Quality of video from DVDs

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by peterac, Sep 18, 2006.

  1. peterac

    peterac Agent

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    Sorry for the VERY basic question.

    I was reading somewhere in Internet Land that DVD video is below HD specs.
    Is this true?

    I always thought that DVDs would let me get the most out of an HDTV (when I got one).

    Thanks,
    Pete R.
     
  2. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    DVD's are SD only (480 i/p). Although there are upconverting DVD players that will output HD, the source is not HD. To get true HD, you have to upgrade to one of the two HD formats - Blue Ray or HD-DVD.
     
  3. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Broadcast HD (ATSC) is 720p or 1080i. Bluray and HDDVD are 1080p. A well mastered, upconverted DVD can look look better than overcompressed ATSC, but usually ATSC has the advantage.

    and hd-dvd looks better than either one.
     
  4. Alon Goldberg

    Alon Goldberg Screenwriter

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    DVD: 480i, 480p - good
    HD Content on TV: 720p, 1080i - better
    HD DVD and Blu-Ray: 720p, 1080i, 1080p - best

    Some DVD players do an excellent job of upconverting DVD to near-HD quality.
     
  5. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    On the other hand, much as I hate to be the pedantic one, an excellent DVD from an excellent source can look better than the others.

    For example, recently, I saw some HD of motor-cross stunts. This was probably an ATSC-type feed (maximum feed: 19.8Mb/s.) During many parts, the image would be bit-starved to the point where it pixelated to approximately 320x180, and sometimes down to about 160x90. UGLY! Probably real-time compression, and quite possibly sharing the data-stream with some other material, denying it the full bandwidth.

    Likewise, most of the HD-DVD and BluRay demonstrations of PRESSED DISCS that I have seen have been less-than-impressive. But again, we've also seen some DVDs that got totally screwed in the mastering, when VHS would have been better, so...

    Leo Kerr
     
  6. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Hi Peter.

    While DVD's will look great on your HDTV - a real HDTV signal will be jaw-dropping beautiful. HDTV signals have 4-8 times as much information per second as a DVD.

    The video on a DVD is based on the 1940's video spec of 480 lines of information per screen.

    When you are ready to buy your HDTV - check out your cable companies offering for a HDTV box (or even better: a PVR that lets you pause/rewind/record).
     
  7. peterac

    peterac Agent

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    Thanks for the replies!

    I am days away from purchasing an HDTV. I think I am going with a Panasonic 42" plasma.

    I still have lingering questions:

    The Blue Ray and HD-DVD format is obviously superior to the basic DVD. If I am getting this right, the disks (content) themselves can be in this format or it is up to the DVD player to upscale the content of a regular DVD?

    Thanks...

    Learning alot,
    Pete R.
     
  8. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Welcome to the forum Peter. Actually both parts of your last question are correct. The new HD-DVD and BD content is in HD (although some of the extras are in Standard Definition (SD)) and[/i] when the older SD DVD movies are played on one of the HDS players, the player upconverts to 1080.

    As an aside, I would not buy an HD display now that did not have at least one HDMI input. I don’t know the Panasonic you are considering, but you might want to make sure that feature is present.
     
  9. Justification

    Justification Auditioning

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    TO piggieback here,
    My DLP projector is a 720P projector. How can I get the best picture possible out of this without replacing it?
    Running HD Digital cable now and a two year old progressive scan Denon DVD player.
     
  10. peterac

    peterac Agent

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    Thanks Lew. Now how does a progressive scan DVD player fit into all this?

    Regards,
    Pete
     
  11. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    If you are spending the $$ on an HD set, you should get an upscaling DVD player, not just a progressive one. The Oppo seems to be the bargain choice. As was already said, make sure the HDTV you buy has at least 1 HDMI input. You will need a cable to adapt the DVI output from the Oppo to HDMI, which is included if you buy direct from Oppo.
     
  12. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    John, many of the bargain hdtvs available today (including my own) are 768*1366, rather than 720*1280 or 108o*1920. The Oppo, which I also own, is limited to 480p, 720p, and 1080i, with the 720p mode garnering most of the accolades. That's what I use, but then, I do have a smaller set.

    Assuming that a 768p upscaling player can be obtained, would its image be necessarily better than a Oppo, on a 768p set?
     
  13. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    I guess my real point was just that it makes more sense to ge the Oppo than simply choosing a progressive player. For the price and all other factors considered, it should easily be the best, budget considered route to take. Just have to make sure the monitor has hdmi or dvi.
     
  14. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    One problem with some DVD production and some NTSC broadcasts is adulteration to make things look better on "traditional" TV sets and this reduces the quality possible on top grade TV sets. One example of such adulteration is "vertical filtering" which by definition reduces the vertical resolution. It reduces some flicker on 480i CRT's but the possible detail available from good de-interlacers is reduced.
     
  15. hdtvman

    hdtvman Auditioning

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    Samsung hd841 up converts to 480p 720p 768p or 1080i in both analog and digital. It served me well until HD DVD finally came out. I think it's about $50 on ebay from a guy called Samsungstore. I don't know if he's still there though. It's digital out is DVI. I've always used a separate line for audio myself. An 8ft hdmi to dvi is about 10 bucks on ebay. Any longer than that - I wouldn’t trust without being able to return it.
     

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