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CNET First Look
Toshiba HD-A30The Toshiba HD-A30 is a solid third-generation HD DVD player, but for most people, it's not worth the extra dough.
[ Music ] >> Hi. I'm Matthew Moskoviciak, associate editor at cnet.com and this is the Toshiba HD A30 HD DVD player. Now this is a step up to the budget HD A3 line, and what this adds is 1080 P out put for HD DVDs, now it looks pretty similar to its predecessor, the HD A20, but it does have a few differences. One of the main differences is that it has smoother edges. It doesn't look quite as sharp as the old model, and also has a glossier front panel. The remote is a little bit different than the predecessor, just a little bit shorter, but we do like it a lot more than the step up X A 2's remote, which is actually pretty bad. Now moving on to features, it has excellent sound track support like all HD DVD players, because it has on-board Dolby true HD decoding, which means you can get high resolution Dolby true HD sound tracks without needing a brand new receiver with onboard decoding. Looking around back you'll see that there are no multichannel analog out puts, which means that you will need to use the HGMI out put to get the high resolution sound tracks. Also around back you'll notice that there is an Ethernet port, which means you'll be able to get Firmware updates over the Internet. All you have to do is plug into an Ethernet jack. You don't even have to burn a disc. Moving on to performance, the HD DVD performance at 1080 P is the major selling point of this player, however we found the image quality to be a little bit disappointing. The problem is in the 1080 ID interlacing, and we saw artifacts and jaggies both in test patterns and in actual content material like movies such as Mission: Impossible III. Now it wasn't such a big issue that it ruined the movies, but when you pay a little bit extra for this player we expected a little bit more. Overall the HD A 130 is a perfectly competent HD DVD player, but it is hard to make the case over the cheaper HD A 3 considering the lack-luster 1080 P performance. I'm Matthew Moskoviciak and this is the Toshiba HD A30.