Samsung DVD-HD931 DVD player with FLi 2300 chip

MikeSRC

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Here's the press release from CES:
Samsung Electronics America, Inc., an established innovator in the DVD category, announces the advent of audio/videophile quality DVD entertainment with the introduction of the first 1080i/720p DVD player, the DVD-HD931. Delivering stunning, cinema quality playback of DVDs, the DVD-HD931 uses a completely digital process to deliver a 1080i/720p signal making it ideal for consumers wanting to get the most out of their HD displays. The DVD-HD931 is the first DVD player to feature a DVI output so that it can deliver uncompressed digital video. The model has a host of advanced features such as Samsung's DNIe™ (Digital Natural Image engine) and Faroudja's DCDi™ video processing technology for enhanced video performance and the ultimate DVD experience. It will also be Samsung's first product to support DVD-Audio in the U.S. The DVD-HD931 is a recipient of a CES "Innovations 2003 Design and Engineering Showcase honoree" award, and is on exhibit at Samsung's Booth (# 12016) at the 2003 Consumer Electronics Show, January 9th - 12th in the Las Vegas Convention Center, Central Hall.
"The DVD-HD931 is the perfect solution for someone who has already invested in a HD Display or is considering making the investment and wants to get the most out of what DVD has to offer," commented JR deSouza, Marketing Manager of Digital Video, Samsung Electronics America. "Samsung has taken a strong position in the DVD category and we plan to maintain that level of commitment with the introduction of innovative new models that meet a broad array of consumer needs. The DVD-HD931 offers unprecedented DVD video and audio enjoyment."
Currently, consumers who have upgraded their home theaters with HDTVs do not have an abundance of high-definition programming available. The DVD-HD931 offers an alternate solution by up-converting a DVD's native resolution (480p) to output high-definition formats (720p/1080i). The most impressive attribute of this up-converting process is that it takes place completely in the digital domain, which eliminates data loss and other artifacts associated with analog convergence. As a result, the process opens up a vast library of quality viewing for consumers who want to watch digitally enhanced movies on their HDTV monitors and enjoy the highest quality video available on the DVD market.
The DVD-HD931 includes Samsung's first-ever digital processing algorithm -- DNIe™ (Digital Natural Image engine) -- for enhanced contrast and white tone, increased detail, and noise reduction. It also features Directional Correlational De-interlacing (DCDi™) technology by Faroudja. DCDi™ eliminates the jagged edges that appear when standard interlaced video is viewed on progressive-scan displays for a smooth and natural picture. The DVD-HD931 is also Samsung's first US product to support DVD-Audio.
An elegantly designed gold/brass color chassis with half mirror front panel rounds out this true home theater piece, which will be available in June 2003 for an MSRP of $349.
Actually, the front of the player they had at CES was not gold/brass, but looked a lot like the RP-82, kind of silver and chrome.
Here's a picture (sorry, not a very good one
):
 

Patrick TX

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Sep 12, 2002
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I read somewhere that it will only offer that resolution on NON COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL. Sucks for us. I would like to see that puppy hacked. If so, I'm first in line!
 

Luke_Y

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Aug 20, 2001
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I read somewhere that it will only offer that resolution on NON COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL.
I doubt thats the case. If so, what would be the point of developing and marketing the product? So you could "up-convert" your home movies that are burned to DVD and watch them in High Def glory?
 

MikeSRC

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Jul 19, 2002
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It's my understanding that the scaled output will only be available through the DVI output, which takes care of the copy protection issues.
 

Oswald Pascual

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Well the word is that this will be out for July. I hope it does not dissapoint becuase I am getting "Upgrade Ittis". I hear it's catchy too.
P.S. What is DVI output, and what will accept a DVI output?
 

Ken_F

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The person I talked to at Samsung also said the 720p/1080i upconversion would be available only through the DVI-CP (DVI with HDCP) output. I'm fairly certain that they'd do output through progressive component if they could, but I don't see any way the industry would allow it. I believe the DVD Forum agreement would expressly prohibit this, in fact.
Oswald,
DVI-CP is the connection standard that Hollywood and the consumer electronics firms have settled on for protected transmission of high-definition content. All the "modern" HDTV televisions feature a DVI-CP output. You'll almost certainly need one to watch any future HD-DVD standard at full resolution. There was not a single display at CES this year, as far as I am aware, they did not incorporate DVI-CP.
DVI standards for digital video interface; it is a pure digital connection that has been used on computer LCD displays for several years. DVI with HDCP (high-bandwidth digital content protection), or DVI-CP for short, adds encryption. You can read more about it here. For recent quotes from some studio representatives on the necessity of DVI-CP, see this news article. Sony Pictures, Fox, Universal, Warner Bros., and Disney are the main studios pushing the DVI-CP standard which is now being adopted by CE and cable companies. More articles are available via a Yahoo search on "DVI content protection."
 

Dan Clark

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I'm not sure why the upconverted output is restricted to DVI for this product. I could understand it if we were talking about true HD source material, but the source signal for this player is still plain old DVD. Any potential bootleggers already have a more direct route to DVD bits through deCSS, so what is gained by restricting the upconverted output on this player to DVI only?
 

Ken_F

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Marc,
Meridian’s 800 DVD-Audio/Video player is the world’s first to support HDMI, we can reveal today. At CES in Las Vegas, Meridian will today announce two upgrade cards, the VE11 and VE12, both of which will retail for $1,250 when they become available in spring 2003.
The VE11 and VE12 cards plug into the card frame architecture of the 800 player and add DVI and HDMI digital interfaces respectively, as well as progressive video with Faroudja DCDi de-interlacing and scaling. The cards can be installed individually, or together within a single chassis.
The VE11 card provides support for the DVI Digital Visual Interface standard, supporting digital display devices including HDTV at bandwidths of 165MHz. The VE11 provides a 480p digital output to the DVI specification. Content is protected by means of the HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) system developed for DVI by the Intel Corporation. Using the latest DCDi™ technology from Faroudja, Meridian’s VE11 produces the highest quality progressive video from the interlaced source material found on DVDs. Per-pixel motion-adaptive de-interlacing results in the highest resolution picture while suppressing motion artifacts.
The VE12 is HDMI Phase 1 compliant, and provides a wide selection of high-definition video formats, including 480i, 480p, 576p, 720p, 1080i and 1080p. Also supported are two channels of PCM digital audio or bitstream signals corresponding to all the audio formats available for DVD-Video, including Dolby Digital, DTS and PCM up to 48kHz 24-bit. The VE12 uses extremely high quality conversion and studio-grade, high bandwidth, low noise analogue video circuits in a skillfully designed impedance controlled 6-layer PCB. This, combined with the 800’s legendary low noise picture decoding, presents a progressive output that sets new standards.
Meridian VE-12 video encoder card.
The video processing available on the cards allows scaling and aspect ratio adjustment, including automatic sensing of disc flags. The digital image is pixel-mapped to the display and includes native-rate scaling, in which a dialogue occurs between the card and the display, enabling the card to deliver a signal that is specific to the display system in use, for the ultimate in digital video performance without artifacts.
Robert Stuart, Chairman of Meridian Audio: “Some manufacturers are considering Firewire to provide a single-wire audio/video link between source and processor, but Firewire does not have the bandwidth to carry high definition video – a necessity for future multimedia systems. Therefore, we are enthusiastic about HDMI, which helps to make the fully-integrated high-definition home theatre systems of the future possible.”
The VE11 and VE12 cards both also offer broadcast-quality progressive component analogue video outputs on three BNC connectors, with up to 480p maximum resolution. Both require the VE00 module to be installed in order to function.
The HDMI interface allows both uncompressed digital video to HDTV standards and digital audio to be sent down the same cable. Intel’s HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) is used to maintain the integrity of the high-resolution signal. HDMI offers superior performance as it can carry HDTV-resolution digital video signals without compression – a capability not possible with any other current interface. Digital display devices can offer exceptional performance.
Meridian is exhibiting at CES and can be found at booth number 20013 in the Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall 1&2, at the 2003. A suitably equipped 800 series player will also be used to demonstrate the technology at the Silicon Image booth. Check our CES 2002 pages for more details over the next couple of days, including a report from the Meridian/Silicon Image launch party.
This should give you a better idea as to the advantages of the Samsung DVD-HD931. Like the Samsung, the $15,000 Meridian DVD player, plus $1500 add-on, will only offer the entirely-in-the-digital-domain performance for the protected digital interface; component output and standard RGB still remain limited to 480p.
[Just for reference, HDMI is both DVI-CP and digital coax integrated into a single cable.]
 

Michael St. Clair

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Restricting this is ignorant. There is no consumer device available to record the 720p/1080i component output, and the only devices that can (W-VHS) perform additional compression cycles and result in the copy looking worse than the original.

But a 12-year-old with DeCSS can make a bit-perfect copy of the disc, and share it with the entire world if they want.

This restriction has no effect on piracy, but certainly screws over certain legacy TV owners (including certain older 4:3 HD sets that only squeeze 1080i).
 

Ken_F

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Nov 13, 1998
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Michael,

Well, it is the fully-digital displays that benefit most from this technology anyway. Even if your legacy CRT-based model did have DVI-CP inputs, the signal would still be converted to analog for display once it hit the set. And if this all-digital-upcoversion were provided through progressive component or RGB, most older sets still run the signal through processing for aspect ratio control and the like anyway.

In contrast, on digital DVI displays (DLP, D-ILA, LCD, etc), the signal from this DVD player will be 1:1 pixel-mapped to the display without any modification or interim processing of any kind. Thus the reason why it is necessary for the Samsung HD931 to provide aspect ratio control and scaling for DVDs.

Obviously the fact that DeCSS has been decrypted on the computer is irrelevant. Ok, so the encryption was broken. That doesn't mean CE vendors are automatically going to abandon all copy protection on mass-market consumer electronics products. Moreover, the all-digital de-interlace and upconvert results in a picture that is SUPERIOR to the bit-perfect 480i copy from disk.
 

Grant H

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Anyone have the complete scaling/zooming info on THIS player?
Can it do everything an RP-91 does?
In other words, is it a good player for folks with 16:9 HDTV's that lock into "Full" or horizontal stretch when receiving Progresive scan signals?
This player and the new Philips 963 SA seem to have similar innards, but this has the (possibly near useless) upconversion and is cheaper. It would seem a direct comparison is in order.
Samsung's website even says the HD1000 only upcovnerts material that isn't copy-guarded. Can't find the info on the HD-931 there yet. Also, I'm not looking to buy ANOTHER HDTV with the new connection for a while.
 

Ken_F

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Grant,

Samsung's website even says the HD931 only upcovnerts material that isn't copy-guarded.
The Samsung web site says no such thing. The Samsung web site does say that for the HD1000 box announced last year, but the HD931 was created to address the concerns the DVD Forum voiced over that box. I suggest you read the press release again.

We do not yet have confirmation of what scaling and zoom options are provided. But seeing how DVI output bypasses the aspect modes on every shipping digital display (afaik), they would need to provide some way to accomodate older letterbox titles.
 

StaceyS

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Feb 11, 2000
Messages
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Restricting this is ignorant.
Don't be angry at Samsung, it is not their choice. They can either restrict or loose their DVD license and be fined up the wazoo.

Also, the Meridian card is $1250 and has some 23 rates it supports. It is supposed to be plug-and-play and auto select rate based on the display it goes into. It is intended for a different market at that price point.

Panasonic had an HDMI display at CES being fed by the Meridian player. The cable run was 25 meters. (83')
 

Doug_B

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Feb 11, 2001
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For us digital projector owners, everything about this sounds great except the cost of a long, quality DVI cable.

Doug
 

Dalton

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So are all of us Analog 16:9(or 4:3) HD Ready tv owners screwed when it comes to HD DVD? I don't have a dvi connection so does that mean all i will ever get is 480p? If so that sucks because i just don't have the $$ to replace my 2 yr old 16:9.


Dalton
 

Michael D. Bunting

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I'm with Dalton and Marc...
Maybe in a couple years I could purchase a new 16x9 set...a year at the absolute minimum...okay...maybe this fall.

Unles there are some good sales this summer...or spring...
 

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