Can I watch HD-DVD and Blu-ray on a standard-definition television set?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by cafink, Jun 30, 2006.

  1. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    My question is simple, but it's been frustratingly difficult to find an answer.

    I have a regular old 27-inch, standard-definition, 480i, 4:3 television set. Though it cannot display a high definition picture, I would like to begin purchasing HD-DVDs and Blu-ray discs now, because I know I will get an HD set in the future.

    So, can I watch those HD-DVDs and Blu-ray discs on my television? I understand that they will offer no significant improvement over standard DVD, but will I see a picture at all? If it makes a difference, my television has component input and a 16:9 ("squeeze") mode.

    As best I've been able to discern (by reading the manuals on-line), the Toshiba HD-A1 will allow me to watch HD-DVD downconverted to standard definition, but the Samsung BD-P1000 will not allow me to watch Blu-ray discs without an HD display.

    Is this correct?

    And if so, is the inability to watch Blu-ray discs in standard definition a part of the Blu-ray standard, or merely a peculiarity of the Samsung player?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    The Toshiba HD-A1 does NOT offer a display resolution of 480i. The lowest resolution on the HD-A1 is 480P, so you will not be able to view HD DVD with your current display at a reduced resolution. Sorry, don't know about the Samsung player.

    - Walter.
     
  3. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    The BD-P1000 will display 480i over the component outputs, so you should be able to use the player with your older 480i set: at least according to page 25 of the spec sheet available on Samsung's site. Here is a link to the spec sheet.

    http://samsung.com/Products/Blu_ray/...1000_final.pdf

    Hope this helps.

    Edit: Checked the instruction manual. As you stated, the manual indicates that Blu-ray discs will only play at 1080i or 720p resolution over component. Apparently 480i over component is only for DVD playback. Sorry for the false alarm.
     
  4. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    Thanks for the help, guys.

    Walter, are you sure that the A1 will not output 480i? Page 22 of the instruction manual says that when the player is connected via component video, "pressing the [resolution] button switches between 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i."
     
  5. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    Carl - No, I'm not absolutely sure, but I do recall reading this information over at AVS. I could be passing along incorrect information via heresay. I know that via component it will switch copy protected content to 480P; whether there is another option for 480I I can't say without checking the player's options.

    Maybe someone else can chime in here. ( If I fire up the projector today, I'll play with the resolution and post back to this thread. )

    - Walter.
     
  6. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    The Toshiba does have composite and S-video jacks on the back, but the real question is can you only use them for 480i content, or will the player downconvert HD material to 480i.

    I'll find out and get back to you.

    - Steve
     
  7. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    This thread got me curious so I decided to check it out.

    My HD-A1 is connected via component only. I leave it set to 1080i output.
    I put in an HD-DVD, waited for it to start playing, and pressed the resolution button on the remote. An onscreen message appeared stating that the resolution had been changed and telling me to press the "ok" button on the remote. I did so and the player switched to 480i and the movie started over.

    So the Toshiba can positively output picture from an HD-DVD over component at 480i, which means you can use it on your 480i-only tv.
     
  8. Alf S

    Alf S Cinematographer
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    Curious.....you don't have an HDTV set yet...so why in the world would you want to invest $1500 in equipment to watch movies during a FORMAT WAR when you can't even enjoy them in true HD?

    Why not wait until the smoke clears and you figure out which format won OR hope for a universal player? Then go find a nice HDTV and sit back and reap the benefits of what you saved in $$ and the hassle of getting TWO machines. Besides, can your 27" set even handle two more DVD players?

    I mean really, it make no sense paying premium price for technology that will in all likelyhood drop in price in the next year or so..and by then you will probably have your HDTV set to enjoy things...

    The scenario you're proposing seems like a real waste of your hard earned cash.
     
  9. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Alf,

    Is that a serious question, or is it mainly a statement telling us about your own feelings in this matter?


    Cees
     
  10. Alf S

    Alf S Cinematographer
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    110% serious....
     
  11. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Yeah. [​IMG]

    Which makes it about 300% a statement (counting the lines).


    Cees
     
  12. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    While I too would question the wisdom of purchasing a player now without having an HD capable set, the original poster simply asked if one or the other player would even have the capability of displaying a High Def disc at a scanrate usable by his current set. The Toshiba will and the Samsung won't, which will put him $500 closer to owning that HDTV.

    Sorta reminds me of how I was perfectly happy with my 480i only 53" Hitachi
    Ultravision, then bought a progressive scan player. After a few weeks I just had to have a new widescreen HD-capable set to take advantage of that
    480p capable player, which in turn made an HD tuner an absolute necessity.
    That damn $175 player ended up costing me thousands.
     
  13. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    Verified 480i via component the other day, just like Steve; which got me to thinking about what I had read before with regards to 480i. Googled and found this...


    From Ultimate AV: Toshiba HD-A1 HD DVD Player

    Sorry about the confusion, Carl. I must have been recalling the HDMI limitation with regards to 480i.

    - Walter.
     
  14. Dan M

    Dan M Second Unit

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    For what it's worth, I've been enjoying the A1 with my Infocus 4805 480 rez projector via component and the picture quality is phenomenal (to my eyes anyway)


    Far better than any SD DVD that I've ever watched on this display. I've got an Infocus IN76 coming which offers 720 and i expect it to look glorious.

    I personally dont think you HAVE to have a 1080 display in order to enjoy the benefits of HD DVD or Blu Ray for that matter. It may not be up to its full potential but it's still looks superior to standard def.

    I say go for it and support this wonderful new format immediatly!
     
  15. Brian_Pete

    Brian_Pete Stunt Coordinator

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    I currently have my HDA1 hooked up to my 36" standard def TV via component. It definitely works at 480i. The reason I purchased the HDA1 was because I got a great sale price on the player and the preorder price of a Sony A2000 TV.
    After reading all the reviews of the HDDVD releases I would think that the statements about no edge enhancement, less artifacts and other transfer improvements would still be visible in standard def.
     
  16. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Some posters condemned the idea, but I disagree.

    If you don't have any HD component in your HT yet, and you cannot afford to buy the whole "line" at once now, I think this is a clever scenario.

    Prices of plasma- and LCD TV's, sporting true 1080p, will come down in the near future. They will have better HDMI support (1.4) and better progressive scan images.

    Waiting until you have bought a TV-set like that (not to mention a projector) means not being able to buy (or at least view) HD discs at the moment.

    So the wisest move, if your interested in the format, IMO, is to buy a HD-player now and start enjoying your HD DVDs. Then at the proper time you can add a true HD monitor (TV set and/or projector) and an appropriate receiver.

    Starting to build a HD collection from the start may also diminish your double-dipping in the future when you have "everything HD".


    Cees
     
  17. Glen C

    Glen C Stunt Coordinator

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    If you're adamant about purchasing optical discs (and don't have an HDTV) then yes the Tosh can output via s-video. Don't know about the Samsung. You wouldn't want to buy any current bluray software anyways so that is a moot point.

    I'd buy the HDTV/PJ first myself.
     
  18. Brian_Pete

    Brian_Pete Stunt Coordinator

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    You can use S-Video or Component connections with the HDA1.

    If you use component you have to make sure to hit the resolution button until the 480i light is illuminated on the display because the player defaults to 1080i.
     
  19. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    The thing about about an HD player now, however, is that 2G players will be out within six months and likely perform even better and cheaper (all the nature of technology). So, if you aren't buying an HD display until next year, to me it makes sense to wait and buy a 2G player at that time. Just my thoughts.
     

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