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post #1 of 35 Old 12-27-2006, 06:59 AM - Thread Starter
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After reading all the reviews I couldn't wait to start buying and using HD movies with my Xbox360 HD-DVD add-on. After reviewing Chronicles of Riddick, King Kong amd Mission Impossible III my impressions are not what most reviewers say. I have a OPPO 971 DVD Player for SD definition movies so I loaded the same std definition movie of MI-3 the Chronicles of RIddick to do some realtime direct comparision on my 37" Sceptre LCD. While overall the HD copies were slightly better it wasn't by much, in fact I think in alot of cases it will come down to disc price for me. If the SD version is selling for 30% less I'll stick with those for now. I think any improvement to be seen in my set-up would require a larger screen to justify higher cost of movies right now, certainly I wouldn't re-purchase any existing movies I own if the SD version was decent already. I think for most with smaller displays like mine you'd be better off in purchasing a good SD dvd player to enhance your existing SD DVD collection until the format wars are over.
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post #2 of 35 Old 12-27-2006, 07:08 AM
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At that screen size and based on your possible viewing distance, you won't notice a huge difference more than likely. Honestly, I think that HD-DVD and BD are really geared towards sets 50" and above. If you see and HD-DVD on a projector, believe me the two formats are night and day.
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post #3 of 35 Old 12-27-2006, 07:57 AM
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i agree, unless you have a big screen- you will not see a huge difference, although the colors are still better on HD. still, if you plan on going to a bigger screen later on, you'll be much better off going with the hd disks. big screen prices continue to drop, and the cost differentail between most hd and sd disks is not that great. (most hd titles sell for 19.99 on amazon, sd disks range from 9 to 14? 5 bucks is a small price to pay for future proofing.
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post #4 of 35 Old 12-27-2006, 08:14 AM
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What resolution is your Xbox set to? Also, did you make sure you changed the switch on the A/V connection cable which is plugged into the back of your 360?

Even though I had 1080i selected on my 360, the switch on the cable was still set to Standard Def! I didn't even realize it was there until I found it by accident. The difference was night and day!
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post #5 of 35 Old 12-27-2006, 08:35 AM
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Don't agree. Even on our spare 26" 1080i LCD hi def looks unequivocably better both in resolution and saturation of color. Must be something wrong with your set up.

As well, do you have the X37SV-Komodo? The max resolution for that set is 1360x768. You're not getting 1080i even.
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post #6 of 35 Old 12-27-2006, 08:42 AM
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I definitely notice an improvement, even on my 46" 720p. Especially after I put on my glasses

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post #7 of 35 Old 12-27-2006, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemax50 View Post

my 37" Sceptre LCD


As others have said, you're not going to get the true, full benefit of 1080P on such a smallish TV, even if you actually have all the pixels, it's just too small.

In my HT room, even with a two-generation-old 720P cast onto a 120" screen, it was night and day, I stopped buying DVD's last summer*.

* only excepttion was Gojira, figured it won't make it to HD for a while.

-Josh Murrah
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post #8 of 35 Old 12-27-2006, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemax50 View Post

After reading all the reviews I couldn't wait to start buying and using HD movies with my Xbox360 HD-DVD add-on. After reviewing Chronicles of Riddick, King Kong amd Mission Impossible III my impressions are not what most reviewers say. I have a OPPO 971 DVD Player for SD definition movies so I loaded the same std definition movie of MI-3 the Chronicles of RIddick to do some realtime direct comparision on my 37" Sceptre LCD. While overall the HD copies were slightly better it wasn't by much, in fact I think in alot of cases it will come down to disc price for me. If the SD version is selling for 30% less I'll stick with those for now. I think any improvement to be seen in my set-up would require a larger screen to justify higher cost of movies right now, certainly I wouldn't re-purchase any existing movies I own if the SD version was decent already. I think for most with smaller displays like mine you'd be better off in purchasing a good SD dvd player to enhance your existing SD DVD collection until the format wars are over.

I think the size of the screen you are watching on it's a determining factor. My 138" screen shows huge differences between S-dvd and HD-dvd, but I also see a difference on my 32 " lcd monitor. Resolution, color, depth, etc. At the beginning the differences were not as noticable, but in time, when you play a regular dvd movie, you start to miss the higher resolution, no ghosting around the movie tittles and credits, and the incredible detail that HD-dvd provides.

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post #9 of 35 Old 12-27-2006, 08:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BigMikeATL View Post

What resolution is your Xbox set to? Also, did you make sure you changed the switch on the A/V connection cable which is plugged into the back of your 360?

Even though I had 1080i selected on my 360, the switch on the cable was still set to Standard Def! I didn't even realize it was there until I found it by accident. The difference was night and day!

Yeah it sounds like something its wrong in his set-up. I watched HD DVD on a 30" CRT and it looked fantastic.
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post #10 of 35 Old 12-27-2006, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by HPforMe View Post

Don't agree. Even on our spare 26" 1080i LCD hi def looks unequivocably better both in resolution and saturation of color. Must be something wrong with your set up.

As well, do you have the X37SV-Komodo? The max resolution for that set is 1360x768. You're not getting 1080i even.

Honestly OP try setting the output of your Xbox to 720 and see how it looks then. If you TV is doing the downconvert it might not look that good. Honestly I Hook my X-Box up to a 20" wide LCD monitor and selected 720P and it looked like it threw in some noise, so again I am not sure whats causing the problem. Anyways I am picking up a 30" HD LG SlimCRT today specifically for my X-Box so we will see soon if Size matters.
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post #11 of 35 Old 12-27-2006, 09:06 AM
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Moving from SD broadcast television to HD broadcast television I saw a huge improvement. Going from SD DVD to HD DVD I was not as impressed. On a scale of 1 to 10 I would score it as follows:

SD television (documentaries or movies) gets a 3.

SD DVD's, assuming a top quality transfer, get a 6.

HD broadcast tv (not TNT HD movies which suck) like Discovery HD theater, 9

HD-DVD, Batman Begins the only HD-DVD I have so far, 8

HD-DVD Documentary, hopefully a 9+ when they arrive.

I watch on a 106" screen in a dark room with a Sanyo Z4 PJ. Toshiba A2 goes HDMI to my Onkyo 604 and HDMI to the PJ. Comcast cable and Sony DVD player go component to the 604 and component to the PJ.

The question for others and myself is why have I not seen as big a jump in PQ with HD-DVD as I have with HD broadcast? My answers are that going from SD broadcast Discovery channel programming to Discovery HD is moving from about the worst quality image to about the best so of course I'd see a dramatic improvement. I think everyone would agree that SD-DVD's are quite a bit better than SD tv so naturally the move to HD-DVD doesn't have as much room for improvement. Also, documentaries are often shot in HD as opposed to being transferred from film so there is an advantage there as well. Furthermore, movies may be shot for mood and visual effect whereas HD documentaries are all about a big gorgeous image.

The biggest improvement I saw with Batman Begins is in the fine detail, titles and text. Maybe this movie isn't the best exampe? And FWIW, I had both versions playing last night about two minutes apart. I would watch two minutes of the SD version and then two minutes of the HD version.

The guy I bought my A2 from lied and said the three documentary titles I wanted were in stock but of course they didn't ship with my player. So I now wonder if anyone who has a documentary HD-DVD, how does it compare to broadcast HD programming?

I am not disappointed in HD-DVD, I just haven't had the same wow factor I got the first time I saw lions in the Serengeti on my screen and it seemed like they were right there. Maybe part of it is the 16:9 HD signal filling a full 16:9 screen and Batman being 2.35 there is less visual impact with the smaller screen area?

Curious how others would rate the image quality of the different formats.

Greg
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post #12 of 35 Old 12-27-2006, 09:25 AM
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Finally someone else has seen the suckiness of TNT HD. I was over my pops house cailbrating his receiver and I was messing around with his HD cable box and noticed that they added TNT-HD. Rush Hour was on and it was by far the worst HD presentation I have ever seen. Huge amounts of macroblocking. At some point I really looked like it was an NES game zoomed all the in and then blown up to fit on 57" TV. I really which I knew the bite rate they are giving there feed because I know it not up to ASTC standard (maybe 3-5 MBs). I wonder if anyone over at the Turners bother to even look at what being shown on the screen.

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post #13 of 35 Old 12-27-2006, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fettastic View Post

Yeah it sounds like something its wrong in his set-up. I watched HD DVD on a 30" CRT and it looked fantastic.


Just got the HD DVD addon for Christmas, and watched Batman and Serenity. Both were excellent and great showcases of the format!
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post #14 of 35 Old 12-27-2006, 10:24 AM
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I sit 8' from a 58" screen and the difference is astounding. Even my wife noticed the bugs buzzing around kong that she had never seen before. You start to notice little things, like smoke rising from the distant building when kong is on the skycraper, or that you can read the small print on the chloroform bottle when it rolls across the floor, but what really affects the presentation is how colorful everything is. At certain points, I really got the 3-d effect, it was downright scary when one of those huge worm bugs in kong darted out of the screen at me and I've seen the movie at least 3 times before. Everything is more colorful with more detail, and even when you aren't focusing on the details in the films, you find yourself being sucked into the movie more. Scary parts are scarier, drama is more dramatic, action scenes are more suspenseful. Films are entirely more engaging. It all makes sense too, because the more accurately you can depict the images, the more lifelike they appear, and thus the more engaging the film is. I'm watching all of this on a 720P screen, I doubt I'd see much of a difference between 720P and 1080P at my screen size and viewing distance and I simply can't afford a 1080P screen. But between regular dvd and Hd-DVD, the difference is huge.
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post #15 of 35 Old 12-27-2006, 10:43 AM
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the comparison should be from SD-DVD to HD period. If your SD-DVD was already way better than your typical SD broadcast, you should not expect to see as big of a difference.


But HD-DVD or Blu-ray for that matter should be equal to the best broadcast HD period end of discussion.
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post #16 of 35 Old 12-27-2006, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiddsilk69 View Post

Finally someone else has seen the suckiness of TNT HD. I was over my pops house cailbrating his receiver and I was messing around with his HD cable box and noticed that they added TNT-HD. Rush Hour was on and it was by far the worst HD presentation I have ever seen. Huge amounts of macroblocking. At some point I really looked like it was an NES game zoomed all the in and then blown up to fit on 57" TV. I really which I knew the bite rate they are giving there feed because I know it not up to ASTC standard (maybe 3-5 MBs). I wonder if anyone over at the Turners bother to even look at what being shown on the screen.

If you are sick of TNT HD wait until you see A&E HD
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post #17 of 35 Old 12-27-2006, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMikeATL View Post

What resolution is your Xbox set to? Also, did you make sure you changed the switch on the A/V connection cable which is plugged into the back of your 360?

Even though I had 1080i selected on my 360, the switch on the cable was still set to Standard Def! I didn't even realize it was there until I found it by accident. The difference was night and day!

My xbox is outputting 1080i like it should, My display does an awesome job and the movies look great!! I'm simply saying that most SD DVDs played thru my Oppo upscaling DVD player look great also so the picture quality difference on my small by todays standard 37" Sceptre is very slight. I'm not saying that HD-DVD is bad just that on my smallish screen the image quality gain is small. I do agree with one of the replies that buying now for use a bigger screen later has some merit as long as HD-DVD is the winner of the format wars which there WILL be only one winner. Reminds be of the Sony/Betamax vs VHS format wars of the early 80's.
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post #18 of 35 Old 12-27-2006, 12:20 PM
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If you are sick of TNT HD wait until you see A&E HD

I shutter to think about that.

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post #19 of 35 Old 12-28-2006, 10:50 AM
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I run an xbox 360 HD DVD drive through component into a Sharp LC37D90U and the difference for me is pretty large. HD DVD's can almost jump off the screen and look very 3d. I find myself looking at the PQ and not the movie sometimes. I ran a Panasonic S97S to the same tv via HDMI for SD DVD's. I sit about 7' away from the tv.
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post #20 of 35 Old 12-28-2006, 10:58 AM
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I'm not a believer in the "your TV isn't large enough to see the difference arguement" I am a poor college student who has a 3 year old 26" (yes I said 26") samsung CRT and there is a huge difference between SD and HD material, esp between my old samsung upconverted DVDs and the 360 addon.

While I don't doubt there is a larger difference for people who are running 40" + I can safely say even the smallest of HDTVs have a noticible difference.

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post #21 of 35 Old 12-28-2006, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiddsilk69 View Post

I really which I knew the bite rate they are giving there feed because I know it not up to ASTC standard (maybe 3-5 MBs).

I think you are trying to say you wish you knew the bitrate (which you are guessing is 3-5 mb/s.) I'm not trying to be snarky in correcting your grammar. Some of things you said completely change the meaning of what you were trying to say.

http://www.widemovies.com/dfwbitrate.html

Looks like it averages 13.7. That's not too terribly low (broadcast is up to 18 mbps and Fox is generally around 10) but I've seen a lot of movies on TNT-HD that weren't true HD, just upscaled and stretched SD. I don't know why they even launched an HD channel when they don't want to put any content on it.
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post #22 of 35 Old 12-28-2006, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemax50 View Post

My xbox is outputting 1080i like it should, My display does an awesome job and the movies look great!! I'm simply saying that most SD DVDs played thru my Oppo upscaling DVD player look great also so the picture quality difference on my small by todays standard 37" Sceptre is very slight. I'm not saying that HD-DVD is bad just that on my smallish screen the image quality gain is small. I do agree with one of the replies that buying now for use a bigger screen later has some merit as long as HD-DVD is the winner of the format wars which there WILL be only one winner. Reminds be of the Sony/Betamax vs VHS format wars of the early 80's.


Sounds like you are one who should just save his money and buy SD.

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post #23 of 35 Old 12-28-2006, 12:53 PM
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I'm in a similar situation as the original poster and I had the same reaction. Its not that I dont see any improvement I do. Its just not very big. After watching an HD disk and then going back to SD I don't get the feeling these aren't good enough anymore.

When I first bought my new TV I knew there were certain weakness that would be present if it werent calibrated. Everything I watched it was just glaring at me. I finally got a chance to calibrate it and then I was a happy camper. There was a very noticeable difference for me and a feeling of time well spent. This change from a good upconverted DVD to HD DVD just feels like a much smaller bump in picture quality.

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post #24 of 35 Old 12-28-2006, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by spinoza_43221 View Post

I'm in a similar situation as the original poster and I had the same reaction. Its not that I dont see any improvement I do. Its just not very big. After watching an HD disk and then going back to SD I don't get the feeling these aren't good enough anymore.

When I first bought my new TV I knew there were certain weakness that would be present if it werent calibrated. Everything I watched it was just glaring at me. I finally got a chance to calibrate it and then I was a happy camper. There was a very noticeable difference for me and a feeling of time well spent. This change from a good upconverted DVD to HD DVD just feels like a much smaller bump in picture quality.

if you read this article http://www.hometheatermag.com/hookmeup/0506halfrez/ you will know that your TV is probably displaying 540p instead of 720p from 1080p HDDVD movies. So it should be no surprise that you and the initial poster see little difference in PQ moving from 480p to 540p.
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post #25 of 35 Old 12-28-2006, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by bluemax50 View Post

After reading all the reviews I couldn't wait to start buying and using HD movies with my Xbox360 HD-DVD add-on. After reviewing Chronicles of Riddick, King Kong amd Mission Impossible III my impressions are not what most reviewers say. I have a OPPO 971 DVD Player for SD definition movies so I loaded the same std definition movie of MI-3 the Chronicles of RIddick to do some realtime direct comparision on my 37" Sceptre LCD. While overall the HD copies were slightly better it wasn't by much, in fact I think in alot of cases it will come down to disc price for me. If the SD version is selling for 30% less I'll stick with those for now. I think any improvement to be seen in my set-up would require a larger screen to justify higher cost of movies right now, certainly I wouldn't re-purchase any existing movies I own if the SD version was decent already. I think for most with smaller displays like mine you'd be better off in purchasing a good SD dvd player to enhance your existing SD DVD collection until the format wars are over.

pretty much what everybody already said I think on a 37" the difference isn't that huge. In addition Riddick has one of the best SD DVD transfers and King Kong isn't bad either. So the difference for mediocre DVD titles is much bigger. On my 120" screen it's a big difference.
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post #26 of 35 Old 12-28-2006, 06:10 PM
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Well, watching an upconverted KK and a HD version of KK is night and day. No other way to describe. Even using the same machine Xbox 360. And I have upconverted with Toshiba and PC. HD is 1000% better. I still use upconvert dvd, but HD ---well! More titles!!!

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post #27 of 35 Old 12-31-2006, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GodobeHD View Post

if you read this article http://www.hometheatermag.com/hookmeup/0506halfrez/ you will know that your TV is probably displaying 540p instead of 720p from 1080p HDDVD movies. So it should be no surprise that you and the initial poster see little difference in PQ moving from 480p to 540p.

Hey great link. Thanks for the information. I hope that is what is happening, but wouldnt the xbox360 being doing the scaling and putting out a 720P signal. I was under the impression that the scaller in my TV would be bypassed in this scenario.

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post #28 of 35 Old 01-01-2007, 10:59 AM
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OP, are you sure the signal is connected correctly? on my 46in LCD, It's unmistakable when I pop in an HD DVD, especially the titles you mentioned. When I mean unmistakable, that's not an understatement. Same story on my 32in LCD. SD just does not match up.

every fix pixel display has their own merits in scaling. bluemax, I would suggest you at least try it at 720p. There are some 768 LCDs on the market who do a very crappy job at scaling down 1080i material. Try to see if that makes a difference. as Godobe posted, some displays 'bob' 1080i/p material when downscaling, as a shortcut resulting in a horribly compromised image

don't buy into the larger display = better image argument. All a larger display does is make your SD-DVDs look worse. Not that I would mind upgrading(planning on 70in RP) but I sit like 4ft max from my 46in LCD. No complaints, except for blacks of course
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post #29 of 35 Old 01-29-2007, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broccoli View Post

pretty much what everybody already said I think on a 37" the difference isn't that huge. In addition Riddick has one of the best SD DVD transfers and King Kong isn't bad either. So the difference for mediocre DVD titles is much bigger. On my 120" screen it's a big difference.

Your experience is consistent with majority of the nation's professional reviewers, i.e., that it really takes a BIG screen to fully appreciate the difference of HD-DVD/Blu-Ray(L.A. Times Research/Colker, Pogue in the N.Y. Times, Bill Hunt at thedigitalbits, etc.). Even at 65-inch screen size, like mine, there is little more than an incremental improvement in resolution, color saturation and contrast. YES, it IS better, but not that much.

For me, I only rent an occasional HD-DVD and if it's something I'd like to see again, I buy an SD-DVD and upconvert, producing an image just marginally less impressive than the native HD(it depends on quality of the SD, of course). In the unlikely event you have not seen them, Hollywood Video occasionally sells guaranteed previewed recent-release SD-DVDs for $5(singles), and Wal*Mart sells new older-title SD-DVDs for about $4.50(singles).

Enjoy!

Milt R. Smith
mrsmith2002@yahoo.com
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post #30 of 35 Old 01-29-2007, 01:19 PM
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Wow! I can only say that I am using the 360 add on with a Sony KD-30XS955 30" Widescreen CRT and I must say I was and am blown away by the pq. I was hesitant in buying the add on due to most saying on anything under 50'' you won't see that huge of a difference. I bought it with the idea that if what they said is true than I would take it back, but man once I popped in KK I was hooked. I have compared KK, BB, with their HD cable counterpart and notice a much better picture. I haven't bought a HD upscaled DVD player due to the knowledge that when i do decide to buy a standalone it will be included so I cannot comment on that aspect. I must say that the pq no matter what size the screen you should see a major difference between it and sd and even upscaled dvd's as most have told me. I hear VGA can look bad with the 360 HD DVD add on, I would suggest trying component if possible and make sure your screen is calibrated.
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