After HDTV, I'm disapointed with DVD's

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mr. Brian, Dec 1, 2002.

  1. Mr. Brian

    Mr. Brian Stunt Coordinator

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    I recently purchased a 65" Hitachi XWX HDTV, and I've been watching OTA HDTV. The quality is amazing, even to the point where when I watch DVD's, it's disappointing. I used to think DVD's looked great, but after HD, a lot of DVD movies look fuzzy, out of focus, grainy, etc. Some DVD's still look great, like the Toy Story films and other animated movies, but others, like Star Wars Ep. I just don't look very good. I guess it depends on the source and the transfer to disc. Is anyone else experiencing this? I have a very good new progressive scan DVD player, the Denon DVD 1600, which is connected through component cables. I'm quite sure everything is connected correctly. Are there any live action movies whose picture quality will restore my confidence in the DVD format? I guess I'll just have to live with it and wait for HD-DVD. I am considering D-VHS though.

    I've been spoiled by high definition.

    Brian
     
  2. Jay Sylvester

    Jay Sylvester Supporting Actor

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    Same here. I have a Panny RP82 and am receiving HD via Comcast cable (HBO, Showtime, ABC, and NBC only at this point). I watched Glengarry Glenn Ross a couple weeks ago on DVD thinking it was a gorgeous transfer. A week ago, Comcast delivered my HD box. Having watched it again last night, Glengarry seems soft--almost like it's out of focus--when compared to the great detail and color fidelity of HD. Even AOTC pales in comparison. On my screen (92" with a front projector), the shortcomings of DVD when compared to HD are abundantly clear.

    I'd be in the market for a D-VHS deck, but Comcast decided that they wouldn't include the optional FireWire output on their current HD box, so I can't record (the JVC model can only record via FireWire). Lame.
     
  3. Ned

    Ned Supporting Actor

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    Let's see...

    DVD - 480 interlaced
    HDTV - 1080 interlaced or 720 progressive

    Of course it's way better. Just hope a little harder for HD-DVD.
     
  4. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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    I have OTA HD, HBO HD, Showtime HD and HDNET on DirecTV. HDNET is simply amazing. I believe all of their content is shot with HD cameras and it shows. [​IMG]
     
  5. Mr. Brian

    Mr. Brian Stunt Coordinator

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    I realize that HD inherently has a superior picture compared to DVD, but after buying a widescreen TV and switching to a progressive scan player, I thought the quality would be somewhat better than it is. The overall effect still really beats my old interlaced player on a 32" TV. I guess having everything on a big 65" set shows both the strengths and weaknesses of any given format.

    Brian
     
  6. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Given good scaling and processing, a DVD image *can* look pretty good even on a large front-projection screen.

    Obviously, all things being equal in terms of source material, the HD image will still look superior.

    Those of you really wanting all you can milk out of DVD, try replacing your progressive-scan DVD players with a HTPC that scales the DVD to the maximum resolution capability of your display. For instance, if you have a RP TV that can do 1080I, scaling a DVD to 540 P (same scan-rate as 1080I) can look clearly better than the native 480P from a progressive-scan player. HTPC looks better than those $$$ outboard processers IMO and is CHEAP in comparison. Those of you who have a PC with a DVD-drive near to your HT should experiment.

    If you have a DLP/LCD projector that can do 720P, the same logic applies.

    -dave
     
  7. Doug Schiller

    Doug Schiller Supporting Actor

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    I couldn't agree more. I spend so much time tweaking the TV when I play DVDs. I notice every single artifact. I thought people were off their rocker when they called AOTC the best DVD picture ever. It looked below average on my TV.

    HDTV on the other hand is flawless. I never have to touch the settings on the TV.

    Doug
     
  8. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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  9. Jay Sylvester

    Jay Sylvester Supporting Actor

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    HTPCs provide an affordable and highly configurable option for scaling purposes, but they do have their downside. I've been using an HTPC setup for about 5 months now, but I decided to give it up in favor of an HD Leeza scaler and RP82 modified with an SDI output. I got tired of the buggy software players (TheaterTek is overrated crap) and the extra noise generated by my PC, which was even louder than the projector itself. Judder during slow pans was also annoying. I do agree that the image quality is outstanding, especially via DVI. A 100% digital pathway makes a big difference. I'm hoping that my Leeza/RP82 combo will provide the clarity of my HTPC with the silky smooth pans of a set-top DVD player.

    Still, no matter how well you scale DVD, the higher resolution and larger color gamut of HD will win.
     
  10. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    HD images are by default better than a DVD image...

    But, you have to look at it all in a proportional way. For example, I have no doubt that the DVHS of X-Men looks better than the DVD... but that's mainly because the DVHS has a higher resolution. Both likely originated off the same high-def master, so it's only a matter of format.

    There are plenty of excellent-looking DVDs out there... with the exception of a future HD-DVD version, DVDs such as Singin' In The Rain: SE, A Hard Day's Night: SE, Monsters Inc, and Criterion's 8 1/2 are likely the best we'll ever see of a film at DVD resolution.

    Now...compare a DVHS of X-Men with The Great Santini's DVD and that's something worth noting.
     
  11. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    I'd say that the majority of DVD's currently in release don't come NEAR to the potential that DVD can offer. When you get a "Monster's Inc.", a "Gladiator", a "Training Day", "a "Lord of the Rings"...it just shows you how substandard most other (including new...) releases are.
    Of course I only have a 55" prog. settup. Anything bigger and I might be noticing more...
    [​IMG] D
     
  12. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    I Don't know I've seen some of the Best Transfers On HBO and Some of the Best Transfers on DVD and EP2 rates that, and I'll still take the Properly framed DVD. Does Hi Def look better, yes, But a good transfer DVD, can still get me excited on my calibrated Set.
     
  13. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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    Just saw the Miss Hawaiian Tropic International Pagent in HD on HDNET. I have yet to see any DVD look better than that. [​IMG]
     
  14. Vickie_M

    Vickie_M Producer

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    I used to love HD but now I've come to resent it. [​IMG] It looks *SO* good that my husband now won't watch anything of lesser quality than DVD on our home theater, unless it's something short while we're eating. No more VHS or Tivo'd movies, even when they're letterboxed. They don't look good enough. We watched a Tivo'd Miller's Crossing, which was shown letterboxed and commercial-free, and while I was enthralled by the movie itself, all he could think of was how "bad" it looked (he'd never seen it before). I thought it looked pretty good, and it isn't as if we could just go get the DVD, because it isn't out on DVD. That's the best possible way he could have seen it at this time. Being spoiled is one thing, being ruined for anything less than DVD is quite another. The movie buff in me, which wants the best possible quality but will take what I can get because the movie itself is the important thing, is appalled and extremely sad at the thought of all the films (from stations such as the Independent Film Channel, the Sundance Channel, Turner Classic Movies, etc.) I can't show him now.
    It looks like you're falling into the same trap.
    Sigh. Yeah, HD looks great. [​IMG]
     
  15. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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  16. Paul W

    Paul W Second Unit

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    I was looking forward to watching Magnificent Seven last month on TCM. However, with the small 4x3 letterboxed image and heavy compression (thanks to Dish), it was really hard to watch more than a few minutes.
    I guess if you are spoiled on HDTV, it is very difficult to watch bad video quality (regardless of the movie).
     
  17. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    Paul , well that's why I just recently dropped my Direct TV, I really did'nt feel I could justify the $70 a month anymore. I Loved HDNET, Liked HBO (Except for the Ratio cropping) but everything looked so badly compressed on everything else. Forget Football on ESPN. I never watched any movies due to the poor picture. I've gone back to analog cable I'm lucky to have a cable system with pretty decent PQ. And believe it or not it looks alot better. Direct TV has killed themself by adding channels and compression. I'm holding off on Digital Cable fearing the same problems with compression
     
  18. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    I'm lucky to have a cable system with pretty decent PQ. And believe it or not it looks alot better. Direct TV has killed themself by adding channels and compression. I'm holding off on Digital Cable fearing the same problems with compression

    Dave's expression here is quite revelatory to me -- an Aha! kind of thing as I progress toward getting an HDTV-ready unit, likely plasma or LCD, but worry over the poor SDTV experiences of most sat system posters. I have been assessing Dish/DirectTV satellite, thinking this is the best, cause I gotta have my HBO.

    I too have extremely good analog cable, and the full HBO/Sho/Cinemax package I'm quite satisfied with. This eases my mind that I dont have to automatically "upgrade" to Sat, just because it's there.
     
  19. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    Bill, Don't get me wrong, the HDNet and HBO do look extremely good if you have a high def set. They did on my Mits 65". It's everything else that when blown up to that degree, looks horrible. IMHO on any set 32" or lower you'd probably not notice the compression. I found that I really was'nt watching HDNet nor HBO all that much that I needed to pay the $70 a month. HBO crops their films to 1:78 so they fill the screen. The only thing I really watch is Sopranos, Six feet under, OZ, but I get those anyhow when released on DVD. HBO has great original films too but those usually find their way to disk eventually. I Still get HD off my Roof antenna so I'm not totally HD Deprived, and I have usually a good stack of Disks to watch. I won't miss DTV all that much. And the $700 plus a year can go to DVD's I want to own... Hell that the cost of the DS9 series alone !
     
  20. Lee_eel

    Lee_eel Second Unit

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    Doug, if you think AOTC on dvd is below average you need to see a tv repair man as soon as possible. Also, to all you HD fans out there you are jumping ship way too soon!
     

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