What's new

What's the Best Upconverting BD Player (profile 1.1) (1 Viewer)

Mark Zimmer

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Messages
4,318
My mom is likely going to get a new TV, and she has a pretty sizable DVD collection that she'd like to be able to upconvert, and she'd like to get into BD. She's not at all tech-savvy though, so I need a one-player solution that is NOT a PS3. She also doesn't have (and will never have) an Internet connection so firmware updates are out. But she likes extras (loves the PIP feature from HD DVD) so profile 1.1 is a must, and 2.0 is overkill. No need for fancy sound processing; she'll be using the TV's speakers (yeah, I know, but what can you do?)

So, her main goals are best possible upconversion in a BD player, that does 1.1. What would you recommend? PS3 isn't going to work for her; she looked at it and immediately got confused.
 

Kevin Stewart

Second Unit
Joined
Oct 7, 2003
Messages
363
Location
Texas
Real Name
Kevin Stewart
Currently, the Denon DVD-3800BDCI is the best upconverting BD player.

If that's out of her price range, the next best would be the Pioneer Elite BDP-05FD and then the Pioneer BDP-51FD
 

Scott Merryfield

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 16, 1998
Messages
18,819
Location
Mich. & S. Carolina
Real Name
Scott Merryfield
How do these upconverting BD players handle 4x3 material on standard DVDs? I just ordered a new Samsung 67" LED DLP monitor and would like to get a BD player that also can handle my sizable SD-DVD collection. One of the features I love about my current 480p DVD player -- a Panasonic RP-91 -- is it will pillarbox 4x3 material automatically, and I can scale/zoom non-anamorphic widescreen transfers to eliminate the side pillarbox bars.

Do any of the BD players handle 4x3 material in a similar manner? At the very least, I would need the player to display 4x3 material properly, with the side pillarbox bars (i.e. no stretching of the frame). I have lots of TV on DVD and classic 1.33:1 films that need to be displayed properly, and would love to have a single player in my equipment rack for both SD-DVD and BD-DVD.
 

RomanSohor

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 9, 2003
Messages
360
Can't speak for anyone else's players. I have the Sharp BD-HP20 and it automatically pillarboxes 4X3 material. The Sharp does not have a zoom mode for dealing with Letterbox 4x3 (as opposed to anamorphic 16x9) material, I have to use the zoom mode on my projector for that, otherwise I get the "black bars around all four sides" look. For the few non-anamorphic titles I own, it's fine, as most of them I either like enough to upgrade to BD when they come out (Disney's Hercules) or hardly ever watch anyway.
 

Steve Schaffer

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 15, 1999
Messages
3,756
Real Name
Steve Schaffer
Sony players will also pillarbox 4/3 material. You have to set "upscale" to "normal" in the setup menu
initially, then it will automatically pillarbox 4/3 stuff.
 

Scott Merryfield

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 16, 1998
Messages
18,819
Location
Mich. & S. Carolina
Real Name
Scott Merryfield
Thanks. One other question. I have read that BD players are rather slow in loading discs compared with SD DVD players. Does that slowness also apply to loading SD-DVD discs, or are they just slow when loading BD discs?

I'm trying to decide if I want to buy a BluRay player now, or wait awhile longer for the players to improve and drop in price and just buy an upconverting DVD player for now.
 

Hartwig Hanser

Second Unit
Joined
Oct 9, 1998
Messages
301
Unfortunately, BD players are also slow with DVDs, at least my Sharp is.

There seems to be coming an Oppo BD player this winter with the superb upconverting/deinterlacing solution of the Oppo 983. Might be worth waiting for.
 

Scott Merryfield

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 16, 1998
Messages
18,819
Location
Mich. & S. Carolina
Real Name
Scott Merryfield
Thanks, Hartwig. I decided on a compromise -- I ordered a Sony BDP-S350 BluRay player from Amazon for $258. That is only a little more money than an Oppo upconverting SD-DVD player. I will keep the Panasonic RP-91 SD-DVD in my system for now to play the few non-anamorphic widescreen titles I still have, and be another option for SD-DVD playback should the Sony prove to be problematic with some titles.

Hopefully BluRay players will continue to evolve and improve over the next couple of years, and I can then move the Sony S350 to the bedroom. For now, I cannot see spending $400 - $500 for a possibly flawed player just so it can decode the newer audio formats and pass it on to my older Pioneer Elite receiver... and I am not ready to replace the receiver. I will just have to continue "suffering" with lossy DD and DTS 5.1.
htf_images_smilies_smile.gif
 

ManW_TheUncool

His Own Fool
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2001
Messages
11,842
Location
The BK
Real Name
ManW

Well, even that can often be a bit better than what you get on DVD since the bitrate is often higher on the BD, eg. typically 640Kbps for DD 5.1 and 1.5Mbps for DTS. :D

_Man_
 

Scott Merryfield

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 16, 1998
Messages
18,819
Location
Mich. & S. Carolina
Real Name
Scott Merryfield

That is good to know, Man. Since my home theater setup is in our family room, the most limiting part of my system at this point is probably the room environment anyway. So, I do not know if I would be able to tell much difference between DD/DTS 5.1 and a lossless format in that room. Besides, a great deal of our film watching is older, classic films, and lossy DD/DTS is just fine there.

Since I spent $2,000 on the Pioneer Elite receiver several years ago and it still works flawlessly, is built like a tank, and produces wonderful sound, I just cannot justify spending money to replace the unit, even though reducing the cabling via HDMI would be nice. The receiver has 5.1 analog inputs (currently being used for a Sony ES SACD/CD player), so I could take advantage of the newer audio formats if there was a reasonably-priced player that worked well. However, the new Sony BDP-S550 does not appear to handle DTS-MA via the analog outputs, and the Panasonic BDP-55 is an unknown since it has not been released yet, and appears it will be priced around $500.

The Sony was just too good a price to pass up. Now, I just have to wait for the player and the Godfather BD set to show up on our doorstep.
htf_images_smilies_smile.gif
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Forum statistics

Threads
356,565
Messages
5,116,093
Members
144,112
Latest member
absplumbing
Recent bookmarks
0
Top