Quick Blu-Ray question

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Greg_S_H, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    This doesn't deserve its own thread, but I also don't want to piggyback on someone else's. I got a Magnavox BR player (I can provide the model number if necessary, but it shouldn't be) and found that 4x3 material is forced to 16x9 if I use HDMI. It's 4x3 if I use component. I planned to just leave both cables attached (once I get a switcher, since I only have one HDMI input and the cable box is using it) and watch the component input for 4x3 and HDMI for everything else, but I need to know if there'll be any signal degradation if both cables are connected. With a disc playing, I can switch between inputs and see the program (I believe I tested it and found this to be the case), which makes me think there's got to be some loss in signal since it's outputting in two directions. Thing is, when it comes to the technical side, I just know enough to fake it. Any insight would be appreciated.
     
  2. Brian McHale

    Brian McHale Supporting Actor

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    4:3 material should not be forced to 16:9 regardless of how you connect the output to the TV. I would suspect that there is a setting that needs to be changed. Providing the model number would be helpful, so that we can browse the manual.

    There shouldn't be serious degradation using component outputs. However, you almost certainly won't get 1080p that way (most players limit the output to 1080i over analog).
     
  3. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    My Insigina NS-WBRDVD distorted anamorphic widescreen movies and "stretched" 4:3 material that I streamed from Netflix (but not SD DVDs) until I went into the settings and selected "16:9 pillarbox" instead of the default "16:9 widescreen". (Only video device I've ever seen that even had two different modes for 16:9. I'm used to seeing 4:3 letterbox, 4:3 pan & scan and 16:9 as the only options.) So I'd bet on settings, too. I use component video because my TV is 720p and because there were HDMI handshake issues with the Insignia. (Due purely to the age of my TV, I'm sure. I took the player into Best Buy and had the Geek Squad hook it up to two different TVs there and it worked fine.)

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  4. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    I don't have a 1080p. So, component should be fine? That would be more convenient than using a switcher.

    It's a Magnavox NB500MG1F connected to a Sony 30SX955. The TV doesn't have a lot of settings I can play with.
     
  5. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    I think any settings change would need to be done on the Magnavox. Unfortunately I can't find an owner's manual for the thing, even with the model number. (I must say the Mag web site is not very user-friendly.) I notice your set is a direct-view CRT HDTV (!) I don't think I've ever so much as seen one of those, so as the Rev said in Blazing Saddles, "Son, you're on your own." . I seriously considered the Magnavox, as well as the Insignia NS-BDVD3, but in the end I decided it was worth the extra $30 or so to get wireless networking and Netflix. Isn't it cool that such great players are available at such low prices this early in the product life cycle. I spent close to $800 for my first laserdisc player, $1,000 for my first "AC-3" receiver and $500 for my first DVD player. I just love the fact that my first Blu Ray player cost me less than my first few laserdiscs.)

    Later,

    Joe
     
  6. Brian McHale

    Brian McHale Supporting Actor

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    It looks to me like the TV has different settings depending on whether or not it's receiving an HD or SD signal. I believe that Full would be the correct mode (though manuals are often pretty poor at describing when to use the various modes).

    For the player, it's not obvious whether you should be using 16:9 Wide or 16:9 Squeeze. You might try both.

    I would also recommend going over to AVS Forum and searching there. For hardware related questions like this, I find that to be a better source of info.
    By the way, you might want to double check the model numbers. I believe you have the SX mixed up on the TV, which made it harder to find the manual. Also, I couldn't find a manual for the exact model number you gave to the BD player, but I did find one for the NB500MG9, which is probably very similar (if not identical).
     
  7. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    You're right. I'm sorry about that. The TV doesn't have the model number on the front, so I looked at an old forum link and transposed those letters. I hate that I wasted your time when I could have been precise.

    For some reason, the TV won't let me change Screen Mode on the HDMI input. Well, it's got:

    Full (Display picture in original size)
    Zoom (Enlarge the picture uniformly)
    H. Expand (Enlarge the picture horizontally)
    Vert. Expand (Enlarge the picture vertically)

    Normal and Wide Zoom are grayed out. For TV, this doesn't seem to matter. It will display 4x3 channels in 4x3 and 16x9 channels in 16x9. Later tonight, I'll try messing with the 16x9 settings on the player.

    Interestingly, things change when I go to the component input. Here, Normal is (Display picture in original size) and Full is (Enlarge horizontally to fill the screen). I have to do Full with my Wii. On Normal, it squeezes it down to a 4x3 window and is obviously incorrect when you look at circles (which become ovals) or characters (which become short and fat). Annoyingly enough, if I set it to Full on Input 6 for the Wii, it changes it for every other input except for the HDMI and antenna inputs. I want it to be on Normal for input 5 (component) because there, my Blu-Ray player will display widescreen or full screen material correctly based on what signal it gets. I guess I have to just manually switch it every time.

    Joe, I got the player as a gift, so I didn't do any comparison shopping. A wireless interface would be very nice. Here, I have to burn a disc to get an update. Since Magnavox doesn't even list this player on their site, I'm stuck wondering whether the update for the NB500MG9 would work for mine or brick it. As for my TV, it looks nice (except for some annoying "speedbumps" that cause a camera pan to warp if you're looking for it) but it is heavy, heavy. It's also humongous. I shudder to think of carrying this thing back down when I finally trade it in. Two of us had a hard time setting it up. I think I got it around the time of the last Winter Olympics because the first thing I saw was Yoko Ono singing as some men climbed some netting.
     
  8. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    As for my TV, it looks nice (except for some annoying "speedbumps" that cause a camera pan to warp if you're looking for it) but it is heavy, heavy. It's also humongous. I shudder to think of carrying this thing back down when I finally trade it in. Two of us had a hard time setting it up. I think I got it around the time of the last Winter Olympics because the first thing I saw was Yoko Ono singing as some men climbed some netting.

    No USB port on the Magnavox? I found that a much easier way to do an update than burning CDs or DVDs.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  9. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    Joe, I finally took your advice and set the player to 16x9 Squeeze instead of 16x9 Wide. Seems to have made a big difference! Why did I wait so long? Well, the problem seemed to have gone away when using the Component input instead of the HDMI. Then, I put in a new disc last night with 16x9 menus and 4x3 content, and it was stretching the 4x3 to 16x9 and the TV settings were grayed out. Dropping it to 480p worked, but then switching to 16x9 Squeeze worked while allowing me to keep it at 1080i. I haven't tested a lot of discs with it yet, but this one definitely can display both 16x9 and 4x3 material correctly.
     

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