HD DVD and component inputs

VinceB

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May 28, 2002
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My HD plasma set only has component level inputs. No DVI input, no HDMI input. Will I be able to get HD quality content from HD DVDs from any HD player through just the component connections? If so, which one? Will it depend on what HD DVDs I play depending upon copyright protection? Some help please.
 

Edwin-S

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At present, both HD DVD and Bluray players allow pass through of hi-def content over component outputs. There is a provision in both types of players that would allow studios to restrict the resolution of content to 480p over the component connection; however, at present no studio has invoked the provision.

The initial HD DVD players, on the HD side, do not have region coding but they do have region coding for SD DVD playback. Bluray players will have region coding for both HD and SD DVD playback.

Both types of players will upconvert SD DVD content to 1080i/p over an HDMI or DVI connector with HDCP, but will not upconvert SD DVD over the component connection. The only way to allow upconversion over component is to somehow make a copy of the movie with analog protection disabled. Once the analog protection (macrovision) is gone the player will upconvert the image over the component connection. So far I have had no luck in getting a copied DVD movie, sans protection, to play in my HD A1.

The HD A1 is supposed to support DVD-R/RW and DVD-R for dual layer. The idiots for some reason did not provide support to play DVD+R/RW or DVD+R/RW dual layer discs.

Hope that answers some of your questions.
 

Mark Zimmer

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Actually, it's CSS encoding rather than Macrovision that precludes upconversion over component. Some smaller studios don't regularly use CSS (Anchor Bay being the most prominent) so their discs will upconvert just fine, but the majors pretty much all use it.
 

Edwin-S

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I was under the impression that Macrovision was the problem when trying to upconvert over component, since Macrovision was supposed to prevent copying over the analog connection. I stand corrected. Thanks.

I've tried copying a couple of movies in my collection using AnyDVD and CloneDVD. The HD A1 will not recognize them, so I'm thinking it has something to do with the file format. Some guys here mentioned that Verbatim DVD+Rs will work on the HD A1. I tried one and it didn't work. Guess I'm stuck watching 480p on my DVDs. Waste of money for the burner. Lucky thing that I bought an open box special.
 

John Sparks

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These are some of the small companies that will upscale thru component:

Discotek
Anchor Bay
Dark Sky
Roan
Lumivision
Marengo Films
Synapse
Triton
Barrel Entertainment
Elite
Entertainment
Mondo Macarbo
Alpha Viedo
Simitar Entertainment
 

Steve Schaffer

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Add Magnolia (World's Fastest Indian, Smartest Guys in the Room, Lost City) to that list. Rented WFI and it upconverted on my HD-A1 thru component and the pic was far better than my Zenith DVB 318 or hacked Samsung 850.
 

Edwin-S

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What brand did you use? Verbatim? I tried the Verbatim brand and it couldn't find the disc. I also tried a DVD-R disc and the unit said "Can't play disc".

What programs are you using for making backups? I tried AnyDVD and CloneDVD and it doesn't seem to work. PM me if you see this message. Thanks.
 

Steve Tannehill

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I use Verbatim for the DVD+R DL, and TDK for DVD-R. I use Toast on the Mac (I believe the PC equivalent is Roxio Easy Media Creator.) I have created discs on both Pioneer DVR-108 and DVR-110D drives. Both drives are capable of writing to -R, -RW, +R, +RW, +R DL.

Cheers,
Steve
 

Nick P

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Feb 11, 2001
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Rising from the dead...I found this thread while searching the forum for an answer to my problem.

I picked-up a Toshiba A3 at Wal-mart for 75.00 and thought it might be nice to view 720p on my Panasonic PT-56WXF95. Hooked it up via component (no HDMI on the Panny) and tested the two HD disks that came with the player (300 and Bourne Indentity) and both appear to be down rezzing to 480i when I set the player to either 720p or 1080i. The picture looks better with the player set to 480p but all 3 options look worse than the 480p image I get with my 9100ES.

The consensus says that I should be able to get 720p with component connection but it's not happening for me. I'm not sure if the problem is the player or my display. I can't find any setting on my TV that "switches" between accepting a 480p signal versus a 720p or 1080i signal. The only thing I can think of is the player is down rezzing because of the component cables and my non HDCP display. Any help is greatly appreciated!
 

Clinton McClure

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Nick, I don't know anything about the Panny but the A3 will definitely output HD-DVDs at 1080 via component. All I can guess is if the A3 is set up to output 720 or 1080, the problem is in a setting on the Panny. Make sure it is set to receive 720p or 1080i from a component in. If the Panny works anything like my Toshiba TW40x81, the TV automatically goes into 1080i mode when I select the component input connected to my Toshiba HD-A1 (which outputs 1080i default). When I watch a copyrighted SD-DVD, I get a message on the display that component resolution is restricted to 480p and both the HD-A1 and my TV automatically revert back to 480p mode. Also, keep in mind, HDCP on displays does not apply to analog inputs.
 

Nick P

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It may just be the limitations of my display. I finally had some time to play around with it today so I dug out another set of component cables and ran the A3 and my 9100ES side by side. I happened to have the Bourne Indentity on DVD so I cued-up the same scene on each player (SD DVD on the Sony and HD DVD on the A3) and watched them back to back by switching inputs. The 720p HD DVD had a slightly sharper image than what the 9100ES was putting out in 480p. The differences weren't as great as I thought they should be and I'm still not convinced the full 720p signal is being sent because the Panny won't tell me what it is receiving. When I hit recall (display) it only tells me which input is being used.

I watch 720p and 1080i cable television on my 37" Toshiba Regza LCD and it looks stunning. What I'm seeing with the A3/Panny combo isn't even close.

Also, just so there's no confusion, I'm not trying to upconvert SD DVD. The poor PQ is from the 2 HD DVDs that came packaged with the A3.
 

Nick P

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I did a little more info digging on my Panny and it seems it only has 850 horizontal lines of Resolution. This may be part of the problem and as I said above I might just be at the limits of my display.
 

Stephen Tu

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I would use 1080i out. Use the info/display button on the Toshiba, it should tell you what resolution it's outputting.

Go rent/buy something like Hot Fuzz or Planet Earth to get some further data points. It should be at least as good as HD movies on cable!

Does it work OK attached to your Toshiba via component?
 

Darcy Hunter

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Yep. This sounds like your Panny is an EDTV and not an HDTV. 850 x 480 is a 16x9 SD resolution. It does accept 1080i, but probably likes 480p better.
 

Nick P

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I think this is the reason and explains why I'm only seeing a slightly better picture with the A3. Looks like I screwed myself 8 years ago when I bought the unit.
 

Cees Alons

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If the unit allows 1080 in, you should certainly set the player to 1080 out, or at least seriously check out that setting, like Stephen says.

That way you may not only avoid one extra conversion, but will also be using the one especially made for your TV: the one inside!


Cees
 

Nick P

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The HD DVD does play through both of my component inputs it's just that the image improvement is insignificant.
 

Stephen Tu

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No, this is incorrect. That Panasonic CRT RPTV is an HDTV. Panasonic didn't make any EDTV CRT back then, only ED plasma. "850 lines of horizontal resolution" does *not* mean 850x480 display. With a CRT, of course there are no actual pixels, just scan lines, and this model displays either 1080 scan lines interlaced, or 720 lines progressive (one of the only CRT models ever made that did 720p). Conventionally, "lines of horizontal resolution" is supposed to refer to how many *vertical* black & white lines the set could display across a circle inscribed in the set, a measure of how fast it can cycle between black & white. Since this circle has diameter equal to the *height* of the set, to get a full "pixel equivalent", you have to multiply by ~1.78 (16/9). So in theory this display can do ~1500x1080i.

If the Toshiba is showing 1080i out & the picture doesn't look great, I think you need to calibrate your TV. Convergence may be out of whack, maybe you need lenses focused and/or cleaned, you might want to consider hiring a pro.

So you are comparing HD-DVD/Panasonic to HD-cable on the Toshiba LCD. How does the HD-cable look on the Panasonic? How does the HD-DVD look on the LCD set? Have you tried other discs?
 

Nick P

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Feb 11, 2001
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I tried the A3 on the LCD with an HDMI hook-up and it looked great. Didn't try it with component though. I only have the 2 HD DVDs that came packaged with the A3.

Btw, I just came back from my local Home Theater Boutique and was made to feel rather stupid for asking why my 1080i/720p HD DVD feed looked so bad through component. They all sweared up and down that the HD-A3 (and all other recently released HD DVD/Blu-Ray players) would NOT pass any HD signal through component.
 

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