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HD-DVD Roadshow impressions

Ben Drawbaugh

Last week we told you that Toshiba was taking their HD-DVD on the road and that we were waiting for them to make a stop by our local store. I got the call yesterday and had a chance to spend a few minutes with Mark our regional Toshiba representative.

To say the very least I was VERY impressed, it was a much more in depth demo than I saw at CES. The HD trailers were flawless with no sign of compression artifacts what so ever, the PQ certainly lives up to my expectations of HD. Among the movie trailers there was a SD vs HD side by side comparison that was one of the best demos used to compare the technology that I have yet to see. At one point they had a boat traveling across the screen, with the screen split down the center; the right side SD the left side HD. If you get a chance, you have to see it for yourself.

The HD-XA1 was connected to a DLP rear projection via HDMI. The player was outputting 1080i and the DLP was converting it to 1080p. The biggest disappointment was that the iHD interactive layer was not implemented on the demo unit. I had a chance to see this at CES and was looking forward to spending some more time with it. This makes me wonder if they will have this unit shipped anytime soon.

I resisted ordering one, but I will tell you it wasn't easy. There is a good chance that I will end up owning both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray at this rate.

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