Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
- - - - -

Switch to Blu-ray or upgrade DVD player?


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
22 replies to this topic

#1 of 23 OFFLINE   punman

punman

    Agent



  • 44 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 16 2009

Posted March 09 2009 - 11:33 AM

I've worked since late fall in upgrading my entertainment room to plasma T.V., HD box, Harmon-Kardon AVR 146, KEF speakers 5.1 setup.
Now my weak link is my Citizen brand DVD player from a few years ago. It does have component cables and and a jack for digital coax which I am using.
It does not however have upscaling or even progressive scan.

My debate is whether to replace it with a better DVD player now, buy a Blu-ray player now, or wait a few months for Blu-ray players and disks to drop in price.

I'm not chomping at the bit to get into Blu-ray but paying even $50-$100 for DVD players at this stage of the game seems like a waste.

I could live with my current DVD player for a few months more if you feel that there is a better (or cheaper) Blu-ray machine coming out by Christmas.

What would you do and feel free to mention Brands and Models if you think I should buy now. I don't care about fancy extra features, just quality picture, sound, and DVD's that will look good too.

#2 of 23 OFFLINE   David Norman

David Norman

    Screenwriter



  • 2,061 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 12 2001
  • LocationCharlotte, NC

Posted March 09 2009 - 12:42 PM

If you have a High Def video, I don't see the use in going sideways with the input. Go for a decent Blu Ray player either now or later (sooner is better in my opinion).

Yes prices will drop by Christmas, but they will drop between Christmas and July 4 and Christmas 2010. I don't see anything major improvement on the hardware side coming up anytime soon so other than price there doesn't seem to be a lot of reason to wait.

#3 of 23 OFFLINE   RomanSohor

RomanSohor

    Second Unit



  • 360 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 09 2003

Posted March 09 2009 - 12:45 PM

Plenty of sub-200 BluRay players now... I wouldn't spend a nickel on a DVD player anymore. Even for an SD-TV at this point, I'd just buy a BD so I could keep up with the latest formats.
Roman Sohor, CTS

#4 of 23 OFFLINE   Mr. Film

Mr. Film

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 152 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 08 2009

Posted March 09 2009 - 01:31 PM

Definetly Blu ray. Once you start watching the stunning PQ of Blu Ray you'll never be able to look at DVD the same.
"As soon as television became the only secondary way in which films were watched, films had to adhere to a pretty linear system, whereby you can drift off for ten minutes and go and answer the phone and not really lose your place."
-Christopher Nolan

#5 of 23 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

Scott Merryfield

    Executive Producer



  • 10,658 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 16 1998
  • LocationMichigan

Posted March 09 2009 - 11:38 PM

A BluRay player will give you the best of both world -- the ability to play the latest high definition video format, and a new upconverting DVD player. Unless you are really strapped for cash for this upgrade, I would definitely go for a BD player. Panasonic and Sony have announced new models that should be available soon, with the entry level models probably priced at around $200.

#6 of 23 OFFLINE   Stephen Hopkins

Stephen Hopkins

    Screenwriter



  • 2,598 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 19 2002

Posted March 10 2009 - 02:48 AM

If you shop around and are ok with refurbished, BD players like the Samsung P1500 can be had as low as $135 shipped (PM me if you'd like a link). That said, if you're not ready to make the plunge, a decent upconverting DVD player wouldn't be a horrible investment and could always be used in another room on down the line. Something like a Philips DVP3962 ($43, WalMart... possibly $25, BigLots if your location has them) might very well be enough to satisfy you for awhile until either BD prices fall further or more funds become available.

Honestly, I'd let your screen size and viewing distance make the decision for you. I have BD players in my main theater and bedroom. The theater is a 720p projector on 100" screen viewed at 14'... the difference in PQ between DVD and BD is staggering, even with the DVD being scaled by Reon HQV. In the bedroom it's a 37" LCD viewed at around 12' and the difference is barely noticeable(and usually it's the color depth, not sharpness/resolution that I notice). Take a look at this chart and see where your screen size and viewing distance put you in terms of the benefits of a higher resolution source.

1080p charted: Viewing distance to screen size

#7 of 23 OFFLINE   Dan Driscoll

Dan Driscoll

    Supporting Actor



  • 928 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 01 2000

Posted March 10 2009 - 04:35 AM

The only reason I would consider buying an SD-DVD player now would be if I needed to replace my universal player and it would be used solely for audio. I have a fairly large collection of SACD/DVD-A/DAD/HDAD disks and there are NO Blu-Ray players available yet that can handle all of these formats.
Dan

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
--Benjamin Franklin

#8 of 23 OFFLINE   David Deeb

David Deeb

    Supporting Actor



  • 847 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 17 2005

Posted March 10 2009 - 08:00 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Driscoll
The only reason I would consider buying an SD-DVD player now would be if I needed to replace my universal player and it would be used solely for audio. I have a fairly large collection of SACD/DVD-A/DAD/HDAD disks and there are NO Blu-Ray players available yet that can handle all of these formats.


Keep it. Can't you use it as your "audio CD" player and run into your HK? No need to get rid of it.

Definitely switch to BD. There's always going to be a cheaper "whatever" around the corner, but if you enjoy home theater, get a decent player. Don't wait for a "cheap" brand name.

Upgrading to a better SD DVD player gets you nowhere. You've gone this far with your plasma, you'll LOVE the BD quality on it.

#9 of 23 OFFLINE   Stephen Hopkins

Stephen Hopkins

    Screenwriter



  • 2,598 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 19 2002

Posted March 10 2009 - 08:08 AM

It amazes me how many people make broad "obviously you should" do this or that without details about the OP's setup or situation.... details that make it impossible to know if the benefit of BD is worthwhile in his setup. Saying another SD-DVD player gets him nowhere is probably about as far from thr truth as possible, especially considering he's been using a dirt-cheap progressive scan player.

A decent scaling player, even one under $50, and digital path (HDMI) to his display can do wonders in terms of getting the most PQ he can out of DVD, and given he likely has a fairly small display (he said Plasma, so it's highly likely it's no bigger than 60"), the deciding factor really should be his viewing distance.

#10 of 23 OFFLINE   David Norman

David Norman

    Screenwriter



  • 2,061 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 12 2001
  • LocationCharlotte, NC

Posted March 10 2009 - 09:36 AM

Personally I never saw much of a difference in an upscaling DVD player on any HD set vs hooking up the component cables since so many sets upscale about as well as the player anyway (maybe a little better with a good upscaling player, but just not a massive difference). OTOH I see a huge difference in BR on a 26 and 32 inch set anywhere under 6-8 feet on the smaller set and 10-12 feet on the 32 inch -- not just resolution which the chart shows but all the other advantages of BluRay's presentation.

Judging by what it looks like listed in the OP, if you are going to spend what looks to be conservatively $1500-2000 over the last few months I'm guessing there aren't a huge amount of financial worries and I just don't see the reason to skimp on the last $100-200 between a good DVD upscaling player vs a decent BluRay player which has most (if not all) the advantages of the upscaler plus all the abilities of BluRay.

I figure 40-50 inches for plasma accounts for the large majority of sets. If you viewing a 40 inch plasma from 20 feet then there are other issues to discuss, but even from a 10-14 foot distance I stand by my original post.

If you are over 50 inches on a plasma then you are into such a whole different price realm by then there shouldn't be any argument over which to get except whether to get both a Universal region free OPPO in addition to Blu Ray.

#11 of 23 OFFLINE   punman

punman

    Agent



  • 44 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 16 2009

Posted March 10 2009 - 10:57 AM

To clarify, it is a Panasonic 720p Plasma TV - 42 inch.
Viewing distance is about 10 feet.
I can afford a Blu-ray player now. I just can't decide what to buy.
I am hearing lots about Sony BDP - S350, Panasonic DMP-BD35 (55) and Samsung BDP1500. Any of these to avoid, or aim for?

#12 of 23 OFFLINE   David Norman

David Norman

    Screenwriter



  • 2,061 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 12 2001
  • LocationCharlotte, NC

Posted March 10 2009 - 12:02 PM

I think all 3 are good players, but I'm partial to the Panasonics to be honest (I have an older 10A and a 35) though finding a 35/55 right now is difficult though the new 2009 models should be out soon with a couple new features.

The other option is to get a PS3 which still has a lot of benefits. There is apparently a Sony Credit Card deal which will be active in the next couple days which will allow you to get the PS3 for a $199USD -- apply for a CC and get $200 back with the purchase of any Sony product $349+. Of course you could also get a 550 ($399) or maybe preorde the new 560 ($349) assuming it is available by 5/14/09. I think you have to apply for the Sony Card between 3/12/09 and 3/14/09, but there seems to be some confusion over the exact details.

#13 of 23 OFFLINE   gene c

gene c

    Producer



  • 5,734 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 05 2003
  • Real Name:Gene
  • LocationBay area, Ca

Posted March 10 2009 - 01:51 PM

There's more to BluRay than picture quality. There's also audio (Dolby TrueHD and DTS-MA), BD-Live and some have Netflix streaming and Pandora music streaming.

If your interested in the new sound formats then your choice of a BluRay player is somewhat limited and more expensive when connected to your H/K 146. You are going to need a player that decodes the new formats and sends the signal out via 7.1 channel analog output. These include the Sony 550, Samsung 2500/2550 (with firmware upgrade), both can be found for around $325 and the Panasonic 55 which is pretty much un-available but the new 80 should be released soon @ $399. There are others but those are the more popular choices.

Most of the new name brand players have BD-Live capability but most of the cheaper players do not. Which BR player you get depends on what you want it to do. Chose carefully.

As for SD vs. BR, I would also go BR. Life is short and I don't see any new formats/features coming in the near future. If you you truly can afford it then get it. I don't think anyone has regretted buying one. Just make sure it's one that fits your needs. I currently have a Samsung 1400 in my "everyday" room and am considering a Samsung 2550 or Panasonic 80, when available, for my main movie/music room.
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#14 of 23 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

ManW_TheUncool

    Producer



  • 5,872 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 18 2001
  • Real Name:ManW

Posted March 10 2009 - 02:52 PM

I agree w/ the general consensus even for a 720p plasma as long as you can afford it easily enough. BD is not just about the pixel/luminosity resolution. The PQ upgrade also involves improved color resolution/fidelity and compression quality (and possibly other PQ improvements in actual practice) that you won't get from an upscaled DVD. Also, there will probably be a fair number of desired titles w/ much, *much* better PQ than the old DVD version that you already own (unless your main interest is in relatively niche catalog titles). No amount of upscaling can make a poor quality DVD come remotely close to a solid BD of the same film, if the old DVD is indeed subpar.

Of course, we're not suggesting you'll need to upgrade every DVD you own to BD. You might still find some DVDs to be good enough for your setup/situation (like many of us do).

RE: the Sony credit card deal, I'm not sure if something's changed, but some version of that deal has been going on for well over a year now, if not much longer, although it used to be only a $100 credit back, not $200. In fact, that's how I took the plunge w/ the PS3 back at the end of 2007. Might not need to rush to use it though you should doublecheck before delaying it, if you do want to use it.

_Man_
Just another amateur learning to paint w/ "the light of the world".

"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things..." (St. Paul)

#15 of 23 OFFLINE   David Norman

David Norman

    Screenwriter



  • 2,061 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 12 2001
  • LocationCharlotte, NC

Posted March 10 2009 - 03:09 PM

Sony has had some sort of cash-back deal for a while. Recently it has been 100, several months ago it was 150, but $200 is the biggest I've seen for just a regular SonyStyle card.

There have been a couple deals with 100-200 extra cash back but you had to charge $2000-4000 to the card over 6 months to get that deal.

#16 of 23 OFFLINE   David Deeb

David Deeb

    Supporting Actor



  • 847 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 17 2005

Posted March 10 2009 - 04:47 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Hopkins
It amazes me how many people make broad "obviously you should" do this or that without details about the OP's setup or situation.... details that make it impossible to know if the benefit of BD is worthwhile in his setup. Saying another SD-DVD player gets him nowhere is probably about as far from thr truth as possible, especially considering he's been using a dirt-cheap progressive scan player.

A decent scaling player, even one under $50, and digital path (HDMI) to his display can do wonders in terms of getting the most PQ he can out of DVD, and given he likely has a fairly small display (he said Plasma, so it's highly likely it's no bigger than 60"), the deciding factor really should be his viewing distance.

Forgive me OP. I was just sharing my thoughts. For pete's sake, sometimes I get so frustrated posting here.

I really enjoy watching HD material on my HD TV. Some people may enjoy watching SD material on their HD TV. That should satisfy everyone.

#17 of 23 OFFLINE   Stephen Hopkins

Stephen Hopkins

    Screenwriter



  • 2,598 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 19 2002

Posted March 11 2009 - 12:57 AM

My point is that people continually throw out catch-all responses without knowing details. There are plenty of situations where a BD player may be overkill... being someone with BD and HD players in multiple rooms on multiple different size sets, I can tell you that the graph I posted does a fair job of gauging the impact BD will have in a given application.

I'm by no means a BD hater and I have BD or HD players in 3 rooms of my house... I wouldn't live without it in my main theater (100" 720p front projection at 14')... but the only reason I have it in the bedroom (37" 720p LCD at 12') or living room (32" 1080i CRT at 10') is due to trickle down from player upgrades in the main theater. In these secondary rooms there's no remarkable benefit from the BD and HD players being used compared to SD upconverted on the same players (which aren't even excellent upconverting players at that).

Knowing the OP's screen size, resolution, and seating distance should have been the first thing ANYONE asked, at least anyone in a position to give knowledgeable advice... but somehow it was the 16th post before anyone asked... now that's frustrating.

As for the importance of lossless audio on mid-fi audio equipment, that's another source of catch-all responses without details necessary to gauge the true benefit... but I won't harp on that one right now.

#18 of 23 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

ManW_TheUncool

    Producer



  • 5,872 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 18 2001
  • Real Name:ManW

Posted March 11 2009 - 08:15 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Hopkins
My point is that people continually throw out catch-all responses without knowing details. There are plenty of situations where a BD player may be overkill... being someone with BD and HD players in multiple rooms on multiple different size sets, I can tell you that the graph I posted does a fair job of gauging the impact BD will have in a given application.

Stephen,

I agree that good, thorough advice would require knowing the details, but I also think you're likely overstating the value of that chart somewhat, which was what some of us pointed out subsequently.

Again, pixel/luminosity resolution is *not* the only aspect of PQ improvement. Yes, it's a very substantial part, but for some, it may not necessarily be the predominant part (provided there's not a huge diff there). One particular detail *you* seem to assume is that we all have the same eyes (or see a given image exactly the same way). If you personally don't see a certain impact from the *other* aspects of PQ improvement, that does not mean it's not there for the OP to see. We don't all see colors the exact same way nor do we all notice (or are distracted by) various artifacts to the same degrees.

And of course, there are other setup issues (like calibration) that also impact the bottomline -- though those tend to reduce PQ benefits rather than heighten them in practice (and perhaps, that's actually something you're experiencing that leads you to think BD doesn't offer a significant improvement for small viewing angles and/or lower res displays for all we know).

Now, it's probably also true that if the OP plans to watch the programming w/ a tiny viewing angle (and/or w/ poorly calibrated setup, etc), then even those other PQ benefits will be reduced substantially (perhaps to the point of being negligible). But now, we do know that at least the viewing angle and pixel resolution (at 42" 720p from 10ft) should probably not render BD pointless. Sure, it's still far from ideal for maximizing the potential of BD (and he won't benefit fully from the 1080p pixel/luminousity resolution), but the other aspects of PQ improvement could still be of significant value -- and how significant they are to him will really depend on him (not just the setup itself). And ideally, he should just demo BD in his own setup for himself to see for sure, but that may not be feasible until he's more ready to commit (after receiving some advice here).

Of course, there's also the issue that he might someday (in the not-too-distant future) upgrade his setup (and/or even his eyesight) to benefit more fully from BD too. What would happen then? Depending on his media buying habits, he might've spent a good deal of $$$ buying DVDs instead of BDs by then -- and that would be $$$ wasted to some extent.

So yes, the more we know, the better (and more focused) the advice that can be offered. But those details are not limited to just the few parameters needed for that resolution chart though -- nor does that chart really tell all...

_Man_
Just another amateur learning to paint w/ "the light of the world".

"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things..." (St. Paul)

#19 of 23 OFFLINE   Stephen Hopkins

Stephen Hopkins

    Screenwriter



  • 2,598 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 19 2002

Posted March 11 2009 - 08:31 AM

I was making some assumptions about calibration, but I was assuming at least a minimal proper calibration using a tool like DVE HD Basics or similar, something that has been performed on all of my displays. I also mentioned that depth of color, not sharpness, is what I usually notice when comparing BD and SD-DVD. I've never said the OP shouldn't buy BD... all I've said is that he should take more into account than the fact that everyone is saying buy buy buy without paying much attention to the details of the OP's situation. Depending on those details, a decent upconverting SD player can provide a noticeable step up from the poor quality progressive player the OP is replacing, and the cost of BD may not be justified.

#20 of 23 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

ManW_TheUncool

    Producer



  • 5,872 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 18 2001
  • Real Name:ManW

Posted March 11 2009 - 08:47 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Hopkins
I was making some assumptions about calibration, but I was assuming at least a minimal proper calibration using a tool like DVE HD Basics or similar, something that has been performed on all of my displays. I also mentioned that depth of color, not sharpness, is what I usually notice when comparing BD and SD-DVD. I've never said the OP shouldn't buy BD... all I've said is that he should take more into account than the fact that everyone is saying buy buy buy without paying much attention to the details of the OP's situation. Depending on those details, a decent upconverting SD player can provide a noticeable step up from the poor quality progressive player the OP is replacing, and the cost of BD may not be justified.

Much of what you said makes good sense. But that last bit -- emphasis mine -- does not quite jive w/ the rest.

Honestly, if he's not gonna see much benefit from BD, he's probably gonna see even less benefit (and more likely nil) from a (cheap) decent upconverting SD player vs just letting his TV handle the upconversion. Well, I suppose it's possible he'll *like* whatever image processing a cheap upconverting player might provide (like Toshiba's XDE processing), but that would be a rather subjective thing, ie. depends a lot more on him than the setup itself. In that case, he'll probably have to try it for himself to really know (or at least would find various processing techniques to be generally appealing to him).

So unless he can test the various options out for himself in his own setup (and also feel certain that his setup and his eyesight -- and appreciation for faithful PQ -- won't improve much for however long this matters), then I still concur w/ others that he's best off either going w/ BD or just not bother upgrading the player.

_Man_
Just another amateur learning to paint w/ "the light of the world".

"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things..." (St. Paul)


Back to Blu-ray, DVD, LD, Tivo, Satellite and Other Playback Devices



Forum Nav Content I Follow