Blu-Ray - contemplating it....

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Philip Hamm, May 4, 2010.

  1. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Once again I'm contemplating Blu-Ray. My brother got a PS3 so he's willing to sell me his old Sony BDP-350 for family hand-me-down price.

    I'm not really interested in upgrading much other stuff in my system, I'm using an ancient Integra DTR-7 and an Infocus X1 projector. Last time I contemplated Blu-Ray I was looking at models with either Netflix streaming built in or analog multichannel output. At least then I'd get the value of better sound and/or Netflix. This player has neither of those features. Best sound I'll get is downconverted dolby digital.

    I suppose going from 480i DVD to Blu-Ray will give me practically double the resolution, and much better color depth. I can easily notice a better picture with my current HD sources (OTA HD / Dish HD) compared to DVD. I'm pretty ambivalent about this. :-/
     
  2. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    Given your laserdisc background; I am a little surprised that you would not prioritize analog out for lossless in your Bd player choices. That would certainly be my recommendation.

    - Walter.
     
  3. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    Even with a 480p native resolution projector, you'll still derive a PQ upgrade from Blu-ray due to the better inherent black level and color saturation attributes, along with better video definition due to the more modern codecs. At one time I had a HD-DVD player mated to a X1 and was generally happy with the picture upgrade over DVD. For the record, I found that I got the best downconversion from the X1 by setting the HD-DVD player's output to 1080i.

    The Dolby TrueHD tracks also include a high bitrate Dolby Digital 5.1 audio encode which you'll find very pleasing. Most current BDs', though, are using DTS-HD MA. Your Integra will easily decode the DTS core portion of those tracks.

    One thing you *will* miss, though, is the ability to utilize Blu-ray's 1080p/24 mode. This mode really helps out with "judder" from film based BDs.
     
  4. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Yes, since I have HD sources I can easily see the better PQ in HD downscaled to 480p over DVD 480i-upscaled-to-480p.

    High bitrate Dolby Digital 5.1? Hmmmm.... I hadn't thought of that. And DTS. Interesting. I do wish the player had analog output for more than just stereo though. I just don't have the budget for bluray right now so getting a very inexpensive hand-me-down from my brother is quite attractive.
     
  5. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    My understanding is that with a stereo output I will be limited to stereo analog output, correct? So if Blu-Ray ends up taking SACD's niche with high resolution audio at least I'll be equipped for stereo. This may be handy down the road if I end up putting this player in my stereo audio only system in my office.
     
  6. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    Philip.........
    I think what you need is the Oppo BDP-83 or the BDP-80. They're not only excellent BD players, but they have the 7.1 multi-channel analog outputs, so you can enjoy Dolby TrueHD and dtsHD Master Audio with your older receiver. They also play both sacd and dvd-audio discs. They also do an excellent job upscaling regular dvds, to near HD quality.

    I have the BDP-83 and love it. The only movies I've bought since getting the Oppo, are blu ray movies. I have a collection of over 1000 dvds, and they look great played in the Oppo. I have a few sacds and dvd-audio discs too, so this has been the perfect player for me. My receiver decodes the HD audio formats, but the 7.1 analog outputs are still used for the dvd-audio discs. Everything else is done over HDMI.

    The S350 is a decent player, and while it might be a good deal coming from your brother, the only advantages you'll get from it is PQ. To me, if you can't have the HD audio to go with the HD picture, it sorta defeats the purpose of having a BD player. But, that's just me. You may feel different.
    Good luck!
     
  7. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    Phillip, re - your last post and analog stereo. I'm not really sure. My comments were directed towards multi-channel film soundtracks. As a laser disc enthusiast I'm sure you are familiar with some of the incredible audio experiences afforded by laser disc. For my money, Bd and lossless soundtracks are a return to the great audio of days past.

    - Walter.
     
  8. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    You want to sell me an Oppo for $50? :)
     

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