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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I recently purchased my first HDTV, a 50" Panasonic plasma S2 Series (1080p). Now I'm in the frustrating process of trying to make my vast DVD collection actually look decent on it.


Here's what I currently have to work with:


1) Sony DVP-NS57P/B Progressive Scan DVD Player, currently hooked up with composite video, but can take component cables.


2) Sony PS3 w/ HDMI connection.


3) and of course, the Panansonic TC-P50S2 which seems to have some of its own upscaling abilities.


So far, on both the PS3 and the Sony DVD player, my DVDs are fairly disappointing. Lots of noise and artifacting. The image is a bit softer on the DVD player, but that might just be a sharpness setting issue.


My question is, is this just a reality of using an HDTV of this size and resolution, or can I make some improvements that might clean the image up somewhat?


The TV is about 6'-8' away from the couch. I don't get cable or any live TV feeds. The HDTV is mainly for DVD viewing and video game playing, with some .avi file streaming from time to time. I'm not particularly interested in getting a Blu-Ray player, since I don't own any and have the PS3 in a pinch. I have been considering getting an Oppo DV-981HD, if this will make a significant difference.


Any thoughts?
 

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Some DVD players are better than others, but ultimately you are taking a standard def DVD and putting it on an HDTV, so there are limits. Oppos were always pretty well regarded, but they can't work miracles.


Cheapest thing to try is component cables from your current DVD player to the TV. If you have three composite cables lying around, they'll serve as component cables. Just keep the plugs straight (green to green, red to red, etc.) Try it with progressive scan on and off.


You might also tone the sharpness down. These things will never have the super sharpness of 1080p Blu-rays, but it also depends on how tolerant you are.
 

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I believe the PS3 is supposed to be a pretty good upconverter. A Oppo would probably be a bit better but don't expect miracles even with the Oppo.

Even your Sony 57 with component setup should be pretty good, composite is a lost cause for good picture quality.
 

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Short answer - If your DVD player doesn't have Up Conversion with HDMI HiDef output to your TV and your TV doesn't have a particularly strong Up Conversion capability (sounds like yours does not) then it's simple.


Buy a Sony (or other brand) DVD player the Up Converts SD - adds resolution - and putputs via HDMI to your display.


50 inch is a relatively small display and UP Conversion with HDMI to your TV should make you a lot happier.


I have over 500 SD DVD movies and, for now, I have no intention of upgrading to BD because we remain happy with our very near HD old DVD performance.


I use an $80 Sony Up Converting SD player with HDMI connection to our 60 inch 1080p TV and everyone in our house thinks the movies look great. I use same Up Converting player with HDMI connection to my wonderful, older model 720p projector and those same old SD movies look very clear and well defined stretched across a 120in diagonal screen!! Heck, even SD DVD movies backed up and "shrunk" to fit on a single layer DVD disc look just as good as the original dual layer content BUT you have to use Up Converting DVD player and connect that enhanced output to the HDMI input on your TV and unless you are exceptionally picky you should be very happy and especially so with a 50 inch display.

Best of Luck - Give this a try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa /forum/post/19627348


Some DVD players are better than others, but ultimately you are taking a standard def DVD and putting it on an HDTV, so there are limits. Oppos were always pretty well regarded, but they can't work miracles.


Cheapest thing to try is component cables from your current DVD player to the TV. If you have three composite cables lying around, they'll serve as component cables. Just keep the plugs straight (green to green, red to red, etc.) Try it with progressive scan on and off.


You might also tone the sharpness down. These things will never have the super sharpness of 1080p Blu-rays, but it also depends on how tolerant you are.

I found some component cables right after posting this and hooked them up; it was an improvement, although I'd say the PS3 and DVD player are producing results at a similar level. The DVD player is a bit softer, which helps with the artifacting somewhat, although it's a bit annoying in its own right. I'll try adjusting the sharpness on both the PS3 and the dvd payer to see if that helps any further.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

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Originally Posted by imjay /forum/post/19630212


Short answer - If your DVD player doesn't have Up Conversion with HDMI HiDef output to your TV and your TV doesn't have a particularly strong Up Conversion capability (sounds like yours does not) then it's simple.


Buy a Sony (or other brand) DVD player the Up Converts SD - adds resolution - and putputs via HDMI to your display.


50 inch is a relatively small display and UP Conversion with HDMI to your TV should make you a lot happier.


I have over 500 SD DVD movies and, for now, I have no intention of upgrading to BD because we remain happy with our very near HD old DVD performance.


I use an $80 Sony Up Converting SD player with HDMI connection to our 60 inch 1080p TV and everyone in our house thinks the movies look great. I use same Up Converting player with HDMI connection to my wonderful, older model 720p projector and those same old SD movies look very clear and well defined stretched across a 120in diagonal screen!! Heck, even SD DVD movies backed up and "shrunk" to fit on a single layer DVD disc look just as good as the original dual layer content BUT you have to use Up Converting DVD player and connect that enhanced output to the HDMI input on your TV and unless you are exceptionally picky you should be very happy and especially so with a 50 inch display.

Best of Luck - Give this a try.

Thanks for the advice; it's nice to hear that some people are still managing with their old SD DVD collections. Hopefully I will soon be one of you!


I thought I'd read that the Panasonic TV has some fairly decent upscaling of its own, although I could be completely off. I'm looking right now at some Oppo 981HD players, in case I go for a new DVD player.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrius27 /forum/post/19630295


Thanks for the advice; it's nice to hear that some people are still managing with their old SD DVD collections. Hopefully I will soon be one of you!


I thought I'd read that the Panasonic TV has some fairly decent upscaling of its own, although I could be completely off. I'm looking right now at some Oppo 981HD players, in case I go for a new DVD player.

Seriously, unless you're wealthy with money to burn, who in their right mind is going to replace a sizable SD-DVD collection with Blu-Ray > > > certainly not this man, thus no need for a 1080P TV or the BR player, as my 50" 720P is awesome
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

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Originally Posted by Hamerdown /forum/post/19630395


Seriously, unless you're wealthy with money to burn, who in their right mind is going to replace a sizable SD-DVD collection with Blu-Ray > > > certainly not this man, thus no need for a 1080P TV or the BR player, as my 50" 720P is awesome

In hindsight, it would probably have made more sense to go with a 720p TV, considering that most of my watching will be DVD or .avi files. Oh well, live and learn.
 

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Almost all newer 720p HDTVs are quite cheap and lack things other than resolution. You may not need the 1080p but if you want a decent newer TV it will be 1080p.

Even though DVD starts out at 480 that doesn't mean it will look better on a 720 TV(because 720 is closer to 480 than 1080) it really boils down to the screen size and things like contrast ratio. IMO for displaying SD the most important consideration is contrast ratio, which is the biggest point that lacks with the cheaper HDTVs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff /forum/post/19630834


Almost all newer 720p HDTVs are quite cheap and lack things other than resolution. You may not need the 1080p but if you want a decent newer TV it will be 1080p.

Even though DVD starts out at 480 that doesn't mean it will look better on a 720 TV(because 720 is closer to 480 than 1080) it really boils down to the screen size and things like contrast ratio. IMO for displaying SD the most important consideration is contrast ratio, which is the biggest point that lacks with the cheaper HDTVs.

Interesting points, thanks. I feel better now
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by imjay /forum/post/19630212


and unless you are exceptionally picky you should be very happy and especially so with a 50 inch display.

I know this is the SD-DVD forum, but I don't watch a lot of DVD's - never have, really. I'm actually at the point where I'm considering selling my 50" plasma and downgrading to something smaller, because my regular TV viewing has become increasingly tougher to put up with due to the ever-worsening, bit-starving artifacting from the pay providers and OTA.


Also, almost everything looks soft, fuzzy and no more detailed than native SD now, so 1080p really isn't necessary here.


Either a 42" plasma will have to do (because I'm not really keen on having an LCD/LED for my main viewing TV), or, I've even been tempted to hit Craigslist to look for an old, 36" Trinitron (probably 480i, since everything will look more acceptable on it across the board).


If they're going to move backwards with this stuff, then I guess so will I.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski /forum/post/19631293


I know this is the SD-DVD forum, but I don't watch a lot of DVD's - never have, really. I'm actually at the point where I'm considering selling my 50" plasma and downgrading to something smaller, because my regular TV viewing has become increasingly tougher to put up with due to the ever-worsening, bit-starving artifacting from my pay provider and OTA.


Also, almost everything looks soft, fuzzy and no more detailed than native SD now, so 1080p really isn't necessary here.


Either a 42" plasma will have to do (because I'm not really keen on having an LCD/LED for my main viewing TV), or, I've even been tempted to hit Craigslist to look for an old, 36" Trinitron (probably 480i, since everything will look more acceptable on it across the board).


If they're going to move backwards with this stuff, then I guess so will I.

Funny you mention the 36" CRT...my trusty, very reliable 1993 35" Toshiba(tube) is never leaving my home. Instead, it's going in the the back bedroom/computer room where it will live a well deserved easy life. The ole Toshiba simply has a great colorful, sharp picture.

I can only hope this new 50" plasma gives me years of trouble free viewing.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrius27 /forum/post/19630295


Thanks for the advice; it's nice to hear that some people are still managing with their old SD DVD collections. Hopefully I will soon be one of you!


I thought I'd read that the Panasonic TV has some fairly decent upscaling of its own, although I could be completely off. I'm looking right now at some Oppo 981HD players, in case I go for a new DVD player.

If you save a few more dollars, buying (most likely on ebay, that's where I found mine) and Oppo 983H dvd player would be a better choice. It's been picked by many experts as THE best upconverting dvd player out there. Here's the "its perfect 100 ou tof 100" review from Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity.:
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/dvd-p...rk-review.html

It certainly makes my dvds look near HD in my HT on my 65" Panny plasma. A bit more expensive than the 981 but for me dedicated HT, it was certainly worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by subavision212 /forum/post/19632733


If you save a few more dollars, buying (most likely on ebay, that's where I found mine) and Oppo 983H dvd player would be a better choice. It's been picked by many experts as THE best upconverting dvd player out there. Here's the "its perfect 100 ou tof 100" review from Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity.:
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/dvd-p...rk-review.html

It certainly makes my dvds look near HD in my HT on my 65" Panny plasma. A bit more expensive than the 981 but for me dedicated HT, it was certainly worth it.

Thanks for the suggestion; I hadn't heard of this one. If you don't mind my asking, roughly how much did it run you? Did you ever have a 981 to compare it to directly?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrius27
Thanks for the suggestion; I hadn't heard of this one. If you don't mind my asking, roughly how much did it run you? Did you ever have a 981 to compare it to directly?
When I had a 981 I always described the image as "film-like" but some people saw that as "soft". The Faroudja chips of that generation could enhance macroblocking on some displays, most often reported by DLP owners. A lot of people claim it had excess green, which I could see sometimes.


The 983H is still film-like but cannot be called soft, does not enhance macroblocking, and has no green push. It has a excellent full screen zoom mode, perfect for eliminating the side black bars on 4:3 letterboxed DVDs. The ABT chip solution is cadence-neutral, meaning it can handle all sorts of weird and poorly authored discs.


I have OPPO Blu-ray players now but still use the 983H for DVDs. Why I should prefer it to the BDP-83, which uses the same chips, is a mystery: I've probably got the sharpness set just right. But I'll never give it up.


-Bill
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrius27
Thanks for the suggestion; I hadn't heard of this one. If you don't mind my asking, roughly how much did it run you? Did you ever have a 981 to compare it to directly?
I paid $425 for it on ebay (it sold normally for $399 when it was in production). I never compared it directly but people in the the 983 thread who did compare said that it was a fairly big step up in PQ mainly because it produced an amazingly film-like image when upconverting dvds. I certainly can attest to that statement since I have been a professional photographer for 34 years and have shot every type of film you can think of and the images I am seeing with my 983 remind me of the old Kodachrome 25 slide film. To my eyes, they are stunning. Also the one big drawback with the 981 was that it was only for use with 1080p TVs with an HDMI input. It doesn't have component video output. I agree with Bill, even though I have the BDP-83 also, I use this for dvds and won't give mine up, either.
 

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O.P., have you properly calibrated your new TV? Turned off any "enhancement" settings (color, noise reduction and so forth)? I was pretty disappointed with my new HDTV until I got all those optional settings turned off and calibrated the set. Most of the softness, noise or graininess (depending on the media source and player) disappeared after that.
 

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^^^ Proper calibration is key for any display. How SD looks on a hidef display mostly depends on the source, but proper calibration is needed, too. There's nothing you can do with a crappy SD channel or poorly encoded DVD. However, a good SD source can look very good.


larry
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski /forum/post/19631293


I know this is the SD-DVD forum, but I don't watch a lot of DVD's - never have, really. I'm actually at the point where I'm considering selling my 50" plasma and downgrading to something smaller, because my regular TV viewing has become increasingly tougher to put up with due to the ever-worsening, bit-starving artifacting from the pay providers and OTA.


Also, almost everything looks soft, fuzzy and no more detailed than native SD now, so 1080p really isn't necessary here.


Either a 42" plasma will have to do (because I'm not really keen on having an LCD/LED for my main viewing TV), or, I've even been tempted to hit Craigslist to look for an old, 36" Trinitron (probably 480i, since everything will look more acceptable on it across the board).


If they're going to move backwards with this stuff, then I guess so will I.

I just can't put together the fact of someone motivated to be an AVSmember, having over 15,000 posts, with barely watching DVDs and wishing to "downgrade" his display in an age of HD media. Basically "I just want to watch regular TV." That's the kind of sentiment I hear from my 70 year old parents...but from a veteran member of an audio visual technology forum? Of course there's certainly nothing wrong with feeling that way, it's just that I don't know what I'd be doing here if I felt that way. Just like it would be odd for me to be a 15,000 post member of a wine lovers forum, without caring particularly for anything beyond cheap wine.


Ah well, difference is what makes the world go round....
 
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