What's new

HDTV Upgrade Advice Needed (1 Viewer)

radjxf

Auditioning
Joined
Dec 16, 2008
Messages
4
Real Name
Jim
*Warning: technotard here with a couple very newbie questions!

I currently have a Sony KDF-E55A20 55: 1080i LCD TV.
It's connected to a Dishnetwork HD receiver via component conn., Sony DVP-NS700H/B upscaling DVD player (via HDMI) and an older Onkyo receiver.

My picture is terrible compared to the new 1080P sets I've seen in the stores.
Are they running Blu-Ray DVD's or some hi-def feeds to get that type of picture?

My picture has that fairly soft, blurry look not much better than the old rear projector big screens when viewing regular Dish channels. I've adjusted the picture many, many times.
HD channels are all over the place with some having a very good picture, and some indistinguishable from normal non-HD channels.

The DVD picture is pretty good, but is NO any better than a regular non-upscaling DVD. I've even used the great advice here on the appropriate settings and connections for the DVD player as well.

Will upgrading to a 1080P set make a difference when viewing satellite (Dishnetwork) programming?
Is 1080P only worthwhile if you buy a Blu-Ray player?

Thanks in advance.
 

joeyunity

Auditioning
Joined
Oct 22, 2006
Messages
3
Real Name
joe
honestly i think your just dealing with an old set. If i am correct this set was manufactured around 2005. The advances since then on LCD units makes the one you have seem worse then it might even be.

Even though, at this point, Blu Ray is really the only 1080P source used within the next 2-5 years there will be many more 1080P options. I would upgrade now, and within the stated time period you will be able to utilize the 1080P feature much more.
 

Joseph DeMartino

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Messages
8,311
Location
Florida
Real Name
Joseph DeMartino
There is no such thing as a 1080i LCD RP television. Your Sony has a native resolution of 768p - and it converts all incoming signals to that resolution. (It will accept a 1080i signal. So will every other HDTV because that's required by the specs.) Part of the problem might be that your signals are getting over-processed because of the settings you're using. Try setting your HD-DVR to output 720p and your DVD player to output 480p and see what things look like. Also get a calibration disc like Avia or Digital Video Essentials and run it on your set. You can't simply use somebody else's settings, even for the same model, and get the same results. Seating distance, lighting, even the color of the paint on the walls can all affect how the picture looks, not to mention that fact that no two televisions are ever 100% identical.

Having said all that, SD channels often look worse on an HD set than on an SD one. HD can't actually add resolution that isn't there in the original signal, even when rescaling, and it does magnify the flaws inherent in low-res images. (It is much like the experience a lot of had 20 years ago going from smaller CRT sets to large RPTVs.) But your HD channels should look very good indeed if your set is properly calibrated for your viewing conditions.

On the SD-DVD front: These will vary considerably based on the original source material. My CSI discs look almost as good as the HD brodcasts. The Ascent of Man, a BBC/PBS documentary from the 70s that was shot on 16mm, looks fairly crummy. But the source material is clearly in bad shape. The non-anamorphic Streets of Fire looks amazing - far better than on any previous home video release - because the original transfer is very clean. The Rocketeer, also a non-anamorphic DVD, doesn't look nearly as good. In both cases the producers seem to have ported the existing laserdisc transfer to DVD, and Disney's original Rocketeer laserdisc was never very good to begin with. Garbage in, garbage out.

Certainly you could do well by buying a new set, but depending on your viewing distance you may not see that much difference between 720p (768p) and 1080p. You might just want to take another stab at properly tweaking your current setup and hold off for a year or two on the new set until you're ready to go Blu Ray. By that time prices will have come down further and you'll get even more bang for your buck.

Regards,

Joe
 

radjxf

Auditioning
Joined
Dec 16, 2008
Messages
4
Real Name
Jim
Thanks for the input. I know my owner's manual for the TV shows 1080i in the specs, no mention of 768--that's where I got my [bad] info.

The Sony upscaling DVD player has, in my opinion, a fairly confusing array of settings.
(1) Progressive Component Out (on or off). I have this set to "ON".
It then goes further asking for "Auto" or "Video" to detect the appropriate conversion mode, whatever that means.
The DVD player is connected via HDMI, so not sure if this is relevant, or what the setting needs to be.

(2) Yet another abstract setting: 48kHz/16bit or 96kHz/24bit. It calls this "sampling frequency"--what the heck is this? I have it set on the larger value.

(3) Lastly, there's an HDMI resolution setting--here are the choices:
AUTO: (1920x1080p)
1920x1080i
1280x720p
720x480p

Thanks again for the advice and putting up with my newbie questions!
 

Allan Jayne

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 1, 1998
Messages
2,405
From the player (I assume it's not Blu-Ray) I would try first the 720x480p or the 1280x720p.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Forum Sponsors

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Threads
355,189
Messages
5,072,715
Members
143,838
Latest member
phyllisbernhard
Recent bookmarks
0
Top