need advice on a new DVD player

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Tom#B, Nov 18, 2004.

  1. Tom#B

    Tom#B Stunt Coordinator

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    I just got the Toshiba 46H84. It has HDMI. My DVD player is an older Panasonic that doesn't even have progressive scan. I've been reading a few things about these new players that upconvert things to 720P (if I'm saying that right). I don't know exactly what I need, or what features I can use to my advantage with my particular set. But I'd like to get a new DVD player, and I'm looking for some advice. Here are a couple of specific questions I have:

    1. Do some players actually have an HDMI connection? Is it the same as a DVI connection? Is that something I should definitely get?

    2. Should I get a player that "upconverts?"

    3. With DVD recorders becoming so popular and so much more affordable, should I be looking at a player that records too? Does such a player even exist with the other up-to-date technologies I'm looking for?

    Thanks in advance for the help.

    Tom
     
  2. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    Here's some answers:

    1. An HDMI connection between a player and an HDMI capable TV means that you are getting pure digital signal between the player and the TV. There is no analog conversion going on at all. HDMI and it's cousin DVI are basically the same except that the HDMI interface also carries digital sound signals as well as digital video. DVI cannot carry sound signals.

    2. Upconverting players will take a signal from a 480p player and upconvert them to 720p or 1080i. Keep in mind that the upconversion is kinda simulated(?) in that the player will send a 1080i signal to the TV, but the DVD is really only encoded at 480p maximum. I have a Samsung upconverting player and I can tell a difference in the upconversion from 480p to 1080i. There are a number of players from Denon, Sony, and Samsung that will upconvert. I happen to love my Sammy, although there are some on these boards that haven't had as good of luck with their Samsung players as I have.

    2. I am not aware of any upconverting DVD recorders that upconvert or even have DVI/HDMI outputs. Because of this, I opted for one of each. In addition to my Samsung, I also have a Gateway DVDR that I love. The only downside is that I wish I could have afforded a DVDR with a harddrive. DVDR recorders are available with harddrives as big as 80-160 GB. Those are still pretty pricey though. I paid about 400 bucks total for both of my machines.

    You owe it to your new Toshiba to give it the equipment that will take advantage of all it has to offer. Enjoy.[​IMG]
     
  3. Elinor

    Elinor Supporting Actor

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    "1. An HDMI connection between a player and an HDMI capable TV means that you are getting pure digital signal between the player and the TV. There is no analog conversion going on at all. HDMI and it's cousin DVI are basically the same except that the HDMI interface also carries digital sound signals as well as digital video. DVI cannot carry sound signals."

    That's not always true. Sony GWIII RP-LCDs convert to analog on all inputs. So do Mitsu DLPs. You lost that "pure digital" signal as soon as it hits the tv.

    In addition, fixed pixel displays have to "upconvert" anyway (DLP, RP-LCD, LCD, etc.).

    Upconverting players have disappointed as many folks from what I have read as they have pleased. If you have a decent DVD player, you could very well do worse buying one of the upconverting players (unless you opted for the top 1 or 2 Denon players ... and few of us plop out $2k for a DVD player). For test results of DVD players, go to HomeTheaterHiFi and poke around. Most upconverting players have serious issues.

    According to Amazon.com, for the tv that Tom owns, "CrystalScan HDSC converts all 480i and 480p signals (from progressive-scan DVD players and DTV set-top boxes) to high-definition 1080i."

    There is no "special" magic to putting scaling circuits into a DVD player as opposed to a tv. Both can be done well, or done poorly.
     
  4. Tom#B

    Tom#B Stunt Coordinator

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    ChuckSolo and Elinor - Thanks for the replies. I'm still reading and learning. I see that Onecall has a Toshiba and a Panasonic that both support HDMI. They are both mentioned on today's gotapex.com site under Onecall's items. The Panny is more than $100 more, but it has the Faroudja chip. I assume that player would be superior?

    This may be a dumb question, but does it make a difference if my receiver does not support HDMI? (I'm not even sure if receivers can have an HDMI input.) Even if my receiver is somewhat basic (it's a Pioneer D912K purchased January 2004), does the HMDI run from the DVD player directly to the TV, and is that acceptable?

    Tom
     
  5. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    Tom, yes, you will want to run the HDMI cable directly into the TV. Unless you are short of inputs, it is always better to run your video stuff directly to the TV.
     
  6. Gary_E

    Gary_E Second Unit

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    Tom,

    If your receiver does not support HDMI, then don't be too concerned about a HDMI output on the DVD player. You can use a DVI to HDMI converter cable from a DVD player with a DVI output.

    Either way, you will still need to send your receiver a digital audio signal from the DVD player with either an optical or coaxial cable.

    -Gary
     
  7. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    The 46H84 is a crt based set. As such it uses analog display technology, not digital as is the case with "fixed pixel" displays (dlp, lcd, lcos, plasma). When fed a purely digital signal the set must convert this to analog anyway, so you're not eliminating a conversion by feeding it an hdmi signal.

    In addition, the 46H84 has two scanrates--540p or 1080i, so feeding it an analog 480p source is still not going to get away from a conversion process in the set. For that to happen you would need to feed it a 1080i analog signal.

    Currently there are no players that will upconvert to 1080i over analog (component) connections. The Zenith DVB-318 had this feature but it was recently eliminated.

    Toshiba sets are known for having quite good line doubling, the 480p to 540p conversion is said to be quite good. The main reason for having HDMI connections on an analog display is to ensure that you will, in the future, be able to watch HD scanrate material from whatever copy protected sources come out in the future. It's not necessarily going to get you better pq from currently available sources like dvd or HD stbs. In the case of fixed pixel (pure digital) display technologies on sets that don't add a digital to analog and back to digital conversion when using HDMI, there's a good case for using the HDMI connection.

    Samsung's fixed pixel dlp sets really don't look good with any analog connected source, on them HDMI or DVI is a necessity to get decent pq, but on an analog technology display such as your crt based Toshiba you may actually get better pq using 480p via component.
     
  8. Tim Jin

    Tim Jin Supporting Actor

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    Steve is very right. I think you are better off getting an high end player, like a Denon and don't worry about HDMI connection for right now.

    I have a Denon 2200 and it does great 480p playback. I also have HDMI on my TV, but not on the DVD player. I see no reason to go out and upgrade to a HDMI player. The Denon is amazing.

    I will upgrade when HD DVD's hit the streets, but that is not for a while and then I will be using my HDMI connection.
     
  9. Tom#B

    Tom#B Stunt Coordinator

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    Steve and Tim, great replies. I really appreciate the info. My DVD player is a Panasonic without progressive scan, and I connect with regular RCA cables. I'd probably notice a tremendous difference getting a nice player that has progressive scan and connecting via component.

    I read quite a bit over at avsforum about all of the different upconverting DVD players. Best Buy has the LG for $189 right now. It supposedly upconverts and has HDMI. But the reviews on avsforum haven't been too flattering.
     
  10. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    I would have to give great marks to the Denon dvd players as well. And the future Denon recievers are coming out with both dvi and hdmi ins and outs. The new Denon AVR-5805 that should be coming out in a few months will have that ability. But that will be out of alot of peoples reach as it is set to retail for around $6k. I would not necisarily worry about hdmi at this time if you only have a dvd player and a reciever. I would however plan it into your system upgrades however if you plan to get into hd satalite or cable at a future date. You can get a really nice 480p picture with a nice progressive scan dvd player. Or you could go with a dvi dvd player and hook it to your tv that way if it has a dvi input? I would be concerned about running a hdmi to dvi converter as most other converters will take something away from the performance. This may or maynot be the case with an hdmi to dvi? I would how ever make sure that the picture does not degrade from going that route. If your tv has a nice line doubler all you may need is a good component conection? If you go with a hdmi it is true you will need a seperate digital conection to your reciever for dd and dts.
     
  11. Tim Jin

    Tim Jin Supporting Actor

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    Tom, you mentioned that the Panasonic has the Faroudja chip. I would consider in getting a player that uses Faroudja or Silicon Image. They will produce some of the best picture from a 480p player.

    There are a lot of sub $200 players that uses Faroudja.

    Denon uses Faroudja and Silicon Image in their players, but they usually come with a price tag also.

    If you don't want to pay $500+++ for a Denon, you should at least look for a brand that uses these chip sets.

    As for a HDMI player, I hear that many people really liked the Samsung, but that was at least 6 months ago since I read anything about it. I know that the new Denons has both HDMI/DVI, but expect to pay $800++.
     
  12. KevinWEL

    KevinWEL Stunt Coordinator

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    This is just the thread I was looking for...

    I now have a Pioneer "universal" player that I feed through very good component cables to my Hitachi RPTV. I saw a Samsung "universal" player with DVI unconversion at BB for only $199. Is it worth going to the DVI? Not that I need another DVD player but can you see the difference?
     
  13. MichaelOD

    MichaelOD Stunt Coordinator

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    I would definitely second Denon's DVD players - absolutely fantastic in video output and build quality [although i'm not a fan of the xx10 series builds].

    If your not using a digital display, I don't see much reason to blow your wallet on an HDMI/DVI player. Keep in mind that on an analog display [as has already been mentioned], your looking @ a digital to analog conversion anyway. One of the biggest appeals to the earlier Zenith players was that it enabled 1080i output on component. So for analog displays - the conversion was limited, and the advantages [minus the well documented issues] were fully realized. I had the Zenith player and noticed a definitive difference in picture quality compared to my RP82. [Display: 57HX83] The RP82 was still [to me] an overall better player, but there were advantages to the 1080i output on the player ->my TV's native resolution.

    There are some fantastic deals on last years Denon's models out there, or if you are so inclined - you could check out the Hometheater forum's own Pawn Shop. Great Deals!

    I personally use a Denon 2200 - great player. I'm moving to a Denon 2900 [audio is a smidgen better with this model], and I'm currently selling my 22...
     
  14. SimiA

    SimiA Second Unit

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    KevinWEL, I doubt you'd see a marked improvement in PQ using DVI with your Hitachi RPTV.
    Vb
     
  15. anthony_b

    anthony_b Screenwriter

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    Tom, try using your old panny through component and judge it from there. You might be suprised how good the results you might have. I have a 48 inch HDTV with a 1080i native/upscaling resolution and I only use DVD players in Interlaced mode and look fantastic.
     
  16. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    Cambridge 540D is a hell of a unit and great pro scan player that's less than $400. Something you may also want to look at. [​IMG]
     

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