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Upconverting DVD players..how does it work?


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#1 of 44 CoolCatbro

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Posted August 16 2008 - 02:02 AM

I have an Upconverting DVD player. 480i.480p,720p,1080i. I can select which upconvert to use, or none= 480i.

I selected 1080i.

According to my HDTV display the movies are in 1080i.

But I started having "black outs" on the screen, a blank screen, the audio would still be playing.

Troubleshooting:
I went thru several discs and this wasn't the root cause.
Doesn't appear to be the HDTV either.
(Although chance its the HDMI only input)

So before taking this DVD player back, I have a few days left, I reduced the DVD player selection to leave the player at 480 and everything is fine, the random black outs stopped?

Its a Samsung HtX40 amp/DVD player..retail 4350, actual price $200ish.

Can anyone tell me how this upconvert works and what might possibly cause the picture to go blank?

#2 of 44 Joseph DeMartino

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Posted August 16 2008 - 02:33 AM

We'll need to know the make and model of your TV before anyone can take a reasonable stab at figuring this out.

Preliminary thought? Your TV is a fixed-pixel array design - LCD flat panel, plasma or DLP, with a native resolution of either 720p or 1080p. It automatically scales all inputs to its own native resolution unless that input exactly matches it resolution. So your player is upconverting 480i to 1080i, and your TV is combining the two 540p fields of the 1080i signal and either displaying that as 1080p or scaling it down to 720p. (I'm guessing the latter.) In any case, the extra signal processing would be the source of the black screen in this scenario. Between them the player and the TV can't keep up with all the coversion steps.

Regards,

Joe

#3 of 44 CoolCatbro

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Posted August 16 2008 - 02:44 AM

Its an Olevia LCD 42" 1080P FHDTV...does that help.

It never blacks out on HDTV ..never..only when watching the DVD.

Seems all movies are in 1080i, when I select that on the DVD player.
If I set the DVD player to default, 480...and play the move/dvd..the tv info will show 480p and doesn't seem to have the black out. for example.


edit: model 242T FHD

#4 of 44 Joseph DeMartino

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Posted August 16 2008 - 07:35 AM

Your TV scales all sources to 1080p, which is its native resolution. The only thing your TV can display is 1080p. It is inherent progressive-scanning, it doesn't do interlaced. When the display shows "480p" or "1080i" it is identifying the resolution of the incoming signal, not telling you what it is displaying.

By selecting 480i as the output on your DVD player you're by-passing its upconversion circuitry and letting the TV do the job. As long as the TV does a decent job, that shouldn't be a problem. (I have a Sony DVD changer that upscales over HDMI but not over component. I've watched the same discs using both connections and I cannot see a difference between the two. So I use the component connection through my AV receiver - which doesn't have HDMI - because it is more convenient for me to switch AV sources among two DVD players and a cable DVR through the receiver.)

It is probably the extra processing step in upconverting 480i to 1080i and then up to 1080p that is causing the problem on DVD but not on TV sources. Eliminate the step and you should be OK. Upconverting players are probably fine when connected to 720p fixed-pixel TVs or 1080i models (mostly CRT, plus a few plasmas and LCD rear-projection sets) where TV can actually display the upconverted signal directly, but with 1080p set they're kinda pointless because the TV has to upscale the signal anyway.

Regards,

Joe

#5 of 44 Allan Jayne

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Posted August 16 2008 - 07:47 AM

It is possible that the cable from the DVD player to the TV is not of good enough quality.

When you upconvert first, in the player, the video signal going to the TV has more information and requires a bigger bandwidth, and a cable that might have handled the unconverted or lesser converted signal might not handle the signal with more upconversion. You will have to conduct tests.
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#6 of 44 CoolCatbro

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Posted August 17 2008 - 01:30 AM

Wow...thanks for the explanation. It sounds exactly on target with what I'm seeing in error's.

I switched the DVD player back to 480p and never had an error, then tried more movies again no error.

I then selected 720 on the DVD player, and though it didn't go blank, it had a few stopped places as if it was a scratched disc....it didn't stop and go blank but got jerky/skipped.

Its great to know that the TV is doing the upconverting too, your explanation was what I saw on 480....

is that right the TV is upconverting the signal?

I was just telling my brother DVD player selection of 480,720,1080 didn't make much of a difference, so I was again confused?
Thanks.

#7 of 44 CoolCatbro

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Posted August 17 2008 - 01:33 AM

I have a HDMI cable, not sure how I would test this out?
Sounds like the DVD player is the culprit.

But with this train of thought the Upconverting DVD player is kind of a joke< for my type tv>?

Seems the HDTV is the one doing the work to upgrade the picture.

thanks for the help and inputs.

#8 of 44 Allan Jayne

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Posted August 17 2008 - 02:02 AM

All HDTV's I know of do upconversion of 480i (regular DVD and also regular NTSC broadcasts) to 720p or 1080p or whatever their screen resolution is.

Properly, 480i is converted to 480p as a first step and converted to the screen resolution as a second step.

It's luck of the draw (sometimes you can tell in advance by the specifications) but your TV may or may not do 480i to 480p as well as your DVD player does. This is another thing you need to experiment with and do viewing tests. If the player is outputting 480p then the player is doing the 480i to 480p part.

Choosing 1080i from an upconverting non-Blue Ray DVD player is usually an inferior choice except for 1080i TV sets (usually with direct view CRT or little projection CRT "guns"). Also, if the player doesn't offer an exact match which might be 768p, then 480p is usually sufficient.

The higher the amount of data (bitrate; required bandwidth) the more critical is the handshaking between DVD player and TV, too. This is a separate topic from cable quality and so far, difficulties seem to be rare but randomly between specific players and TV's of specific makes and models.

Unfortunately a service technician with a bunch of cables -- high, medium high, medium, etc. quality -- to try one at a time is not easy to find. Monster offers some high quality cables but on average their prices are much higher than other brands.
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#9 of 44 Joseph DeMartino

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Posted August 17 2008 - 02:32 AM

Didn't know that about TVs first converting 480i to 480p, although that does make sense when you stop to think about it. Interesting

Quote:
All HDTV's I know of do upconversion of 480i (regular DVD and also regular NTSC broadcasts) to 720p or 1080p or whatever their screen resolution is.

CRT-based HDTVs are still interlaced, not progressive scan. The same is true of some early plasma set, and even a few LCD rear-projection TVs, so it is not true that all HDTVs convert to a progressive resolution. A flat-panel LCD like "Reginald's" is technically either 1080p (his model) or 768p, not 720p, owing to the shape and arragement of the pixels in a 16:9 array. So such a set would still be reprocessing even a 720p signal from DVD player.

I think the owner of that set and "Reg" would both be best served by having the DVD player output 480p and letting the TV do the rest.

Regards,

Joe

#10 of 44 JohnRice

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Posted August 17 2008 - 04:46 AM

I think the bottom line is that manufacturers cram all these features into equipment which isn't capable of delivering them. After all, it sounds like we are talking about a DVD/Receiver which sold for $200. What do you expect?

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#11 of 44 CoolCatbro

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Posted August 17 2008 - 08:29 AM

Well I found out the 720p appears to skip.

So back to the 480p off the DVD player and no problems.

I really appreciate the excellent posts and help.

I admit I don't fully understand why I have the problem, though I do understand the fix is repeatable and consistent.

The thing I don't understand is, if my DVD player upconverts internally to say 720P or 1080i....why would that mess up my HDTV?

in other words, all the TV would see is this 1080i or 720p signal coming to it, so why would that lock up the video to a blank screen?


or its starting to make more sense maybe its a cheaper unit, and it actually isn't doing a good job of converting and is sending out a blank signal to the TV.

thanks...appreciate the help. Its working fine on 480 and will do for now.

#12 of 44 Joseph DeMartino

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Posted August 17 2008 - 10:56 AM

Quote:
in other words, all the TV would see is this 1080i or 720p signal coming to it, so why would that lock up the video to a blank screen?

I suspect because it was having trouble reprocessing those signals into 1080p, its native resolution. Why it was having trouble is another question. It may be that the player wasn't doing the smoothest job of converting to these resolutions, and that there were tiny delays in the output signal that were screwing up the 2nd conversion in the TV, or it could be a bandwidth issue, as Allan suggested.

Regards,

Joe

#13 of 44 CoolCatbro

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Posted August 19 2008 - 11:12 PM

Thanks for the inputs.
BTW, There's not been a problem since leaving the DVD player at 480p.

I haven't split screens and compared much yet to various input signals.


Seems I was incorrect at thinking the TV would only show the resolution of the signal, If I gave it a 480i it would display 480i, if I gave it 720p it would show 720p etc..

But your all saying the TV will upconvert the input signal to 1080p or 1080i??


I think the conclusion the bandwidth or data rate etc.. was the culprit by the DVD Player. One reason it seems this is true, is the lock-up blank screen would be very random, even when replaying the same DVD. I liked the term "handshake", that suggested the handshake was off...was delayed and causing issues.

However, I haven't truly tested out the TV's HDMI input...maybe another DVD player set at 1080i would be test data to show if its the TV input or the cable or the player?
The TV doesn't do this on cable tv is all I know. So I assume its probably not the TV.

#14 of 44 JohnRice

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Posted August 20 2008 - 03:08 AM

The TV is most likely 1080p, that's it. That is the only thing it can display. It takes whatever it is fed and upconverts it to 1080p if needed. The display you are seeing is just it telling you what it is being fed, so it will always be the same as what the player is set to output.

Considering how much you spent on that TV, you should consider getting a decent DVD player, and a good audio system.

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#15 of 44 CoolCatbro

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Posted August 21 2008 - 01:03 AM

yes that would be logical to get a better system, but this one really sounds ok, and the I was under the assumption the DVD player wasn't usually the weakest link? Its pretty good for a $200 or less.
I've had better systems in the past, but these all in ones have a pretty cool consolidated thing going. I really tired of all the chords and remotes laying everywhere.

Thanks for reconfirming the way the signal is dealt with, in that its the TV doing the upconverting. I had missed that foundational bit of info.

I feel a lot better knowing whats going on now with the "blanked out" screen! Thanks.

#16 of 44 AmusingistheDawn

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Posted December 02 2008 - 02:07 PM

while on the subject... my dish network dvr has the option to pick which HD output to use. However...the only selections are 480p,480i,720p, or 1080i. I have a 1080p tv, a dvd player that upscales to 1080p, and my receiver upconverts to 1080p via hdmi. What makes the most sense to pick on the dvr, and does it matter?
Samsung HL61A750  -PS Audio Soloist into Quintet  -Denon 2808CI  -Denon DCD-3520 (Burr-Brown OPA-627opamps & Elna Silmic II capacitors)  -Panasonic DMP-BD35K  -Dish Vip722  -Harmony One  -Klipsch KLF-20's (HT mains)  -Klipsch KLF C-7 (Crites crossover)  -Klipsch S-2's  -Klipsch RW-10 

#17 of 44 Joseph DeMartino

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Posted December 03 2008 - 01:33 AM

The 1080i setting should work best. Your set just has to de-interlace that to display it as 1080p. With any of the other signals it will have to scale the image (and in the case of 480i also de-interlace it.)

Regards,

Joe

#18 of 44 AmusingistheDawn

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Posted December 03 2008 - 03:13 AM

...so in theory, my HD dish receiver, technically isn't HD because it forces my tv to upscale the 1080i image to 1080p...obviously loosing something along the line?
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#19 of 44 Joseph DeMartino

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Posted December 03 2008 - 04:07 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmusingistheDawn
...so in theory, my HD dish receiver, technically isn't HD because it forces my tv to upscale the 1080i image to 1080p... obviously loosing something along the line?

???? Anything from 720p up is HD. Nobody does over the air broadcasts in 1080p (some of the networks are 1080i, the rest are 720p.) 1080i is the maximum for the HD broadcast standard due to bandwidth limitations. I'm told a few cable or satellite-only sources are 1080p, but there is very little of that. Currently Blu Ray and computer files (for those with HTPCs) are the only sources for 1080p programming.

And no, nothing is being "lost" in going from 1080i to 1080p. You receiver is outputting 30 frames per second of 1080i, which means it is sending 60 fields consisting of 540 lines (first all the even numbered lines, then all the odd numbered ones) every second. Your TV is simply combining the two fields and displaying the entire 1080p image every 30 seconds 30 times a second. Posted Image

Regards,

Joe

#20 of 44 Al.Anderson

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Posted December 03 2008 - 04:29 AM

Quote:
Your TV is simply combining the two fields and displaying the entire 1080p image every 30 seconds.

Wow Joe, do you have much of problem with motion blur? I recommend you consider a technology refresh during the holiday sales!


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