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I recently installed a Pioneer 5050 and DTV HD reciever. I want to upgrade my DVD player to one that can upconvert to HD. I'm looking at the Samsung HD950. Is this a good choice? Also I'm currently using the 5.1 Analog audio out from my current player. I notice a number of the players that do the upconversion don't have 5.1 output. Is this important? What is the advantage of using the 5.1? Thanks
 

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Upconverting players will produce an HD format signal (e.g., 720p or 1080i), but the DVD material itself is most certainly not HD format. In other words, an upconverting DVD player does not produce an HD-quality image, but rather "polishes" the 480i / 480p DVD signal.


True HD-DVD is just around the corner (e.g., Blu-Ray, etc.)... but you'll have to re-purchase your DVD collection in HD format to take advantage of the increase in video quality.


Don't worry, however, as you can watch (and even record) HD-format movies off cable and/or satellite.


As for 5.1, what that gives you is five audio channels (usually left, right, centre, left-rear, right-rear) and one subwoofer channel (that's the "0.1") -- in other words surround sound.


Note that a player doesn't have to have dedicated 5.1 outputs to be capable of providing 5.1 audio. For example, you can feed 5.1 to a receiver using digital coax, optical or iLink.


For what it's worth, I'm using the Pioneer 59Avi connected to my Pioneer 55Txi receiver via a single iLink cable. Gives me all 5.1 audio channels, as well as upconverts to 720p & 1080i.


True HD material from my local cable company is still way better, though!


Ross
 

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I keep on saying the same thing over and over, your TV has upconverting electronics and unless there is something wrong with your TV scaler or you buy very expensive DVD player with superior scaler there should not be much difference. Save your money for "True" HD-dvd or BR player, they should be coming out shortly. Just make sure your current DVD player has something better than s-video output and you're using that.
 

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Pete, for people with extensive DVD collections, an upscaling player may make sense (at least a decent one) since it will most likely outperform future HD players when it comes to playing current 480i DVDs. I have the Denon 3910, and it gives me the best PQ I have ever seen, almost HD (the Samsung 950 mentioned above, on the other hand, is pretty mediocre).
 
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