Progressive DVD Player over Line Doubler + Non-Progressive?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by NateF, Jan 7, 2003.

  1. NateF

    NateF Stunt Coordinator

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    I currently have a Sony DVP s330 DVD player (3 years old, it's done well for me) hooked up via svideo through a line doubler (DVDO iScan v2) to a front projection TV (Electrohome ECP 4101). My question is this - how much of a difference am I going to see if I upgrade the DVD player to something like the Denon 1600 and feed the component outs directly to the projector? I want the best picture possible, and I'm sure the $450 Denon is better than my 3 year old $200 (at the time) Sony... but how much better?

    Yes yes, I know, I can bring it home and a/b it, which is what I will eventually do, but before I go to that length, I'd like to know what you guys think.

    Thanks,

    -Nate
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    A player-delivered progressive-scan signal through component-video is going to be superior to an S-video-delivered interlaced signal—especially on a projector (internal doubler and all).
     
  3. NateF

    NateF Stunt Coordinator

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    Just to be clear, the end signal going to the projector is progressive, not interlaced. From your quote I wasn't sure if you picked up on that or not. My question is really one of magnitude - is it going to be a "wow" or is it going to be a "well, I guess I can kind of see the difference..."?

    -Nate
     
  4. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Someone else is asking virtually the same question in this thread; only the equipment is different. The question is asked routinely, and it's impossible to answer.
    A progressive scan player will usually create a superior image to an external line doubler, because the player generates its 480p output entirely in the digital domain, thereby saving several intervening stages of digital/analog conversion. Whether the difference is considered "major" is too subjective for anyone but you to evaluate. Line-doubling circuitry in newer sets (and in affordable units like the iScan Pro) has become very good, and some people claim to see little improvement with p/s players. Others see a major improvement. The only thing you can do is try it and judge for yourself.
    M.
     
  5. NateF

    NateF Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the responses, I guess there's nothing to do but try it out.

    I'll post a response when I do so, so others asking the question will at least know my results.

    -Nate
     
  6. Tommy Haupfear

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    I've secured a Yamaha DVD-C920 (Prog. Scan w/ Faroudja DCDi) and I have my Yamah DVD-C900GL (Component 480i) to try this out on my new Toshiba 50HDX82 (upconvert 480i to 540p). I have yet to Avia/VE the new set but hopefully before this weekend I will have chance to compare the two and give comments based on the gear that I have.

    I would really like to spend the $400 of the C920 on a DVD burner or a phat remote so I had better be floored or back to Tweeterz we go.
     
  7. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Do you guys watch a lot of video-sourced DVDs?

    This is probably where you'll see the biggest difference between a good progressive scan player, especially one w/ the Faroudja DCDi, and a run-of-the-mill linedoubler w/ 3:2 pulldown.

    Also, a player w/ good scaling capability can make a difference for many widescreen TVs for non-anamorphic DVDs, especially when subtitles are involved. And then, there are some people who get a player that can do all-region PAL->NTSC playback--usually these players can also do scaling.

    Right now, I'm still using my new TV's linedoubler while I wait for a player w/ the newer Faroudja FLI2300 chip that does both the DCDi and scaling. If both of the above issues apply to you, I'd suggest waiting for new product intros at the upcoming CES (this weekend!) unless you don't have a decent interlaced player to hold you over for the next few months.

    _Man_
     
  8. Mark All

    Mark All Second Unit

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    Nate,
    I haven't got experience with your specific components, but here's what I've experienced with mine. I have a Pioneer 533-HD5 rear projection monitor with a line doubler in it, a Toshiba SD-9200 DVD player (progressive with great sound), a Sony DVD/SACD player(interlaced used mostly to play SACD), and a Panasonic CP-72 (progressive with okay sound). I have the Toshiba and Panasonic hooked up by component inputs and the Sony by S-Video. To me, the Toshiba's picture is quite soft, almost with a sort of washed-out look compared to newer generation players. The Sony, using the TV's internal line doubler, has virtually the same level of sharpness and detail as the Toshiba. The Panasonic's picture is the hands-down winner. I wouldn't call it a "wow" difference, but it is quite noticeable. I'm looking to get a single universal player that will at least match the good points of the three players I have now--the Yamaha SD-2300 looks like the best candidate to me.
     
  9. NateF

    NateF Stunt Coordinator

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    What do you mean by video sourced? If you mean "made from TV, not especially for DVD" then, yeah, I do. I've gotten to like buying TV series on DVD, so it's steadily increasing in percentage, but still is probably only 10% of my viewing time.

    Here's a question - what does DCDi mean? My guess is Digital something De-interlacer.

    Another question - what's video scaling? Is that the widescreen squeeze mode thing-a-ma-bob?

    Thanks ahead of time for the answers... I'm still new to a lot of the vocabulary of home theater.

    Here's one more - is the Sony DVP s330 decent? God that sounds like such a newbie question, but I suppose I am that for the moment. It seems to work just fine (which is to say I don't see video noise, no skipping, decent sound etc), but I've only compared it to friends' dvd players, and they don't have nearly the setup I do.

    -Nate
     
  10. TimG

    TimG Second Unit

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    Nate, th other problem you will run into is you will need a transcoder to change the component output into vga for your projector. This will add at least $150 to the cost.

    TimG
     
  11. NateF

    NateF Stunt Coordinator

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    Mark - thanks, that's exactly the kind of response I was looking for, and more or less what I expected. Sounds like it's noticible enough that it's worth it, but not something I need to run out and get right this second.

    Tim - yeah, I know. Luckily I've already done that so I can play my XBox at 720p/480p through the projector. Paid $200 for one of those Key Digital jobbies. Awfully damn expensive for a tiny little thing, but I never expected home theater to be cheap.

    I was quite surprised when I called Hi-Rez (the guys who sold me the projector) and they told me there's no component in card for it. Oh well... it would probably cost at least as much as the key digital box, and I'd have to run *two* extraordinarily long and expensive cables to the machine. Just as good this way, I guess.

    -Nate
     
  12. Tommy Haupfear

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  13. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Nate,

    The reason to consider quality of linedoubling for video-sourced DVDs is because of the nature of content shot in interlaced video. It's not easy to do a good job of linedoubling w/out introducing very noticeable artifacts while keeping the image sharp. The Faroudja DCDi algorithm seems to be the best available right now. A run-of-the-mill linedoubler w/ 3:2 pulldown might introduce a lot of combing effect OR might make the image too soft.

    For example, when I watch my Star Trek TNG DVDs using my new Panny TV's linedoubler, I see lots of combing effect in sudden motion of objects and people. I can see combing even in objects caused by unsteady hands, and it seems obvious that the Panny's linedoubler is good at 3:2 pulldown, but doesn't do anything special for video-sourced content. Don't know if you experience any combing effect w/ your iScan, but many players apparently do exhibit similar combing effects under different circumstances--usually when the flags are wrong--and some especially w/ video-sourced content. Others will soften the image a lot to avoid combing while some will yield very jagged edges. The other poster doesn't have an iScan, so this probably applies more to him.

    As for scaling, basically, that's what one would use to convert a non-anamorphic DVD into anamorphic presentation to the TV. Normally, w/out any scaling or zooming, such DVDs would be seen in a window-boxed format w/ bars on all sides--most likely grey sides and black top/bottom. If you don't like that, you'll need to use the TV's zoom mode (or probably your iScan), which will not be quite as good as the scaling done on a player. The scaled image will then be watched in full (or 16x9) mode. Also, subtitles will get pushed out of the visible area if you're zooming the final image coming from the player.

    Not saying that all of these apply to you as I mentioned. Just that these are things to consider in your choice of a player, including whether to stick w/ your old one + iScan. While zooming quality or 3:2 pulldown quality might not show a "Wow" difference, artifacts like combing effect or serious image softening or jaggedness when 3:2 pulldown cannot be used can be distracting enough to equate to "Wow". Not being able to see subtitles when needed can also be a deal-breaker.

    _Man_
     
  14. NateF

    NateF Stunt Coordinator

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    Awesome, thanks for the responses. Just for reference purposes for those wondering about the iScan... I love it. I've *never* seen combing (which I'm _sure_ I'd notice) no matter the source, and never noticed chroma problems or jaggies. Image softening is something I definitely am worried about. I don't know if it's happening, but when you're blowing something up to 108" diagonal widescreen format... you want the image to be as sharp as possible.

    Thanks again guys, this really helps.

    -Nate
     
  15. Tommy Haupfear

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    Well my eyes hurt from staring at the same 2 minutes of Monsters Inc in both Progressive and Interlaced for the last hour or so.

    Yamaha DVD-C920 is nice in that it allows a single press of a remote button to toggle between progressive/interlaced. I'd flip back and forth a couple of times until I didn't which I was on and actually chose the upconverted interlace (upconverted to 540p) several times over prog. scan. I think I will "limp" on my old gold DVD-C900GL until the next crop of DVD players rear their ugly heads (hopefully DVI). I also checked the interlaced feed from the DVD-C900GL and it was pretty much the same as the interlaced DVD-C920.

    $400 saved but only momentarily as you're never truly finished upgrading!
     
  16. JackLonn

    JackLonn Agent

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    The question I have is, if I purchase a NEC HT1000 (I'm leaning that way but need to act before the 30th), will the DVDO Scan Pro (?) improve my satalite and LD pictures? I plan to buy a progressive DVD player anyway. I plan to project to a 100" dia screen.
     
  17. JackLonn

    JackLonn Agent

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    Oh, and my LD players are (2) CLD-79 and (1) CLD-D704, if that makes a difference.
     

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