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Upconverting DVD players..how does it work?


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#21 of 44 OFFLINE   AmusingistheDawn

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Posted December 03 2008 - 05:04 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph DeMartino
???? 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.

Regards,

Joe

thanks for the education. I'm going to run my dvr direct to my tv to see if there is any difference in picture quality. Something is causing my tv to not look as good as it can, and I can't figure it out yet.
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#22 of 44 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted December 03 2008 - 05:56 AM

Quote:
I'm going to run my dvr direct to my tv to see if there is any difference in picture quality.

There probably won't be, but it certainly can't hurt.

Quote:
Something is causing my tv to not look as good as it can, and I can't figure it out yet.

Have you adjusted the TV settings with a consumer-level calibration disc like Digital Video Essentials or Avia Guide to Home Theater? (Or the Blu Ray editions, if you had a player.)

If you haven't, the "something" that is causing the TV not to look as good as it should is called "the factory settings". All TVs ship from the factory configured to stand out from a sea of TVs on a showroom floor under florescent lighting. Since your living room does not feature 30 foot ceilings, banks of florescent lights and a wall full of TVs, these settings are probably not the best for your actual viewing conditions.

Regards,

Joe

#23 of 44 OFFLINE   AmusingistheDawn

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Posted December 03 2008 - 06:01 AM

I have DVE and I adjusted it, but it's confusing because of the different options that the tv has, that dve doesn't discuss...such as standard/movie/dynamic settings.
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#24 of 44 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted December 03 2008 - 06:02 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al.Anderson
Wow Joe, do you have much of problem with motion blur? I recommend you consider a technology refresh during the holiday sales!

I don't have a 1080p TV myself, and I was somewhat oversimplifying the technical details in order to convey the basic idea.

Regards,

Joe

#25 of 44 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted December 03 2008 - 06:07 AM

Quote:
standard/movie/dynamic settings.

Turn all such presets off. Start from standard mode with all other presets and features disabled, and adjust your set from there. You will probably have to calibrate each input separately. Either move the DVD output to each of them (the best method) or copy the settings you use for the DVD input to the cable/satellite and other inputs so that you get at least a good approximation of the proper settings. (Which you can then tweak "by eye".) Above all turn off the "sharpness" or "detail" setting (or at least turn it way the hell down.) This adds video noise to the image in order to artificially make edges of objects easier to see and is one of the settings that is usually a) maxed out and b) contributes most to a "grainy" and ugly image - making HD look bad and SD virtually unwatchable.

Regards,

Joe

#26 of 44 OFFLINE   Al.Anderson

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Posted December 03 2008 - 07:36 AM

Quote:
I don't have a 1080p TV myself, ...

I was just yanking your chain. You said every 30 seconds. Thirty! I kind of thought you mistyped.

#27 of 44 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted December 03 2008 - 08:42 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al.Anderson
I was just yanking your chain. You said every 30 seconds. Thirty! I kind of thought you mistyped.

Doh! Posted Image

#28 of 44 OFFLINE   seedybrick

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Posted December 04 2008 - 09:10 AM

oof i just learned something today.
only owned my xbr4 for like a month now so i'm just getting to figuring things out and i will run avia this weekend.

was wondering though whether i'm better off running a 1080i signal or 480i or 480p from my dvd player. thinking maybe i'm better off with the pure 480 signal. which... quick question.....DVDs contain both a 480 i AND p stream, no???

anyhoo....i just learned today my tv will always upconvert to 1080p wow!
and so i can either have my player upconvert to 480p (is that really upconverting??) or to 1080i....and then my TV takes over from there.
OR i can have my dvd output at 480i and let my TV do the entire upconversion.

is there any advantage to having my player do 480p over 480i???

#29 of 44 OFFLINE   AmusingistheDawn

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Posted December 09 2008 - 03:09 AM

I haven't found an answer, but I'm guessing that getting the picture to 1080p, if you have a 1080p TV, is always going to look the best. I got my TV calibrated and it looks awsome now. HDTheater on DishNetwork looks STUNNING. So, I'm back to the oppo problem. SD-DVD's are grainy and dull and look like a bad VHS. (overreacting).

I have the denon set to ouput at 1080p, and I set the oppo also at 1080p...but still not so hot. In response to purchasing a BD35 and needing the HDMI input...it took priority over the oppo. Once I get the new HDMI cable I'll be running the oppo directly into the tv via HDMI and using a digital cable into the avr for sound. I don't know if it will make a difference, but it's worth a shot. I bought the oppo mainly for CD playback via analog audio cables, but I also wanted something to make old SD DVD's seem a little pumped up.

Does anyone else have difficulty enjoying or troubleshooting SD video? I'm so spoiled from dish's HD channels and BD...that it seems even with a moderately expensive oppo983...SD still seems to suck. Posted Image
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#30 of 44 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted December 09 2008 - 04:49 AM

Quote:
is there any advantage to having my player do 480p over 480i???

In the case of SD DVDs there are really two different steps:

1) De-interlacing the image, going from 480i to 480p.

2) Scaling the image up to 1080p by using algorithms to "guess" what pixels would fit in between the existing image conent in order to complete the picture.

It is possible that the de-interlacer in your TV is better than the one in your DVD player, in which case you should use the 480i setting. It could also be that the scaler in your DVD player is better than the one in your TV, in which case 1080i could give you a better result. In a case like this nothing beats experimentation. You need to try different settings with the same piece of video until you find the one that produces the best results with your combination of equipment.

Quote:
I have the denon set to ouput at 1080p, and I set the oppo also at 1080p.

This may be processing the signal twice, which can actually make things worse. Try sending 480i or 480p from the Oppo to the Denon (or turn off the processing for the Oppo's input and let the Denon send an unaltered signal to the TV if that is possible) and see how things look.

Right now you have three devices in the chain which are capable of processing your SD signal, and ideally only one of them should be doing so.

My experience with SD DVD on a properly adjusted HD set (not yet professionally calibrated) is that some discs look amazing and some look like crap. My CSI series sets look almost as good as the HD broadcasts. The Ascent of Man, also shot on film, but edited and mastered on videotape 30-odd years ago, looks like crap. The letterboxed Streets of Fire looks terrific, better than it ever has. The letterboxed Rocketeer looks OK, not a big improvement over the way the widescreen laserdisc looked on my old SD widescreen TV. The quality of the source material is the single biggest factor in how SD material looks on an HDTV. How does SD cable look on the set? Do some channels look better than others?

When you had the set calibrated, did the tech calibrate each input separately?

Regards,

Joe


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#31 of 44 OFFLINE   AmusingistheDawn

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Posted December 09 2008 - 05:02 AM

I have a feeling it's more the content than anything. Certain SD channels are AWFUL...some are...OK...but nothing great. Even HD channels are different though. Some aren't so hot, but some are so crisp it is stunning. Since ordering the BD player...there isn't a way that the oppo can still go into the denon via hdmi, so I'll send the hdmi from the oppo directly into the samsung now. It will be easier anyways...I'll see what setting on the oppo looks best.

Back to the content...an SD signal can only look so good...so I don't feel bad about routing video away from the denon. More importantly, blu-ray and hd dish will be strict hdmi into the denon and out to the tv. I might be looking to far into SD stuff.
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#32 of 44 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted December 09 2008 - 05:20 AM

Quote:
...an SD signal can only look so good...

Exactly. And a big, bright detailed HDTV, with or without upconversion, can magnify the flaws in an SD signal. (Hell, just a bigger screen does that. When I replaced my 19" CRT with a 42" 4:3 RPTV I found most of my homemade video tapes unwatchable.)

And upconversion can't add detail that wasn't there in the first place. It can only guess as to what might be there and try to fill it in on the fly, a hit and miss procedure even with very fast circuitry.

Regards,

Joe

#33 of 44 OFFLINE   AmusingistheDawn

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Posted December 09 2008 - 05:39 AM

This is my first big tv, so i'm not used to it. I used to have a 27" that I thought looked incredible when I put SD DVDs into my pioneer elite player, but I was also 9-10 feet away from it, whereas now I'm 8-9 feet away from a 61"HDTV. There is no more hiding!!!

Even though I have roughly 100 SD DVD's...and most of them will look Posted Image at best...it is worth having what I have. BD and HD sat tv look absolutely stunning to where sometimes it makes me giggle.
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#34 of 44 OFFLINE   Doug_H

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Posted December 09 2008 - 09:53 AM

Chris

Why are you still using the Oppo for unconversion when the Blu-Ray will likely do as good or better job on scaling.

The comments above about SD and larger televisions are correct but you can simplify your system greatly by using the Blu player Posted Image
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#35 of 44 OFFLINE   AmusingistheDawn

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Posted December 09 2008 - 10:34 AM

The reason for that was pretty settled here:
http://www.hometheat....-blue-ray.html

I'm using the oppo for it's analog audio outputs for CD playback...and also because it does a better job in upconversion than BD player (although better sometimes isn't even noticed to the naked eye)...but it still has more options that you can't get in a BD player. CD playback being the main issue. I did think about just a CD player, but the oppo fit right into what I needed at the time.
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#36 of 44 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted December 09 2008 - 12:01 PM

Quote:
..but it still has more options that you can't get in a BD player. CD playback being the main issue.

Er, BD players don't play audio CDs? And why use the analog outputs for CDs when CDs are digital media? All using the analog outputs does is move the point of the digital-to-analog conversion from the receiver (where it happens just before the music is sent to the speakers) to the player. Unless you have reason to believe that the DAC in the player is a lot better than the one in the receiver, I'm not sure I see any advantage in doing this.

Regards,

Joe

#37 of 44 OFFLINE   AmusingistheDawn

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Posted December 09 2008 - 12:13 PM

Maybe I'm getting bad information...or just misunderstanding something.

In general, I thought in the price range that I'm in...CD players and certain SD DVD players have better playback as far as CD's than a BD player would.

I also read that using the analog outputs on the oppo would give better playback. I'm really just getting confused at this point. I originally wanted a "all in one" player to make things easy, but I was swayed through this forum that having a SD-DVD player like the oppo and something like the panasonic 35 would be better. Reason being the oppo did a better job upconverting and playing SD DVD's, and the CD playback would be much better than the BD player. I didn't really understand the analog outputs either...but it seems like a lot of people do that with high end CD players.

I'm still very open minded to everything and since I'm in the market for a BD player...perhaps I'll return the oppo and splurge on a hefty "all in one".
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#38 of 44 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted December 09 2008 - 12:28 PM

OK, just read the other thread, and all I can say is color me skeptical. A CD player is a machine that spins a disc, reads bits off said disc and sends then down a piece of wire to a receiver where they are processed and sent out to speakers. Unless there is something grossly wrong with the transport mechanism, I can't see how one player can be significantly better than another, much less how one transport mechanism/laser pick up combo can do a good job on DVD and Blu Ray and a bad job on CD audio. The only parts of a digital audio system that are going to have a significant impact on sound are the amplifier and the speakers. In analog systems, the quality of the turntable or tape drive can affect the analog waveform, thus the music. But all this talk about the audio advantages of one DVD player as a music source over another strikes me as sounding a bit like the case for magic wooden blocks and $200 HDMI cables and interconnects. Am I wrong?

Regards,

Joe

#39 of 44 OFFLINE   AmusingistheDawn

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Posted December 09 2008 - 12:35 PM

yes...i'm leaning towards your opinion, which is why i'm still open minded to make changes. But my question...If sound isn't altered from one spinning disc machine to another...why do some CD players cost 3,000 dollars, when you can get a machine that plays cd's, bd's and dvd's for 500 dollars. Are you saying you can't tell the difference between the two when playing a CD?

I do agree that the speakers and the amp make the difference more than the device. I have always felt that way, but I'm getting caught up in something...and I don't know what it is!
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#40 of 44 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted December 09 2008 - 02:10 PM

Quote:
why do some CD players cost 3,000 dollars

Why do some 3 ft. HDMI cables cost $300? Because someone is willing to pay $300 for them. Posted Image WRT to players, there is obviously going to be some difference in build quality, reliability of components and longevity. A $40 CD player actually may have a crappy transport that will spin the disc badly and will probably break in a year, whereas a $300 player will feature a better mechanism and last ten years. But will one sound better than the other? I'm not so sure. Even if there is a difference in sound, I doubt that the $3,000 CD player is going to sound any better than a $150 player if both are played back through a $300 A/V receiver. Presumably you're going to need a high end receiver or comparable separates to get the most out of a really expensive player. But often you are just paying for a name and a reputation.

Ultimately a thing is worth what someone else is willing to pay for it. That's why the price of commodities like oil go down as well as up as the relationship between supply and demand changes. If I can convince you that some magical property of my HDMI cable makes it worth $33.33 a foot, why wouldn't I charge that price? Posted Image

Regards,

Joe


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