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Getting more confused than ever about BD. (1 Viewer)

Jeff Ulmer

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I can't be the only one who is getting more and more confused about what the move to BD is going to require.

I currently own (and do not plan on replacing) a Toshiba HD capable set, (1080i component only). I also own a Pioneer receiver with both coax and optical DD inputs - no HDMI, no DTS anything.

From reading many of the current threads, it sounds like not only will I have to buy a BD player, but that I will have to settle for stereo unless I upgrade the receiver too, as my current (and working) one does not do DTS at all and certainly won't do either of the new audio formats.

Since I am not about to fork out for both a new player AND a new receiver, I would like some clarification as to what these newest (and lowest cost) players are actually capable of delivering on my existing hardware. I'm not worried about profile 2, and certainly not about 7.1, but if I can't watch BD at 1080i and listen in some form of 5.1, then I don't see any reason to bother upgrading any time soon, especially when it seems like the players still haven't reached maturity.

If anyone can help shed some light on both the picture and sound issues I would appreciate it, and I'm sure there are others lurking here in the same state of confusion as I am.

Edited to ad that the player I would likely get at this time would be the Panny BD30, so comments on this specific unit would also be of help.
 

Bob_L

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Jeff:

With an optical or coax connection (depending on what is on the BD player) you should be able to play the multitrack DD 5.1/EX or DTS 5.1/ES audio tracks available on a BD disc. What you won't get is multichannel playback of the latest generation audio formats: DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD. (To reproduce those formats, you either need to connect to your receiver with multichannel analog connectors and decode the format in the BD player, or send BD player-decoded LPCM multichannel audio to the receiver through an HDMI connection.)

With component video output, you will be able to play BD discs in 1080i. As I understand it (I have HDMI, not component connections), you typically will NOT be able to upscale standard DVD to 1080i.
 

Stephen_J_H

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Jeff, it sounds like we're in roughly the same boat, with the exception that My display accepts HDMI. I've already resigned myself to the fact that I'll have to buy an HDMI receiver in order to convert to Blu-Ray. Annoying, but since my receiver is 10 years old, understandable.
 

Brian L

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As for video, you should have no problems with BR over 1080i via component. My rig is also component only, and 1080i looks spectacular with the right software.

Audio is a little messier. If a title has a Dolby track, you are fine. But unlike DVD where it was mandatory to have Dolby, it is not in BR.

For example, I looked at the specs for the BR release of U-571. The only Dolby track is French. It does has DTS-HD MA and legacy DTS. On that title, and any like it, you would have to set the player to convert legacy DTS to PCM, which I am guessing would be 2CH only. I am not sure if your Pio would allow you to decode that in regular Dolby Surround as it would if you were playing a CD.

Brian
 

PaulDA

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IF you have MCH analogue inputs in your receiver, then you could get all the audio versions available with a player that internally decodes ALL the formats AND has analogue MCH outputs--the Panny BD50, the Sony S550 and the Pioneer 51FD (?) come to mind as options. They are pricier than others, though not nearly as pricey as top models from Denon and Pioneer, among others. However the extra money of the BD50 vs the BD30, for example, is less than the cost of upgrading your receiver (again, IF you have MCH analogue inputs--otherwise, you could be out of luck and stuck in 2 ch for many BD soundtracks).
 

Micah Cohen

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I'm joining Jeff here, instead of starting a new thread, in my growing confusion. I hope he does not mind. I hope someone can help us.

I thought I'd simply pop over to this forum and find out which Blu-Ray player is the best at upconverting SDVD, since I have no plans to start re-buying my extensive film collection any time soon (and I really don't want to buy a new receiver), but now I'm more confused than before.

I assume I'd want a Blu-Ray player to upconvert my Standard DVDs from 480 to 720 or more, right? Some threads here say that (now obsolete?) HD-DVD players do (did?) a better job of it. True? If so, should I find one of those on eBay or something?

[Quoted from a thread here:] "Component cable will deliver all the HD goodness Blu-ray can deliver to your TV BUT you will NOT get upconversion of SD DVD for about 98% of the cases."

So... If all I want to do is watch Standard DVDs with DD 5.1, and nothing else... Should I get a Blu-Ray player? Which one? If I do, is HDMI the connection I use to my (Sony KDS60A3000) TV (which accepts HDMI)? What's the audio connection to my (Denon) receiver? Optical? All I want to do is play my SDVDs. That's all!

Sorry for the newbie questions, but now that I'm thinking about this (and who isn't?), I'm all flustered and confused!

Any advice, resources, or lectures are welcome. THANK YOU!

MC
 

hodedofome

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For the upconversion over component, use this HDfury: Universal DVI/HDMI (HDCP) to RGB Converter and grab a vga-component cable For only $1.84 each when QTY 50+ purchased - 3FT VGA to 3 RCA component video cable (HD15 - 3-RCA) | VGA to 3 RCA component cable

Micah, for the best upconversion blu-ray player (that's not a $2k Denon) grab this one Samsung - Blu-ray High-Definition Disc Player with 1080p Output - BD-P2550

If that's too expensive then just get a PS3. It upconverts pretty well and you can always just use the optical out for audio. You won't get DTS-MA or Dolby TrueHD but you'll at least get Dolby and DTS old-school.
 

Micah Cohen

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Ah. Ok. A Blu-Ray player that upconverts my SDVDs to look better on my TV via HDMI connection. Ok.

Now then, I settle in and wait for the prices to come down, right?

MC
 

Mark Zimmer

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Jeff, I'm in pretty much the same boat as you. The best solution I've found seems to be the coming-this-fall Sony S550, which as I understand it is a profile 2.0 player that will pass HD over component, and also have standard analog connections that will pass the HD audio. I think optical for sound we're pretty much out of luck. It's annoying that Sony is so married to the ineffective and obnxious (not to mention half-baked) HDMI format. But that player isn't out yet, nor is anyone actually listing it for preorder so it may end up as vaporware.
 

PaulDA

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It has opponents, for a variety of reasons (some more valid than others--not referencing any poster in particular here; don't want to start an argument).

For better or worse, however, it is the industry standard for digital transmission of encrypted A/V media--as such, being HDMI equipped is a plus if one wants to take advantage of what is on offer most easily. There are analogue workarounds (as noted above) but they are less flexible than the HDMI option and are (potentially) vulnerable (especially for video) to future restrictions (HD DVD and BD each have--though it was never implemented with HD DVD--within their protocol an option to disable hi-def video content via anything other than HDMI. It has never been used, but it could be in the future).
 

Sam Posten

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HDMI as a transmission mechanism is without question awesome.

HDMI as golden handcuffs/DRM is unquestionably the worst thing that has ever been foisted upon the Home Theater consumer and most do not even recognize it yet.

As just one example, HDMI completely eliminates the capability for fair use of digital content. Fair use should not be limited to content that can fit through the analogue hole.
 

Nick P

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Does this really work for upconversion of SD DVD? I know you can feed a 1080i Blu-Ray signal this way but I was under the impression that you could not upconvert SD DVD unless both the source and display were HDMI.
 

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