XBOX DVD Review (long)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Massimo N, Dec 2, 2001.

  1. Massimo N

    Massimo N Stunt Coordinator

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    I’ve had the XBOX since launch and just got the DVD kit this past Friday. I’ve tried to put the XBOX through as many test as I could so I could compare how it performed against my current stand alone player: Panasonic DVD-RV30. The equipment I’m using when I compare performance is as follows:
    Television: Toshiba 57HX81 (57 Widescreen HDTV)
    Receiver: Yamaha RX-V995
    Main Speakers: Paradigm Reference 40s v.2
    Rear Speakers: Paradigm Reference 40s v.2
    Centre Spkr: Paradigm Reference CC v.2
    Subwoofer: SVS 20-39PC
    The kit comes complete with just a basic remote and an IR sensor unit that plugs into any of the controller ports (I’m using the 4th controller port). I immediately programmed my universal remote. The first thing I did was put in AVIA and calibrated the values on my 2 set of component inputs. What I noticed right away was that the brightness setting needed to be higher and that the XBOX did not pass the blacker than black bars (I actually used VE to test the Blacker than Black). This is not a big deal, as not all players pass the blacker than black signal, and it is used primarily for calibration purposes only. I noticed some slight colour bleeding, but I changed the supplied cables that came with the XBOX’s HD pack with the same one’s I’m using for my DVD player and this went away.
    The colours seemed a bit richer and more saturated than my Panasonic. I’m no expert, but the picture had more of a punch that my panasonic. The player is very fast (quick load times) and I check a couple of disks where I noticed the layer changes before (Gladiator and Seven) and no pause, not split second gap … it just kept on going [​IMG]
    The sound actually sounds fuller. I don’t know if my mind is playing tricks on me, but the audio qualities sound better played through the XBOX … go figure??
    A couple of notes:
    All your Stand-alone functions are present, even the on-screen menu system. I forgot I was operating a gaming console after a while.
    I didn't test the down-conversion of the DVD output as my TV is 16:9.
    Will the XBOX replace my current stand-alone player? The jury is still out on that one. I still need more time comparing the two players to make up my mind. I do not think that the XBOX will compete to higher end players (progressive players) but against my entry/mid-level player it really shines.
    Cheers!
    Mass
     
  2. MathewM

    MathewM Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah, I'd like to know how good the Xbox DVD player is at downconverting. We have an early Toshiba model, and the downconversion sucks majorly.
     
  3. Massimo N

    Massimo N Stunt Coordinator

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    After a quick test on the player's downconverting, I'd say it is a bit softer than the panasonic, but less artifacts and shimmering. I used MI2 for this test, the fist 3 minutes of the movie where it pans across the city line. If you've been shopping at DVD players, you may have notice how each manufacture handles the downconversion. Sony is traditionally very soft while Toshiba is extremely sharp. By being soft, you eliminate artifacts while on the sharp side you introduce artifacts. Panasonic fall in the middle to higher end of this scale, so I'd put the xbox right in the middle.

    For this test, I put my TV in 4:3 mode, and had a letter-boxed image in a 4:3 frame.
     
  4. Conroy Tesa

    Conroy Tesa Stunt Coordinator

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    I though it looked pretty good as well.

    What REALLY interests me is that it plays PAL dvds!

    Now if thouse brilliant hackers could make it region free...
     
  5. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    Hmm, this is interesting. I've been thinking about getting an Xbox, and perhaps if I use it as a replacement for my Apex player, I could sell that off to raise some of the cost...

    Any major problems with compatability though? I've heard horror stories about the Ps2 and DVD playback, and have already seen some instances where compatability problems have arisen with the Xbox.
     

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