HD DVD Player Gets Mixed Review

Although Blu-ray DVD players will not reach the market for a few more weeks, media critics have been busy testing rival format HD DVD players, which are available. Many of the online reviews have been cautiously optimistic, with a few possible glitches typically being noted with the earliest models.

Like some other media writers, Rob Pegoraro of The Washington Post this week laments that next-gen DVD consumers will be forced to endure another format war between two incompatible systems. He blames the "ego-driven, self-destructive greed of the movie and electronics industries" for much of the mess.

Pegoraro tried out Toshiba's HD-XA1 player (MSRP about $800) and found a few problems in the early stages, notably taking about 90 seconds to "boot up" and display an HD DVD movie. He also reported a couple of frame freeze-ups in the course of a week's trials. Twice, he said, the model he was testing would not recognize an HD DVD disc at all, and flashed "HDMI ERROR 0" on the screen. Flicking the player off and on seemed to solve that glitch, he said.