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shopping for DVD player - need help

Old 02-10-06, 04:16 PM
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shopping for DVD player - need help

Shopping for DVD player and having a little trouble with the terminology. At the store, I'm running into 3 types (at least based on the descriptions on the players):

1. progressive scan
2. progressive scan with 3:2 pulldown
3. upconverting function

Are these in fact different levels of players (i.e., upconverting is better than just progressive)? It seems almost all of the players have progressive scan, but not all of them indicate 3:2 or upconverting. What exactly is upconverting (in layperson's terms)? I understand basic progressive scan (vs. interlacing) but I'm not sure about 2 and 3.

My player would be for a home theatre with hdtv hookup. DVD-R not needed. Thanks for any explanations you can provide.
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Old 02-10-06, 05:34 PM
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What kind of tv do you have?
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Old 02-11-06, 12:52 PM
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Sony tube 34" xbr960
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Old 02-13-06, 09:55 AM
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3:2 is mandatory with progressive scan. Although some players are better at it than others. Film is 24 full frames per second. To fit it into an analog TV signal at 60 half frames per second, they have to do interesting math. That's where the 3:2 comes in. It gets pretty technical, we can go further if you are interested. Or you can google it. dvddemystified.com gives some decent explanation, IIRC. I don't actually have the details in my brain, although I've looked it up and understand, mostly.

Your old TV was capable of 480 interlaced horizontal lines (480i), and that's how DVDs are made. Your new TV is capable of either 480 progressive (480p) or 1080 interlaced (1080i). Progressive output from the DVD player changes the 480i DVDs into 480p. Upconversion changes it into 1080i.

Maybe start with the Sony upconverter. It sounds like a good unit and would match your TV. Not sure which output would look better, the 480p or 1080i. You'd have to compare.
http://www.crutchfield.com/S-LwleFkI...400&I=158NS70H
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Old 02-13-06, 10:21 AM
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Thanks Spiky. Appreciate you putting this in layperson's terms. I think I understand the basics now.
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Old 02-13-06, 10:44 AM
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In my mind, the two best upconverting players are the Panny S-77 (or 97) and the Oppo Digital.
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Old 02-14-06, 12:27 PM
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Spiky (and others feel free to chime in), reading your post, are you saying there's a chance that the 420P picture (from progressive scan only player) might not be beat by the 1080i picture (from player with upconversion feature)? My sony xbr960 seems to deal with both 420P and 1080i, but pricing wise if they're equal in picture quality, don't I save money going with the progressive only player? They seem to always be much cheaper than the upconvert players. How do I find out if one or the other has the better picture before the purchase.

Also, how does 720P play into this whole thing. I don't see that ability in the specs on my sony (perhaps it gets converted into 1080i, I don't know)?
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Old 02-14-06, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by bilal
Spiky (and others feel free to chime in), reading your post, are you saying there's a chance that the 420P picture (from progressive scan only player) might not be beat by the 1080i picture (from player with upconversion feature)? My sony xbr960 seems to deal with both 420P and 1080i, but pricing wise if they're equal in picture quality, don't I save money going with the progressive only player? They seem to always be much cheaper than the upconvert players. How do I find out if one or the other has the better picture before the purchase.

Also, how does 720P play into this whole thing. I don't see that ability in the specs on my sony (perhaps it gets converted into 1080i, I don't know)?
The reason you might not see a different between 480p and 1080i on your tv is that CRTs, unlike plasma, LCD, DLP, etc., are not "fixed pixel" displays and can display multiple resolutions. My money is on you not being able to see a difference between 480p and 1080i DVD players on your tv. I had a CRT HDTV (mits rear projection) and I couldn't tell a difference between 480p and 1080i or 720p. However, on my DLP, which is 720p natively, there is a big difference. The upconverting players are useful when you want to feed your display a signal that matches it's native pixel resolution. Since CRTs don't have native resolutions, it is, in my opinion, not worth spending the extra money on an upconverting player. However, this doesn't mean you should buy a cheapo dvd player. In fact, an upconverting player might not cost any more than a good 480p player and then you could see for yourself.
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Old 02-14-06, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by BobDole42
The reason you might not see a different between 480p and 1080i on your tv is that CRTs, unlike plasma, LCD, DLP, etc., are not "fixed pixel" displays and can display multiple resolutions. My money is on you not being able to see a difference between 480p and 1080i DVD players on your tv. The upconverting players are useful when you want to feed your display a signal that matches it's native pixel resolution. Since CRTs don't have native resolutions, it is, in my opinion, not worth spending the extra money on an upconverting player.
Excellent advice.
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Old 02-14-06, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Josh
Excellent advice.
Why thank you! I learned the hard way, by dropping $700 on a Denon 2910 to use with a CRT tv without thinking about the fact that my tv accepted 480p natively. I'm glad I bought it though, since it looks great with the DLP.
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Old 02-14-06, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by BobDole42
Why thank you! I learned the hard way, by dropping $700 on a Denon 2910 to use with a CRT tv without thinking about the fact that my tv accepted 480p natively. I'm glad I bought it though, since it looks great with the DLP.
Not that I put a ton of weight into Secrets, but the reason I chose the S-77 (and got rid of the Oppo) was how well it performed against more costlier alternatives. I've been very happy with it so far into my Plasma.
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Old 02-14-06, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Josh
In my mind, the two best upconverting players are the Panny S-77 (or 97) and the Oppo Digital.
im with you. i love my panny and i heard the oppo is better.
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Old 02-14-06, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Josh
Not that I put a ton of weight into Secrets, but the reason I chose the S-77 (and got rid of the Oppo) was how well it performed against more costlier alternatives. I've been very happy with it so far into my Plasma.
The oppo and the panny are both supposed to be great. I like the 2910 for video, but I really enjoy it's 5.1 SACD/DVD-A performance.
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Old 02-14-06, 05:14 PM
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The Oppo wasn't great on my Television... image was shifted, macroblocking, light rainbow-like colors on the background and faces of the characters, and it stretched out my "Young Frankenstein" and "MST3K: The Movie" DVDs.

But I have to say, the best Customer Service i've contacted.

If Oppo was the best, then I don't know what to get, i'll just get a regular old progressive scan player and wait for HD Players to be released.
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Old 02-14-06, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Caliking
im with you. i love my panny and i heard the oppo is better.
I had the Oppo for about six months. I wanted to love it, but I just couldn't. The colors never seemed right to me, and the macroblocking was pretty bad. But that audio sync problem was horrible. You could never get it right, with any amount of delay.

I still think it's an amazing player for the money and will be interested in Oppo's second gen player (hopefully with HDMI this time). Lots of potential for their products.
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Old 02-19-06, 01:54 AM
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I use the oppo with my 65" HP DLP and it is near HD quality. I haven't had any problems with lip-sync or macroblocking. The oppo is a great player for upconverting.
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Old 02-19-06, 10:02 AM
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Best Buy has the TOSHIBA SD-4980 on sale for $80 this week. Not sure how good it is, but you need a HDMI cable.
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