Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > DVD Discussions > DVD Talk
Reload this Page >

Suggestions for the best non-HD DVD movies for an HD plasma television

DVD Talk Talk about DVDs and Movies on DVD including Covers and Cases

Suggestions for the best non-HD DVD movies for an HD plasma television

Old 04-30-07, 09:23 PM
  #1  
DVD Talk Godfather
Thread Starter
 
DVD Polizei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 53,739
Received 151 Likes on 111 Posts
Suggestions for the best non-HD DVD movies for an HD plasma television

I don't really want to invest in a HD-DVD or Blu-Ray DVD player, especially the movies just yet, so I was wondering if you guys and girls have any suggestions for movies which just are outstanding on an HD television (I'm having a 50" Panasonic Plasma delivered this week). I want the BEST movies, not the ones which are so-so.

I don't have an upconverting DVD player either. So it's only 480p for now.

As a quick introduction, I have the Lord Of The Rings trilogy and wonder if this would look much better on a 50" plasma than my 31" CRT regarding picture quality?

Ok, so you guys who have all the movies and already have a plasma or an LCD television with the viewing experience, begin!
Old 04-30-07, 09:43 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Hail to the Redskins!
Posts: 25,294
Likes: 0
Received 45 Likes on 37 Posts
Go to Reviews
Sort by Rating
Done.
Old 04-30-07, 10:12 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Godfather
Thread Starter
 
DVD Polizei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 53,739
Received 151 Likes on 111 Posts
I could go that route. But I was hoping DVD Talk members would have input as well. You have 250+ movies and a HT television (I assume), so you must have a few movies which stand out. No?

Last edited by DVD Polizei; 04-30-07 at 10:14 PM.
Old 04-30-07, 10:19 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 899
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The absolute best-looking picture I can remember watching was Cars, but I do have an upconverting player. You're probably gonna want to invest in that asap.
Old 04-30-07, 10:42 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Docking Bay 94
Posts: 14,259
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
It's just a really difficult question to answer since you lack an HD player or even an upconverter. I suspect that DVD Josh's answer is the best...

Pixar films are a great place to start, though...
Old 04-30-07, 10:47 PM
  #6  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 76
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Do yourself a favor and get a upconvert DVD player... you will notice a difference and never look back.
Old 04-30-07, 11:13 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Traverse City, MI
Posts: 3,954
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I know you said you dont want to invest in HD-DVD but you can get a player for 399.99.
plus 5 free HD-DVDs, a couple weeks ago Circuicit city gave a bonus 4 HD-DVDs free instantly on top of the 5 free movies.

You will be saying WOW! everytime you watch your plasma.
Old 04-30-07, 11:30 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Godfather
Thread Starter
 
DVD Polizei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 53,739
Received 151 Likes on 111 Posts
I think I need to get an upconverting player.

I realize the problem. I was just curious if any of you, as you yourselves upgraded your equipment noticed some movies in 480p which really "grabbed you" as you watched them on your HD television. I have a shitload of movies myself (1200 I think but I lost count at around 1000--which reminds me I need to reorganize DVD Profiler).

I would really like to get an HD-DVD player but I stretched myself for the 50" plasma--I was going to get the 42" but figured getting a larger television supporting true 720p would be a better idea.

I also will be purchasing a Belkin PF60 later this week, which also sets me back a little.

I do have a lot of Pixar films so I will watch those first and see how they look.
Old 04-30-07, 11:51 PM
  #9  
Premium Member
 
The Cow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Grazing in a field somewhere...
Posts: 22,315
Received 300 Likes on 210 Posts
Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
I think I need to get an upconverting player.

I realize the problem. I was just curious if any of you, as you yourselves upgraded your equipment noticed some movies in 480p which really "grabbed you" as you watched them on your HD television. I have a shitload of movies myself (1200 I think but I lost count at around 1000--which reminds me I need to reorganize DVD Profiler).

I would really like to get an HD-DVD player but I stretched myself for the 50" plasma--I was going to get the 42" but figured getting a larger television supporting true 720p would be a better idea.

I also will be purchasing a Belkin PF60 later this week, which also sets me back a little.

I do have a lot of Pixar films so I will watch those first and see how they look.
Build for the future (or the now really)...

Get one of the HD players that does upconvert DVDs.

And why did you limit yourself to 720p for a new set? Cost?
Old 04-30-07, 11:59 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Update: BACK
Posts: 2,642
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well I've had a 51" HD television for 4 months, and I'm only using 480p with component cables. I upgraded from a 32" Sony Wega. Incidentally, I tried a Sony upconverting player with HDMI and the picture was actually worse, even after calibrating. But anyway, here's what I watched so far that have looked amazing in SD:

Children of Men
Fifth Element: Superbit
Gladiator
LOTR
Cars
Raiders of the Lost Ark
War of the Worlds (Spielberg)
Star Trek: The Motion Picture DC
Blade Runner: DC
Sunset Blvd.

I'm sure there's more I'm not thinking of. Basically, anything that looked not-up-to-par on your old tv is going to look bad on your new one, just out of the fact that it's bigger. You'll notice more imperfections.

But some stuff pleasantly surprised me, looking better than I thought it would. Maybe because I didn't pay much mind to the video quality before. Some of the anamorphic Hammer films, for example.
Old 05-01-07, 12:01 AM
  #11  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Hail to the Redskins!
Posts: 25,294
Likes: 0
Received 45 Likes on 37 Posts
Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
I could go that route. But I was hoping DVD Talk members would have input as well. You have 250+ movies and a HT television (I assume), so you must have a few movies which stand out. No?
The truth is my friend that after going HD I never looked back.
Old 05-01-07, 12:34 AM
  #12  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
speedyray's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Kingston, TN
Posts: 2,309
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Once you watch an HD-DVD or BD no DVD no matter how good will grab you ever again. The Best DVDs upconverted look good. The worst HD disc look good. The best HD disc look and sound amazing. If you don't have a good upconverting player, there is no excuse to go buy a Toshiba get the 5 free HD-DVD and make an improvement on every disc you own plus get some free HD stuff. If you don't think it is that much better after you get your freebies, at least you have a very good upconverting DVD player.

So the answer to you question simply is none or any (however you want to view it).
Old 05-01-07, 01:00 AM
  #13  
DVD Talk Godfather
Thread Starter
 
DVD Polizei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 53,739
Received 151 Likes on 111 Posts
Originally Posted by The Cow

And why did you limit yourself to 720p for a new set? Cost?
I think a 1080p is overkill at this point. Not to mention we have higher than 1080p specs on televisions coming within a year or so anyway, so I like to be just a tad behind the cutting edge of technology so the depreciation isn't as bad. Maybe in 4 years or so I may get a 1080p set if I'm really enthusiastic about the looks but I'm not really looking for "the absolute best" in image quality. I'm just looking for "pretty damn good" if that makes sense. Also, I'd be interested in finding out the differences between 1080i and 1080p in the first place--I suspect there isn't much just from looking at the process at this level.

At some point, the differences will be minimal, while the pricetags are at opposite ends of the affordability spectrum.

Last edited by DVD Polizei; 05-01-07 at 01:05 AM.
Old 05-01-07, 01:02 AM
  #14  
DVD Talk Godfather
Thread Starter
 
DVD Polizei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 53,739
Received 151 Likes on 111 Posts
Originally Posted by naitram
Well I've had a 51" HD television for 4 months, and I'm only using 480p with component cables. I upgraded from a 32" Sony Wega. Incidentally, I tried a Sony upconverting player with HDMI and the picture was actually worse, even after calibrating. But anyway, here's what I watched so far that have looked amazing in SD:

Children of Men
Fifth Element: Superbit
Gladiator
LOTR
Cars
Raiders of the Lost Ark
War of the Worlds (Spielberg)
Star Trek: The Motion Picture DC
Blade Runner: DC
Sunset Blvd.

I'm sure there's more I'm not thinking of. Basically, anything that looked not-up-to-par on your old tv is going to look bad on your new one, just out of the fact that it's bigger. You'll notice more imperfections.

But some stuff pleasantly surprised me, looking better than I thought it would. Maybe because I didn't pay much mind to the video quality before. Some of the anamorphic Hammer films, for example.
Awesome. Thanks for the list.
Old 05-01-07, 01:16 AM
  #15  
DVD Talk Godfather
Thread Starter
 
DVD Polizei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 53,739
Received 151 Likes on 111 Posts
Originally Posted by maingon
I know you said you dont want to invest in HD-DVD but you can get a player for 399.99.
plus 5 free HD-DVDs, a couple weeks ago Circuicit city gave a bonus 4 HD-DVDs free instantly on top of the 5 free movies.

You will be saying WOW! everytime you watch your plasma.
I thought about the Toshiba HD-A2, but it doesn't upconvert past 480p on the component outs. I don't want limitations on the component end when I buy a HD-DVD player. And to be honest, I am not fond of HDMI. The biggest reason is equipment compatibility.
Old 05-01-07, 06:34 AM
  #16  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
Michael Corvin's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 61,610
Received 610 Likes on 430 Posts
What naitram posted is good. Here are a couple that probably get missed in the shuffle.

Waterworld - it's an old release but still looks amazing
Die Hard - same here
Old 05-01-07, 07:58 AM
  #17  
DVD Talk Legend
 
sracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Prescott Valley, AZ
Posts: 15,156
Received 51 Likes on 34 Posts
Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
I think I need to get an upconverting player.

I realize the problem. I was just curious if any of you, as you yourselves upgraded your equipment noticed some movies in 480p which really "grabbed you" as you watched them on your HD television. I have a shitload of movies myself (1200 I think but I lost count at around 1000--which reminds me I need to reorganize DVD Profiler).

I would really like to get an HD-DVD player but I stretched myself for the 50" plasma--I was going to get the 42" but figured getting a larger television supporting true 720p would be a better idea.

I also will be purchasing a Belkin PF60 later this week, which also sets me back a little.

I do have a lot of Pixar films so I will watch those first and see how they look.
I finally broke down and bought an 42" LCD to replace my 34" Toshiba HDTV (widescreen tube)
Films looked great with my progressive scan Pioneer player, but I decided that I really needed an upconverting player, so I bought a Toshiba and attached it via HDMI.

The difference is noticeable! I use the Superbit 5th Element and Fellowship of the Ring to demonstrate picture quality.

As for getting a high-def DVD player. I know that the tech-heads will try to convince you that you NEED one. But in all honesty, the difference is imperceptible. And with the format wars continuing to go on, do you need or want the hassle and expense of buying one format or the other at this point in time?
Old 05-01-07, 08:55 AM
  #18  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Docking Bay 94
Posts: 14,259
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Originally Posted by sracer
As for getting a high-def DVD player. I know that the tech-heads will try to convince you that you NEED one. But in all honesty, the difference is imperceptible.
I don't know if this makes me a "tech-head" or not, but I don't understand how you can type that the difference is imperceptible with a straight face. The difference for the vast majority of titles is night and day.


I'm not saying that he *needs* to buy an HD DVD player. (Although if he's going to buy an upconverting player anyway, why not spend a hundred or so more and get the Toshiba A2.) But he'll *definitely* notice the difference.
Old 05-01-07, 08:57 AM
  #19  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
speedyray's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Kingston, TN
Posts: 2,309
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by sracer
As for getting a high-def DVD player. I know that the tech-heads will try to convince you that you NEED one. But in all honesty, the difference is imperceptible. And with the format wars continuing to go on, do you need or want the hassle and expense of buying one format or the other at this point in time?
The only way the difference is not noticable is if you are half blind or you hooked it up wrong.

Most of the people here in this thread were not telling him to go HD, but telling him since he does not have an upconverting player, he could go HD-DVD for a very small investmet over the price of a decent upconverting player and get a few free HD disc to sample. At that point he could decide no, I don't care about the difference and sell off the disc or decide they are great and buy or rent more.

Before I bought mine, I didn't think I NEEDED it, I just wanted to try it and see. Now I prefer to not buy anything on DVD. If they increased production of HD disc and stopped making DVD today - it would be fine with me.
Old 05-01-07, 09:38 AM
  #20  
DVD Talk Legend
 
sracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Prescott Valley, AZ
Posts: 15,156
Received 51 Likes on 34 Posts
Originally Posted by bboisvert
I don't know if this makes me a "tech-head" or not, but I don't understand how you can type that the difference is imperceptible with a straight face. The difference for the vast majority of titles is night and day.
Originally Posted by speedyray
The only way the difference is not noticable is if you are half blind or you hooked it up wrong.
All I can say is that you guys must have better eyesight than my 20/20. vision.

The change from standard DVD to progressive scan was fairly noticeable. The step up from progressive scan to upconverting was quite noticeable. The difference between upconverting w/HDMI and HD-DVD was not immediately noticeable. If I carefully examined the image I could make out the differences on the details... but it depended upon the individual discs being compared. For some there was no difference at all.

Even when the difference was the greatest, it wasn't immediately obvious. I had to go looking for the difference (if it existed).

Certainly not worth the expense of HD and Blu-Ray players or the run the risk of being "shut out" because a film is only on one format.
Old 05-01-07, 09:51 AM
  #21  
TGM
DVD Talk Legend
 
TGM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 16,511
Received 223 Likes on 146 Posts
decent upconverting dvd players are only like 100-150 bucks.
Old 05-01-07, 09:54 AM
  #22  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 6,006
Received 149 Likes on 103 Posts
Definitely pickup an upconvert player (at minimum) or try getting the HD-A2 ($340 @ Amazon w/free ship).

The HD-DVD players are great upconversion units for SD-DVD. Hell, Night at the Museum (on SD) looked great on my 65" Toshiba (using my HD-A1).

I believe you can still find the Philips 5980 Upconvert (1080p, PAL/NTSC, Region Free) at BB for around $60-70.

Last edited by candyrocket786; 05-01-07 at 10:01 AM.
Old 05-01-07, 10:22 AM
  #23  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: IL
Posts: 2,893
Received 16 Likes on 15 Posts
Guess I'll pop in here and mention that an upconverting player (Oppo 970) added nothing to the PQ on my Panny plasma. In fact the upconversion introduced its own set of problems (vertical squeeze, motion artifacts). Fortunately the TV does excellent upconversion on its own as long as you're feeding it a quality signal (I use 480p over HDMI). That being said I sat down to watch Star Wars last night and was blown away by the picture quality on my setup. Not a disc that I would have ever nominated for reference purposes but it looked absolutely stunning with deep blacks, rich colors and a solid film-like quality.
Old 05-01-07, 11:16 AM
  #24  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Docking Bay 94
Posts: 14,259
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Originally Posted by sracer
The change from standard DVD to progressive scan was fairly noticeable. The step up from progressive scan to upconverting was quite noticeable. The difference between upconverting w/HDMI and HD-DVD was not immediately noticeable. If I carefully examined the image I could make out the differences on the details... but it depended upon the individual discs being compared. For some there was no difference at all.

Even when the difference was the greatest, it wasn't immediately obvious. I had to go looking for the difference (if it existed).
Which titles did you look at?

There are definitely a few titles that may look like glorified upconverts (a lot of the initial blu-rays, Traffic and Spartacus on HD DVD)... but that's just a handful of the 400-ish titles out there. The vast majority of them are stunning.

Have you seen The Hulk? King Kong? Casablanca? Corpse Bride? Seabiscuit? Serenity?

You don't even need 20/20 to see the difference. They're stunning.
Old 05-01-07, 03:03 PM
  #25  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
SoSpacey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Jersey
Posts: 4,238
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Upconverting DVD players....
1080p.....

so much hype!

and yes! I have a pretty darn good upconverting player.

why do i call it hype?

1) Upconverting player

Either the player OR the TV can actually upconvert the image. Your Panny plasma has excellent internal scalers that do upconvert the picture already and it does as good, if not better a job, than most upconverting players I have seen.

2) 1080p
In your case, you made the right move with the Panasonic. Unless you are sitting 6' away from your 50" TV, 1080p will have no visual advantage ...you wont even see the resolution.

Since the Panny Plasma has better contrast ratio, black levels and color reproduction than any other TV I have seen, you made the right move. Pay for the features you will actually see; from normal viewing distances, it wont be the resolution.

If you were buying a 71" LCOS, HD-ILA or whatever and you were siting 9-10' from it, I would say go 1080p.



A good progressive scan player using you Panny Plasma's built in upconversion will be fine for you.


Don't waste your money on an upconverting player. Keep your progressive scan player and save up for a future format winner (HD-DVD or BluRay).



Let the flames begin!!!!!

Last edited by SoSpacey; 05-01-07 at 03:05 PM.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.