What do you need nowadays from a dvd player???

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Ryan Peddle, Feb 13, 2005.

  1. Ryan Peddle

    Ryan Peddle Second Unit

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    Now that I have me new TV Toshiba 51H84 I have to make a change in the dvd player department.

    My old dvd player Proscan PS8675 was built like a tank and stood the test of 8 years of heavy use and never once stepped down from a challenge.

    But, that player is old and does not feature many of todays new dvd technologies.

    It does not play CDR, CDRW, DVDR, DVDRW, DVD-A and SACD. It is not progressive scan and does not have any of the newest digital connections (hdmi and dvi). Nor does it have any DCDi processing.

    So a new player is in order. But what do I look for, what do I need? I only ever play store bought dvds. I don't burn dvd's nor cds, and my Xbox houses all my music. I don't listen to any SACDs or DVD-A so its compatibility with other types of media is generally not important.

    But I do have a new tv now and would like to have a more up to date video player. Right now I am borrowing a crappy JVC prog scan dvd player and it works fine, but your system is only as strong as the weakest link. And that JVC is definitely the weakest link.

    So when it comes down to it...what do I need. Should I be using the HDMI connection on my tv and buy a player with that connection.

    Does Faroudja DCDi make a huge difference in PQ and make that a primary target for my purchase.

    Little help here?
     
  2. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Ryan,

    IMO modern DVD offers no substantive upgrade over old DVD. There are a few things that may make a difference if your display is deficcient in certain areas. DVD Video is saved as 480i component video, period. A player with a "progressive scan" output has no meaningful advantage over an old fashoned player like your proscan, because all it offers is a deinterlacer in the DVD player. If sent a 480i signal your display is going to have to deinterlace the signal anyway. Which has the better deinterlacer? Usually the TV. It is theoretically possible that it is better to deinterlace off the DVD digitally before transmitting it over the analog lines, but the real difference is negligible at best since the analog 480p signal's going to have to be digitized in order to present on your new TV anyway.

    As for HDMI and other outputs from DVD players - all that still applies. The original video is still 480i and it has to be converted somewhere. It is theoretically a cleaner signal for the 480i signal to be converted digitally inside a DVD player and sent digitally to your TV, but the practical difference may not be as compelling as the theoretical "on paper" difference.

    Do a little test, with that JVC player, switch the player between progressive and interlaced output and see what the difference is on your display. I would be willing to guess that the interlaced output from the DVD player looks better or at least the same. Try a really crappy DVD that will show off the problems. Since your TV is brand new chances are that it has a very good de-interlacing and line doubling circuit onboard.

    You may get better video quality from a DVD player with a better video DAC and better black levels. If your ProScan is anything like mine it doesn't do "blacker-than-black" and has a good, not great, video circuit. I think my ProScan has the "chroma bug".

    If you have no specific gripe with your DVD player, I say keep it. I'm using a chroma-bug free 480i native Technics DVD-A10 in my main theater and it is fantastic with my X1 projector (which has a Faroudja DCDi chip).

    It's possible that progressive output from a player with a Faroudja DCDi chip may give you better video than you're seeing right now, others will know better than I. If I were you I wouldn't be in a hurry.
     
  3. Jeremy Swenson

    Jeremy Swenson Stunt Coordinator

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    i had a pretty good difference in dvd players, i first bought a 50 dollar cheapo, didnt like it and then bought a denon 2200, big difference for me, in my case i am betting the dvd player can handle the processing better than my tv
     
  4. Ian-Fl

    Ian-Fl Second Unit

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    If you have patience and like challenges I built a HTPC a couple of months ago with a DVD burner.
    Some of the software out there can really juice up a picture along with the right hardware.
    http://htpcnews.com/main.php?id=ffdshowdvd_1
    You'll need at least a Athlon 64 chip and a Radeon 9800pro graphics card.
    I bought a 9600pro card and unfortunatly I'm forced to use the older version of ffdshow.
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0&pagenumber=1
    I turned my DVD player on once since I started using the PC as a player.
    I don't feel now compelled to upgrade my projector because my pq is now 20% better.
     
  5. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    There are also some newer features on today's players. My $99 Panasonic has a "position memory" button that allows it to remember up to 5 dvds that I stopped in the middle of watching. When I put them back in the player, it starts from the place I left off. I love the feature since I have kids and many times have to stop in the middle of a movie. I won't buy another player without it. Maybe others can chime in about some of the features manufacturers are putting in their players now?
     
  6. Ryan Peddle

    Ryan Peddle Second Unit

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    I guess the main question is, do i need a progressive scan player or will my original interlaced DVD player produce an equally incredible image provided I put my Toshiba 51H84 in interlaced mode.

    All you hear now a days is progressive scan this and progressive scan that.

    But like I said previously, my Proscan produced a picture quality image and I was astounded with on my 32"direct view compared to other players used. But it is not progressive scan, but is very well made. So will a well made interlaced player beat out a cheap $100 progressive player. Or because of my upgraded tv require a progressive scan dvd player to take full use of the technology?
     
  7. Allen Hirsch

    Allen Hirsch Supporting Actor

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    The answer is, I'm afraid: "it depends".

    Some monitor/displays have better scalers than the cheaper progressive DVD players - in which case the highest quality interlaced signal may be a better feed than a poorly done progressive. Some player/TV combos provide a great PQ, others seem to have some problems. Connections and cables can matter, too - certain upscaling DVD players work better (or ONLY) through component, others have to use DVI or HDMI to provide the higher resolutions.

    It seems we've got MORE confusion about and disparity in PQ, not less, currently, as these "new" DVI and HDMI inputs are not yet uniformly available, nor do they work in a uniform manner with all AV devices or combinations.
     
  8. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    Ryan, it really..., really depends on how your t.v. handles the signal from the DVD player. Looking at the closet model to your t.v. the 51H93, it has Crystal Scan that upscales 480i or 480p to 1080i. My understanding how this works is that this feature is not for S-video but Component Video only like my Sony 51inch RPTV. Toshiba Comb filters are very good but not familiar with the Deinterlacers in the T.V. Therefore I suggest that you do what I did. I got the Zenith DVB 318 and I love it. It has the Faroudja chip in it for deinterlacing and upscales all DVDs to 1080i via component and most via DVI to HDMI. Now I haven't tried the DVI to HDMI cable yet, (still debating with myself on whether I view all DVDs upscaled via component or most via HDMI), but I won't go back to 480 interlaced and I did a small comparison with setting the player to 480 progressive and having the Sony do the upscaling to 1080i and I find the the DVD player with the Faroudja does a better job.

    Definetly get the player that would maximize the abilities of your T.V. and run with it. Even if you use the player for only 480p from the player and use the t.v.'s deinterlacer via HDMI and I'm pretty sure you'll still get a marvelous picture, so upgrade that DVD player, you won't go back.
     

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