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The introduction of high-definition disc players is great news for owners of HDTVs. With the high-performance HD-XA1, Toshiba adds to the extraordinary picture and sound capabilities of the HD DVD format with this player's refined construction quality, convenience, and cosmetics. For starters, notice the motorized door, which provides an uncluttered look by hiding the disc drawer and function buttons.

Regular DVDs can look really good on an HDTV, but DVDs can't deliver true high-definition video, even if you're using an "upconverting" DVD player. As TV screens have grown bigger and better, DVD's limitations have become more noticeable — especially on the latest 1080p displays, and on screens sized 50" or larger. HD DVD discs are designed to be viewed on an HDTV. Every aspect of this new format has been carefully thought out to maximize your home theater experience.

When designing their high-definition players, Toshiba's engineers started with a clean sheet of paper. Because HD DVD discs have smaller data pits and spin at higher speeds than a standard DVD, the drive mechanism must be manufactured to very tight tolerances. And the chassis has to be extra strong and rigid to resist vibrations that could interfere with reading the discs. Toshiba employs a double-chassis construction and large isolating feet to provide a stable foundation for the drive.

An HD DVD disc can hold three times as much data as a DVD — enough for several hours of HD-quality video. Along with much better picture quality, HD DVD's increased disc capacity allows for higher-definition sound, too. New versions of Dolby Digital and DTS offer crystal-clear multichannel audio.

To ensure backward-compatibility with your existing DVD and CD collections, the HD-XA1 actually uses a dual-laser mechanism: a blue laser for playing high-definition HD DVD discs, and a conventional red laser for playing DVDs and audio CDs. The HD-XA1 can also improve the look of all your DVDs by upconverting the video signal to better match your HDTV's high-resolution screen.

The sleek remote control has backlit keys for use in a darkened home theater. The remote's motion-activated sensor automatically illuminates without having to search for the "light" button in the dark.

Learn about the ins and outs of HDMI connections at
Shop our selection of HDMI cables.

Product Highlights:

  • plays HD DVD high-definition discs (selectable 720p/1080i output available through HDMI output — HDMI cable included; 720p/1080i output also available via component video on discs lacking ICT copy-protection)
  • plays DVD-Video, DVD-R & DVD-RW, and DVD-RAM
  • plays CD, audio CD-R & CD-RW, and MP3 and WMA CD-R & CD-RW
  • selectable 720p/1080i video upconversion for DVD (upconverted video available through HDMI output only)
  • built-in audio decoding for Dolby® Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD lossless (2-ch.), DTS® and DTS-HD lossless
  • HDMI digital output (combines video and multichannel audio with HDCP copy protection)
  • 1 set of gold-plated A/V outputs (composite video, S-video, and component video)
  • gold-plated stereo and 5.1-channel audio outputs
  • coaxial and optical digital audio outputs
  • Ethernet port for access to Internet-based content
  • two front-panel USB ports
  • RS-232C port
  • remote control with automatic illumination (multibrand for TVs)
  • 216MHz/11-bit video D/A converter
  • multichannel 192kHz/24-bit audio D/A converters
  • 17-1/4"W x 4-9/16"H x 15-1/2"D
  • warranty: 1 year parts, 90 days labor
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • viewing high-definition HD DVD content requires an HDTV or HD-ready TV with HDMI. DVI, or component video input
  • DVD movie playback is restricted to "Region 1" coded discs

Blu-ray Disc players — the ultimate picture and sound

Blu-ray players deliver a better picture to your HDTV than any other available source. In fact, Blu-ray's 1080p picture is a perfect match for the 1080p screens found on most current TVs. Blu-ray movies also offer the most precise and realistic surround sound you can get. These players do a terrific job with standard DVDs, too — you'll see a cleaner, clearer picture with every disc in your collection. Many Blu-ray players can connect to the Internet for watching online movies from Netflix® and other video services.

Toshiba HD-XA1 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

12 Reviews

This is what Home Theater is ALL about!

Written by: Mike from Broken Arrow, OK on February 7, 2007

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

As soon as we got the HD-AX1 home it was a snap to install. The very first movie played was a sd-dvd (standard) and my wife said how she noticed it was much more clear and sharp. So off to the store to buy a HD-DVD and WOW is the word for HD-dvd's !!!
If you love home theater you have got to do HD! Vivid colors that only can be really appreciated with a High def TV and a hd-dvd player.If you have a HDTV, you deserve to watch movies thru a High-Def player! Go ahead and get the up-date disc from Toshiba and in 15 minutes its done. Absolutely you will want to watch your entire dvd collection over again.Thank You Toshiba and Great job Crutchfield!!!
Crutchfield experience A+++
Toshiba product A+++
Toshiba tech help A+++
Total experience A++++



Toshiba HD DVD Great Product

Written by: Robert from Sagamore hills ohio on February 4, 2007

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought this product from Crutchfield 1 Month ago
Great unit I would Recomend it to any home theater
Person Note When you receve this unit call toshiba
Request the latest Firm ware You need it. Very easy to
Update anyone can do it It really enhances the functionality of the toshiba HD-XA1. (please read the
update instuction,s that toshiba send,s you never power
unit off until update is compleate)




Written by: PAUL from CINCINNATI,OHIO on January 19, 2007

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I purchased the Toshiba HD-XA1 player about six months ago. Now that I've had it for several months I can say without hesitation that the units performance is exceptional. I've noticed a vast improvement in the picture quality, and sound over my old standard DVD player. The colors and picture are noticeably improved, very sharp as a high-definition picture should be. The sound quality is also a more blended and natural. The only performance issue anyone could have would be the 45 to 60 second set up time the player takes to select the best mode to play each DVD.
Some people may be put off by this, but to me with the improved picture and sound I receive it's a small price to pay. The remote door on the unit is also a nice option.



A quality product

Written by: Ronald from Freeland, PA on December 26, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The machine can be frustrating at first. But if you realize it takes time to "boot up", the unit will work just fine. Remember to turn the TV on first, then set the proper TV input, hdmi, video 1, etc, and then turn on the HD DVD player.
King Kong didn't work. I called the Toshiba 800 number, I immediately got a guy named Mike who stated that I needed a "firmware" fix for the "Kong" movie. That fix required a disk which Mike sent to me; I rec'd the disk in about a week, I installed the "fix" and the Kong movie worked fine. The Toshiba 800 number customer service was excellent. Can you imagine getting an actual person to answer an 800 line? Incredible.
The quality of non-HD disks on the Toshiba is stunning; I'm enjoying my old DVD's again.




Written by: Coasterguy from Ohio on November 29, 2006

I just hooked up my XA-1 to my Hitachi Plasma and WOW is it sharp. I am so impressed by this machine. First off it is a tank as far as build quality goes. If their is a tornado coming I am holding onto my XA-1 and I will be safe. The exterior looks are amazingling cool. Perfomance has been outstanding. Yes, the load times are a little long but, NOTHING AT ALL to not like the maching or anything like that. I am so happy and with the current price drop. WOW. HD DVD for me.



Toshiba HD-XA1

Written by: Darud from Chicago, IL on October 6, 2006

The Toshiba HD-XA1 is a fine unit. Build quality is excellent and with the new firmware 2.0, Dolby TrueHD 5.1 is a welcomed addition. Most movies on the HD DVD format look and sound great. Colors are vibrant yet realistic. Where I think this player and the format shines the most is with audio. The Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby TrueHD soundtracks sound amazing. If there are two HD DVDs I'd recommend, they would be Training Day and Terminator 3. The Training Day disc pops off the screen with rich colors, yet the soundtrack is simply amazing. Terminator 3, while not as good as T2, sounds awesome on the HD DVD format. If you want next generation improved picture and sound, this is the player for you. I don't typically like to bash new formats, however, I'm not impressed with the Blu-Ray format as of now. I expect that to change over time. The cost of Blu-Ray machines is almost twice as much as this player, yet you don't get TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus or extras. (note, that Blu-Ray does have 5.1 uncompressed surround sound) Again, I expect that to change with the upcoming releases from Sony on BD-50 discs. Yet, you will have to pay twice as much for a player that does what the HD-XA1 does. This player is a good value for what it was designed to do..deliver HD audio and video.and it does it well!



Out of the box review

Written by: eric from new jersey on August 10, 2006

I have not install any of the available firmware upgrades yet. So this review is base on what you get from the box. And it is not great. This player does what ever it wants to do when you put in a regular DVD or a HDDVD. You get HDMI ERROR; FORMAT error; just does not play the disc; etc. Then you try again and it works, great sound and picture. You should see what it does with DVD-AUDIO! And then it takes forever to get all of these fun errors. You can't stop a movie and continue viewing later at the same spot like my old DVD player, you have browse in the chapter section to get back. Not a user friendly machine. You would think that with all the DVD experience they make this a better machine. Well hopefully the firmware upgrade will get rid of some of these problems.



Last piece of my home theater

Written by: jeff from Dallas, Texas on July 8, 2006

After purchasing a receiver, 1080p 42" Westinghouse(LVM-42w2) and all of the best, and necessary cables(HDMI/DVI and Fiber Optic audio), the Toshiba HD-XA1 was my last componet.

The initial set-up did take a few hours; however after finally putting in my first hd-dvd was truly a breathtaking expierence. I, unfortunately, began with Syriana instead of the matrix, or some action packed equivalent. But throughout the entire movie i found myself making pre-pubescent oogling sounds. It does make that much of a difference!

However, if you do not plan on investing in hd-dvds, the difference this player will ultimately make is probably not worth it. The upscalled picture difference on standard dvds this player achieves would be equalled by most middle to high end dvd players on the market. I would recomend Denon or Onkyo.

So, even though at this time hd-dvd players do not output 1080p resolution(as blu ray does), the picture difference still oddly favors Toshiba. Being that Sonys apparant pre-mature launch of blu ray has some kinks in picture performance. For now the best picture possible, in my area, will come from this hd-dvd player; but i will be purchasing a PS3 in November.

The fifth star would have been easily acheived if: the necessary firmware update was pre-installed, the response time of functions was better and if it wasnt nearly as big as my old amplifier. However, the overall design of the player and remote are top notch. Sound and image quality are lifelike. Oh, i wouldnt know about remote issues because i use a marantz learning universal for everything. But i must say the movement activated backlight IS VERY COOL.




Written by: James from Philadelphia, PA on June 27, 2006

Toshiba hit a homerun with this player! The picture and sound quality of standard DVDs is incredible. I find myself reviewing my entire DVD library and discovering nuances I never saw previously. This player is without a doubt the best up-converting DVD player out there (as many professional reviewers agree).

The build quality of this player is excellent. It weighs close to 20 pounds and has a very solid, well-built feel. It has an attractive faceplate with a sleek automatic door that drops down to reveal the sturdy disc drawer. It exudes quality in all respects.

The picture and sound qualiy of HD DVDs on this player are mind-numbingly spectacular! Clarity, depth, and detail are excellent, and the SHARC processors reveal subtleties on soundtracks that are a revelation!

I highly recommened this player. It features excellent standard DVD upconversion, HD DVD quality that will blow you away, and a "built-like-a-tank" exterior. With Blu-ray's embarrassing launch, HD DVD is the clear winner out of the gate in the high definition format war. This player, and the HD DVD format, will not disappoint you.



Extremely brilliant

Written by: Jeff from Indiana on May 28, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The XA1 is definitley worth the upgrade, the differences are inside (chips) & out (remote & door) well worth it. The backlit remote is very handy in dark theater conditions, it senses when you've picked it up lighting at the right moment when you are going to look at it for button choice. The remote is also laid out well for play/pause & rew/fwd-play access. The manual is pretty straight forward & well written, which is unusual for a lot of units today. You might miss the mention of the secret door to access the setup menu however I believe it's just mentioned in the pic of the remote.
Now on to the amazing brilliant colors that were missed on my other upconverting DVD player. SD (Standard Definition) DVD's are much clearer not to mention the HD-DVD's I watched have even more detail, Colors are so much more brilliant, you notice so much more detail that is lost on such things as fabrics/backgrounds/faces, even on the SD-DVD's that are upconverted. I especially liked the menu system of HD-DVD's they are overlayed while the movie still plays instead of the stop/start of SD-DVD.
There is a slow startup that takes place in this 1st generation machine the firmware is upgradeable, to fine tune any glitch, via the ethernet connection or CD that Toshiba sends upon reg. of machine. The slow startup is a minor inconvienance to be sure, gives me time to settle down on couch.
I will of course have to check out Blu-ray when available to compare the two, right now HD-DVD has the jump & it will be hard to impress me after seeing what the HD-AX1 does.




Written by: Thomas from Fredericksburg, Texas on May 7, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

First off let me say I am a Sony freak but have been impressed with Toshiba the last few years. From the Gigabeat to some of the DLP HD TVS they make.This HD DVD player is built sturdy and has a solid feel. The only draw back is when you turn it on. It takes some time to read a disc. I read the player acts like a computer it boots up checks for an HD DVD and it's watermrk to see if it is a bootleg. The menu of the player is nice the blue color is relaxing and is very easy to navigate. The remote is gorgeous brushed aluminun on the front makes it look classy and it feels comfortable some think it could have been smaller in length but it is not so bad. Plus the buttons light up on contact for more flair. As far as the picture quality it is really GOOD. Upcoverts very well,blacks are great,colors rich and accurate via HDMI output. I watched Final Fantasy VII Advent Children upconverted to 1080i and it looks outstanding!!!! Just a note the HDTV I have is a 51" Sony CRT. I can't imagine it on a LCD, Plasma, DLP or a Sony SXRD. Sound is GREAT thanks to the 4 SHARC DSPs. The only thing I hope is that with future firmaware updates via ethernet you can change your player's menu color background or screen saver graphic or even add you own with a portable device hooked up thru its 2 front panel USB ports.The cooling fan is silent to me, maybe I am deaf but people have said it is noisy it really is not.If you have any questions about buying this item email I galdly would give my insight to you because I don't want to write a novel on this great player on crutchfield's website!!!!!!!!!!



Does What It Promises

Written by: Rad from Harpers Ferry, WV (Washington, DC) on May 5, 2006

This player is built like a tank. After experiencing the current crop of flimsy build DVD players, this is refreshing. It performs as advertised. Yes, it takes a long time to load, but it is really booting up, like a computer, and that takes some time. The upsampling of regular DVDs is so good that you won't want to junk your whole DVD collection for new HD DVD versions, just your favorite titles. And the Toshiba customer service is absolutely the best I have encountered in the field. You don't talk to machines when you call, you talk to real people - and persons who are enthusiasts and know what they are talking about. The one negative is the remote, which was built for an alien hand, but I have it all programmed into my Harmony 880, so no problem. Blu-Ray will have to go a pretty long distance to compete with this. Some may feel the whisper fan is a debit, you can hear it if you listen for it, but if you concentrate on the DD + sound, it fades into the background. All in all, one of the best ever roll outs of a new format.



Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Single-disc HD DVD player
  • SE-R0200 wireless remote control
  • 4 "AAA" batteries
  • 6.25' HDMI cable (has an HDMI connector on each end)
  • 57" Video cable (has an RCA composite video connector on each end)
  • 57" Audio cable (has left and right RCA audio connectors on each end)
  • 6.25' AC power cord
  • Owner's Manual (English)
  • Owner's Manual (French)
  • Product Registration Card
  • "Important Firmware Update Information" card
  • "Information" sheet (English)
  • "Information" sheet (French)
  • "License Information on the Software Used in the Toshiba HD DVD player" booklet
  • US "Stop--Need Help?" sheet (with Toshiba customer service phone numbers)
  • Canadian "Stop--Need Help?" sheet (with Toshiba customer service phone numbers - English/French)
  • Netflix promo

Product Research

Remote Control
Inputs and Outputs Notes


HD DVD Overview: HD DVD is a new high-definition disc format designed from the ground up to maximize the viewing experience available from today's HDTVs. HD DVD discs and players offer several advantages over the standard DVD format:

  • Better picture quality: HD DVD is a true high-definition format offering video at 1080i or 720p resolution. While standard DVDs look very good on an HDTV, they don't provide a high-definition signal (not even when you use an "upconverting" DVD player). HD DVD delivers an extraordinarily sharp, clean, detailed picture, with deeper, richer colors.
  • Better sound quality: HD DVD offers the same multichannel sound formats - Dolby Digital and DTS - you're accustomed to with DVD. But HD DVD goes further, offering advanced new versions of Dolby Digital and DTS decoding that will give soundtracks startling clarity and dimensionality.
  • Much greater storage capacity: What makes HD DVD's superior picture and sound possible is the much higher storage capacity of HD DVD discs. A single-layer HD DVD can hold 15 gigabytes of data, which is over three times the amount a standard DVD can hold. (Dual-layer HD DVDs hold 30 gigabytes.) This increased storage capacity allows HD DVD to fit several hours of high-definition video and high-resolution multichannel audio, plus the added features and material that require multiple discs with standard DVD.
  • Compatibility with your current disc collections: To ensure backward-compatibility with your existing library of discs, HD DVD players actually use a dual-laser mechanism: a blue laser for playing high-definition HD DVD discs, and a conventional red laser for playing DVDs and audio CDs.
  • Internet access: HD DVD players include an Ethernet jack for use with a high-speed Internet connection.

Construction: A double chassis construction is employed to add strength and rigidity to the unit, guarding against unwanted vibrations that could interfere with the reading of the disc. To further stabilize the HD-XA1, large insulated stabilizing feet are used, providing a rock solid foundation for the device.

Motorized Door: The HD-XA1 features a motorized aluminum door that opens with the press of a button. The door conceals the disc drawer, buttons and front USB ports.

Built-in Decoders: The HD-XA1 has built-in multi-channel decoders for Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD lossless (2-ch.), DTS and DTS-HD lossless.

Video Upconversion: The HD-XA1 has the ability to upconvert a standard DVD signal to HD-compatible 720p or 1080i and pass it through the HDMI and component video outputs. If the DVD includes copy protection, the upconverted signal will not be not passed by the component video output. In this case, the component video output will pass a 480i or 480p signal.

MP3/WMA Playback: This unit will play MP3/WMA audio files recorded onto CD-R or CD-RW discs using the ISO 9660 Level 1 format. Compatible bit rates include 32-320 kbps for MP3 and 48-192 kbps for WMA.

Resume Play: Resume play allows you to resume playback of a disc from the point where you last stopped. The stopping point is cleared when the Stop button is pressed more than once or the disc tray is opened.

Extension Ports: Depending on the features of the disc you are using, you may be able to connect USB game controllers to the two Extension ports to use some interactive features. Additional features may be supported in the future.

Cursor Function: Some commercial HD DVD discs will include game software and drawing software. This function lets you use the Cursor button on the remote to move the onscreen cursor, allowing you to interact with the software.

Internet Connection: By utilizing the rear-panel Ethernet port, you connect the player to the Internet via an always-on broadband connection. Some HD DVD discs enable you to access special HD DVD sites. If an HD DVD site includes content such as movie trailers, you can watch the content on the player via the Internet if your internet connection provides sufficient bandwidth. You may also use the Internet connection feature to update the player's firmware.

Bass Management: To tailor the output of the 5.1-channel jacks, this unit has built-in bass management that allows you to adjust the speaker size, distance to each speaker, and the crossover frequency.

Digital Audio Output: The Audio menu allows you to select the digital audio format that is passed through the optical, coaxial, and HDMI outputs.

  • Digital out SPDIF: This allows you to choose the digital audio format that is passed through the optical and coaxial outputs. You can choose from the following:
    • Bitstream: Select this when an amplifier equipped with built-in Dolby Digital, DTS or MPEG decoder is connected to this player. When you play a standard DVD recorded in Dolby Digital or DTS format, digital audio signal (bitstream audio) is output. When you play an HD DVD, the player decodes the Dolby Digital off the disc, then re-encodes it as DTS 5.1.
      • Note: When you play an HD DVD, the audio will always be output as DTS 5.1, even if the disc is recorded in Dolby Digital Plus.
    • PCM: Select this when a 2 channel digital stereo amplifier is connected to this player. When you play an HD DVD or DVD video disc recorded in Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS or DTS-HD format, sound is converted into PCM (2 channel) format and then passed through the optical and coaxial digital outputs.
  • Digital out HDMI: This allows you to choose the digital audio format that is passed through the HDMI output. You can choose from the following:
    • Auto: Select this when an HDMI device equipped with built-in Dolby Digital, DTS, MPEG or linear PCM decoder is connected to this player. When you play a standard DVD recorded in Dolby Digital or DTS format, digital audio signal (bitstream audio) is output. When you play an HD DVD, the player decodes the Dolby Digital off the disc, then re-encodes it as DTS 5.1. If a connected HDMI device does not support Dolby Digital, DTS or MPEG, sound is converted into linear PCM to output.
    • Bitstream: Select this when an HDMI device equipped with built-in Dolby Digital, DTS or MPEG decoder is connected to this player. When you play a standard DVD recorded in Dolby Digital, DTS or MPEG format, digital audio signal (bitstream audio) is output. When you play an HD DVD, the player decodes the Dolby Digital off the disc, then re-encodes it as DTS 5.1.
      • Note: When you play an HD DVD, the audio will always be output as DTS 5.1, even if the disc is recorded in Dolby Digital Plus.
    • PCM: Select this when an HDMI device that has multi-channel output is connected to this player. When you play an HD DVD or DVD video disc recorded in multi-channel in Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS or DTS-HD format, the sound is decoded and output in multi-channel in linear PCM format.
    • Downmixed PCM: Select this when a 2 channel digital stereo amplifier is connected to this player. When you play a disc recorded in Dolby Digital, DTS, MPEG1 or MPEG2 format, sound is converted into PCM (2 channel) format to output.

Remote Control

Multibrand Remote: The supplied remote is pre-programmed to operate this unit and a number of functions on other brands of TVs. A motion-activated sensor automatically illuminates the remote control when you pick it up.

Inputs and Outputs Notes

HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface): The unit's HDMI simplifies A/V connections by carrying video and digital audio all in one cable. This unit features HDCP copyright protection technology, and must be connected to an HDCP-compliant device. If your TV has a DVI input instead of an HDMI input, you can connect this unit to your TV using an HDMI-to-DVI adapter. You will also need to connect audio cables to the player because DVI is a video only cable.

Extension Ports: The HD-XA1 has two front-panel USB Extension ports for use with compatible USB game controllers.

LAN: The rear-panel Ethernet port gives you access to Internet-based content on some HD DVDs.

Control (RS-232C): This RS-232C jack allows you to connect a custom control device.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.