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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Samsung HLN567 on order, which has (AFAIK), a single DVI port. When I get it, I will want to upgrade my DVD player to a Progressive Scan model, and am looking at the Bravo DVD player with a DVI out.


I also live in an area where I'm offered a Motorola 5100 cablebox, also with DVI (though it hasn't yet been enabled). There are only about 6 or 8 HD channels on my cable system.


Now, as I understand it, if the copyright functionality is enabled on either of these units, the highest quality signal is only output over the DVI connection, and even the component connection gets a 'down-graded' signal. (This is not in relation to the Analog conversion vs. straight digital path, this is strcitly speaking to the copyright protection inherent in DVI). So, which one should I hook up to get the most bang for the buck, without having to deal with a DVI switcher? I don't want to buy the Bravo and not use the DVI, because I hear it's not so hot over the composite outputs...


Also, would I get the same DVI quality video if I was outputting to the HLN via the PC Connection from a PC with a DVD palyer, or is this a question for the HTPC forum? I'm planning on hooking up a PC as well, just because I have an extra one that I can, but it doesn't have the horsepower (CPU/RAM/Video card/etc...) to act as a full-time DVD player. I could/would use it 'as is' with a wireless keyboard/mouse more for picture slideshows, MP3 player, displaying screensavers while guests over (okay, showing off the DLP), occasional browsing and maybe a PC game or two...


Thanks to all that take thier time to offer thier knowledge, insights & opinions!
 

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Lee


Just my opinion but after reading the threads on the Bravo D1, I would recommend using the Bravo D1 DVD player with the DVI port and watching your HDTV on a component port if you watch relatively equal amounts of both DVD & HDTV. HDTV is reported to look better than upscaled DVD so why not give the HDTV the component port and save the DVI for the DVD player? If that option is unacceptable you can save your pennies for a DVI switcher. Good luck.


Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
"HDTV is reported to look better than upscaled DVD so why not give the HDTV the component port"


I thought that the DVI would be the optimal (best quality) path, so if that's the case, wouldn't I want to use it for the HDTV box?


Honestly, I probably won't be able to tell the difference, and it may make more sense for me (in my particular config) to use the DVI for the DVD player, but I did have some concerns about what happens when the copyright protection does start kicking in. If my HDTV cable box is on the component inputs, would I be losing out on some of the video quality? I guess even if I did, I think I would want my $20 DVD to look its best, even if I had to sacrifice a bit of PQ for CSI!


Somewhere down the line (in a year or two), I will probably look for a A/V reciever that has DVI ports & switching, but for now, I think I can settle for one of these devices being on Component rather than having to start dealing with seperate switches.
 

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Random ideas:


1. Why not just swap the DVI cable?. That's what I'll be doing when I get my new DVI-out DVD player. Like you, I already have a DVI-out STB.


2. I like Rick's advice otherwise. The Component inputs on the Sammy DLP's support up to 1080i, so HDTV should look great anyhow. DVD PQ is dodgier, so it needs all the help it can get. Early threads on the Bravo seem to indicate a significant improvement. (I haven't tried my STB via Component, so can't really say how much worse it might be.)


3. If you use DVI just for HDTV, you obviously shouldn't buy the Bravo. Buy a DVD player with better quality Component outs. It needn't even be progressive scan, the Sammy DLP's do a first class job of deinterlacing 480i images, better than many cheap players.
 

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Coyote Waits
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I plan on doing what Doug suggests myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ah, I think I misunderstood Rick's post the first time around - I took it to mean that component had an inherently better PQ than DVI, but he was alluding to using the DVI to improve/maximize the DVD quality (right, Rick?).


In order to avoid a switchbox, something has to go to the DVI. (My whole HT upgrade started with me wanting to get rid of the 2 switchboxes in my original configuration, which led to a AV Reciever purchase, which led to new speakers, whcih led to me thinking a bigger screen would be in order to match the great new sound, and so on....). I think I'll wait until my Sammy is delivered. Maybe by then the DVI on the STB will be active, and I can see how my non-progressive DVD player looks over the component inputs before spending the extra dough on a new DVD player. If I decide to get one then, then I can make the call on DVI or Component. ("I'll be back..." )


Either way, am I right in believing that copyright protection will still intentionally degrade the signal from a DVD or HDTV on anything other than a DVI connection?


Thanks guys!
 

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LOL. I came back to edit this post thinking I may not have been as clear as one has to be when using e-mail posts. Sorry about that. Yes, I meant use the DVI to maximize the DVD picture because from what I read, the HDTV via component usually looks better than most DVDs even if that DVD is scaled to hi-definition and hooked up via the DVI port.


The report on the Bravo is that you really need to use the high-bandwidth digital content protection (HDCP) compatible DVI port to get the most benefit from it. It upscales regular copy-protected DVDs to hi-definition but only transmits the HD signal of copy-protected DVD through the DVI port. Unfortunately on the Bravo and the soon-to-be released Samsung DVD HD-931, the signal on the component ports will not be HD. So if you want HD images upscaled from a regular copy-protected DVD, you MUST use the DVI port. On the STB that I have read about, you can get a really great picture with a HD signal transmitted through component. In other words, that HDTV signal through the component already looks great. HDCP is integrated into the HDCP compatible DVI ports while the component ports have no HDCP. The speculation as to whether the networks will continue to broadcast HDTV that you can access via component ports (no HDCP) is unclear. For now anyway, one can enjoy HDTV on component while watching the upscaled DVD on the DVI port.


In a way, comparing the DVD through the DVI to the HDTV signal through the component may be comparing apples and oranges but if you wanted to switch using the TV inputs, it would make more sense to me to hook the Bravo to the DVI and the STB to the component. If you don't mind being the "manual switcher", then by all means just unplug what you are not using and hook up what you are using. The bottom line should probably be what looks best to your own eyes and what is reasonably convenient and affordable.


It's just my opinion but I hope it makes more sense now. Good luck. :)


Rick
 

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Will the DVI input through the Samsung STB degrade a quality DVD player input? Will the DLP machine require 2 DVI at some point or a switch box to maximize DVI from two sources? Will the Bravo or new Samsung DVD degrade when sent through the 160/165 STB as a DVI source?


Rick, where are you in Oregon?


Thanks a lot for the input and in advance.


Jeff Wolfe
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Okay, here's what I think I'm going to do to start (and maybe save a few bucks, or at least put off spending them!)...


I'll connect my STB and my Xbox to the AV reciever via the component inputs to my AV reciever, and then the reciever to the TV on the 480p/720p/1080i Input.


I'll connect my current, non-progressive DVD direct to the TV's 480i/480p inputs via component. If I'm unhappy with this result, or think that it can be greatly improved, I'll go for a Bravo or other DVD player, and revisit wether I should use the DVI at that point in time or get a player with good progressive out. By then, if the cable company activates the DVI port on the STB, I may want to switch that over to the DVI, and then run a progressive scan DVD player through the AV reciever, which would still allow me to just use one component cable from the reciever to the TV, since there won't be a 480i signal I would need to worry about. If they don't, I can plug the DVD into the 480i/480p or DVI port.


Short Rant - Why can't manufacturer's do auto switching on inputs? I have a $70 Sony AV switch that automatically switches to the device that was last turned on, why can't a $4000 TV? This function can be turned on/off depending on preferences and system setup. Also, while they're at it, why don't they give at least 1 input with S-Video, Composite, and Component jacks that can automatically accept the 'best' type of signal? That way, we could run each type of cable from our recievers to the TV, the reciever would pass the video over the selected connection type, and the TV would determine which to use based on which signals are 'active'. (Sicne I'm on a roll, why can a $35 video switch from RS up-convert a composite signal to S-video, but a AV reciever that retails for $1000 can't?) Some Hitachi's have this kind of set up in thier jack packs (all three types on one input), but evidently don't do the switching between input types.


Thanks again for all your input! (No pun intended!)
 

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Lee, it sounds like you have things under control.


Jeff, I don't know the answer to your questions except that it would be nice for a display to have to have two DVI ports (the more the merrier :p) and any time you make additional connections, there is a risk of signal degradation. Maybe DVI is less susceptible than analog to signal loss but having one more cable with connections can always screw things up so be careful. :D


I live in Portland (West Slope), have a direct view HDTV (Sony 34xbr800), and watch only DVD and ReplayTV (no HDTV or live TV). I am waiting for DVI DVD players (the Bravo D1 is here), and HD cable TV via comcast/at&t that hopefully will coincide with HD DVR/cable box (tivo has a direct tv HD DVR due later this year but maybe comcast will make a direct to cable HD DVR someday???).


Good luck guys. :)


Rick
 

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Rick:


Thanks for the reply. We live in the far reaches of Clackamas county, without cable (Boring, Oregon: named after someone instead of the lifestyle). We have a big ugly satellite dish, with a digital (4DTV) well as HD receiver (two different boxes) and are upgrading to the Samsung DLP/ T165 STB with the lone DVI into the TV. I realize that the satellite HD signal goes into RGB or component inputs (Thanks, Motorola!) rather than DVI. If in the future, we upgrade to a better quality DVD player, my continuing question is: where does the second digital cable go? Will the DVI out DVD's have to go into a component input or can they really go through the STB and out the DVI port? Maybe I don't get the digital/ analog discussion when there is a digital out from a set top device.


Thanks again. VR


Jeff Wolfe
 

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Jeff


I don't really know how much a DVI signal is degraded if it goes through a STB because I have no actual experience doing that. You would probably have to try it and see. If I had to have two DVI devices like a STB and a DVD player, I would probably get a nice stand alone switch but they are expensive (around $500 to $700 for a good one as I recall - maybe they will get cheaper?). Another AVSforum member said they would just plug in the device they are using (e.g. either the STB or the DVI DVD player) and leave the other device unplugged. There are some who don't think the Bravo D1 DVD player over the DVI port looks that much better than a good DVD player over component (the post I recall was comparing a Panny RP-82). The best bet is to see for yourself but I expect you can take this one step at a time and there will be more information and possibly better pricing as you gradually upgrade. In the mean time, those DLP RPTV units sound very nice so have fun. :)


Rick
 
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