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Watching DVD's on HDTV...

Old 11-21-02, 03:32 PM
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Watching DVD's on HDTV...

(First post on DVDtalk)


Hi all,

I have been flirting with the idea of purchasing an HDTV.

However, I rarely watch network TV or cable. 99% of my TV usage revolves around the DVD.

The question is:

Since the HD-DVD has not yet arrived, will my DVD's look any better on an HDTV? Is there any difference between playing a DVD on a 48 inch TV and a 48 inch HDTV?

Thanks for the help.

PM
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Old 11-21-02, 04:17 PM
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If you connect PROGRESSIVE-SCAN DVD player to your hd TV, the picture will be clearer than on regular TV. If you use NON-progressive scan (regular) DVD player for HD TV, the picture will look the same as on NON-HD TV.
I think the diff. between Progressive scan dvd player & "Reg." dvd player is that Progressive scan DVD player will "refresh" ALLl the lines on the TV screen on each pass where "Reg." DVD player will "refresh" every other line on each pass.

That's what I think. Since I am still a novice on this subject, feel free to correct me if I am wrong.
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Old 11-21-02, 04:35 PM
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You would also benefit from the increased resolution of the 16x9 transfer on DVDs that have it. While some regular TVs can also do this, most of them don't, as I understand it.
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Old 11-21-02, 05:50 PM
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Question: I just bought a Progressive Scan 4:3 TV. It has the button on the remote that smashes the picture to letterbox ratio.
I also have a Progressive scan DVD player, which has the TV setting set to 4:3 Letterbox mode. If I set my DVD TV setting to 16x9 mode, and it expands the picture verticaly, and then I use the TV's feature to smash it back down to shape... does that yeild better quality picture with more lines of resolution than just having the TV on normal and the DVD set to 4:3 tv?

It's hard for me to directly compare, but it kind of looks like it.
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Old 11-21-02, 06:07 PM
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Originally posted by mmconhea
Question: I just bought a Progressive Scan 4:3 TV. It has the button on the remote that smashes the picture to letterbox ratio.
I also have a Progressive scan DVD player, which has the TV setting set to 4:3 Letterbox mode. If I set my DVD TV setting to 16x9 mode, and it expands the picture verticaly, and then I use the TV's feature to smash it back down to shape... does that yeild better quality picture with more lines of resolution than just having the TV on normal and the DVD set to 4:3 tv?

It's hard for me to directly compare, but it kind of looks like it.
Yep, when it smashes it down you're getting better resolution for the DVDs (as long as the DVDs are anamorphic). I can never easily explain what it's doing (it's really not hard but it always comes out confusing) so I won't try, if you do a search (here or other places) for "anamorphic squeeze" you should be able to find some info.
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Old 11-21-02, 06:14 PM
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DVDs look astronmically better on a HDTV than a standard TV. After having a HDTV for a couple years, whenever I visit my parents and watch a DVD with them on their standard definition bigscreen, the scan lines are painfully obvious. And I don't even have a progressive scan DVD.
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Old 11-21-02, 06:21 PM
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Originally posted by mmconhea
Question: I just bought a Progressive Scan 4:3 TV. It has the button on the remote that smashes the picture to letterbox ratio.
I also have a Progressive scan DVD player, which has the TV setting set to 4:3 Letterbox mode. If I set my DVD TV setting to 16x9 mode, and it expands the picture verticaly, and then I use the TV's feature to smash it back down to shape... does that yeild better quality picture with more lines of resolution than just having the TV on normal and the DVD set to 4:3 tv?

It's hard for me to directly compare, but it kind of looks like it.
As Icculus stated, you should get a noticeably better picture this way. I can explain why if you are interested.

And for a variety of reasons any DVD player will look better on a HDTV than a regular TV. If you then add a progressive scan DVD player you will get an even better picture. Fairly significant differences will be seen.
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Old 11-21-02, 08:18 PM
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Originally posted by Pharoh
As Icculus stated, you should get a noticeably better picture this way. I can explain why if you are interested.

If you don't mind.... I am very interested. Thanks
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Old 11-21-02, 08:49 PM
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Actually, If you read some past posts.....the difference between progressive and non-progressive in terms of picture quality is directly related to screen size. At 48inch 16:9 it is questionable if you would see a hugh difference. Go above 60inches at the difference is obvious.
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Old 11-21-02, 08:52 PM
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Originally posted by Freud
Actually, If you read some past posts.....the difference between progressive and non-progressive in terms of picture quality is directly related to screen size. At 48inch 16:9 it is questionable if you would see a hugh difference. Go above 60inches at the difference is obvious.
It would also depend on the quality of the set's line doubler. With a high quality doubler there won't be a big jump, with a crappy one there will.
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Old 11-21-02, 11:13 PM
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Originally posted by mmconhea
If you don't mind.... I am very interested. Thanks
I'll try. Here goes:

Think of a frame on a DVD print. I am talking about the actual print on the DVD master. It is shaped 4:3, not 16:9. If we then take a non-anamorphic, (not enhanced for widescreen), but widescreen DVD we will get a loss of possible resolution. The reason is because we will be putting a widescreen image on a 4:3 frame. It is the frame that dictates the amount of resolution. So if we have 520 lines of resolution on the 4:3 frame but put a widescreen image in it, we will not be using the resolution for the actual picture that the black bars at top and bottom occupy. There is, in a sense, a loss of resolution.

To compensate for this, Anamorphic DVDs were created. In the Anamorphic process the widescreen image is "squeezed together", so as to increase the height of the picture and to then take up all of the "lines" of the 4:3 print. We will no longer have a widescreen image in a 4:3 print, but rather a squeezed image that is now verticallyl elongated. The picture will be a 16:9 one turned into a 4:3 one. That is people will be tall and skinny. When you tell a DVD player that the connected TV is Widescreen, it will put out this "Anamorphically squeezed" picture. The Widescreen TV will then "stretch out" the image, bringing it back to proper proportions. Only now it will be with the full capable resolution. Your HD capable 4:3 TV is doing this "stretching", just like all Widescreen TVs do, thus you are getting the highest possible resolution.

When you tell your DVD player that you have a 4:3 TV, it will not put out this "enhanced" picture. You will then get the full resolution minus the lines of resolution of, or the space taken up by, the black bars created by having a widescreen image in the 4:3 print. This difference should be fairly significant, providing all else is equal.

Please note that this is somewhat simplified, and I did not always use exact terms and numbers, but this is the basic sense of what is happening. I hope this helps some. If I confused you more, let me know, and I'll try to undo the harm.
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Old 11-21-02, 11:32 PM
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Awesome! That makes perfect sense to me. Thanks almighty Pharoh!
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Old 11-22-02, 01:32 AM
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Originally posted by Jaycee
If you connect PROGRESSIVE-SCAN DVD player to your hd TV, the picture will be clearer than on regular TV. If you use NON-progressive scan (regular) DVD player for HD TV, the picture will look the same as on NON-HD TV.
Not exactly. An HDTV automatically displays the picture as progressive scan either way. If you don't have a progressive scan DVD player, the TV's internal line-doubler will turn it into progressive on its own.

The reason to get a progressive scan DVD player is that the electronics in the DVD player usually do a better job than those in the TV.
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Old 11-23-02, 09:24 PM
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Please help me get ready!

I'll TRY asking this here instead of starting a new thread, so if someone knows the answer, please help!:

I am getting an HDTV in 3 days. I have a progressive scan DVD player (plus VCR, PS2 and CD player)--all currently run through my receiver (receiver has S-video connections, no component--not even sure if they make receivers w/component).

However, I'll want to connect my DVD player directly out to the HDTV, right? And will that mess anything up, or will I still be able to leave the audio the way it is, optical running out to the receiver?

In short, what sort of adjustments will I need to make by swapping out a crappy 25" TV (that doesn't even has S-video) with a beautiful 47" HDTV. I just want to make sure I can still hook it up and have it work basically the same--only look 18,000x better!

ANY INPUT will be GREAT appreciated. I have been waiting for this day for a long time, and I just don't want to have a bunch of setup problems!

THANKS A LOT in advance!

Last edited by uteotw; 11-23-02 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 11-24-02, 01:34 AM
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Originally posted by Josh Z
Not exactly. An HDTV automatically displays the picture as progressive scan either way. If you don't have a progressive scan DVD player, the TV's internal line-doubler will turn it into progressive on its own.

The reason to get a progressive scan DVD player is that the electronics in the DVD player usually do a better job than those in the TV.
In my case, My Toshiba 50H81 TV does a better job than my Toshiba SD3800 DVD player. The player's progressive signal looks slightly more blury and it doesn't seem to have the same richness in color.
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Old 11-24-02, 05:59 PM
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question, my brother wants a 20 inch flat screen tv with componant, and a progressive scan player, is progressive scan needed or can i just buy a regular dvd player with componant imputs.
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Old 11-24-02, 06:03 PM
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Originally posted by Rypro 525
question, my brother wants a 20 inch flat screen tv with componant, and a progressive scan player, is progressive scan needed or can i just buy a regular dvd player with componant imputs.
There aren't any 20" hdtvs so a progressive player wouldn't make a difference - an interlaced player should be fine.

Last edited by Icculus; 11-24-02 at 06:08 PM.
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Old 11-24-02, 07:08 PM
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i meant a regular flat screen, so a regular dvd player with component imputs would be fine.
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Old 11-24-02, 07:47 PM
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Got a couple of questions. How come they don't have DVD players that connect to the TV digitally? Plus, isn't it better to wait and get an HDTV when all TV stations need to output in digitial signal in a couple years? Lastly, does a DVD or a digital signal from a TV station have better image quality? Thanks.
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Old 11-24-02, 08:19 PM
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Originally posted by Rypro 525
i meant a regular flat screen, so a regular dvd player with component imputs would be fine.
Yeah, that's what I was saying... You would need a HDTV (or an EDTV but there aren't many of those out there) to take advantage of progressive scan. A regular (analog) flat screen set won't need progressive scan but a component connection will work fine.
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Old 12-02-02, 01:03 PM
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Originally posted by Goblincat
In my case, My Toshiba 50H81 TV does a better job than my Toshiba SD3800 DVD player. The player's progressive signal looks slightly more blury and it doesn't seem to have the same richness in color.
This turned out to be the case for me as well--DVDs look better on my Samsung 47" HDTV w/progressive scan on my DVD player turned OFF. Not what I expected, but oh well--As long as I know this is not a wholly abnormal occurrence...

Last edited by uteotw; 12-02-02 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 12-02-02, 05:35 PM
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I have a related question: my rptv has an option for non-progressive scan to output as 480p or 960i. What are the pluses/minuses of each? There's not a big difference from regular tv.
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Old 12-02-02, 08:20 PM
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Re: Please help me get ready!

Originally posted by uteotw


However, I'll want to connect my DVD player directly out to the HDTV, right? And will that mess anything up, or will I still be able to leave the audio the way it is, optical running out to the receiver?

In short, what sort of adjustments will I need to make by swapping out a crappy 25" TV (that doesn't even has S-video) with a beautiful 47" HDTV. I just want to make sure I can still hook it up and have it work basically the same--only look 18,000x better!
Just run the video cables directly to the TV and the digital audio to your receiver. Only bad thing is that you need 2 remotes to watch a DVD.

Warning: Some sources like analog cable and VHS will look far worse, because your new TV will expose all their flaws. But DVD, PS2, and HDTV should look great, especially after you perform some picture adjustments.
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Old 12-03-02, 03:51 PM
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Originally posted by Pharoh
When you tell your DVD player that you have a 4:3 TV, it will not put out this "enhanced" picture.[/B]
Sort of. But backwards.

The native image is enhanced. If your player is set to 4:3, it will either throw away every fourth line or use algorithms to blend four lines into three. The rest of the screen is electronically filled with black bars.

This was the stated reason why Criterion and other studios did not support anamorphic in the beginning -- the downconverted 4:3 image inevitably caused artifacting. Native 4:3 looked better on a 4:3 set, although you needed a big set to notice.

The enhanced picture on a 4:3 set looks tall and stretched out. A widescreen set in full mode expands the image horizontally to snap it all back into proportion.

BTW, the reason this all works is because 16:9 sets are 3/4 the height of 4:3 sets (think of 4:3 sets as 16:12 sets).

Oh, and with 2.35 films, part of the black bars is on the picture. The rest is generated by the DVD player.

If you use NON-progressive scan (regular) DVD player for HD TV, the picture will look the same as on NON-HD TV.
Not true. Newer HDTV's perform deinterlacing, which is the same process that progressive players use to create a progressive image (DVD's do not encode as progressive frames but rather as interlaced fields).

But even without deinterlacing, HD RPTV's perform line doubling that eliminates noticeable scan lines. This is immediately apparent with non-enhanced DVD's in zoom mode -- goodbye chunky scanlines!

Last edited by Hanson; 12-03-02 at 04:03 PM.
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