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Output formats over component?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by RoyGBiv, Jul 15, 2007.

  1. RoyGBiv

    RoyGBiv Stunt Coordinator

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    I have newbie questions relating to what formats BD will allow you to output over component cables.

    I have a Panasonic plasma which does not have HDMI or DVI. I can add a DVI card to it, but have not done so so far because I have been quite happy with the picture quality of HD over component cables.

    I have avoided either BD or HD-DVD because it was my understanding when the standards for both were finalized that they would only allow 720p, 1080i, and now 1080p outputs over HDMI. I was not planning to get either type of player due to this and figured at some point in the future when I upgraded my TV to one with an HDMI input, I would consider it.

    Now I am reading posts about people who clearly have these players connected to their TV via component and seem to be able to get 720p or 1080i out to their TV this way.

    So, what is the truth? I have read online several owner's manuals for these players, and they don't even make it clear. From my reading it seems for many discs (? most discs, ? all discs) the player will output HD over component, but that there are codes for discs that may tell the player not to. If that is true, how many discs are coded this way? Are there differences between BD and HD-DVD regarding this? (I'll be glad to post a similar question in that area if people think it appropriate.)

    Last, if these players do output HD over component, will they upconvert SD DVDs to 720p or 1080i? I have avoided getting an upconverting DVD player because my understanding is that almost all upconverting DVD players will only do so via HDMI unless they have been hacked. (Plus I haven't been so sure the picture quality improvements will really be that noticeable.)

    Thanks for the help. I appreciate any information people can provide on this topic as well as links to other places this information might be available.

    SMK
     
  2. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    If you play a Bluray or HDDVD it will be output at 1080i or 720p, or 1080p-- whatever you set it to. If you play a DVD, and that DVD is copy protected, it will be output at 480p.

    In the future, high definition discs may incorporate special codes that force the component outputs to be downgraded to 540p, or to output nothing at all. But the studios have pledged not to use such codes before (iirc) 2012.
     
  3. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I've been looking for this answer for awhile now. Thanks!

    If the player is connected via HDMI...what resolution does that upconvert the SD-DVDs to?

    I, too, am looking at hooking up a Blu-ray player to a small HD CRT w/o HDMI and have been wondering what the limitations are of component vs. HDMI.

    The other thing that has been recommended to me (for audio) is using the analog 5.1 connections (which I have on both the player and receiver) instead of the coaxial cable I am currently using.
     
  4. Adam Barratt

    Adam Barratt Screenwriter

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    Mike, Blu-ray and HD DVD will only output up to 1080i over component video. This is a restriction enforced by the discs' copy protection system (AACS) not of the connection itself, and some HDTVs will happily accept 1080p over component. Both discs can also use a flag (the Image Constraint Token or ICT) that is used to restrict resolution through component video to 480/540p, or disable component output entirely, but no studios have yet used this feature or announced plans to do so.

    If you watch an SD-DVD via HDMI the video upconversion can be up to 1080p, but the actual output depends on the formats your monitor will accept. If your HDTV won't accept a 1080p input then the player will recognise this (the HDTV tells the player its capabilities via HDMI during the initial handshake) and only feed a signal the HDTV monitor will accept (ie. 1080i or 720p).

    Adam
     
  5. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Adam: So the player allows the HDTV to upscale the SD-DVD to the highest resolution allowed by the display device?!

    Aren't their also limitations on the SD-DVD to HDTV via HDMI based on the media? I didn't think SD-DVDs were authored with that much resolution.
     
  6. Adam Barratt

    Adam Barratt Screenwriter

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    No, not as long as you are using HDMI. SD-DVDs remain fundamentally 480i so there isn't any more information on the discs themselves. The player is just 'guessing' how the image should be scaled from its original 720x480 up to 1280x720 or 1920x1080 resolution. Your HDTV already does this with all analog sources, the only difference is that the player is doing it instead.

    Adam
     
  7. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Adam: Thanks! I actually understand this...and am upset with myself for mis-using the word "upscale" for "display" in that first question.

    It's too bad the SD-DVDs cannot be upscaled by the Panny DMP-BD10 over a component connection.

    Boy, I've done a lot of reading the past couple of weeks! [​IMG]
     
  8. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Screenwriter

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    >>> it's too bad ...

    There is no compelling need for a standard def. DVD player to do upscaling unless the TV does not do that great a job of doing the same upscaling. And there is no guarantee (unless you have read about evidence or gathered some yourself) that the player will do a better job.

    Component video can handle all of the popular formats, 720p, etc. Check the specs of the player you are looking at to see what choices it offers.

    If your player has both analog-component output and digital output and the TV has only component inputs, there is no compelling need to get a dongle to go between and convert the player's digital output into component.

    Hi-def players that also play SD disks will upconvert the latter's video for better or worse so everything played at least comes out the same format. If I had a hi-def player, I would keep the SD player in the system so I don't consume the HD player's finite lifetime playing SD disks.

    Video hints: http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/viddoubl.htm
     

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