Do regular DVDs look better on a Blu-Ray player???

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by SergioM, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. SergioM

    SergioM Auditioning

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    O.K. for once and for all do regular DVDs look better on a Blu-ray player? I've gotten mixed messages. I've been told that they do, but also that that's not always the case. In some instances they look worse. So what's the definite answer?
     
  2. mike caronia

    mike caronia Second Unit

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    Depends on your equipment.
    A bargain basement Blu-ray player on a 40" 720p television...isn't going to be a big difference.

    I notice a difference on my set-up.
    Both my old Toshiba HD-DVD and PS3 on a 55" set...the upconvert of regular old DVDs looks great.
    To my eyes, the HD-DVD does a better job upconverting as well.
     
  3. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Hi Sergio! Welcome to the HTF! [​IMG]

    I'm no hardware expert. I'm sure some will be along soon.

    But, I've only heard about Blu-ray players upconverting DVDs and making them look better on HD displays. While I haven't heard the opposite (that BD players can make DVDs look worse).
     
  4. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    It depends on the video presentation of the SD DVD. If the SD DVD has a fine video presentation then most likely it would look pretty good being upconverted by a Blu-ray player onto a HD monitor.






    Crawdaddy
     
  5. Brian McHale

    Brian McHale Supporting Actor

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    The simple fact of the matter is that any SD material will be upconverted to HD somewhere along the line if you view it on an HDTV. If you use a regular DVD player, the TV will do the upconversion. If you run your DVD player into an A/V receiver, the receiver might do the upconversion. If you use a BD player, the player will do the upconversion.

    So, which will do the best job of upconverting? That depends upon the hardware involved (and the quality of the DVD). So, the basic answer is "maybe, maybe not". However, if you want the answer to be "yes", do some research and get a BD player known for good upconversion (like the Oppo).
     
  6. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    As indicated by the replies above, the definite answer is, "There is no definite answer."

    So I use the component connections because my AVR doesn't have HDMI.

    As for video quality - as with most other things, the critical piece is the quality of the source material, as also noted above. Recent, well-mastered stuff like the CSI season sets look terrific, about as good as the first run network HD episodes - at least as delivered by highly-compressed HD cable. Even some of my non-anamorphic DVDs look better than they have any business looking. (I have to change settings on both my TV and my DVD players to watch them displayed properly, but Streets of Fire actually looks good enough to be worth the effort.) On the other hand some things like the Highlander DVDs or The Ascent of Man look only slightly better than SD cable. Garbage in, garbage out. And nothing that I've watched on both upscaled SD DVD and Blu Ray looks anywhere near as good on the former.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  7. Nicholas Martin

    Nicholas Martin Cinematographer

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    I don't have a "bargain basement" blu-ray player, but I do have a 42" 720p/1080i plasma and I do see a difference, depending on the source material it could be a big or minor difference.

    One of my favorite examples of how upconverting does make a difference is my "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" DVD sets. They look much, much better upconverted than not.
     
  8. GMpasqua

    GMpasqua Screenwriter

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    Depending on the player, tv and transfer - yes. Even "I Love Lucy" looks incredible on my SONY Bravia set. You can see the wrinkles and pock marks in the actors skin. you can see the scrapes and cracks in the apartment set.
    Of course the Lucy DVD boxsets were very well done.

    Also some dvds are not anamorphic and will not look as good as those that are
    My SONY Blu-ray player also upsales dvd for better resolution (not quite Blu-ray HD but pretty close)
    Unfortunately " Mister Roberts" does not look good or the ST DVD of "The Music Man" (luckily "The Music Man' looks great on Blu-ray)
     
  9. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Actually, Nicholas, you've never seen your DS9 sets not upconverted. Your 720p plama converts all of your SD content to 720p, as noted above. (Unless it is very old, your TV is not "720p/1080i" - there is no such thing in a fixed-pixel set like a modern plasma, or any LCD or DLP. It can accept a 1080i signal, but it displays it as 720p, because the it converts everything to its native resolution. It only has 720 horizontal lines, so it cannot display 1080 lines.)

    What you're seeing with your DS9 discs is not the difference between upconverted and non-upconverted, it is the difference between the processing circuitry in your TV and that in your Blu-Ray player.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  10. Nicholas Martin

    Nicholas Martin Cinematographer

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    Originally Posted by Joseph DeMartino
     
  11. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    So you've done an involuntary experiment in the relative merits of the upscaling in different TVs and players. Interesting. And in my experience standard def cable looks pretty lousy on any HD set. I have a fantastic 56" LCoS RP in the living room and a marginal LCD that I sometimes connect in the spare room and SD cable looks revolting on both. I just so rarely bother to look at it that I forget sometimes. There is so much material to watch on HD channels that I can barely keep up with that, and I don't miss the few SD-only channels I still have.

    Thanks for the congratulations on the moderator thing. The invitation came out of the blue a couple of weeks agao and I'm still getting used to it myself.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  12. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    Here's an example of a few DVD titles, and how they look upconverted on my equipment (Panny BD-601, Optoma HD-65 projector (720p native; but supports BD's 1080p/24):

    Batman Begins -- This DVD looks pretty darn good upconverted. I purchased the BD anyway and it, of course, looks even better. But I could have lived with the DVD.

    The Dark Knight -- The DVD looks *horrendous* upconverted; mainly due to a very poor MPEG-2 encode. There's "digititus" everywhere and the blacks are crushed in a lot of the big action scenes. The Blu-ray came under a lot of scrutiny due to the way it varies aspect ratios between 1.78:1 and 2.35:1 but it's about 10,000 times better than the DVD.

    Iron Man -- The upconverted DVD looks soft and EE ruins a lot of the wide shots. The Blu-ray looks fantastic.

    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince -- This was my last DVD purchase. It's completely unwatchable upconverted. The cave scenes at the end are riddled with mosquito noise and EE. The transfer also exhibits inconsistent contrast and crushed blacks in places. The Blu-ray looks pristine.

    Stargate SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis -- The last two seasons of SG1 and the entire 5 year run of Atlantis look *fantastic* upconverted on my equipment. These are 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen presentations of shows recorded with HD equipment. They upconvert so well I'll probably never need BD iterations.

    Star Trek: DS9 -- The last four seasons of DS9 look "pretty good" upconverted on my equipment. But there's a lot of "stairstepping" in all of the SFX shots. And a lot of digital noise around the edges of the frames of some of the space battles. (Can be hidden with overscan.) The first three seasons look "soft"; but not as soft and blurry as most seasons of TNG.

    In general, most DVDs with clean encodes look "pretty good" upscaled. But when given the choice, I would still opt in most cases for the better definition and the superior audio which the BD format affords.
     
  13. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Oh, no doubt, and especially if money were no object. However, since money is most definitely an object (mostly I object to how little I have left at the end of the month ) I can't afford to replace all the DVDs in my collection that now have Blu Ray versions - especially the TV on DVD stuff. OTOH the films I most want on Blu Ray are the classics, and for obvious reasons I tend to already own at least one copy of those - often multiple copies including a couple of DVD releases and the odd laserdisc. Despite my best efforts to limit by BD buying to titles I don't already own, the modest collection I've acquired since buying my player last November is probably split 60/40 or even 70/30 between "rebuys" and new titles. For every The Searchers, which I had never owned before on any format, there are three titles like the great early Technicolor trio of The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind that I simply had to have. Yes, I bought the Star Trek reboot on BD and skipped the DVD - but I also bought ST II, III, IV and First Contact on BD after owning all four for years. All of these are discs that looked very good on my system - at least until I did an A/B of the DVDs vs. the BDs, at which point the former often became unwatchable. But for lots of "good enough" titles, I'm sticking with my existing DVDs and wll only upgrade the must-haves and go with BDs on sale going forward.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  14. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    I'm amazed how people don't read useful information, and don't understand the equipment they are giving advice on. As has been said more than once, unless you have a CRT, everything you watch is being shown at the same resolution. It just varies with where the upscaling (when needed) is done. If your monitor is 720p, you should NEVER be feeding it an image that has been upscaled to 1080 (i or p) because then the TV will just have to scale it back down to 720p. What good can all this extra processing accomplish?

    In my case, I have a new 42" Panasonic U1 Plasma, which is 1080p. I have both the original Oppo (971H) and a somewhat newer Pioneer DV-59AVi. Both are set to upscale to 1080i. They don't do 1080p, but I doubt that makes any difference. I can say, everything looks great, unless it is just a bad transfer to begin with. SD-DVDs look much better than I expected. They don't have the dynamic range or shadow detail, in particular, of HD, but most of the time I don't notice that much. Their resolution is excellent, all things considered. I do feel the Pioneer has a slightly better picture. It seems to have more shadow detail. But, let's face it, as good as the Oppos are, the Pioneer is a bit newer, plus it sold for 4 or 5 times the price of the Oppo.
     
  15. hampsteadbandit

    hampsteadbandit Stunt Coordinator

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    I have been very impressed with the up-conversion abilities of my LG BD-370 on a wide variety of SD-DVD discs - displayed on an LG 1080P panel

    some have been so impressive, that I have not bothered replacing the SD-DVD with a Blu-Ray

    this is especially true of box-set TV shows like "The Wire" and "BSG" which looked good enough to retain on SD-DVD, also bearing in mind the financial investment of owning these multi-season shows!
     
  16. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    You're 100% correct in that that's the way it *should* be; but with the Optoma HD-65 (native 720p) I somehow get a more pleasing -- and more balanced -- DVD presentation by letting the Panny BD-601 upscale the 480p DVD to 1080p and then letting the Optoma HD-65 downscale that to 720p. I know that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, but I can assure you that I'm not the only HD-65 owner which has made this observation. Both the overall color saturation and the black levels seem better and there doesn't appear to be any visible additional artifacting added via the process. We can only assume that the HD-65 has optimized its downconversion circuitry for 1080i/p. (Or that the Panny BD-601 has optimized its DVD upconversion for 1080p.)
     
  17. Nicholas Martin

    Nicholas Martin Cinematographer

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    The one thing that keeps my PS3 and Blu-ray player set to 720p rather than 1080i is that certain Blu-ray titles suffer from aliasing (Spider-Man 3 is the most severe case of this of the titles I have) when set to 1080i. This pretty much disappears at 720p.

    I still buy DVDs all the time, Hard to resist when certain titles are so cheap. I remember a couple of years ago I picked up the 2-disc Fight Club DVD for $12.99. A couple of DAYS ago I picked up the same title on Blu-ray. Price was $12.83. Same day I picked up the Die Hard Collection on DVD for the same price, because I figured why pay $12.83 for one Die Hard movie on Blu-ray when I can get the first three in a box for that same price?
     
  18. hampsteadbandit

    hampsteadbandit Stunt Coordinator

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    talking about technical stuff - do any forum members have a suggestion for me?

    my Blu-Ray player is an LG BD-370 with current firmware update (and I am using a LG 1080P display with HDMI lead)

    I setup the player to display 1080P, and usually watch Blu-Rays, but sometimes watch DVDs and Div-x discs

    something I have noticed, is my player seems to switch back to 1080i, which I will only notice if I use the remote control and check the settings

    is there any way to stop this happening? do I have to reset the player to 1080P every time before watching a Blu-Ray? Am I actually going to notice any real difference in PQ between 1080i and 1080P (I am watching a 32" display)?
     
  19. ATimson

    ATimson Second Unit

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    In the case of an LCD, the native resolution is often 768p, not 720p; I've found that most content tends to look better with the TV scaling 1080i/p down to 768p than it scaling 720p up to 768p.
     
  20. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    Actually, as with the original question, it depends. I have a 720p projector that was highly rated for its video processing. If I set my PS3 to 720p to feed it, the PS3 is doing the "downconversion". If I set it to 1080p, the PJ does the conversion. The PJ does a better job than the PS3. Same goes (even more so) for my cable box. The best processing is in my display, so I feed it the highest resolution I can and let it cope. The only 720p I feed it comes from the few 720p cable channels (I set my box to pass the signal in its native form).
     

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