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Upconverter DVD players for HDTV

Discussion in 'HDTV discussion' started by mixwell, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. mixwell

    mixwell Guest

    Hi folks--

    Just bought a Sylvania true HDTV 42" TV. I watch ONLY DVDs (burned ones, non-compressed), as I don't have TV service. And, most of mine are BBC TV ones, and I am wondering if the quality of viewing will be noticeably better with an Upconverting DVD player--I assume it will be, and I am soon due for a new one anyway, and I see the price range of UC DVD PLayers is basically the same as regular ones. The question: How do I choose one? I am not averse to spending between $100-200 (rather than just a $60 cheapo), as the TV was $1000. So what do I look for in an UC DVD player? I know I can take home and test for 30 days, and I am very much into that. What are the most important specs to look for? And as it is now, sitting 8 feet away, there is no problem with viewing (and contemporary films and television look super already), but will it improve older TV that up close appears somewhat pixallated with "screen-door" effects? How do they work (not super technically)--are their settings you change from to see different levels once a DVD is playing? And will running the new UC DVD PLayer through a Sony DVD-Player/Surround system as Video 2 somehow affect the UC quality? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  2. goodswipe

    goodswipe Guest

    I am wondering if the quality of viewing will be noticeably better with an Upconverting DVD player: I think it depends on the tv, my friends 42" Samsung LCD looked great with an UC attached to it. Another friend of mine has a 51" rear projection tv by Toshiba - probably about 4 years old, and it looks ok with an UC attached to it. But to answer your question, yes, it is suppose to look better.

    How do I choose one?: Well I guess price would play a role in this. I'd go with one that has plenty of outputs. One that has component, HDMI, digital coaxial, digital optical, etc. would be something to look for. If there's a Circuit City in your area, go with an HD DVD player, the Toshiba HD-A3 is going for 100 bucks right now. And yes, that is the IN STORE PRICE, it's not available at that price online. The Toshiba HD-A3 will upconvert your standard DVD's through the HDMI output and you will also be able to view HD DVD's.

    Will it improve older TV?: If you mean "older tv" as in the signal that is sent to your tv from the set top box, no, the only thing that is changed is the resolution on your standard DVD's. Standard DVD's have a resolution of 480p and through the HDMI output, they are then upconverted to 1080i.

    How do they work (not super technically)--are their settings you change from to see different levels once a DVD is playing?: If you are using the HDMI connection, the video settings should already be set to 1080i, if not, then you will need to look at the setup menu on the player to ensure that the output is set to 1080i.

    And will running the new UC DVD PLayer through a Sony DVD-Player/Surround system as Video 2 somehow affect the UC quality?: No, if your running your audio from the UC to the surround system, there shouldn't be any problems. If you are going to be running the video to the surround system, there shouldn't be any problems unless the system doesn't upconvert the video signal. I would send the video straight to the tv from the UC if at all possible.

    LILBUCK Guest

    I am extremely happy with the UC DVD player I bought(LG-831). I too have a sony surround system but ONLY put audio to it and run my video to my LCD using a HDMI cable. I was informed that without the HDMI cable or component video cable the best resoulution you can get is only 480i. If your surround system has a hdmi or component video inputs(mine does't) than you can get the most out of it, if not run the video straight to the Tv.
  4. mixwell

    mixwell Guest

    Wow, thanks, guys, great info. I tried a Sony tonight but with regular cables and saw no difference, and could not figure out how to decide to put it on Progressive or Interlace, and then whether to hook it up through the 2-audio 1-video cable way, or the YBrGr-Component (or whatever it is) way? I will try the Toshiba, perhaps, with an HDMI cable--so let me get this right--this ONE cable is ALL I attach from TV to DVD player? And then my audio through the existing surround sound stereo system. Oh--another question--are the component video cables themselves actually physically different from the standard 3 (2 aud - 1 vid) cables? And how much should a HDMI cable cost? I was looking into the OPPO DVD player for about $229 or $169, anyone know of those? Thanks people!
  5. goodswipe

    goodswipe Guest

    The cables you are referring to are RCA cables. Two cables(red/white) are for left and right audio and the composite cable(yellow)is for your video. Using those cables you will not be able to upconvert your standard DVD's, you will need to get an HDMI cable.

    The HDMI cable carries digital audio and video so, you could technically just use that cable for your audio and video. You can also do as you suggested, run the HDMI from your DVD player to your tv for video and use a set of 5.1 analog cables or toslink(digital optical)for your audio.

    The component cables are different from your RCA cables. The component cables are strictly video, nothing else. The RCA cables carry 2-channel stereo and composite video. They will not be able to carry the 1080 signal. Component cables can carry a 1080 signal but, some players don't allow for them to carry the upconverted signal, you have to use the HDMI cable.

    Don't buy those over priced HDMI cables, you can find them on the internet for a really good price and depending on the length you won't need to spend anymore then 13 dollars. Some of your places like Best Buy or Circuit City might have the off brand ones, if so, definitely buy those.

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2008
  6. Grampaw

    Grampaw Regular member

    Nov 7, 2002
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    Quite by accident I ended up running an experiment on UC DVD players.
    The TV is a 47" 1080p LCD that's really the second TV in the master bedroom. My test DVD was "Butcher Boy", which has a lot of diverse cinematography in the first 5 minutes or so.

    First I connected an old standard def DVD player via coax cable. That DVD player has a digital coax audio out, which is the only digital input to the separate audio amp. Picture had color washed out, generally looked pretty bad, and had motion problems. Sound sound was nice though.

    The picture was so bad, that I decided to connect the cheap UC Toshiba DVD player (UC to 1080p) via HDMI to the TV. That player has only optical digital audio out, so I have terrible TV sound out. The picture was much, much better, but the color was a little dark and I still saw motion problems.

    About then I bought into the Toshiba pitch about HD-DVD players being good UC players and got an A3 for about 100 USD. Now that player UCs much better - the color is no longer dark, and even at 1080i out of the player, the motion problems disappeared.

    The HD-DVD player really does UC best IMHO. And I ordered a simple amp with optical inputs to solve my sound problem.

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