Confused about HDMI DVD Players

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by MikeEckman, Nov 15, 2004.

  1. MikeEckman

    MikeEckman Screenwriter

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    I was reading many of the threads here and some info online about HD upscaled DVD players. My TV has a HDMI input only, not a DVI style connector.

    I currently have a non-progressive scan plain jane DVD player and want to upgrade.

    I would also like to be able to play SACD and DVD-Audio discs. I want to be able to check out both new formats without investing extra money in a separate player.

    I've read a bit about the Faroudja DCDi upscalers and that sounds like the way to go. So far, the only two players I have found that have SACD and DVD-Audio capability, and a HDMI output with the Faroudja upscaler are the Denon 2910 and the Samsung DVD-HD941.

    The Denon is a bit out of my price range $700 MSRP, but the Samsung is only $300, but according to Amazon.com, this player was discontinued before it was ever released.

    There is just so much info out there, I dont know where to start. I'm just like anyone else, I want the best bang for the buck. My budget is I dont want to go over $300 (not including shipping), and I might be willing to sacrifice SACD and/or DVD-Audio compatibility if I must.

    So, hopefully one of you has a good recommendation for me. Thanks!
     
  2. BryanDO

    BryanDO Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey, I was in the same boat as you. I'd go for the Zenith 318 or LG 7832. They have the Farouja chip, and upscaling via component which is very impressive. If you want HDMI because you have it I'd wait for the technology to get more developed and prices go down. Also with the Zenith or LG (for canadians) you get quality which is just as good as DVI or pretty darn close. Just my 2 cents, good luck.
     
  3. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Yes I read that a Samsung 951 is already being prepared for CES 2005.

    Go look at the selection of DVD-A and SACD titles and decide which format seems like the one for you. For me SACD is it and I want an SACD player. The Sony HDMI player seems rather nice but I'm not completely sold on it.

    That player is indeed within your range and could be a contender if you are willing to sacrifice DVD-A. The Panasonic S97 also seems like a contender but it sacrifices SACD.

    I bet Toshiba comes out with one for next year at CES but given their quality this year, I'd stay away from it. The Samsung 841 wasn't a good player either.

    From what it appears, the Sony and Panasonic are decent entry level players.
     
  4. MikeEckman

    MikeEckman Screenwriter

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    Shane, thanks very much for the info. It does appear that Toshiba does have a HDMI player. Best Buy is currently selling it for $179.99.

    I am starting to think that the Sony 975 is the way to go, but I have not been exactly thrilled with my current Sony player. It is 3 years old, so maybe they got better, but the motor mechahnism is unacceptibly loud, and it handles layer changes poorly. Sometimes its as long as 2 seconds between layers and I absolutely want something that does a better job at that.

    I keep hearing that the Faroudja chips do macroblocking, but I still cannot find an adequate description of what it is. Someone suggested I go to www.avsforum.com, but I did not find anything about it in there. Its just a bunch of HT people rambling on about advanced terms I do not understand.

    Is the Faroudja chip REALLY that great? Would a regular upscaling DVD player that doesnt have that still give me an improvement in picture quality? I have a non-progressive scan player hooked up to my HDTV now, and I am happy with the picture, so if I spend the extra money on a new player, I want there to be a visible difference. I want to be wowed.
     
  5. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Supposedly the Sony has a very slow load time but once the disc is in, its very fast. The look of the player is decidedly upscale but its still fairly light. It has the chroma bug but I'm not sure how bad it is. It appears that this is religated to only players with the Faroudja set.

    The Panasonic has some issues with macroblocking. The deal killer for me is the lack of SACD. I prefer that format for Hi res music.
     
  6. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    first, be sure to read the upscaling thread. good info there.

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...hreadid=199904

    i think (but am not sure) that they don't convert via component anymore. some people actually did the firmware upgrade on the zenith and screwed themselves as it disabled that functionality.

    what kind of tv do you have? if you have a fixed pixel display (lcd, dlp) that may yield a better benefit via hdmi. with a crt, the benefit may be more subtle.

    i had last year's samsung (931?) w/faroudja chip outputting via dvi to my mits 65" crt. the pic quality was *slightly* brighter and the curves a little smoother -- but it was subtle and i really had to look for it.

    bottom line is you should try it out for yourself. just make sure the place allows you to return it. also, if you find that hdmi doesn't yield that much of a benefit, take a look at the pioneer 563a (or whatever it's called now). it plays both sacd/dvd...but it's only progressive.
     
  7. MikeEckman

    MikeEckman Screenwriter

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    I have a Sony 32HS420 CRT TV. It does do 16x9 scaling, so I'll see the full resolution, but from your response and what Ive been reading online, it would appear that I have too small of a set to see much of a benefit of any of these upscale features. I am thinking about just picking up that Zenith 318 unit and using the component connection I already have. AVSForum has a thread with the old firmware for the 318 that has the component feature still enabled.
     

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