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Finally gone Blu - initial impressions.

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Finally gone Blu - initial impressions.

Old 02-24-09, 07:53 PM
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Finally gone Blu - initial impressions.

Not that anyone particularly cares, but...

Last year, I slowly began my home theater transformation. I started with the Xbox 360, and then that drove me to get an HDTV. I got an upconverting DVD player, because this was really just SHORTLY after the demise of HD-DVD, and I really wasn't ready to commit to a new format yet. For Christmas, I got a 7.1 surround setup (well, it's really 5.1, but Onkyo sells it as a 7.1 for whatever reason.)

And thanks to the pretty good deal at Best Buy this past weekend, I picked up a PS3 so I could go Blu. Turns out the thing plays games, too. Who knew? They should put that on the box.

I grabbed 3 disks. Dark Knight, Die Hard, and my first double-dip... 300.

I'm probably the umpteenth million person to say this, but I don't intend to doubledip a LOT. There are certain titles I would consider it on, but I don't think I'll need true hd on some comedies and such. I know that these can benefit as much from HD as the action flicks and such, but my enjoyment of them isn't driven as much by the visual appeal of them. As prices come down, I'm sure I'll make some exceptions.

The video quality is amazing. I was concerned, initially, because I've been impressed with upconverted DVDs (high quality transfers, anyway) and was concerned I wouldn't really notice the difference, but it's totally there. The level of detail and the colors are simply amazing. What really impressed me more was the sound. I know my system isn't true 7.1, but the sound seems so much crisper and cleaner than DVD. Maybe it's my imagination, but it just seems a good amount better.

My only real complaint is that the PS3 doesn't work with my Harmony remote, but I hear they make a dongle that I can work that out with.

This theater stuff is a slippery slope... there's always something more to buy
Old 02-24-09, 08:06 PM
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Re: Finally gone Blu - initial impressions.

Congrats on going Blu. Soon, it'll hurt to watch DVD's. Trust me.
Old 02-24-09, 08:24 PM
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Re: Finally gone Blu - initial impressions.

Originally Posted by tpc View Post

My only real complaint is that the PS3 doesn't work with my Harmony remote, but I hear they make a dongle that I can work that out with.

This theater stuff is a slippery slope... there's always something more to buy
It sounds like the caniglia pin slipped out of the dual bypass over-ride valve. I'd throw everything and out and start from scratch.

You won't be disappointed. Check out some of the top rated Blu's and you'll wonder how you ever thought DVD looked good in the first place.
Old 02-25-09, 03:35 AM
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Re: Finally gone Blu - initial impressions.

Originally Posted by tpc View Post
My only real complaint is that the PS3 doesn't work with my Harmony remote, but I hear they make a dongle that I can work that out with.

This theater stuff is a slippery slope... there's always something more to buy
go down to your nearest Circuit City (while its still open) and pick up a Nyko Bluwave (in my area it was 40% off MSRP walked out with it for$11.99) remote which comes with a USB Infrared reciever and people have been using the reciever to pick up the Harmony reception ... its a cheap and good investment some people have even recommended it over the Sony PS3 remote
Old 02-25-09, 08:07 AM
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Re: Finally gone Blu - initial impressions.

Originally Posted by lovgun7 View Post
go down to your nearest Circuit City (while its still open) and pick up a Nyko Bluwave (in my area it was 40% off MSRP walked out with it for$11.99) remote which comes with a USB Infrared reciever and people have been using the reciever to pick up the Harmony reception ... its a cheap and good investment some people have even recommended it over the Sony PS3 remote
I use the Nyko with my Harmony 880 and it works perfect
Old 02-25-09, 08:17 AM
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Re: Finally gone Blu - initial impressions.

Does you Onkyo do audio over HDMI? Are you experiencing lossless?

Also, 7.1 is not a necessity for Blu-ray. I will contend that most people with 7.1 systems would be better off with a 5.1 system. 7.1 only makes sense under the right conditions and most people squeeze it in where they shouldn't and it defeats the purpose.

A good 5.1 system will sound better than a bad 7.1 every time.
Old 02-25-09, 08:28 AM
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Re: Finally gone Blu - initial impressions.

Originally Posted by tpc View Post
I picked up a PS3 so I could go Blu. Turns out the thing plays games, too. Who knew? They should put that on the box.
That is a funny, but somewhat true comment. I wonder what percentage of PS3 owners actually play games on it. Even at retail stores, I see the PS3 sitting on the shelf next to the BR players and not by the game consoles.
Old 02-25-09, 08:54 AM
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Re: Finally gone Blu - initial impressions.

Originally Posted by SoSpacey View Post
Does you Onkyo do audio over HDMI? Are you experiencing lossless?

Also, 7.1 is not a necessity for Blu-ray. I will contend that most people with 7.1 systems would be better off with a 5.1 system. 7.1 only makes sense under the right conditions and most people squeeze it in where they shouldn't and it defeats the purpose.

A good 5.1 system will sound better than a bad 7.1 every time.
My (current) Onkyo does not. My next one will

I'm not even getting the TrueHD yet, but I still feel like the sound is better, even when playing 300 on both DVD and BR back to back. Maybe i'm hearing it because I WANT to... I can't discount that possibility. Either way, I'm happy with the quality.

I've opted not to set up the two rear speakers in my current setup and just use it as a 5.1 for now. Since my Onkyo doesn't support HDMI audio, anything coming through those speakers would really just be a sound effect, per se. Also, My room is pretty small (about 11 x 15, and the Tv is set up across the shorter dimension... so there's really not a good place for the extra two speakers. they'd be sitting right in your ear if you're on the couch.

After I posted last night... I got to watching 300 more closely, and I started to see some static specks in the picture, which I thought was odd.

then, it started blinking once every 5-6 minutes. Again, odd.

Then when I went to watch some of the features which were in 480p and other resolutions... My TV just wigged the hell out... Blinking, blank screens... sometimes for minutes at a time.

I tried swapping inputs, playing with resolution settings... even hooking it up to a different TV. I concluded that it was a handshake issue with the PS3 and my Aquos. I called Aquos support, and they had such helpful suggestions as "Try a shorter HDMI cable" which I was pretty sure wouldn't help, but I did have one around, so I tested it.

They then confirmed that it was a known issue, and that they were troubleshooting it, and would call me back if and when they had a solution. My TV is a year old, and the PS3 is 2.5... So I'm not holding my breath.

I went back to the drawing board on it, and decided to take the Onkyo out of the mix for video... I ran the optical to the Onkyo, but direct-lined the HDMI from the PS3 to the Aquos...

And instantly, everything works great. It's not ideal, but it'll do for now, I guess.

Somewhere in the PS3 ->onkyo-> tv HDMI daisy chain, something just didn't work right.

All the static is gone, the switching issues are gone.

Last edited by tpc; 02-25-09 at 08:56 AM.
Old 02-25-09, 10:36 AM
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Re: Finally gone Blu - initial impressions.

Originally Posted by SoSpacey View Post
Does you Onkyo do audio over HDMI? Are you experiencing lossless?

Also, 7.1 is not a necessity for Blu-ray. I will contend that most people with 7.1 systems would be better off with a 5.1 system. 7.1 only makes sense under the right conditions and most people squeeze it in where they shouldn't and it defeats the purpose.

A good 5.1 system will sound better than a bad 7.1 every time.

Just curious....what disc's have a bad 7.1 soundtrack?
Old 02-25-09, 10:44 AM
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Re: Finally gone Blu - initial impressions.

Originally Posted by tpc View Post
Not that anyone particularly cares, but...
I'm probably the umpteenth million person to say this, but I don't intend to doubledip a LOT. There are certain titles I would consider it on, but I don't think I'll need true hd on some comedies and such. I know that these can benefit as much from HD as the action flicks and such, but my enjoyment of them isn't driven as much by the visual appeal of them. As prices come down, I'm sure I'll make some exceptions.
This is what I initially thought, but have found myself upgrading more DVDs than I expected to, especially when good sales come along (like From Hell for $8.99 - never thought I'd be upgrading that one). The way I see it, er, I mean rationalize it, and I could be very wrong, is that 1080p/lossless sound is the best we'll be getting from studios for a long time, if ever.
Old 02-25-09, 10:59 AM
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Re: Finally gone Blu - initial impressions.

Originally Posted by TylerDurden_73 View Post
Just curious....what disc's have a bad 7.1 soundtrack?
I said system, not soundtracks. As for soundtracks, there aren't many disks with a 7.1 mix on them anyway.

As far as 7.1 systems go, most people stick the 2 rear surrounds in places they shouldn't go. If you don't have room behind you seating area, don't bother. Placing rear surround above the listening position pointing down is a total waste. A 5.1 system properly set-up will sound better than an improperly set-up 7.1 system every time.
Old 02-25-09, 11:32 AM
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Re: Finally gone Blu - initial impressions.

Originally Posted by SoSpacey View Post
As far as 7.1 systems go, most people stick the 2 rear surrounds in places they shouldn't go. If you don't have room behind you seating area, don't bother. Placing rear surround above the listening position pointing down is a total waste. A 5.1 system properly set-up will sound better than an improperly set-up 7.1 system every time.
I couldn't agree more
Old 02-25-09, 07:00 PM
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Re: Finally gone Blu - initial impressions.

Originally Posted by Snowmaker View Post
That is a funny, but somewhat true comment. I wonder what percentage of PS3 owners actually play games on it. Even at retail stores, I see the PS3 sitting on the shelf next to the BR players and not by the game consoles.
I almost bought a PS3 but since the top isn't flat it wasn't going to work.
Old 02-26-09, 05:11 AM
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Re: Finally gone Blu - initial impressions.

Originally Posted by Snowmaker View Post
That is a funny, but somewhat true comment. I wonder what percentage of PS3 owners actually play games on it. Even at retail stores, I see the PS3 sitting on the shelf next to the BR players and not by the game consoles.
Ive got 20 blu-rays and 3 games ... 2 of which are still sealed lol

i got Unreal Tournament 3 and its a fun game but its hard to get into a game that just uses the multiplayer modes into the storyline (or lack thereof)

i got Dark Sector for 9.99 at Frys Electronics ... still sealed

i got Far Cry 2 for 29.99 at Targets Clearence section... still sealed
Old 02-26-09, 07:40 AM
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Re: Finally gone Blu - initial impressions.

Originally Posted by SoSpacey View Post
I said system, not soundtracks. As for soundtracks, there aren't many disks with a 7.1 mix on them anyway.

As far as 7.1 systems go, most people stick the 2 rear surrounds in places they shouldn't go. If you don't have room behind you seating area, don't bother. Placing rear surround above the listening position pointing down is a total waste. A 5.1 system properly set-up will sound better than an improperly set-up 7.1 system every time.
While I agree with you that properly set-up 5.1 is better than poorly set-up 7.1, I would like to add that properly set-up 7.1 is truly a thing of beauty!
Old 02-26-09, 01:22 PM
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Re: Finally gone Blu - initial impressions.

Originally Posted by Blu Man View Post
Congrats on going Blu. Soon, it'll hurt to watch DVD's. Trust me.
Sadly, this is already happening. I like to pop in old movies I'm really familiar with as I work as background noise.

Today I popped in Old School. I kept looking up and going "man, I don't remember it being this blurry"
Old 02-27-09, 09:13 AM
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Re: Finally gone Blu - initial impressions.

I buy alot of BD that I already have on DVD.
DVDs look like crap these days. Once you see 1080p, 480p or even a upconvert, looks grainy.

Not to mention the sound.

I would be happy to sell every DVD I own. Infact they are for sale!
Old 02-27-09, 09:25 AM
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Re: Finally gone Blu - initial impressions.

Originally Posted by Snowmaker View Post
That is a funny, but somewhat true comment. I wonder what percentage of PS3 owners actually play games on it. Even at retail stores, I see the PS3 sitting on the shelf next to the BR players and not by the game consoles.
Well, I have about 300 BDs but I also have over 40 PS3 games. And it sits next to the BD players because it isn't relegated to just being a game console. I'm sure a few more systems are going to get some work tonight when Killzone 2 drops today.
Old 02-27-09, 09:39 AM
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Re: Finally gone Blu - initial impressions.

^ With the caliber of games that are being released for the PS3 now (albeit some are multi-platform), I would feel like I'm not taking reaping the full benefits of owning a PS3 if I didn't get into the gaming aspect of it. That is how I rationalize quadrupling the number of PS3 games on my shelf over the past 3 months ...
Old 02-27-09, 09:45 AM
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Re: Finally gone Blu - initial impressions.

Originally Posted by Berkowitz View Post
I buy alot of BD that I already have on DVD.
DVDs look like crap these days. Once you see 1080p, 480p or even a upconvert, looks grainy.

Not to mention the sound.

I would be happy to sell every DVD I own. Infact they are for sale!
So far I've traded, sold or donated about 300 DVD's. There are great movies that I love but when I think about watching them I just keep thinking I'll wait for the BD and then I'll pop in one of my hi-def movies. I still have about 800 SD's but I'd gladly get rid of just about every one of them. They just kind of sit there. Every week I send in abox to SecondSpin and I always have 20 or so on Half.com.
Old 02-27-09, 10:19 AM
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Re: Finally gone Blu - initial impressions.

Originally Posted by Yavin View Post
^ With the caliber of games that are being released for the PS3 now (albeit some are multi-platform), I would feel like I'm not taking reaping the full benefits of owning a PS3 if I didn't get into the gaming aspect of it. That is how I rationalize quadrupling the number of PS3 games on my shelf over the past 3 months ...
I'm not oblivious to the PS3 as a gaming machine. What I said of course was tongue in cheek. I happen to own a 360 and a Wii that get more of my gaming time. I'll get a couple of the exclusives for the PS3. I already picked up Little Big Planet, and will, when I have some spare time, grab Uncharted. GoW III is on the horizon, but really, that's about all that interests me. Multiplatform titles, I'd rather play on the 360. No doubt though, that this is a BR/DVD player to me, mostly.

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