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Help me solve my HD DVD/ TV setup problem!

Old 04-20-09, 06:31 PM
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Help me solve my HD DVD/ TV setup problem!

I have a HD-A2 and about 100 HD DVD's. I am unsure as to if I should keep them or sell them and try and get these on Blu-ray at some point in time. My TV says it is 720p/1080i but that it can output 1080p. Blu-rays from my PS3 look AMAZING. Total perfection. But my HD DVD's don't quite match up. I didn't understand why, but now that I'm looking into it I'm thinking it's because my HD-A2 model is only 1080i at max. So I'd need a 1080p player. And since I have no idea where to get an affordable 1080p HD DVD player, I'm concerned about my HD DVD collection.

Also, from things I have read, I am confused by the lossless high definition audio issues. I have a Denon 1909. The HD-A2 says it handles Dolby TrueHD audio and yet I read this on CNET:

The Toshiba HD-A35 is the most expensive model in Toshiba's line of third-generation HD DVD players. While we have not reviewed the HD-A35, we have reviewed the similar step-down model, the HD-A30. The models are very similar, with the major difference being that the HD-A35 adds support for bit stream output of the new high-resolution soundtrack formats, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. Bit stream output of these soundtracks means that the encoded audio can be sent to a compatible AV receiver with onboard Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding. This might be a worthwhile upgrade for audiophiles with new AV receivers, who want to hear the full resolution of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks.

Toshiba continues to sell the Toshiba HD-XA2 as its flagship model. For more information, please refer to our full review of the HD-XA2.

Lastly, Toshiba also offers the entry-level Toshiba HD-A3, which lacks 1080p output and bit stream output for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. Still, given the disappointing performance of standard 1080p mode on the HD-A30 (and we suspect the HD-A35 performs similarly), the HD-A3 may be a good deal for those who don't want to pay extra for bit stream output of high-resolution soundtracks.

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OK... so what should I do? And how do I know if I am getting HD audio from my current setup? And is there anyone here with a spare HD-A35 willing to sell me one if that's the best way to go?

Thanks for the help fellow DVDTalkers!
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Old 04-20-09, 11:11 PM
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Re: Help me solve my HD DVD/ TV setup problem!

Since my Denon 1909 is an HDMI receiver capable of High Definition formats does that mean it decodes all the High Definition audio tracks even if the HD DVD player wont have built in decoders? All my receiver ever states is "Multi CH IN" for lossless audio. I'm confused as to if this means I am not receiving Dolby TrueHD tracks through my HD-A2 player.

Thanks for the help again. I need to figure out whether or not to buy a HD-A30 or HD-A35 if I am going to get another player to help HD DVD playback be it's best... or to help me figure out if I should just sell all my discs and current player.
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Old 04-21-09, 12:41 AM
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Re: Help me solve my HD DVD/ TV setup problem!

What TV do you have? Is it new? Most every new digital set is 1080p or 720p native.

As for your receiver: looking at the spec's it shows that is can process lossless. Your should be able to get the newest formats regardless is the DVD player can process it or not.

Basically you seem to be in good shape if you want lossless audio.
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Old 04-21-09, 02:51 AM
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Re: Help me solve my HD DVD/ TV setup problem!

Yeah, I was alarmed over nothing I think. Thanks for the help!

The video quality is NOT as good though. I have a 720p set "technically" but it can output 1080p video and my HD-A2 is only 1080i. I tried "upsampling" and it looked bad... fake... just, well, no good. My PS3 Blu-ray movies look AMAZING though. And I just checked my TV settings and it displays 1080/24 when I am watching my Blu-ray's! So it's like it's actually 1080p/24 fps as far as I can tell. On the menus, PS3 screen, etc. it shows 1080/60 but during the films I watch they show 1080/24 which I know is supposed to be better. This must be a big factor in why I was recently finding myself disappointed in my HD DVD's.

So, based on this information, what I need is a HD-A30 to solve my problems. I have around 100 discs and at around $100 for a HD-A30 I think my problems will be solved.
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Old 04-21-09, 05:14 AM
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Re: Help me solve my HD DVD/ TV setup problem!

Originally Posted by GenPion View Post
I have a 720p set "technically" but it can output 1080p video and my HD-A2 is only 1080i.
If your TV is really 720p, then it cannot output a 1080p picture. It will take a 1080i or 1080p signal and downconvert it to 720p.

You still don't say what TV you have, and you don't say how you have your HD DVD player connected to it.
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Old 04-21-09, 08:33 AM
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Re: Help me solve my HD DVD/ TV setup problem!

Look at my signature.

Everything is connected by HDMI. I know it's not "really" 1080p, it takes a 1080p output and downcoverts it. But I see a definite difference between the 1080/60 and 1080/24 and 1080i and 1080p settings, and I also see the difference when it is set to 720p. It doesn't look NEARLY as good.
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Old 04-21-09, 09:23 AM
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Re: Help me solve my HD DVD/ TV setup problem!

I would get another player just to get another player. With that collection you don't want your only player to die and then be sent on a wild goose chase.

But I don't think it is the player. And I don't think buying a player capable of producing 1080p is going to solve your problem. Maybe if you had a 1080p television, but not with a native 720p TV.

Have you done an A/B with something like Transformers which is a similar transfer on both formats?
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Old 04-21-09, 12:03 PM
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Re: Help me solve my HD DVD/ TV setup problem!

How close are you sitting? If you have a 50" 720p, I'm thinking you should not see a difference between 1080p and 720p unless you are sitting way to close.

As Spiky says, if your set is 720p, then that is what you ALWAYS see. Some will argue that if you match your output your source (making it output 720p in your case) you may get a better pic since once less step involved. But others say that is no really an issue especially if it is a quality set.

I think I have my PS3 and A-3 outputting 720p to my PJ since it is 720p native. I've played around a little, but didn't see much if any difference in changing my source settings.

And for HD quality, I see no real difference between BD and HD. I do think my A-3 has a slight edge in playing SD DVD disc's. I use the A-3 as my every day player. But that is as much because of the remote issue as any slight improvement with SD DVD's.
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Old 04-21-09, 02:26 PM
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Re: Help me solve my HD DVD/ TV setup problem!

For what it's worth, I do see a difference between 720p and 1080i and 1080p and 1080p/24 on my set. It's only a 720p/1080i set but it can output 1080p and 1080p/24 signals. From reading in threads on AVS from others who own my set they feel the same way. There is a BIG difference in quality between the settings. I would not set my TV to 720p as my Blu-ray movies do not look nearly as good with that setting as they do with 1080p/24 (which it also displays my TV as showing when I click the info button). Others have told me that once it is on these settings it then downcoverts to the TV's native resolution. Okay... this is undoubtedly true, but what is also true is that I can SEE the difference when I play with the settings. Nothing matches my 1080p/24 output and it is significantly smoother and clearer than the other settings (including 720p - which I do see a difference from in terms of the settings on my TV in combination with my PS3 and Receiver.

I also tried "upsampling" my HD-A2 by setting it to output 1080p. It didn't look as good, or as smooth, as 720p. It created an almost artificial look IMHO and it just wasn't satisfying. And, of course, when I checked my display info it said it was displaying at "1080/60". Since the player itself only goes up to 1080i, but my movies are 1080p, and considering how my TV set seems to work, I am going to go for a backup/main player of the HD-A30. My receiver should be able to decode the Dolby TrueHD audio as it is HDMI to HDMI.

I hope I have explained this well enough. Regardless of opinion based on my TV's technical specs, I see a very real difference through adjusting my TV/Player settings and that's all I need to know. I remember checking out some of my HD DVD's like Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix or The Matrix Revolutions and wondering why the quality wasn't as good as I expected -- it wasn't matching the Blu-ray quality. Now I know why... switching between 1080i on my HD DVD's and 1080p/24 on my PS3 and the difference is clear.

Thanks for all the help everyone. Oh, and Sdallnct, I sit around 12 feet away. Blu-ray movies look mind blowing for me. My HD DVD's currently look better than my DVD's but seem to leave a bit to be desired. I think getting the HD-A30 will solve that problem for me when I match it's 1080p/24 setting to my TV's output capabilities.

Last edited by GenPion; 04-21-09 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 04-21-09, 02:42 PM
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Re: Help me solve my HD DVD/ TV setup problem!

"It's only a 720p/1080i set but it can output 1080p and 1080p/24 signals. (which it also displays my TV as showing when I click the info button). I sit around 12 feet away."

Come on guy...

As for why you see multichannel audio. In your hd dvd player its probably set to lpcm and not bitstream or something. Course your ps3 will always only say multichannel cause it's all it can do audio wise, but it's still the lossless formats.

As for the rest of your comments....I mean really come on now. I'm not even gonna get into it.
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Old 04-21-09, 03:01 PM
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Re: Help me solve my HD DVD/ TV setup problem!

Originally Posted by hdtv00 View Post
"It's only a 720p/1080i set but it can output 1080p and 1080p/24 signals. (which it also displays my TV as showing when I click the info button). I sit around 12 feet away."

Come on guy...

As for why you see multichannel audio. In your hd dvd player its probably set to lpcm and not bitstream or something. Course your ps3 will always only say multichannel cause it's all it can do audio wise, but it's still the lossless formats.

As for the rest of your comments....I mean really come on now. I'm not even gonna get into it.
I know I am getting the lossless audio that way. I was a bit nervous at first because of what I read about bitsteam (which led me to believe bitstream was somehow better than PCM is). All this really seems to be referring to is that non-HDMI receivers can bistream the audio if they have the HD-A35 and get the lossless audio. I won't need to do this for Dolby TrueHD. However, as I have a HDMI 1.3 capable receiver it works just fine the way it is currently connected. As for the comments regarding picture quality -- don't worry. You don't need to get into it. I know what I need to know already.

To further clarify this: My TV info displays 1920x1080p/24 when I have it set to my PS3/Blu-ray player. My eyes DO notice a difference. The refresh rate is supposed to match the 1080/24 mode as well. It does this properly (most TV's don't). It then scales the image to this: 1366x768, the native resolution of my TV. It is better quality to have a 1080p/24 signals scale down to 1366x768 than for 1280x720 (720p) resolution to scale upwards to 1366x768. And 1080i wont look as good to me visually because it is not as smooth a picture and does not remain as sharp during motion. The resolution may be there, but it lacks in overall performance when compared to progressive-scan.

Also -- the manual says it supports "1080/24 hz". While I may still not be 100% clear on all the details I believe this means it properly accepts that signal and uses a 2-3 pulldown in order to progressively display it at the right frame rate... or something like that.

I know I've already said a lot on the issue but the difference to me is clear.

Last edited by GenPion; 04-21-09 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 04-22-09, 12:08 AM
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Re: Help me solve my HD DVD/ TV setup problem!

Your sitting 12 FEET from a 50" set and you see that much of a "night and day difference"? Wow...I don't know what to say. I'm really surprised. Well, very surprised. If you are seeing that much of a difference, sitting that far, on that small of a set, I almost think something is wrong. But maybe not...
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Old 04-22-09, 12:59 AM
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Re: Help me solve my HD DVD/ TV setup problem!

Well, not necessarily night and day. Other posters on AVS forums who have my set feel similarly though that there is a very noticeable difference. In any case, I am watching 1080p/24 content as 1366x768. It just doesn't have to process all the information first -- meaning I should be getting the same quality of the original image just on fewer pixels I think. It is not the same as 1080p and is closer to 720p, obviously, but it works better on my set this way. At least, this is what it seems to be to my understanding. My set is problematic with 1080i also. It doesn't do a good job with interlaced imaging and actually others have commented on it being weaker in 720p mode than it should look. Maybe that's why I see such a big difference overall... it just handles the other conversion mode better. Whatever -- so long as I'm pleased that's what is important. In any case, nothing is wrong with my vision... aside from the fact I wear glasses to see better.
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