BluRay Without HDMI

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Rick Pay, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. Rick Pay

    Rick Pay Stunt Coordinator

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    Seeing all the great deals on bluray players this season is enticing. The problem is I have a 47'" Panasonic rear projection HDTV bought in 2001 that has no hdmi connections. I truly enjoy watching HD content on this tv from directv and know I would love to see movies in bluray even at 1080p with component connection. But would it be worth it to get one now since it will not upconvert all of my standard dvd's? Just wondering if I should wait till this tv goes and am able to watch in 1080i. How does 1080p compare to 1080i?
     
  2. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I'm in the same position (BR player connected via component) and I definitely think it's worth it. Especially since you can get a solid player for around $130 now.
     
  3. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

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    Blu-Ray players won't output a 1080p signal over component video connections. The best you'll get will be 1080i or 720p. But it WILL upconvert your DVDs to whichever output signal you select (no detail will be added, but the scaling should be better at least).

    Regardless, with the great deals on Blu-Ray players out there now, I think it's a great time to make the jump. Just be sure to get a profile 2.0 player. You may not realize all the benefits right now, but the image quality of Blu-Ray at 1080i vs. DVD at 480p will be a big step up. Also, even if you can't hear the lossless audio formats, the bitrate of the DD and DTS tracks on Blu are often higher than their DVD counterparts.
     
  4. Mark Freedman

    Mark Freedman Auditioning

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    Could you elaborate on why BR via component is worth it? I'm debating this subject right now.

    Thanks,
    Mark
     
  5. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    I'm not Travis, but allow me to put in my two cents: Depending on your screen size and viewing distance there my not be much perceptible difference between 720p and 1080p - and virtually none between 1080i and 1080p. But Blu Ray is still going to look better at 720p than any SD DVD upconverted to a higher resolution.

    My TV is a 56" 720 RPTV (LCoS) It has an HDMI connection, but unfortunately the TV is so old it doesn't keep up with the data transfer rates of modern players. With the HDMI connection, every time I tried for FF-scan through a DVD or Blu Ray, switch menus or do much of anything else, the picture would go to snow, with intermittent clear screens popping up every few seconds. But as soon as I switched to component, everything worked fine. (I went through three players and hours on the phone and on-line with tech support before finally realizing the problem was my TV.)

    I've done A/B comparisons between 2001 and Star Trek: FIrst Contact (the first two BD discs I bought) on my upconverting Sony DVD player and my Insignia NS-WBRDVD and there's just no comparison - even at a "mere" 720p.

    Plus which I paid exactly $130 for my player on sale the week before Thanksgiving. It is networkable, has Netflix and bulit-in wireless. A player with comparable features can't be had for less than $250 retail, maybe $180 on sale. (There are a few "wireless ready" players that have the software support but require either a proprietary dongle - $60 to $80 - or an external wireless switch for bridge for $40 to $80 depending.)

    BD over component? Definitely worth it. Plus when you do eventually upgrade to something with HDMI, your player will be able to do that, too. The point being, you'll be enjoying BD movies and building up your collection in the meantime.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  6. Alfonso_M

    Alfonso_M Second Unit

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    Are you sure your Panasonic doesn't have a DVI connector? By 2001 they were very popular....if you do, all you need is a DVI to HDMI cable for the Blu player..
     
  7. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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  8. Rick Pay

    Rick Pay Stunt Coordinator

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    Unfortunately no DVI.....http://service.us.panasonic.com/OPERMANPDF/PT47WX49E.PDF
     
  9. Mark Freedman

    Mark Freedman Auditioning

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    Thanks for the advice. My situation is, I have an old HDTV with only component video inputs. I just bought an LG BD390. In the manual, it says that "copy-protected" discs will only play at 480p resolution over component video. It doesn't define copy-protected. Aren't all commercial movies copy-protected? I don't want this device if it's going to downgrade BR to 480p, and I'll return it. Ironically, it comes with component video cables, but not an HDMI cable.

    I called LG's customer service number, and the CS rep said that no, most movies would not fall into the downgrade category, and would play at 1080i. She did not give a clear explanation of which movies would and which wouldn't. So I watched Van Helsing on BR, and it appeared to be 1080i.

    Do you think I'm good to go here?


    Thanks,
    Mark
     
  10. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    When they say "copy-protected" they mean SD discs, not BR. BR will play 1080i over component. 480i/p will not be converted to 1080i/p over component, only hdmi. But your tv will do it's best to convert 480 to 1080.
     
  11. Mark Freedman

    Mark Freedman Auditioning

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    Ok, that's good. I am watching BR in HD.

    Now, last night I put Serenity (standard def) in the player to see what would happen. It also appeared to be 1080i. If the TV itself is upscaling 480 to 1080, it's doing a good job of it.

    Thanks,
    Mark
     
  12. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    With SD your tv should be receiving a 480 signal from the dvd player. People get so worked up over whether or not their dvd player or receiver is up-scaling they forget that their tv might do as good or better a job at it anyway .

    Bottom line is, at todays prices (Magnavox BR @ Walmart-$78 in-store) if you have an HD display, any HD display, there's no reason not to get a BR player. Add Netflix BR service for $12 a month and go crazy.
     
  13. Mark Freedman

    Mark Freedman Auditioning

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    I'm convinced! I'm keeping it.Thanks for all the advice, everybody!

    Mark
     

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