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How good are upconverting DVD players?

Old 11-29-07, 02:50 AM
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How good are upconverting DVD players?

So, I'm the proud new owner of an HDTV (Samsung 56" DLP) but I'm not ready to take the full HD format jump (like many I'm sitting and waiting on some stability). I may do it soon, once my wallet recovers from Christmas, but that could be several months from now.

While I was buying the TV I also saw a Toshiba 1080P Upconverting DVD Player (SD-6000) for about $64.00 after sale and coupon. Since ALL 600+ of my DVDs are SD I figured I needed to make sure they looked good until I eventually got into the new format.

After hooking it up via HDMI I compared it to my old progressive scan DVD player (Zenith ZHD-311 using component video ) and I really couldn't see any difference. I tried using the new King Kong and Transformers, comparing various scenes, and i nor either of my kids could tell the difference.

Is it just us? Or would a better upconverting DVD player look better? They both look great but I'm considering just taking the new player back and applying the money towards a future new format player.

Hell, maybe it's my TV. It's pretty much exactly like it came out of the box. I'm not sure if I need to apply tweaks or firmware to get a better picture and notice a difference.
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Old 11-29-07, 05:58 AM
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I'd say it depends on quite a few factors whether you'll see an improvement or not.
1. your TV (your TV has a built-in upconverter. Otherwise it wouldn't be able to display the 480i/p input. If that converter is as good as the one in your new DVD player, then you probably won't notice a difference.)
2. your DVD player (search for Oppo players/read reviews - they supposedly use a better upconverter and are more expensive but you may notice an improvement.)
3. the DVD source material
4. you (I claim to see a difference with my Oppo player, my wife says she doesn't see a difference wrt. the regular DVD player.)

In your case, I'd say return the player and invest in HD DVD/blu-ray.
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Old 11-29-07, 08:17 AM
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Since your TV is a DLP, I would suggest the Oppo DV-980H all the way. You will not be disappointed. Have fun!
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Old 11-29-07, 08:50 AM
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Another Oppo vote.

If the TV is "right out of the box", you're certainly going to want to do some adjustments. The Avia disc is one recommendation. Even using the THX optimizer found on many discs is better than leaving it "as is". I know that's available on plenty of Disney DVDs.
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Old 11-29-07, 08:57 AM
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Nearly a year ago I brought a Onkyo upconverting player. I didn't have another upconverting player to compare it to but SD DVD look much better than my previous JVC DVD player. For me, the picture was smoother and looked more film like. I have a 50" DLP set.

Only reason I didn't go with the Oppo at the time was I wanted a changer.

All that being said...HD DVD looks a lot better than Upconverted SD...and my A3 also upconverts better than my Onkyo. If another sale comes up soon you should consider it
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Old 11-29-07, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Deadpool
If another sale comes up soon you should consider it
Amazon has the A3 on sale for under $200. Although the OP doesn't want to go HD yet, that price is only $30 more than the Oppo.
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Old 11-29-07, 09:34 AM
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most people dont need an upconverting player unless the upconverter in their tv isnt very good. most newer tvs have good upconverters built in to them.

for 90% of HDTV owners, upconverting players are a waste of money.

flame away.
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Old 11-29-07, 09:36 AM
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If you're willing to spend $169 on an Oppo, why not spend the extra $30 and get the A3? You get a good upconverting player + 2 free movies in the box (Bourne Identity, 300) + 5 by mail-in rebate + access to over 400 HD DVD movies. I don't see the risk.

As good as Oppos are for upconverting dvds, they don't hold a candle to HD media. HD blows away dvd in not just video, but audio as well.
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Old 11-29-07, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Cinema
If you're willing to spend $169 on an Oppo, why not spend the extra $30 and get the A3? You get a good upconverting player + 2 free movies in the box (Bourne Identity, 300) + 5 by mail-in rebate + access to over 400 HD DVD movies. I don't see the risk.

As good as Oppos are for upconverting dvds, they don't hold a candle to HD media. HD blows away dvd in not just video, but audio as well.
I agree with this... Even if you dont buy anymore HD-DVDs, you will have 7, get the upconversion you want, and be able to rent off netflix and be in HD heaven.
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Old 11-29-07, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSpacey
most people dont need an upconverting player unless the upconverter in their tv isnt very good. most newer tvs have good upconverters built in to them.

for 90% of HDTV owners, upconverting players are a waste of money.

flame away.
For crappy upconverting players, you're right. But a TV scaler doesn't hold a candle to the Faroudja chipset or the A2/A3.
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Old 11-29-07, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by steebo777
For crappy upconverting players, you're right. But a TV scaler doesn't hold a candle to the Faroudja chipset or the A2/A3.
I'm no technical guru, but I thought the Samsung upconverting player I had last year was great. After acquiring the A2 recently, I was actually blown away at how great regular DVDs looked. (I have a Westinghouse 32" 720p TV.) And HD DVDs are stunning -- I can only imagine how great they will be one day when I get a higher quality TV. Sigh.
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Old 11-29-07, 03:02 PM
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I just hope someone can figure out, how A2/A3 (or future HD model) can play non-reigion-1 SD-DVD and possibly PAL SD-DVD, so we don't need separat SD-DVD player anymore...
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Old 11-29-07, 03:30 PM
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I bought a Toshiba upconvert player a couple years ago and it was total junk.

Another vote for Oppo.
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Old 11-29-07, 04:49 PM
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I have a Panasonic upconverter with HDMI cable for my Sony LCD TV. Although the picture isn't as good as I would like, it's certainly better than a normal DVD player, at least for my TV. Maybe you have a plasma and it's able to upconvert normal DVDs easier than a LCD.

I had to go through a lot of configuration with both the TV and the upconverter, though. I'd suggest going through the manuals and making sure your configurations are optimal.
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Old 11-29-07, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Cinema
If you're willing to spend $169 on an Oppo, why not spend the extra $30 and get the A3? You get a good upconverting player + 2 free movies in the box (Bourne Identity, 300) + 5 by mail-in rebate + access to over 400 HD DVD movies. I don't see the risk.

As good as Oppos are for upconverting dvds, they don't hold a candle to HD media. HD blows away dvd in not just video, but audio as well.
I think that is exactly what I am going to do. I may not jump until after Christmas, but I am returning the Toshiba player tonight.
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Old 11-29-07, 06:46 PM
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One of the main reasons I wanted an Oppo is that they play SACD/DVD-A discs. I know they're dead formats but I still love the way they sound.
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Old 11-29-07, 07:14 PM
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Amen...

Originally Posted by SoSpacey
most people dont need an upconverting player unless the upconverter in their tv isnt very good. most newer tvs have good upconverters built in to them.

for 90% of HDTV owners, upconverting players are a waste of money.

flame away.
+1

Both of my HD displays do just as good of a job "upconverting" as my A2, PS3, Sony NS-75H, and Panny S52S.
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Old 11-29-07, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by DeputyDave
I think that is exactly what I am going to do. I may not jump until after Christmas, but I am returning the Toshiba player tonight.
The sale may not last till after x-mas. A player, 2 dvd's in the box, +3 more from Amazon, +5 from a mail in rebate for under $200 is hard to pass on. I think my total was $171. I wasn't going to go HD yet, but when I saw that deal, I had to take it. Plus now I can get my Netflix in HD.
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