Computer DVD compared to TV, which?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Sarah Kiwi, Mar 12, 2003.

  1. Sarah Kiwi

    Sarah Kiwi Auditioning

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    I am a newbie for DVD's. With my new computer I got a DVD player.

    Is there any advantage to buying a DVD player for my TV? Which would give the better picture, sound etc.
     
  2. Darren Haycock

    Darren Haycock Second Unit

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    Um, do you mean plugging your DVD-Rom drive into your TV to watch movies? That would work just fine, but it'd probably be a pain, with no remote and all. From my experience, having a dvd player/dvd-rom drive plugged into a television and sound system is definitely better quality than watching on the computer, but if you just want to use your dvd-rom drive plugged into the tv w/o having to buy a separate player, the quality should be relatively the same. Does that answer your question?
     
  3. Sarah Kiwi

    Sarah Kiwi Auditioning

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    Thanks Darren,
    >>>if you just want to use your dvd-rom drive plugged into the tv w/o having to buy a separate player, the quality should be relatively the same. Does that answer your question?
     
  4. Bjorn Olav Nyberg

    Bjorn Olav Nyberg Supporting Actor

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    I would guess it depends on the drives and players compared though. I have been trying to play dvd's on the computer displayed on the TV as well, and apart from not getting an anamorphic signal on my widescreen tv I though the picture looked a lot softer compared to my regular dvd player, even in 4:3 mode. But I may have been doing something wrong.
     
  5. Darren Haycock

    Darren Haycock Second Unit

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    Yeah, I think there could be a difference based on what kind of computer dvd player/ software you have. For example, mine is hardware based, meaning that there's a hardware decoder plugged into one of the pci slots, and it had tv outs. The software also supports 16x9. I tried it once on my tv and I couldn't tell a difference between that and a normal player. However, lots of dvd players today are software based, meaning the main processor handles the DVD playing instead of a hardware card. In that case, I don't know that the quality would be as good for various reasons, but I'm not sure. Anyone else know?
     
  6. Brian-K-Owens

    Brian-K-Owens Stunt Coordinator

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    I use software decoding, and it is much better than my stand alone DVD player.

    I think it also depends on the type of inputs you have to the TV. TV's with DVI or VGA inputs can benfit from a HTPC much more than just running the computer to the TV with S-Video or Composite. This size of the TV would also make a difference. Benefits of a HTPC are not as noticable on a 27" TV vs. a 120" front projector. . .

    One big down side is unless you have a card in the PC to support Dolby Digital, the stand alone player is going to get you better sound (assuming you have a 5.1 setup for your audio) using the optical or digital coax output. With the price of a good 5.1 audio card, and the pain that sometime comes with getting it all to work trouble free, I would buy a stand alone player, unless as mentioned above you have a REALLY large TV that will benefit from the video quality possible with the PC. Of course, if you do not have a 5.1 setup, or have no plans for one, then these concerns would not apply to your case. . . .

    Brian

    My webpage
     
  7. Sarah Kiwi

    Sarah Kiwi Auditioning

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    Thanks guys,

    You have been very helpful. I have only a cheap 14 inch portable TV, but a new fast computer with a 17 inch screen. I might buy a cable to run into my small TV, just to compare, but will experiment with my computer and additions to it first before spending money on a stand alone DVD player. At least until I get a much better TV.

    You guys are much more helpful than the stupid guy at my computer store. Thanks from one of the sentinel babes who have invaded your nice little kingdom.[​IMG]

    Sarah.
     
  8. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  9. Chris Purvis

    Chris Purvis Stunt Coordinator

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    If you are comparing the difference between the image on a 14 inch TV and a 17 inch computer monitor then the computer monitor is going to look a lot better. The computer / software DVD player combo is a progressive scan playback and display system and will yield a much more film-like flicker-free scanline-free image than what you'd see on a standard NTSC tv.

    Plugging the computer into the tv via it's tv out's will degrade the image down to interlaced NTSC which looks like crap compared to a progressive scan image.

    Also, like Brian said, most all modern (read new) PC's with processors faster than 600 mhz and software dvd players made in the last year outperform old hardware based decoders and set top players. The most obvious manifestation in image quality between a good player and a crappy one is in moire effects (shimmering, swimming artifacts) on things like herringbone patterns in peoples clothes. On a cheap player (most set top players in fact) you'll see a wierd shimmering artifact on any tight repetitive patterns on the screen as they shift around. Look at the clothes people wear and anytime there's a fabric pattern with very tight details (like herringbone, cable-knit sweaters, plaids) you'll see this. Good quality set top players and most software dvd players do not exhibit this artifacting.

    There's a reason why a lot of people with very expensive front-projection systems (both digital and CRT) use PC's and software dvd players to drive them - because they are very very good.
     
  10. Jesse Blacklow

    Jesse Blacklow Cinematographer

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  11. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    A little off topic, but if some of these new players that up-convert DVD signals to 720p and 1080i and then have DVI outputs come to fruition, I think HTPCs are going to become a less attractive option.
     
  12. Darren Haycock

    Darren Haycock Second Unit

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  13. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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  15. JustinCleveland

    JustinCleveland Cinematographer

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    for about 60 dollars, total, you can pick up a decoder card from Sigma Designs and a remote control that will make your computer work just like a real DVD player... it was a wonderful tool my first year of college before I had a TV.
     
  16. Chris Purvis

    Chris Purvis Stunt Coordinator

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  17. Martin Fontaine

    Martin Fontaine Supporting Actor

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    Having a Stand Alone DVD Player (~3 Years Old Sony DVPS360) and prior to that using a computer to play DVDs and recently helped my dad configure his laptop as a DVD Player I basically tried all possibilities.

    The first system I used was an old 1x DVD-ROM drive with a 1st Gen Decoder Card. The picture/sound was very acceptable and better than VHS. We used the TV's speakers to play the audio. This system served us well from Jan 1999 to June 2000.

    Then when I moved on my own, I bought a Sony DVP-S360 which is still in use today on the very same TV. The picture quality difference is minimal but is there.

    Now my dad recently bought a laptop and is using it as his DVD Player. The only problem (For me that is, *HE* doesn't mind that since he's not a freak like me and 99% of the HTF Members!) is that his laptop outputs to the TV using the video card's TV Out Feature. The problem with that is that the DVD Playback software (WinDVD, PowerDVD, Windows Media Player or somthing like that) will scale the image to whatever resolution the display is at. Then it gets scaled back to less than 640x480 when sent to the TV (Because of the NTSC Format) But because 480 lines includes overscan (The portion all around that you do not see) the picture is shrunk to maybe 525x400 or something with a black border all around. This is fine for most applications because nobody wants the windows taskbar to be offscreen! But for watching DVDs, this is annoying.

    So if you're using a PC, you're better off with a hardware decoder or at least some form of output that is separate from the computer's desktop and does not mess the size like a video card's TV Out does.
     

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