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Just got a HD DVD player and...

Old 11-20-07, 12:52 PM
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Just got a HD DVD player and...

I guess I'm kind of underwhelmed.

I hooked it (Toshiba A3) up to a panasonic 720p projector, and am watching sitting 10 feet from about a 100inch screen.

It came with 2 movies:
300 - This looked horrific to me. I don't know if it's just some weird effect that was added to the movie, or there's some kind of defect, but I see all sorts of swirling "noise" all over the picture, and it's practically unwatchable.

Bourne Identiy - I just skipped through this to see how it looks, and the movie seemed very "eh". Mostly overcast london scenes don't make for impressive first HDDVD experiences, I think.

I popped in a regular DVD, and was annoyed at how jaggy everything looked. I'm still using component cables (HDMI is on order) so I'm hoping the upconversion will fix this.

All in all, the HD channels from cable look better to me than what i've seen so far. I don't know if I've hooked something up wrong, or what. Any suggestions of settings I should look for? Or particular HD DVDs are supposed to look really impressive?
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Old 11-20-07, 12:56 PM
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It's your tv bro!

100 inches is too big....Bigger ISN'T always better
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Old 11-20-07, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by shanester
It's your tv bro!

100 inches is too big....Bigger ISN'T always better
I hope thats sarcasm.
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Old 11-20-07, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by joeblow69
I guess I'm kind of underwhelmed.

I hooked it (Toshiba A3) up to a panasonic 720p projector, and am watching sitting 10 feet from about a 100inch screen.

It came with 2 movies:
300 - This looked horrific to me. I don't know if it's just some weird effect that was added to the movie, or there's some kind of defect, but I see all sorts of swirling "noise" all over the picture, and it's practically unwatchable.

Bourne Identiy - I just skipped through this to see how it looks, and the movie seemed very "eh". Mostly overcast london scenes don't make for impressive first HDDVD experiences, I think.

I popped in a regular DVD, and was annoyed at how jaggy everything looked. I'm still using component cables (HDMI is on order) so I'm hoping the upconversion will fix this.

All in all, the HD channels from cable look better to me than what i've seen so far. I don't know if I've hooked something up wrong, or what. Any suggestions of settings I should look for? Or particular HD DVDs are supposed to look really impressive?

300 is intentionally grainy, that's the way it is supposed to look.

Check out:

Corpse Bride
Hot Fuzz
King Kong
A Scanner Darkly
Troy (DC)

To name a few, to see what HD DVD can REALLY do.
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Old 11-20-07, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by shanester
It's your tv bro!

100 inches is too big....Bigger ISN'T always better
This is absolutely incorrect. The bigger the screen, the greater the benefits of higher resolutions.
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Old 11-20-07, 12:58 PM
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1.) 300 is intentionally grainy and weirded out..it was like that in theaters
2.) Bourne - Can't comment there

3.) YOU MUST have the player hooked up via HDMI for upconversion!
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Old 11-20-07, 01:03 PM
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*edit - I see he's using component*



You cannot upconvert over component, so that explains why regular DVDs look crappy. Wait until your HDMI cable is in!
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Old 11-20-07, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by joeblow69
I popped in a regular DVD, and was annoyed at how jaggy everything looked. I'm still using component cables (HDMI is on order) so I'm hoping the upconversion will fix this.

uhhh, you answered your own question.

BUT, like others have said, "300" is intentionally(?) grainy.
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Old 11-20-07, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Josh
This is absolutely incorrect. The bigger the screen, the greater the benefits of higher resolutions.
+1.
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Old 11-20-07, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by QuePaso
I hope thats sarcasm.

YES...you got that..Unlike Josh
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Old 11-20-07, 01:07 PM
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Something must be hooked up wrong because even though 300 is grainy as hell, it should still look pretty damn good... if HD cable looks better, something is miscalibrated.
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Old 11-20-07, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by mdc3000
if HD cable looks better, something is miscalibrated.
What does that mean, though? What is there for me to re-calibrate?
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Old 11-20-07, 01:31 PM
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Check your settings, on the projector namely. Not all video feeds will work with the same calibrations/settings.

I have a similar setup (A2 w/ Mitsu HD1000U @ 109"), and the difference between DVD and HD-DVD is night and day, and the improvement from Comcast HD to HD-DVD is also a huge improvement.

The problem you may be having, though, is the actual film grain. That said, 300 is one of the worst looking HD-DVDs I have (I have a limited collection, but I don't get where the rave reviews came from).
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Old 11-20-07, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Damed
You cannot upconvert over component, so that explains why regular DVDs look crappy.
This is incorrect. AFAIK, upconverting without an HDMI input is typically blocked by the way most mainstream DVDs are copy-protected. I've got a few Canadian DVDs that upconvert to 1080i through component input...I checked them myself last week, actually. You're absolutely right that HDMI is certainly the better option, but I just wanted to clear up your statement a bit.
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Old 11-20-07, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Randy Miller III
This is incorrect. AFAIK, upconverting without an HDMI input is typically blocked by the way most mainstream DVDs are copy-protected. I've got a few Canadian DVDs that upconvert to 1080i through component input...I checked them myself last week, actually. You're absolutely right that HDMI is certainly the better option, but I just wanted to clear up your statement a bit.
Hmm, so the upconversion is only blocked by the DVD itself? So far the only regular DVDs I've tried were porn ... I wonder if they have that blocking bit turned on at all?
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Old 11-20-07, 01:47 PM
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I don't know how the later models work, but on my A1 there is a dedicated button for the output resolution. A couple times I had forgot that I was cycling thru them the last session and was inadverdently watching HD DVDs at 480 or 720.
I think it was the V output button.

also- don't those panasonic projectors have something like smoothscreen?
I don't know to what extent, but that combined with the lower 720p resolution, will end up mitigating some of the effectiveness of even the best HDM.
You should still be able to appreciate a picture that feels more rock solid steady, and lacks ringing around objects.
You are also limited in picture dynamics due to the nature of the LCDs native ansi contrast. That is going to limit the "pop" even for those discs known for that quality.
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Old 11-20-07, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul_SD
I don't know how the later models work, but on my A1 there is a dedicated button for the output resolution. A couple times I had forgot that I was cycling thru them the last session and was inadverdently watching HD DVDs at 480 or 720.
I think it was the V output button.
Yeah, I would check the output resolution, and try both 1080i and 720p. Also update the firmware if you haven't done so already (although I don't think this will affect the picture quality).

I believe the presence of CSS encryption is what blocks upconverting.
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Old 11-20-07, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by shanester
YES...you got that..Unlike Josh

right.... it's also a projected screen not a TV....
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Old 11-20-07, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by joeblow69
300 - This looked horrific to me. I don't know if it's just some weird effect that was added to the movie, or there's some kind of defect, but I see all sorts of swirling "noise" all over the picture, and it's practically unwatchable.
You deserve to have your "Gold Edition" status revoked for not understanding grain!
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Old 11-20-07, 07:20 PM
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Make sure your toshiba is outputting 1080i.

720p is less than stellar on the Toshibas, though I think it's improved in recent firmware revisions.

Try both, but for my 720p projector, 1080i looks best.

And get some better looking movies. 300 and Bourne aren't top tier titles for picture quality.

Try
Transformers
Corpse Bride
Hot Fuzz
King Kong
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Old 11-20-07, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Lt Ripley
You deserve to have your "Gold Edition" status revoked for not understanding grain!
Uh, no, this is not regular grain, this is apparently some digital effect that resembles a swirling mass of grain all over the screen. I've seen regular grain, and this ain't it!
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Old 11-20-07, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by joeblow69
Uh, no, this is not regular grain, this is apparently some digital effect that resembles a swirling mass of grain all over the screen. I've seen regular grain, and this ain't it!
It sounds like you have a cable issue. Wait till you get your hdmi cable and let me know if the problem still persists.
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Old 11-20-07, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by joeblow69
Uh, no, this is not regular grain, this is apparently some digital effect that resembles a swirling mass of grain all over the screen. I've seen regular grain, and this ain't it!
I know, that is why I put the wink at the end. First time I fired up 300 I wondered what I did wrong, but my buddy said it looked the same at the theater.
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Old 11-20-07, 10:02 PM
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Just wanted to add that 300 is still a pretty noticeable upgrade from the DVD.
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Old 11-21-07, 09:25 PM
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300 hd dvd definitely looks better than the regular dvd, but it's still an odd choice to include in the box. Especially since, more than likely, that'll be the first movie people watch on their new players. I had to explain to about 4 different people that the grain is supposed to be there and yes, hd is much better than regular dvd. If someone didn't know it was supposed to look like that, I could see the players getting a lot of returns.
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