Qosmio G30. Not quite as good as it looks on paper.
I am using my Qosmio G30 for HD-DVDs but am not happy with it and will move to a stand alone HD DVD player.
Here is a list of the fine print items that aren't easily found on websites but are major sticking points for the Qosmio.
1) You can play regular DVDs but not HD DVDs on the Qosmio player. The Qosmio player allows you to play regular DVDs without powering up the computer's XP or Vista operating system. So if you want to play a HD DVD you have to power up and log on your regular operating system which takes a lot longer.
2) The laptop has to be plugged in to play HD DVDs (energy hog). You can't run them on battery power alone like regular DVDs so if you thought you would take your Qosmio on a plane to watch HD DVDs think twice.
3) The watching of HD DVDs is dependent on the WIN HD DVD software. This is a problem for a few reasons:
A) Both it and the video drivers seem to need constant updating in order to play any HD DVDs. Thus it takes about a half hour of searching out and downloading updates and drivers before you can play any new HD DVDs. To make matters worse sometimes HD DVDs you successfully played before no longer work. Currently Serenity and BAtman Begins work fine. The Matrix Trilogy at one point was working (no longer) and I have yet to find downloads or updates to allow me to watch the 300.
B) The playing of HD DVDs requires almost all of the first gen Qosmio G30s processing power and memory in order to play smoothly. This means as you install new software which runs in the background (antivirus software, retrospect hard drive software etc) the playback quality of HD DVDs deteriorates with very noticeable skips and freezes. Heaven forbid you get any spyware or spam installed because that would probably lock up the HD DVD playback entirely.
C) This also means any software that autmoatically looks for and downloads software updates can interrupt your HD DVD playback (ie windows updates mcafee updates, etc etc) As a result you have to either manually shut off all of those functions or leave your computer on a while so it clears all the new updates prior to playing the HD DVD.
D) To get around this problem you have to go in to task manager and start shutting down manually as many processes as you can without crashing your computer. I have tinkered around with this a bit and for me manually shutting off the MAxtor retrospect software application, windows explorer and all itunes and quicktime proceesses does the trick. (at least for the discs I have been able to play so far)
E) Last but definitely not least the WIN HD DVD software is licensed. After a few years (think it was ?5) the license expires and you may not be able to play any HD DVD movies on the player without buying new license privilages. It hasn't been determined whether Toshiba will pay for and supply the updated license at tha time. If not I smell a class action lawsuit as that little tid bit of information is definitely not pointed out in any of their regular info and how retarded is it to have a HD DVD drive that can only play movies you already own for 5 years. Like did they really expect that people would pay additional money every 5 years on top of the HD DVD disc cost?
4) HDMI output directly to the TV allows excellent image quality and with the Dot by Dot resolution on my Sharp 37 GP1U I basically get a 37" computer monitor (this is wicked awesome)
In order to get an audio signal through the HDMI cable you have to disable dolby digital on the computers audio settings and the signal you get through the HDMI cable appears to be an analog single channel signal and as a reult you can't get 5.1 or 7.1 sound from it. Furthermore this HDMI audio signal overrides the headphone/SPIDF signal to the tv if I try to use a direct audio jack to the tV. The only alternative i can think of, that I haven't tried yet is to try to run a SPIDF line to my receiver or intervening computer. Given all the hype the Qosmio has about its 1 bit audio processor and audio settings that allow you to select 5.1 or 7.1 speaker settings you would think the audio connections from the thing would be easier to use.
Finally the HD DVD drive is finicky and not as good as a regular DVD player at reading standard discs. I have not been able to get it to play the second half of my standard DVD discs from the TV show Lost (brand new out of the box and even after additional cleaning) thought the exact same DVDs work just fine on my stand alone progressive scan DVD player.