Going to the US soon.....

G

garrygadget

Guest
and considering picking up an HD-DVD player while I'm out there, looking at the Toshiba HD-XA2 (equiv of XE1 here I understand).

Anything I should be wary of (returns aside!) - will it only be able to play US SD discs?

No idea if I'll come across one in Kansas City either!
 

AES256

Active Member
will it only be able to play US SD discs?

The US Toshiba models are region locked to R1 (R0 is fine as well) and I'm pretty certain that when we researched this a couple of months ago, they will only play NTSC SD DVDs, not PAL. If your DVD library is R1 (R0) only, you should be fine.

HD DVDs are of course region free, so no issues there.
 

kmark40

Active Member
Yes, it'll only play R1 SD DVD. HDDVD will be OK though
 
G

garrygadget

Guest
Thanks all - bummer I have too many R2 discs to justify this with the missus

Need to think again about what to spend my $'s on


Cheers
 

kmark40

Active Member
hows about picking aload of hddvds up to play on your brand new xe1?
 

Peter Finucane

Standard Member
I'm also thinking of getting the US HD-XA2 in preference to the European HD-XE2 because most of my SD DVD library is Region 1. My TV is multi-system so no worries there.

What I'm concerned about is the power supply. US electricity is 120 volts 60Hz while mine is 220 volts 50Hz. A good step-down transformer would take care of the voltage difference, but there is no easy way to change the frequency cycle.

Does anyone think that using a 60Hz player in a 50Hz country would cause it to run slower or create any other problems? I once had a VCR which ran on 60Hz power with no problems, but when I tried out a Mits TV supposed to run on 60Hz, but which was connected to my 50Hz supply, there was a purplish, greenish tint which might have been caused by something else. I returned it, so never did find out.

Any opinions would be really welcome as this factor is the only thing holding me back from getting one. Thanks.
 

TrevorS

Active Member
I'm also thinking of getting the US HD-XA2 in preference to the European HD-XE2 because most of my SD DVD library is Region 1. My TV is multi-system so no worries there.

What I'm concerned about is the power supply. US electricity is 120 volts 60Hz while mine is 220 volts 50Hz. A good step-down transformer would take care of the voltage difference, but there is no easy way to change the frequency cycle.

Does anyone think that using a 60Hz player in a 50Hz country would cause it to run slower or create any other problems? I once had a VCR which ran on 60Hz power with no problems, but when I tried out a Mits TV supposed to run on 60Hz, but which was connected to my 50Hz supply, there was a purplish, greenish tint which might have been caused by something else. I returned it, so never did find out.

Any opinions would be really welcome as this factor is the only thing holding me back from getting one. Thanks.

I would be REALLY surprised if the mains frequency was an issue. The power supply itself should be easily able to handle the difference and the player internal timebases are all crystal controlled. Many TV's at least used to use the mains frequency as a time base, not so the SD DVD players. HD DVD and BR are both frequency independent of the mains (not even PAL Vs NTSC considerations) so I would be very surprised if you hit an issue.

Most likely problem would be if you didn't allow a high enough power rating on the matching transformer which would result in a lower voltage feeding the player (and poorer player performance for both video and audio).
 

Peter Finucane

Standard Member
Thanks TrevorS. That's wonderfully reassuring and in line with my own thoughts.

The only other opinion I managed to get was from the administrator of a Swiss hi-fi megastore who thought 60Hz would be an issue. I later found out he was selling the European version and not the American so perhaps he wasn't totally impartial. He did make it clear he viewed me as a potential customer.

I take your point about the transformer and will make sure it's more than adequate and has full surge protection. I also know just the conditioner to really clean up the power supply.

In the unlikely event I do have any power problems I'll post a full report on this forum to help any other members facing a similar dilemma. That will hopefully include my solution.

BTW I think that's the most helpful first post I've ever had on any forum anywhere. This is going to be a great resource. Thanks again for taking a weight off my mind.
 

Sonic67

Banned
Messing around with the frequency is a bigger deal than the voltage.

Operating 60Hz appliances at 50Hz may result in excessive heat buildup in transformers. It may also frazzle your circuits. You will need a proper converter. You will need to allow for the cost of this or expect bad things to happen.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utility_frequency

Places that now use the 50 Hz frequency tend to use 230 V, and those that now use 60 Hz tend to use 117 V.

Unless specified by the manufacturer to operate on either 50 or 60 Hz, appliances may not operate efficiently or even safely if used on other than the intended supply frequency.
 

TrevorS

Active Member
Messing around with the frequency is a bigger deal than the voltage.

Operating 60Hz appliances at 50Hz may result in excessive heat buildup in transformers. It may also frazzle your circuits. You will need a proper converter. You will need to allow for the cost of this or expect bad things to happen.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utility_frequency

Places that now use the 50 Hz frequency tend to use 230 V, and those that now use 60 Hz tend to use 117 V.

Unless specified by the manufacturer to operate on either 50 or 60 Hz, appliances may not operate efficiently or even safely if used on other than the intended supply frequency.

This isn't usually a problem unless the transformer itself is cheaply constructed or marginally rated. Most quality audio type gear is perfectly happy with either frequency, the only changes required being different taps for the voltages and changing the fuse value accordingly. For a component of this sort, the worst effect would probably be a slightly lower power supply raw rail before regulation -- and probably not even that given a reasonably conservative design.
 

TrevorS

Active Member
Thanks TrevorS. That's wonderfully reassuring and in line with my own thoughts.

The only other opinion I managed to get was from the administrator of a Swiss hi-fi megastore who thought 60Hz would be an issue. I later found out he was selling the European version and not the American so perhaps he wasn't totally impartial. He did make it clear he viewed me as a potential customer.

I take your point about the transformer and will make sure it's more than adequate and has full surge protection. I also know just the conditioner to really clean up the power supply.

In the unlikely event I do have any power problems I'll post a full report on this forum to help any other members facing a similar dilemma. That will hopefully include my solution.

BTW I think that's the most helpful first post I've ever had on any forum anywhere. This is going to be a great resource. Thanks again for taking a weight off my mind.

Hullo Peter,

You're right that the dealer will try to steer you towards purchasing from him. If you talk to Toshiba, it's also pretty much certain they will tell you to purchase locally.

Chances are pretty good they specify different transformers for different voltage ranges, but probably not for 50Hz Vs 60Hz. The reason for that would be a transformer wound with voltage taps is more expensive than one without, and they have sufficient volume of both ranges to provide adequate economies of scale. (The raw rail will vary as a function of where the mains actually lands in the range, but that will be designed for and the regulation will take care of it.)

There is never a guarantee when a device is operated out of manufacturer spec and so you have to make your own call, but in my opinion -- the likelihood of a frequency related problem is very low.
 

Sonic67

Banned
I had a look at the manual for my E-1. It seems to say it will be happy with a power supply of 220-240v 50Hz/60Hz. Some manufacturers when building a product for a world market find it simpler from a manufacturing point of view to build a product that copes with either.

In that case you should be fine with a transformer and that’s it. Though the product you are after may have been intended for the USA only.

I’d do this. Go into a store find what you want, ask if you can flick through the manual. For a helpful store this will be no problem. Usually for the demonstration model the manual will be around somewhere anyway. Have a look in that. If it says 50/60Hz you are covered.

Two other things though. You may have to pay some money to customs as you bring it through. You may have to return it to the USA if it goes wrong.
 

TrevorS

Active Member
I had a look at the manual for my E-1. It seems to say it will be happy with a power supply of 220-240v 50Hz/60Hz. Some manufacturers when building a product for a world market find it simpler from a manufacturing point of view to build a product that copes with either.


FWIW -- Products that don't functionally depend upon having 50Hz Vs 60Hz mains don't usually care which it is. This isn't the exception, it's typical. The only time a "60Hz" power transformer would be marginal for 50Hz is if it was poorly/cheaply designed or borderline rated to begin with, in which case it is probably dubious for the given application even at 60Hz.

It would actually be more expensive for a manufacturer to purchase and stock separate transformers for each frequency than one competent to handle both. That simply isn't how it's normally done -- power supplies are usually designed to be insensitive to 50 Vs 60Hz (it doesn't take much at all).
 

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