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Upconverter or Blu-ray Player for Best Picture Quality of DVDs ?

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Upconverter or Blu-ray Player for Best Picture Quality of DVDs ?

Old 03-02-18, 05:12 PM
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Upconverter or Blu-ray Player for Best Picture Quality of DVDs ?

Hello All,

I have some questions regarding upscaling for DVDs.

First, let it be known that I am not really a Blu-ray collector. The majority of my collection is commercial Region 1 DVDs.

The first question I have is: What will give me the best picture quality for my DVDs, a high-end upscaling DVD player, or a Blu-ray player ?

And secondly, after this first question has been answered, what would be the best brand and model of player ?

Now, there's also the Television questions that go with the above.

What would be the best TV brand, model, and size range (40", 55", etc) to watch these upconverted DVDs on ?
I would be sitting fairly close to the TV (about 6 feet away).

I know this is a lot of information to ask for, and everybody has their own opinions, but I would appreciate any help I can get from anyone reading this thread.
(By the way, fortunately for me, money is not an issue in getting the best picture quality out of my DVDs).

Thanks in advance for your help guys !!

Barry
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Old 03-03-18, 01:32 PM
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Re: Upconverter or Blu-ray Player for Best Picture Quality of DVDs ?

First we need to know your price range. It will be easier to suggest brands if we know what your budget looks like.
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Old 03-03-18, 02:26 PM
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Re: Upconverter or Blu-ray Player for Best Picture Quality of DVDs ?

Originally Posted by mrhan View Post
First we need to know your price range. It will be easier to suggest brands if we know what your budget looks like.
As stated in my original message above, fortunately, money is not a issue for me...I will pay whatever I need in order to get the best picture quality out of my DVDs.
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Old 03-03-18, 09:35 PM
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Re: Upconverter or Blu-ray Player for Best Picture Quality of DVDs ?

If you're willing to play the dvds on the computer connected to a large screen, madVR + media player classic with a decent graphics card will do a lot better sd->hd upscaling than a generic standalone dvd/bluray player. This is how I watch my dvds.
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Old 03-03-18, 09:45 PM
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Re: Upconverter or Blu-ray Player for Best Picture Quality of DVDs ?

For dvds, deinterlacing can be just as important as sd->hd upscaling if the original content is not progressive.

Some movie companies are lazy and leave in the hard-telecine on the dvd versions of some movies and tv shows. Decent deinterlacing (or inverse telecine) can make a huge difference.

MadVR's hardware deinterlacing is quite extensive.
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Old 03-04-18, 05:13 PM
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Re: Upconverter or Blu-ray Player for Best Picture Quality of DVDs ?

If money isn't an issue, why not start buying Bluray / UHD?
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Old 03-05-18, 05:54 AM
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Re: Upconverter or Blu-ray Player for Best Picture Quality of DVDs ?

^ Doesn't help with his existing collection, although a blu-ray player will more than likely make your DVDs look better and give you access to blu-ray should you decide to make the plunge.
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Old 03-05-18, 06:05 AM
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Re: Upconverter or Blu-ray Player for Best Picture Quality of DVDs ?

It took me a LONG time before I finally decided to do exactly what I just described. My concern was upscaling of DVD picture quality but the more I researched the more I discovered that my setup would not allow the latest/greatest. My TV only had/has component video capabilities. I wasn't about to ditch my $2000 Pioneer 53" WS HDTV rear projection TV and it still serves me well (knock on wood). I ended up buying a blu-ray player that was manufactured prior to the Analog Sunset, and added a HDMI to Component converter between the TV and BD player. My DVDs look good on my setup, except for the ones which were sub-par to begin with. If your TV has HDMI capabilities, half your battle is already won.
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Old 03-05-18, 07:41 AM
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Re: Upconverter or Blu-ray Player for Best Picture Quality of DVDs ?

One very good option which you did not mention is using a receiver to up convert the signal. I have a high end Onkyo receiver (11.2) that is hooked up to a Sony Blu ray player and does a wonderful job of up-converting the DVDs (though now most of my collection is Blu Ray Movies)

Here is one - but you can decide how much $$ you want to spend. Don't go too cheap on Receivers.

Amazon Amazon

Other points:

Blu ray player is way to go (no need for up-converting DVD player, plus you want HDMI output)
For your new collection - start buying Blu ray disk - the price point is pretty much same as DVDs

Last edited by soundman2; 03-05-18 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 03-05-18, 09:48 AM
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Re: Upconverter or Blu-ray Player for Best Picture Quality of DVDs ?

Originally Posted by dex14 View Post
If money isn't an issue, why not start buying Bluray / UHD?
....and a 77" OLED to go with that. Since $$$ isn't an issue.
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Old 03-05-18, 10:03 AM
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Re: Upconverter or Blu-ray Player for Best Picture Quality of DVDs ?

Originally Posted by dex14 View Post
If money isn't an issue, why not start buying Bluray / UHD?
Agree

If money isn't an issue, donate the DVD's to a library or Goodwill and go to Amazon and fill your shopping cart with all the Blu or UHD discs of the same movies. Keep any DVD's that don't have Blu/UHD duplicates.

Don't just waste money on player to try to make DVD's "look better".
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Old 03-05-18, 07:12 PM
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Re: Upconverter or Blu-ray Player for Best Picture Quality of DVDs ?

Originally Posted by MarkitZero View Post
If money isn't an issue, donate the DVD's to a library or Goodwill and go to Amazon and fill your shopping cart with all the Blu or UHD discs of the same movies. Keep any DVD's that don't have Blu/UHD duplicates.

Don't just waste money on player to try to make DVD's "look better".
Agreed. I was hesitant to upgrade at first, but I'm glad I did. I weeded through my entire collection, and I was actually surprised at how many DVDs were just sitting there taking up shelf space that I didn't even want to replace.
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Old 03-05-18, 09:46 PM
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Re: Upconverter or Blu-ray Player for Best Picture Quality of DVDs ?

If he buys a good blu-ray player he doesn't have to get rid of his DVDs. Maybe he has the kind of money to toss around frivilously and can just play frisbee with the DVDs, maybe he doesn't. Sounds to me like he just wants a good player that will make the most out of the viewing experience. Probably 85% of my collection are still DVDs, I bought the BD player to watch those and to pick up BDs as well. I'm not double dipping unless it becomes necessary.

If he has the money to toss around though, then fuck it...
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Old 03-06-18, 11:43 AM
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Re: Upconverter or Blu-ray Player for Best Picture Quality of DVDs ?

Just being a blu-ray player doesn't automatically mean DVDs play better than a traditional DVD player. It all depends on the processing included to handle the deinterlacing and upscaling of the SD content. Any given blu-ray player may use the same cheap SD components as a cheap DVD player. That said, there just isn't a market anymore for high-end processing DVD players, so the best idea is to look for a blu-ray player that markets it high-end DVD playback capabilities. I have always been very happy with my Oppo blu-ray player for my projection system due to its DVD processing.

As mentioned earlier, receivers can also contain high-end processing for DVD content, so it just depends at what point in the setup makes the most sense to provide the support you are looking for.
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Old 03-16-18, 08:10 PM
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Re: Upconverter or Blu-ray Player for Best Picture Quality of DVDs ?

The question has still not been answered. Specifically, what can be done to best upconvert DVDs which are still unvailable on Blu-ray? What standalone Blu-ray player will have the best algorithm (B-spline, lanzcos, etc) at actually making the puny 480i, with its ~300k pixels into a pseudo-HD image of 1920x1080 (2m pixels). The interpolation job is tricky, and I've personally found that my good old Toshiba HD-XA2 player, which is now more than a decade old, produces the "best" interpolated, upscaled picture of those DVDs which I still own which HAVE NOT been released on BD. Everything else has been replaced with Blu-ray at this point.

I also would imagine an Oppo Blu-ray standalone player will do an excellent job at the upconversion, but I've no experience if there is any perceptable difference between its upconversion and the XA-2. I'm not willing to spend $600 to find out. Can anyone give a definitve answer, or perhaps even suggest standalone (ie, non-computer-based) player solutions that best the XA-2 at DVD upconversion?
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Old 03-16-18, 10:56 PM
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Re: Upconverter or Blu-ray Player for Best Picture Quality of DVDs ?

There's really only so much you can do with a DVD, isn't there? An upconverting player isn't going to remove most SD artifacts like blocking and moire patterns; at best it will soften the image to remove jagged edges and maybe offer up some slightly better color.

I've been through three blu-ray players and one upconverting DVD player (a Toshiba DVD recorder, actually) and DVDs almost all looked the same on them. The biggest thing for me was in the combing artifacts from improperly interlaced DVDs. My Sony blu-ray player handled those better than my Toshiba DVD recorder.
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Old 03-17-18, 08:04 AM
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Re: Upconverter or Blu-ray Player for Best Picture Quality of DVDs ?

Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
The question has still not been answered. Specifically, what can be done to best upconvert DVDs which are still unvailable on Blu-ray? What standalone Blu-ray player will have the best algorithm (B-spline, lanzcos, etc) at actually making the puny 480i, with its ~300k pixels into a pseudo-HD image of 1920x1080 (2m pixels). The interpolation job is tricky, and I've personally found that my good old Toshiba HD-XA2 player, which is now more than a decade old, produces the "best" interpolated, upscaled picture of those DVDs which I still own which HAVE NOT been released on BD. Everything else has been replaced with Blu-ray at this point.

I also would imagine an Oppo Blu-ray standalone player will do an excellent job at the upconversion, but I've no experience if there is any perceptable difference between its upconversion and the XA-2. I'm not willing to spend $600 to find out. Can anyone give a definitve answer, or perhaps even suggest standalone (ie, non-computer-based) player solutions that best the XA-2 at DVD upconversion?
Oppo has a 30-day money back guarantee, so you could get one to try out and only risk the return shipping cost. Something I've never heard mentioned is Oppo's error handling on DVDs. I have some with bad spots that stop most players to the point of requiring a power cycle. My Oppo 93 apparently searches ahead to find the next undamaged data and resumes there. YMMV, of course.
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Old 03-17-18, 09:17 AM
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Re: Upconverter or Blu-ray Player for Best Picture Quality of DVDs ?

Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
The question has still not been answered. Specifically, what can be done to best upconvert DVDs which are still unvailable on Blu-ray? What standalone Blu-ray player will have the best algorithm (B-spline, lanzcos, etc) at actually making the puny 480i, with its ~300k pixels into a pseudo-HD image of 1920x1080 (2m pixels). The interpolation job is tricky, and I've personally found that my good old Toshiba HD-XA2 player, which is now more than a decade old, produces the "best" interpolated, upscaled picture of those DVDs which I still own which HAVE NOT been released on BD. Everything else has been replaced with Blu-ray at this point.

I also would imagine an Oppo Blu-ray standalone player will do an excellent job at the upconversion, but I've no experience if there is any perceptable difference between its upconversion and the XA-2. I'm not willing to spend $600 to find out. Can anyone give a definitve answer, or perhaps even suggest standalone (ie, non-computer-based) player solutions that best the XA-2 at DVD upconversion?
As I alluded to in my previous response:

"It all depends on the processing included to handle the deinterlacing and upscaling of the SD content, so the best idea is to look for a blu-ray player that markets it high-end DVD playback capabilities."

It all comes down to the chip-set used for handling the DVD video processing. Most players will identify the chip-set used if it has high-end capabilities. My old Oppo BD-83 uses the ABT VRS video processor. I know they switched to another vendor for later models. They used to state the technology, but it looks like now they just reference "OPPO's advanced video decoding, processing and optimization."

I recall a time when some looking for the best would purchase external video processing components.

Do you know what processor is used in your XA-2? it was probably high-end at the time, but I'm sure technology has improved. Of course one's mileage will vary based on screen size, and whether the additional costs justifies the amount of improvement. As another stated, there is only so much that can be done to improve a DVD output.
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Old 03-18-18, 05:18 PM
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Re: Upconverter or Blu-ray Player for Best Picture Quality of DVDs ?

Originally Posted by bsmith View Post

Do you know what processor is used in your XA-2? it was probably high-end at the time, but I'm sure technology has improved. Of course one's mileage will vary based on screen size, and whether the additional costs justifies the amount of improvement. As another stated, there is only so much that can be done to improve a DVD output.
Going on memory, but I'm 99% sure my XA2 uses the Reon-VX HQV chip to do its upconverting. I think the company who produced this chip is called Optics or Opticx, but I'm not even sure if they're still in business at this point.

All I know is that my XA2 still produces a very good to excellent DVD upconversion on my 67" DLP set. Of course it depends on the quality of the DVD which is being upconverted -- Garbage in = Garbage Out. It is noticably superior to every other "modern" BD-player that I've tried. Crisper, more vibrant colors, far fewer interlacing and moire artifacts. But, as I've said I've not tried any Oppo. I have a sneaking suspicion that the older BDP-83 would be my best best, since Oppo has now apparently lowered the bar and refuses to state which upconverting chip is used, that probably means they've cheapened the pot while raising the price, like so many other companies have done in the last 3 to 5 years.

I think the Oppo 83 is also the only Oppo player which supported native .iso playback as well, something else which they "conveniently" eliminated which reduced the functionality and value of such a high-end product.
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Old 03-18-18, 10:43 PM
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Re: Upconverter or Blu-ray Player for Best Picture Quality of DVDs ?

The Oppo BD-93 used the Marvell QDEO video processor. However, I do not recall if the move away from ABT VRS was because QDEO was better or for other technical or licensing issues. I don't think Oppo has backed away any from delivering quality processing for DVD's. It may just not be as much of a marketing angle as it once was.

I've heard of the Reon chip set. It sounds like you are covered. Its probably not worth the cost to try and get what may be only incremental improvements over what you already have. I'm happy enough with my BD-83 that I have no interest in even considering anything else until it stops working.
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Old 03-19-18, 01:00 PM
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Re: Upconverter or Blu-ray Player for Best Picture Quality of DVDs ?

Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
Going on memory, but I'm 99% sure my XA2 uses the Reon-VX HQV chip to do its upconverting. I think the company who produced this chip is called Optics or Opticx, but I'm not even sure if they're still in business at this point.
The current owner of this ^ technology appears to be Qualcomm. Qualcomm purchased the HQV assets from IDT in 2011.

https://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1260183
http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/...p07-story.html

Previously IDT purchased these assets from Silicon Optix in 2008.

https://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1169562
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Old 03-19-18, 09:47 PM
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Re: Upconverter or Blu-ray Player for Best Picture Quality of DVDs ?

Interesting. Thanks for the informative articles. So, my guess is it doesn't get much better than the old Reon chip, since focus is now elsewhere and "marketing angle" is the most important thing of all for these companies. But, the ultimate reality is that probably 1000s of DVDs will never get an HD upgrade, as 1000s of VHS-only films never got the upgrade to DVD. So, quality of upconversion *is* still a very important consideration for those of us to want to get the most visually out of our "old, obsolete" DVDs which may never be available in any other format.
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Old 03-20-18, 07:55 AM
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Re: Upconverter or Blu-ray Player for Best Picture Quality of DVDs ?

Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
Interesting. Thanks for the informative articles. So, my guess is it doesn't get much better than the old Reon chip, since focus is now elsewhere and "marketing angle" is the most important thing of all for these companies.
(On a more general tangent).

It seems like a lot of hi-tech which ends up as "mature" and bog standard, eventually ends up as a one chip commodity solution with very little to no further progress. Especially if there are no more compelling "marketing angles" for something.

I don't know what chips are being used these days for sd->hd (or hd->4k) upscaling, but I wouldn't be surprised if they're just boring commodity 1-chip solutions manufactured by somebody like mediatek.

https://www.mediatek.com/products/ho...lu-ray-and-dvd
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Old 03-21-18, 02:58 PM
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Re: Upconverter or Blu-ray Player for Best Picture Quality of DVDs ?

I'll have to keep this thread in mind. I'm contemplating upgrading to a 4K projector, but what's the point if most of my collection is comprised of DVDs? I'm just not willing or able to replace all my DVDs.
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Old 03-26-18, 05:02 AM
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Re: Upconverter or Blu-ray Player for Best Picture Quality of DVDs ?

Don't TV's upscale to their native resolution? I heard somewhere that TVs do a far better job upscaling than most DVD/BR players. Don't know if that's true or not.

Assuming you have video running through your home theater receiver, the receiver upscales as well. So, basically, you'll have 3 upscaling components. TV, receiver & BR/DVD player if I'm not mistaken.
I didn't think upscaling was even an issue anymore.
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