First HD DVD Player Underwhelms

The reviews are in, and HD DVD is off to an inauspicious start. Toshiba's first HD DVD player, the HD-A1, is a monstrous brick of a machine with a molasses-slow 50-second boot-up time (yes, seriously), a horribly designed remote control, and a bizarre range of error messages. But there's no getting around it: HD DVD playback is truly awe-inspiring. I have to wonder, however, what Toshiba was thinking with the player's case. When Microsoft said HD DVD was the VHS to Blu-ray's Betamax, I'm pretty sure it didn't mean that Toshiba would design a device that looks like it was made in the Betamax era. All that's missing are two huge rotary knobs. Maybe those will be added to the HD-A2

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