD player does have an Ethernet Jack. Moving on to performance, the big upgrade for this player is supposed to be the 1080 output. Unfortunately, we did not find that the performance with 1080P was as good as we would've liked. There are definitely some video playback artifacts that we could see particularly jaggy when using the 1080P output. So, in most cases you may want to use the 1080I output and let your TV do the deinterlacing instead. Of course, that means that it's not really worth spending the extra money for the A20 over the A2, which can do 1080I as well and is a little bit cheaper. Overall, the A20 is a perfectly competent player. But it's hard to make a case that it's worth the extra money over the cheaper A2. I'm Matthew Moskovciak and this is the Toshiba HD A20. ^M00:01:50 [ Music ]