Originally Posted by CainSyris
The A1 and XA1 were identical in picture and operation with a different exterior. The A1/XA1 differ from the A2 in that the A2 is of arguably lesser quality and not-so-arguably is much quicker and less prone to audio/video sync problems prevalent in the A1/XA1. The A1/XA1/A2 differ from the A20 and the XA2 because the A20 and XA2 are capable of upscaling the natural 1080i signal that the Toshiba players want to output to 1080p. The XA2 uses a ReonVX to upscale DVDs.
So which is the best HD DVD player? Quality-wise, they are all close to the same. Speedwise and reliability-wise, you should stick with the second generation. For 1080p to be done in the player, you should stick with the A20 and XA2, BUT 1080i upscaled in your player to 1080p (if done correctly) is no different since the Toshiba players are incapable of just outputting the 1080p directly without first converting it to 1080i and then back again. Compare this to the PS3 that just outputs 1080p without that extra step. In theory, it should not reduce quality if re-converted to 1080p appropriately.
So the answer to your question is... they're all great HD DVD players, but if your display has an inferior upconversion from 1080i to 1080p to the Toshiba players, then you need an A2 or XA2.
Between the latter two, there should be no difference as HD DVD players. The XA2 edges its cheaper brother out when dealing with DVD upscaling. But that does not make it a better *HD DVD* player, just a better DVD player.
Thanks for the info man, I have a older TV 65" with DVI and it will only do 1080i so thanks for the info. I really want a HD DVD rom, I would like to build my own box but I guess I will have to wait more. I have seen some external USB ones but blahhh.