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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With many people starting to own the new Samsung 1080p DLP sets, I thought it would make sense to start a thread that discusses the best options for DVD players for those sets. Personally I've only tried pairing a few low end upconverting DVD players with my HL-R5668W. For those of you with a higher end player, it'd be great if you could post your impressions.


I calibrated each of the sets with DVE and Star Wars Episode II at each possible resolution (480i, 480p, 720p and 1080i; I ended up settling on 1080i, but I may go back to 480i and let the Samsung do all the upconverting and upscaling). Anyway, here are my impressions:


Samsung DVD-HD950 - IMO This was the WORST option. I had it connected via HDMI and no matter what I did (and I believe I tried every option), I couldn't get it to BTB. Also, the picture wasn't much better (if at all) than my LiteOn DVD Player/Recorder connected via component. And to make matters worse (i) there is an annoying "HDMI Audio Not Supported" message that is displayed every time the player changes it's audio type and (ii) the display on the unit itself is ridiculously bright and quite distracting if you are watching a movie in a dark room. You could change these two "display" options, but any time you shut off the player and turn it back, both options automatically go back to the factory defaults.


Denon 1910 - I updated the player to the most recent firmware that I received directly from Denon. I had the player connected DVI > HDMI and the picture was decent (defintitely better than the LiteOn and Samsung), but the macroblocking was terrible and in fact considerably worse than it was with my 720p Samsung DLP (with the 720p set it was hardly noticeable). Due to the terrible macroblocking, this player was not a viable option for me.


Sony DVP-NS975V - IMO this was the BEST option for the Samsung 1080p sets. I had it connected via HDMI and the picture was great (better than the Denon) and there was no macroblocking. Also, the video options of the player are very cutomizable and as a result it passes BTB without a problem. If you buy this player, in order to set it up you should know that the video options in the "custom" set up screen (which you use when a DVD is not playing) do not provide much help. Instead, while watching a DVD you need to select "Picture Mode" on the remote and then use those settings to customize the picture. One of the settings is a "Memory" setting which allows you to change brightness etc and the settings hold for any DVD you watch (actually, I think all of the settings you select with "Picture Mode" will apply to all DVD's you watch).
 

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Hi Rich,


Thanks for starting this thread. I just got a 6168 myself from the TVA PowerBuy. Have you tried the Panasonic S97? I'm wondering if the macroblocking will be a tremendous problem. I have the player myself, but I can't get it or the TV setup until later this week. At any rate, I hope others will have lots of experiences to share with these new 1080p sets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwtseng
Hi Rich,


Thanks for starting this thread. I just got a 6168 myself from the TVA PowerBuy. Have you tried the Panasonic S97? I'm wondering if the macroblocking will be a tremendous problem. I have the player myself, but I can't get it or the TV setup until later this week. At any rate, I hope others will have lots of experiences to share with these new 1080p sets.
I didn't try the Panny. I was strongly considering it, but after going through 3, I thought it was enough. The issue on the Panny will possibly be macroblocing because I think it uses the Farojouda chip, however, some others have reported that the macroblocking on their sets that use that chip (e.g., Denon 2910) is not that bad. Hopefully the Panny will be in that group. After you get your 6168, it'd be great if you could post your results.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMSko
Sony DVP-NS975V - IMO this was the BEST option for the Samsung 1080p sets. I had it connected via HDMI and the picture was great (better than the Denon) and there was no macroblocking.
This sounds good, yet I've read so many terrible things about the reliability of this Sony set: jammed trays, etc. About half of them recommend strongly against buying this player. Also say that Sony as been atrocious in its customer support. Have you researched this situation?


PS From what I've been reading, the only player that seems to 'have it all'--pass BTB, have no MB'ing, and have solid reiability--is the Pioneer Elite 59avi, but I really don't want to pay that much for a dvd player.


I have a Denon 2910, and though I do see (only very occasionally) MB'ing, the PQ and build quality are excellent . I am very curious to hear how these players to with the 1080p Sammies. (I also had the 1910, and the MB'ing on it was much greater than on the 2910.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I unfortunately do know about Sony's customer service and it is horrible. I did look at some of the other Sony "issues", but I had another Sony DVD player (multi-disk) and never had a problem so I figured I'd take a chance. After all, I only paid $170 so it's not that much of a chance. I also don't want to pay that much for a DVD player. So for now I have a player that as long as it's playing (lol), is a great player. BTW - regarding the Samsung 950, one thing I did NOT do before I returned it was turn up the brightness on the player to see if it would pass BTB (it allows levels from "1" to "5"). It'd be interesting to see if that made the Samsung pass BTB (it did with my Sony). If it worked, that could change my opinion of the Samsung.
 

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Because there are no 1080p players yet, 480i HDMI would be the way to go...


59AVI the best buy right now, maybe Oppo or does it have 480i digital?


Besides, HD-DVD or Blu-ray may soon be here and we have no idea what that will entail.
 

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I will be getting my HLR5668W in the next day or so. I plan to test a number of DVD players on the set. It has been my experience that you can not test DVD players individually. To get meaningful comparisons you must test units directly against each other.


Below are some tests that I did at Magnolia HiFi ... they are just preliminary. This is a copy of one of my earlier posts in the main 2005 Samsung thread.


=========


I returned to Magnolia HiFi in San Ramon today to take a look at the HLR5678W they had setup yesterday. I’d like to thank the Magnolia staff for their patience and allowing me to test and evaluate the unit. Thanks!


When I arrived, they had a Samsung DVD-HD950 connected to the TV.


If you will remember, I was at Magnolia last week and saw a Denon 3910 DVD player that was having extensive problems on a HLR5078W. It was showing horrible macroblocking. On that earlier trip, we connected a Samsung player to the 5078 and it was doing a nice job (HDMI, 480p). At the time I thought the player was a Samsung DVD-HD941, but it may have been a DVD-HD850 (there seems to be some confusion).


Back to today’s trip, the Samsung DVD-HD950 was doing a nice job. It was connected via HDMI at 1080i.


I asked the staff at Magnolia if I could test a Panasonic DVD-S97S that was in another part of the store. They agreed and we installed the S97 on the 5678 (HDMI, 1080i). I had high hopes for the Panasonic because its 10 bit HDMI interface should have produced a really nice image (many players still use DVI’s 8 bit color). In addition, it has a number of adjustments and includes the ability to add an audio delay at the DVD player to compensate for any video lag. It uses the Faroudja chip. It has a reputation as having picture quality equal to the top rated OPPO, but better build quality. Seemed like an ideal DVD player for the 68 / 78 series.


Well … it didn’t perform as well as the Samsung 950. In some scenes there was more video noise (macroblocking?) than I would want. It was easy to see. I would not purchase this player. Probably less than on the Denon, but a distracting amount of junk. This was really disappointing because I have several Panasonic players and I really like the S97.


I put the Samsung back on the TV and confirmed that it was better.


Unfortunately, I did not have time to try all of the many Panasonic S97 adjustments in the hope of improving the picture.


There was one more test that I did not have the time to perform, but wish I had. I wish I had tried sending the image out of the Samsung 950 at 480p (via HDMI) and letting the TV scale the picture. It just seemed like the images on my last trip when I was using a digital 480p feed were better. But, I am not sure about this because I stepped up from the 50†to the 56†and maybe it was just easier to see picture flaws.


Anyway, I would like to hear feedback from Panasonic S97, Samsung 950, OPPO, and Denon 3910 owners. I’m posting these observations so we can start think about which DVD player will work best on these sets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by UCSB
I will be getting my HLR5668W in the next day or so. I plan to test a number of DVD players on the set. It has been my experience that you can not test DVD players individually. To get meaningful comparisons you must test units directly against each other.
Although I generally do agree with this statement, I think you would agree that macroblockling and whether a player passes BTB are two things you can test individually and do not need to test the units against each other. When you get your Samsung, I do recommend that you give the Sony a try. At least it passes BTB and there is no MB'ing.


BTW - Are you of the camp that for the lower end players it is better to output 480i over HDMI and then let the Samsung do all the upconverting/upscaling? It would seem that none of the lower end DVD players would be able to do it as well as the Samsung, but that is just a guess. I have tried it with my DVD players and the Samsung, but with this test it's virtually impossible to see if there is an improvement without being able to see one test right next to the other and unfortuanately I only have one 1080p set!


I do have one question though. When I switch my Sony DVD player to 480i, the text gets much bigger and is not as crisp as it is when it outputs 1080i. The difference is VERY significant, it's really the same as a PC monitor showing 800 x 600 vs. something much better like 1080 x 1024. Clearly that would make sense because 1080i is a much better resolution than 480i, however, if the Samsung is upconverting everything to 1080p shouldn't both look almost identical? Am I missing something?
 

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Quote:
When I switch my Sony DVD player to 480i, the text gets much bigger and is not as crisp as it is when it outputs 1080i.
That's odd. I've never heard of a DVD player doing that so it must be the TV. If the text is part of the video, then I'm at a loss to see how either device distinguishes text from non-text. Or is this setup menu text? WRT resolutions, 480i, 480p or 1080i are the only three that make sense to use. Try all of them and use the one that looks best to you.


larry
 

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I have been using the #208 for about 5 months and except for some hag-up problems, have been pleased with the image into my Sony HS-51 projector, via 720P/ HDMI.


The #208 has the capability to output 1080P via HDMI or component.


The up-converting to 720 is superior to the Sony's so it sure would be worth a try on the new 1080P rear projection units starting to arrive.


95% of the time I use a HTPC outputting 720P to feed the Sony, so I do not have more than 20 hours play time on the #208. One other advantage to the #208 is it can alos play the few 720P source material DVD's from China. I have HERO and HOFD. They look outstanding.


The #208 can be had for about $220 from neodigits.com. They also seem to have a good support system.


Steve
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMSko
With many people starting to own the new Samsung 1080p DLP sets, I thought it would make sense to start a thread that discusses the best options for DVD players for those sets. Personally I've only tried pairing a few low end upconverting DVD players with my HL-R5668W. For those of you with a higher end player, it'd be great if you could post your impressions.


I calibrated each of the sets with DVE and Star Wars Episode II at each possible resolution (480i, 480p, 720p and 1080i; I ended up settling on 1080i, but I may go back to 480i and let the Samsung do all the upconverting and upscaling). Anyway, here are my impressions:


Samsung DVD-HD950 - IMO This was the WORST option. I had it connected via HDMI and no matter what I did (and I believe I tried every option), I couldn't get it to BTB. Also, the picture wasn't much better (if at all) than my LiteOn DVD Player/Recorder connected via component. And to make matters worse (i) there is an annoying "HDMI Audio Not Supported" message that is displayed every time the player changes it's audio type and (ii) the display on the unit itself is ridiculously bright and quite distracting if you are watching a movie in a dark room. You could change these two "display" options, but any time you shut off the player and turn it back, both options automatically go back to the factory defaults.


Denon 1910 - I updated the player to the most recent firmware that I received directly from Denon. I had the player connected DVI > HDMI and the picture was decent (defintitely better than the LiteOn and Samsung), but the macroblocking was terrible and in fact considerably worse than it was with my 720p Samsung DLP (with the 720p set it was hardly noticeable). Due to the terrible macroblocking, this player was not a viable option for me.


Sony DVP-NS975V - IMO this was the BEST option for the Samsung 1080p sets. I had it connected via HDMI and the picture was great (better than the Denon) and there was no macroblocking. Also, the video options of the player are very cutomizable and as a result it passes BTB without a problem. If you buy this player, in order to set it up you should know that the video options in the "custom" set up screen (which you use when a DVD is not playing) do not provide much help. Instead, while watching a DVD you need to select "Picture Mode" on the remote and then use those settings to customize the picture. One of the settings is a "Memory" setting which allows you to change brightness etc and the settings hold for any DVD you watch (actually, I think all of the settings you select with "Picture Mode" will apply to all DVD's you watch).
Here is a link to my first impressions of hte Pioneer Elite 59AVi with the Samsung HL-R6168W:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&post5979990
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by PooperScooper
That's odd. I've never heard of a DVD player doing that so it must be the TV. If the text is part of the video, then I'm at a loss to see how either device distinguishes text from non-text. Or is this setup menu text? WRT resolutions, 480i, 480p or 1080i are the only three that make sense to use. Try all of them and use the one that looks best to you.


larry
This was setup menu text? Does that make a difference?
 

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So will the Panny S97 show MB with 480i over HDMI? Also, the consensus seems to think that 480i over component is better with the S97, which defeats the whole idea of having an upconverting player. But it seems that it is still the more highly regarded player.


Right now, I have the S97 hooked up to my InFocus 7210 with both component and HDMI (to M1-DA), so I can A-B things. I am hard pressed to find a significant difference, but the digital signal does seem to be sharper. It's interesting.
 

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RMSko: I don't think having the ability to pass BTB on a DLP set is the same as on a CRT. The BTB was supposed to give you headroom to be able to adjust your set. In fact you are supposed to turn the brightness down until you cannot see the BTB bars.


In my experience with the 950 and 5668 I could never get BTB over HDMI unless I tweaked the contrast and brightness settings to super high levels. At this point you were not really showing BTB test patterns as you had shifted the entire spectrum.


The test patterns are useless. What we need to do is to look at various images and AB them. That means multiple DVD's and players at the same time (at least 2 at a time). We can then look at various images and compare.


I tried to do this with the VE disk on the cop chase scene. In some cases the DVD player that was running at 480i via component and passed BTB showed more shadow detain, and in other areas of the picture the SA 950 via 1080i HDMI. I need to spend more time here and would like to hear from others who can say they have not seen such and such on a certain DVD player but can on another.


BTW I agree with your comments on the audio message and bright panel. Hope there are fixes for that soon. I can live with the message but electrical tape is on the horizon for the panel display.
 

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Chris,

BTB and WTW will appear in DVD video/movies. Not being able send them to the display means you will not see what was on the DVD. Is this something you want to pay for? :) And if the display has to process or scale the video stream more, it will not have the correct information to use and things will look even worse. (worse is a relative term). Some folks say they don't care or don't see a difference. But I don't know of anybody who has intentionally or knowingly bought a player that does not pass BTB or WTW. Most people, within their means, spend their money to get the best picture possible. Buying something that doesn't send all the video information doesn't make sense in this case.


larry
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMSko
This was setup menu text? Does that make a difference?
It seems so. :D The player may use a different font or set of menu images when using a higher resolution. As long as you can still read it, it doesn't seem like a big deal. How often do you use setup? Not much, I would guess.


larry
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
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Originally Posted by PooperScooper
It seems so. :D The player may use a different font or set of menu images when using a higher resolution. As long as you can still read it, it doesn't seem like a big deal. How often do you use setup? Not much, I would guess.


larry
I completely agree, as long as it's limited to the setup menu. I just wanted to make sure nothing was wrong with the Tv. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccouper
RMSko: I don't think having the ability to pass BTB on a DLP set is the same as on a CRT. The BTB was supposed to give you headroom to be able to adjust your set. In fact you are supposed to turn the brightness down until you cannot see the BTB bars.


In my experience with the 950 and 5668 I could never get BTB over HDMI unless I tweaked the contrast and brightness settings to super high levels. At this point you were not really showing BTB test patterns as you had shifted the entire spectrum.


The test patterns are useless. What we need to do is to look at various images and AB them. That means multiple DVD's and players at the same time (at least 2 at a time). We can then look at various images and compare.


I tried to do this with the VE disk on the cop chase scene. In some cases the DVD player that was running at 480i via component and passed BTB showed more shadow detain, and in other areas of the picture the SA 950 via 1080i HDMI. I need to spend more time here and would like to hear from others who can say they have not seen such and such on a certain DVD player but can on another.


BTW I agree with your comments on the audio message and bright panel. Hope there are fixes for that soon. I can live with the message but electrical tape is on the horizon for the panel display.
Chris - You may be right, although the Sony did pass BTB without any problem. I did not need to change the contrast at all and the brightness ended up at 38 in Movie mode and 42 in Standard mode. When I tried the 950, I could never get it to pass the BTB test. You are right, it may not be as significant for the 1080p sets, but there are DVD players that can pass BTB with the 1080p sets.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMSko
Although I generally do agree with this statement, I think you would agree that macroblockling and whether a player passes BTB are two things you can test individually and do not need to test the units against each other. When you get your Samsung, I do recommend that you give the Sony a try. At least it passes BTB and there is no MB'ing.
I agree you can test BTB in stand alone configuration. But, I'm not as sure about macroblocking. There is some level of video noise present in all of these players and low levels of macroblocking might not be noticable until you compare it to a player without the image problem. When I compared the Panasonic S97 to the Samsung 950. I went between the two and the higher level of noise in the S97 image was apparent, but if you were testing them individually you would have to work from memory.

Quote:
BTW - Are you of the camp that for the lower end players it is better to output 480i over HDMI and then let the Samsung do all the upconverting/upscaling? It would seem that none of the lower end DVD players would be able to do it as well as the Samsung, but that is just a guess. I have tried it with my DVD players and the Samsung, but with this test it's virtually impossible to see if there is an improvement without being able to see one test right next to the other and unfortuanately I only have one 1080p set!
I am hoping that I can find a up-converting 1080i player. I think the Samsung can do a great job with a 480i(p) signal, but I am concerned about processing time. I will further test these ideas once my TV gets here (should be either Tue/Wed).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by UCSB
I agree you can test BTB in stand alone configuration. But, I'm not as sure about macroblocking. There is some level of video noise present in all of these players and low levels of macroblocking might not be noticable until you compare it to a player without the image problem. When I compared the Panasonic S97 to the Samsung 950. I went between the two and the higher level of noise in the S97 image was apparent, but if you were testing them individually you would have to work from memory.




I am hoping that I can find a up-converting 1080i player. I think the Samsung can do a great job with a 480i(p) signal, but I am concerned about processing time. I will further test these ideas once my TV gets here (should be either Tue/Wed).
What difference does the processing time make? That is what audio delay is for. I should be getting an Oppo within a couple of days to try out on my 6168. I will be trying it at 480P through my iscanHD and also straight into the TV HDMI port.
 
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