Newbie needs help please

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Greg_St, Dec 30, 2002.

  1. Greg_St

    Greg_St Auditioning

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    First, i'd like to say that I really appreciate the owners and contributors to this great resource putting in the time and effort! Now, my journey seemed real simple a few days ago when I knew nothing at all. All I wanted to do was buy my first DVD player and DVD movies, when I noticed that the movies were in "Full Screen" and "Wide Screen" and also noticed the more expensive DVD players have "Progressive Scanning". Then after finding www.thedigitalbits.com and www.hometheaterforum.com and spending many hours reading articles and threads, I now realize I know nothing at all and the more I read the more questions I get. I see many of you are very knowledgable and able to help me, so i'd like some help before I go out and spend a few grand on a player, movies, tv, and receiver [​IMG]
    So....here's where i am now.....I have a 10 year old 36" RCA TV with S-Video that I bought brand new, and I have looked through the manual and cannot see if it is 480i/480p/720p/1080i, or 1080p, but I suspect it is probably 480i, so I want a DVD player that will work alright, meaning movies played will look "relatively good" with my "normal" TV, but look even better when I get a HDTV within a year or so. I can subscribe to digital cable at anytime.....is "digital cable service" the one i want from my cable provider (Shaw Digital) that will use an HDTV to it's fullest?
    I'd like all your opinions on what setup would be best for quality video, i'm not going to worry about the sound (5.1, 6.1, etc. I have a real old stereo system with 100wX4 3-way w/15" woofers) until after I get all the video components. Basically, I want the secret formula for the best video [​IMG]
    Short Example: Digital Cable with HDTV (which resolution, 720p or 1080i?) with Progressive Scanning DVD Player with Anamorphic Widescreen DVD movies.
    As far as I can tell, the best setups are the following?
    DVD movies: Anamorphic WideScreen
    DVD Player under $300: Progressive Scanning, a few zoom levels
    TV: HDTV (with HD Tuner) 720p or 1080i
    Cable Service: Digital Cable
    So, if I bought a Progressive Scanning DVD Player, does that mean I should get a 720p TV, since both player and TV would then be Progressive, or am i on the wrong track? Obviously (I think hehe) I want the complete system to do the least amount of work as possible from scanning the DVD, or watching cable TV, to showing on the TV screen, meaning the least amount of converting analog to digital, interlacing to non-interlacing, etc. and resulting in the best picture possible.
    Also, what is the best way to hook the DVD player up to the existing TV (Has RCA AV/S-Video) and the new HDTV when it comes later?
    Since this is so long winded, i'll summarize my questions here:
    I want the best combination of movies, player, cable service, and TV without going overboard, I don't mind paying $300 for DVD player, $3000 for HDTV, and buying any cable service, but I don't want to buy the TV for awhile yet, so it needs to work with my existing TV, but more importantly, my next TV, and then how to hook it all up with both my existing TV and the new TV I will buy later.
    Thanks in advance for all your help and opinions and please bring up anything I have missed [​IMG]
     
  2. Jeffrey Forner

    Jeffrey Forner Screenwriter

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    Greg;

    Welcome to the Forum! I will try to give you the short answers to your questions.

    First off, if you are planning on buying an HDTV in the near future, I would indeed buy a progressive scan DVD player at this time. You may not use the progressive scanning feature right away, but at least you'll have it when you buy the HDTV.

    As for the TV you have now, I would connect the DVD player to the TV using an S-Video connection.

    When you buy your new HDTV, connect the DVD player to it using the component video outputs. In case you're not sure which connection I'm talking about, component video is separated into three cables with RCA plugs: a red, a blue, and a green one. You can only get a progressive scan image using these cables.

    Also, when you buy your new TV, try to find one that will do both 720p and 1080i. Those are both standards for High Definition video, and it's a good idea to have both. Some stations broadcast in 1080i and other will do 720p. You might as well have all of your bases covered, right? Also, you will need to connect your digital cable box (or satellite box if that's what you end up getting) with component video plugs. That is the only way you can send an HD signal into the TV.

    Should you go with satellite or cable? That's a tough one and I'm not sure I can answer that for you. I suggest you do some research on the services available in your area and decide for yourself which option is best. One thing to keep in mind however is that most of the networks broadcast their HD signals Off the Air (OTA), and a cable box will not pick it up. However, a satellite box will.

    I hope that helps!
     
  3. Adarsh Daswani

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    Here's part of your message that wasn't answered in Jeffrey's reply. Progressive scan DVD is 480p, not 720p. So as long as your future TV can display 480p, you'd be fine with a progressive scan DVD player. All 720p and 1080i-capable sets can do 480p. Some sets can do 720p *and* 1080i; however, there's a fairly limited number of these. Most HDTV convertors are capable of taking a 720p signal and upconverting it to 1080i to match a 1080i-capable HDTV.

    Make sure that any DVD player you buy now has S-Video (for your current TV) and component video (the most common method for passing progressive scan info) outputs. Progressive scan cannot be passed by S-Video, so any player with this feature has to have component video outputs.

    Hope this helps you out a bit!

    -A.
     
  4. Greg_St

    Greg_St Auditioning

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    Yes, you both are helping me a great deal, thank you both!
    If I understand both of you correctly, I should get a TV that does both 720p and 1080i, and it will also be able to do 480p from the DVD player?
    Are all DVD progressive scan players 480p? If not, which should I get?
    If I am not able to get a TV that is both 1080i and 720p, is one better than the other?
    Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it [​IMG]
     
  5. TimTurtino

    TimTurtino Stunt Coordinator

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    Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity Audio recommend the Panny DVD-RP82 (which I am told is equivalent to the DVD-CP72, mod a digital input and a 5 disc changer). Progressive scan does, for all practical purposes = 480p.

    The next question is harder to answer-- some people prefer one or the other (for instance 1080i technically has more pixels, but 720p is a progressive format...) but saying that one is definitely better than the other may be a matter of personal taste...

    Me
     
  6. Jeffrey Forner

    Jeffrey Forner Screenwriter

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    Yes, if a DVD player is capable of progressive scan, it will display the image in 480p.
     
  7. Mike*Gillgannon

    Mike*Gillgannon Auditioning

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    Regarding Shaw digital cable: There is no HDTV signal available yet. There are SOME Dolby 5.1 movies available, but only in Calgary, currently the test site. If and when HDTV is available you will need a different black box to decode the signal (and a new TV to display the picture, of course). Shaw has been slower than the satellite boys in adopting the new technology -- including personal video recorders. It's kind of annoying, but I've stuck with them so far, largely because . . . well, I'm not sure. Inertia perhaps.

    mike g.
     
  8. Greg_St

    Greg_St Auditioning

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  9. Mike*Gillgannon

    Mike*Gillgannon Auditioning

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    Quote:
    I assumed that "digital" equaled "high defenition", are Digital signals better than Analog signals, but worse than HDTV signals?
    ------------
    Hmmmm. I have a Dolby Digital 5.1 release of 2001: A Space Odyssey but the sound is mediocre at best. The picture quality is good. Moral: Digital doesn't guarantee high quality (garbage in, garbage out) but it can facilitate it. The cable signal coming into my house goes through a splitter. One side goes to a TV input, the other to the digital cable box, then to the TV. Both pictures look the same to me. Bit the cable box permits the viewing of scrambled channels, the ordering of PPV, the viewing of schedules and menus, and as I said earlier, the decoding of HDTV and DD 5.1 (eventually, in Shaw's case).

    Hope that doesn't confuse the issue too much.
     
  10. Jeffrey Forner

    Jeffrey Forner Screenwriter

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