Novice DVD upgrade

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by George Bir, Nov 14, 2004.

  1. George Bir

    George Bir Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow, everyone here is so far over my head.
    I'm embarrassed to ask these questions but I'm hopping someone will give me some insight.

    We just set up our HT. Hitachi 51S715,Paradigms,Denon 985 and tried to live with an old toshiba progressive scan with component and coax audio.
    This is just a cheap 39.95 unit and seems to be a very weak link. We wanted to wait till Xmas but can't take it anymore. Most of our viewing is from DVD.
    We're not the type to get the latest greatest (as you can tell, we just got or HT). Not sure if sacd or hddvd is even an issue yet. Since our range is around 200.

    Would realy appreciate some good advice.
    Should we get one that up converts to 1080i?
    Does it mess with our tv's capabilitys?
    Do we stay away from Faroudja chips?
    Should we stick with Denon?
    Is the Samsung HD841 any good?
    Can we get a difference maker at our price range?
    TV dvi used by hd cable box, can switch to component if it would help new dvd player.

    Thank you all for your time and any advice given.
    George B
     
  2. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    Faroudja players have strengths and weaknesses. Your display will be the final judge. Around the $200 range, I'd recommend any of the following players for trial:

    Denon 1910, Zenith 318, Zenith 418, Panasonic s97, Sony 975, HK 31.

    The Samsung 841, like the rest of Samsung's DVD line, is something you want to avoid. Samsung has yet to make a really solid DVD player.

    The Zenith 318, in this price range, is arguably the closest thing to a giant killer out there.

    If you go to Amazon or some places like that, it should still be available. If you get an earlier than June 2004 make (You'll see this clearly on the back of the unit) you will have full component upconversion as well as DVI.

    If you have a newer model, you can write off component unconversion but you will have a "fixed" DVI. By fixed, I mean the minimal white crush is gone with the new firmware.

    There's an insanely huge thread at AVS for the 318, at the top of their DVD forum, that I've helped keep up to date. It may be your best bet in this price range.
     
  3. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    It is really interesting how many times I have read on this board that the Samsung DVD HD841 should be avoided. I have had one now for going on 60 days with pretty heavy use, and open box at that, and have had no problems with it except in playing a very scratched DVD of "WindTalkers." I for one have found the Samsung in question to be a great, reliable player. SACDs sound great on it too. Give it a try, you can always take it back if it doesn't suit your needs. The 1080i upscaling looks great on my RCA HD RPTV.
     
  4. George Bir

    George Bir Stunt Coordinator

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    Do I need to worry about the DVD 1080i upconversions meshing with my 51s715. Does a upconverting dvd even help considering my tv?
    We are also losing sound quality. The above players would also inhance this?

    Eric, reading other threads does make me worry about the faroudja. This is what the Denon has, should I stay away?
    You didn't mention the good points of faroudja's.
     
  5. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    Chuck, you're one of the lucky ones with that Samsung 841. Count your blessings and enjoy! George, Faroudja's tend to do better on certain displays vs. others. CRT based displayes seem to suit those chips the best. Now granted, if you calibrate and you're going up the price ladder, the weaknesses and faults decline/are handled better.

    So, if you bought a Denon 2910 or 3910 over the Zenith, you're still going to see a considerable improvement. But the Faroudja chips have those certain issues, like the macroblocking, that never completely go away. It's going to ultimately come down to two things:

    1.) How sensitive your display is?

    2.) How sensitive YOU are. [​IMG]

    Chuck gives the best advice, though: If you can, by all means, demo and try out what you're interested in on YOUR display. That's the best way to eliminate any suspense. [​IMG]
     
  6. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    That set is a crt based model with 540p and 1080i scanrates. It will convert incoming 480p from a non-upconverting player to your choice of 540p or 1080i, this is a digital conversion done by the set.

    Conventional wisdom is that a set will give the best picture when the incoming signal is the same as it's native scanrate, and the fewer digital to analog and back again conversions the better.

    CRT is an analog display technology, so your set doesn't need to do any digital to analog conversions when fed one of it's native scanrates via an analog connection.

    DVI is a digital connection, component video inputs are an analog connection, so theoretically the best pq is going to be from an analog connection feeding a native scanrate,
    which in this case means component video connection at a 1080i scanrate since no dvd player puts out 540p.

    If you can find a Zenith DVB-318 that still has the 1080i upconversion via component that would probably be your best bet. Failing that one of the other upconverting players that will output 1080i over dvi would be the next best choice.

    Regarding Faroudja chips, I've had players with and without them and found the Faroudja does a slightly better job with some video based dvds and poorly mastered film based ones. My Zenith DVB-318 has Faroudja, my other player doesn't, haven't seen enough difference either way to make it a deciding factor.

    As for sound quality as long as you use the digital connection, either optical or coaxial, from the player to your reciever there should be little or no difference from one player to another if everything is connected properly and you've calibrated your audio system with AVIA or one of the other calibration discs available.
     
  7. George Bir

    George Bir Stunt Coordinator

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    I just want to say thank you all for taking the time and giving advice.
    This is the best forum, with the very knowledgeable and courteous people.
    I always recommend this forum to friends in need.

    Thanks,
    George
     
  8. George Bir

    George Bir Stunt Coordinator

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    Have they fixed the problems with the 318 dvi.
    If unable to locate component upscaling and dvi only available. Since my tv has a hdmi, is the 318 still a good choice or should I look at others?
     
  9. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    Anyone using the Denon 1910 on a smaller non-hd tv, say 32" or so? Just wondering how well it does when using component output to a non-hd tv.
     

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