Originally Posted by Joseph Dubin
Looks awesome so far
Had my first opportunity to really watch something today... Bill Maher's "Realtime" from HBO (1080i source) and the Ladies' Finals at the Australian Open from ESPN (720p source).
Remember, both source programs are being delivered from my DMA2100 (i.e. my DVR-equivalent for my HTPC) in their "native" resolution of 720p or 1080i, fed via HDMI to my Oppo BDP-103 set to "AUTO" which senses that the connected HDTV can receive 1080p. So the Oppo is upconverting the input source to an output of 1080p, and doing a truly STUNNING job of it.
The Oppo QDEO video "magic" also somehow punches up the whole picture coming out, so everything looks "cleaner" and "brighter/sharper" and "more colorful" even on the 960. This is simply a SUPER BluRay/universal player, and adding external HDMI inputs makes it unbeatable.
Gotta say, I've never seen a picture like this. It's of course BIG, and so the people and faces and images on the 65" screen really do look like they're real. But mostly, it's stunningly film-like. Black is remarkable, white is remarkable, contrast is remarkable, color is accurate and remarkable, and the wonderful "computer blue" color of the Australian Open hard-court surface looks amazing.
- in retrospect, was the 960 too small for that room?
Of course it was. Always knew that.
But I've had no problem sitting 4 feet from the 960 for years, right there at the corner of my bed... either sitting on the carpet or rolling over an easy chair. It wasn't really meant to be a "home theater" screen. It was simply the best HDTV of its day, and I bought it to replace my prior 34" Sampo (the best HDTV of ITS day, 3 years ealier) which had just died. And I had the table for it, and it was approximately identical in size and weight to the Sampo, so it seemed like the right choice.
And besides, I also had the old 35" Mits built into that wall cubbyhole and never expected to change that because of the cubbyhole size, wall, and mirror issues., and the general "decorating" considerations. And even though I rarely used that old 35" SD TV anymore, it still seemed "cosmetically appropriate" for the construction which had been built around it a long time ago.
It was only last month after wandering over to the TV store to see the 84" UltraHD 4K Sony that I suddenly got the impulse to do all of this, and figured out what had to be done to "wall mount" a large panel in what really was now just a "hole in the wall" behind it.
And so glad you are happy with it - but true, wait a bit before making the final comparison to the 960 only because you are so overwhelmed by it right now and have to compensate for the obvious big screen effect in the home.
From the side by side comparison, it seems the colors, brightness and sharpness match, but of course, it is hard to really decipher things from a photo. Anything hidden on one screen that you notice on the other?
Yeah, I just can't get flash-less pictures from my camera to show the same colors in the image that I see with my eyes. Still working on perfecting that technique.
But today I did exactly what you just asked about, using that Australian Open match as the experiment, because it looked so stunning on the VT50. And amazingly, THE COLORS MATCH! This probably says more about my tweak/setup on the 960 than anything else, given that I've never had it professionally ISF calibrated (as I will have done in three weeks, along with the same for the VT50).
Note that when turning on the 960 (which is fed from HDMI-2 of my Yamaha RX-V867 AVR, with HDMI-1 going to the VT50) the Oppo re-handshakes for HDMI and discovers (with AUTO still set) that it now must send out 1080i to both sets, since 1080i is the highest resolution supported by the 960. This results in a somewhat degraded picture, since that means interlacing must now be inserted along with the upconversion to 1080i whereas the 720p source was not interlaced. So the Sony displayed that 1080i fine of course, and the VT50 accepted 1080i and internally upconverted it to 1080p for display (since 1080p is its native display resolution).
I then changed the output of the Oppo to be 720p (to match the 720p source), since the 960 does a great job with 720p input and I was curious to see how the VT50 did with direct 720p input. Again, the VT50 internally upconverted the source 720p to 1080p for display.
So I had a number of combinations to visually compare (at least based on memory for each set's appearance, and also both sets side-by-side for the same Oppo output). I'd have to say that the Oppo BDP-103 does the best job of upconverting anything given to it to 1080p, rather than asking the VT50 to do that conversion to 1080p for display.
And given a 720p source, there's no question the 960 does a better job of upconverting/interlacing it for its own display than having the Oppo upconvert 720p to 1080i to feed the 960 (and VT50).
All in all, you don't really want both sets on at the same time to genuinely watch anything... other than for this kind of side-by-side comparison.
But what I really wanted to see in the side-by-side comparison was (a) how do colors match, and (b) how does brightness/contrast and "punch" match. And as I said earlier, THE COLORS MATCH. Remarkable to me, really.
However there's no question there is much more "punch" to everything presented on the VT50, as if BOTH brightness and contrast were increased together. Amazingly, skin tone looks MORE REAL on the VT50, even though the "color" is essentially identical on both sets. I suspect it also has a lot to do with screen size.
I have a feeling I'm not going to be watching the 960 ever again, and that's most likely a certainty after the calibration to both sets gets done in 3 weeks. We'll see. But I'm now "a convert". I'm a "true believer". This is the best HDTV picture I've ever seen.
(My nephew insists I go out to see "The Hobbitt" in the 48fps HFR 3D version, if I really want to see something which will shake me up in terms of old-fashioned movie/image/video/HDTV expectations about what all things visual are supposed to look like).
Also, please let me know about the 2D to3D conversion for I love having toys but don't want to spend the time with the 3D glasses watching movies programmed to that age group.
I will very likely explore this.
But yesterday, in honor of the occasion, I ordered (1) Avatar, (2) Brave, and (3) Up, all in 3D+BluRay versions, just so that I can have something to demonstrate to myself what true 1080p 3D looks like on this set.
It's all cost me a fortune so far, but the audio/video upgrades I've decided to invest in this past year definitely have EXCEEDED my expectations in terms of "price/performance" benefit, i.e. enjoyment increase per dollar spent. And this most recent equipment upgrade has provided an incremental improvement I couldn't have predicted:
(a) Oppo BDP-103 with 720p/1080i HDTV fed through its HDMI input, coming out as upconverted 1080p when viewing on the 65VT50 now but previously when sending 720p/1080i "native" to the 960, and
(b) Panny 65VT50, which is simply the best "film-like" picture I've ever seen, especially when feeding it true 1080p source from a BluRay movie.
I really bought the Oppo for audio reasons, to be able to decode DD5.1 HDTV audio to LPCM out over HDMI for feeding to my external audio system (Realiser, headphones, etc.). But I was unprepared for what a fantastic job it's done on "improving" video.