AVS Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Which one is better? Any advantage and disadvantage? I am planning to buy either one for DVD viewing, a PC with DVI output/DVD or a prog. scan DVD player.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
284 Posts
The two are so different as to make any comparison fairly meaningless. The DVI output from a PC would give you better quality picture (into DVI equipped plasma, I assume!)... probably.


But on the other hand.... its a PC. Do you want one of those as your DVD player? Only you can decide.


Chip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
585 Posts
My money is on the PC. You can always tweak away and load new software on a PC to improve the quality. With a consumer DVD player you basically get no functionality improvements. Not to mention all the other stuff PC's can do that is cool, like PVR, dscaler, games, DVD jukebox etc.


Even if they are the same quality today, the PC can always improve if you are willing to invest the time.


Of course, PC's are generally more expensive, and there can be usability issues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,326 Posts
Chippy99 is right. PC vs. stand-alone DVD player is a choice involving many factors other than picture quality. If picture quality is the sole deciding factor, however, I suspect that the edge may be with the stand-alone player, at least for plasmas. With projectors that are capable of higher resolutions, the edge on PQ is definitely with the HTPC. Others with more experience may wish to dispute this. Of course, in terms of PQ, alot will depend on how the PC or stand-alone player is connected to the plasma (digital connection vs analog connection)


If cost is factored in along with picture quality, the edge may go to the PC. I went with the PC for many other reasons than picture quality, including versatility, upgradeability, and the availability of many other features like video scaling for DSS and OTA signals, music server, HDTV receiver/recorder, and web surfing device.


Plus, I like the diy factor! :)


- Ken
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
272 Posts
Regarding DVI and DVD players, my experience that the difference between DVI and analog connectors is tremendous. That is to say, seems to me that the benefit from going to DVI is much more important than the difference between a good and excellent DVD player. No matter how good the player is, it's still putting the signal out on analog cabling through D/As, then back into the plasma through A/Ds...


Also, reinterleaving, cadence detection, etc., in plasmas is getting better all the time. So, if the PC DVD drive and software can get 480i via DVI to the plasma, the results could be excellent and inherently better than going the regular route.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
PCs have better progressive scan picture quality than DVDP. (specially ATi's VGAs.)


But not much better.


But..... Picture quality is not everything here.


Dolby Digital, DTS sound quality is not the same from PC and DVDP.


High-end DVDPs surely do have much "better" transport stage than PCs.


PC DVD-ROM drives and sound cards cause too much jitter and there are too much interference between components inside the damn PCs.


Sound quality is the PCs' weakest part. And I know this cannot be improved at all any time soon.


PCs for PC things, DVDP for DVD movies, CDP for CD music in my book. :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,097 Posts
There are many pros and cons.


Usability is different. If you're into strictly picture quality, go with an HTPC and DVI.


If you want better usability, audio quality, and you hate to muck about with PC settings (or don't want to, like I don't, mix PCs with your HT equipment) - go with a standalone player.


Another option, is to get a scaler (try the video processing forum here). There are even scalers now that will promote a completely digital path (SDI player -> SCALER -> DVI -> Plasma or DVI enabled projector).


Of course, I suspect that this type of solution will be more expensive than an HTPC.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,212 Posts
Hi, This is an interesting topic ,which as the above users have said " depends on the individual"


I build PC,s for a hobby and am VERY much a dedicated OVERCLOCKER ,always upgrading and striving for the fastest system.

I am currently running a Vapour Phased cooling system with a T-Bird @ 1.71ghz -15celcious!

Here is a link to my PC specs/Pictures and some pics of my NEC plasma...


Link to: http://www.overclockers.com.au/pcdb/...p?name=woofer2


I have been using my NEC Plasma with a "Quadscan elite" video scaler , very high end "AudioQuest" Video cables and using a "Denon DVD 5000'' for DVD input.

The Quadscan ,Denon,Cables added up to around AUD $12000.


I had NEVER considered using a "PC" for the use of DVD playback. After reading so much about the success people were having with their setups , i thought i,d give it a try.


I put together an INTEL P III 1000 ( not O/Clocked) Pioneer DVD Rom and a RADEON AIW Video card....The results!!!!!


Totally 'BLEW" me away......I couldnt beleive that this setup could out perform what i had been using, not to mention it cost about AUD $1500.


I am NOT saying this will be the case with ALL monitors/Displays ...but for my Plasma the PC is superior.


I am at this moment trying to source a DVI ( i keep reading how good this option is supposed to be) cable to use with the Radeon and NEC,but having no luck sourcing one here in Australia.

At present i am just using the DVI to VGA adapter that comes with the Radeon , to the VGA input of the NEC.


Sorry to make this such a LONG reply ...but i suggest you try and organise a TRIAL run of "BOTH" setups before you decide!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
585 Posts
I disagree on the jitter and interference issue. After all, DVD players are very similar to PC's in general. Yes, they may use a RISC microprocessor, proprietary controllers and the I2C bus instead of x86 and PCI, but the technologies are in general quite similar.


The actual drive mechanisms used in DVD players are very similar to those used in PC's. I can't see how two different drives would produce a different bitstream unless there was a problem with the laser alignment. If two drives produce different bits from the same DVD, then DVD's just wouldnt work, since that different bit could be the CSS keys or the menu codes etc etc. Sure, I know there can be upstream incompatibilites from drivers and firmware, but these don't stem from the physical drive mechanism itself.


On the topic of interference, it is true that the inside of a PC is a busy place. On the other hand, DVD players also have lots of circuitry and an unshielded power supply packed into an even smaller case. Ultimately digital circuits are very good at tolerating interference. The sound quality of a good pro sound card is going to be close to that of a good DVD player. The PC I am writing this on has a $600 Yamaha DSP Factory sound card with the same DSP's used in their 02R and 03D mixers. You can't tell me that Yamaha pack anything better into even their most expensive consumer equipment (in fact, I am willing to bet it is the same family of chips with different reverb algorithims used in their AV receivers).


Analog interference doesn't really enter the picture if you are using a coax or optical SPDIF out. The same goes for a DVI out.


I don't buy into the whole jitter / vibration / interference argument in general. This sounds like the audiophile 'experts' who pay thru the nose for exotic insulation, dampers and cables. I have no objection to paying for expensive audio equipment, but I draw the line at unsubstantiated claims which are all too common in audiophile circles. None of this stuff ever gets blind A/B tests, and the claims always make me cringe - 'this cable made the sound less bleached', 'the dampening improved the soundstage'. It is a placebo effect if you ask me.


OT - I work in recording studios and I can assure you, most audiophiles would turn up their noses at the cabling that is used for most everything. Not to mention the 24bit/44khz resolution of ProTools (which is used to remix almost every major piece of popular music today). I don't know any studio engineers (even wealthy ones) who own fancy audiophile systems, and there is a good reason. Spending six figures on Krell monoblocks, fancy cables and dampening exceeds the per channel price on even the most expensive Neve and SSL consoles. i.e. the claimed resolution of the audiophile output device exceeds the resolution of the input devices used to record, mix and master, hence you aren't getting anything for your money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
585 Posts
BTW, if PC sound quality is that bad, why is almost every major record release now remixed on some type of PC based digital audio workstation such as ProTools?


According to the audiophiles, all that dreadful jitter and vibration would ruin the sound quality!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,212 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by analog8



The actual drive mechanisms used in DVD players are very similar to those used in PC's. I can't see how two different drives would produce a different bitstream unless there was a problem with the laser alignment. If two drives produce different bits from the same DVD, then DVD's just wouldnt work, since that different bit could be the CSS keys or the menu codes etc etc. Sure, I know there can be upstream incompatibilites from drivers and firmware, but these don't stem from the physical drive mechanism itself.
This referance by analog8 caought my eye.

As some of you may be awhere , the "Transport" and "Optics" of the Denon DVD 5000 had quite a few issues , mainly the FAILURE of the laser .

Myself and a freind purchased the Denon DVD 5000 when they were first realeased , BOTH lasers of BOTH players FAILED!!

My freinds unit has been replaced 3 times.

The last failure on my friends unit was NOT covered by warranty so i decided to purchase the optic assemly and fit it myself.


SHOCK HORROR!!! on dissasembling the player we were VERY surprised to view the interals of the player...... the "TRANSPORT" assembly was VERY flimsy and was" NO" better built than a "Cheapo" DVD Rom!

The internals basically consisted of the .Drive,video board, audio board, and power supply,s....OH !!! it is all housed in a Copper plated cassing..


The unit at the time of purchase was AUD $ 5500.

The replacement OPTIC assembly is AUD $ 400 ....3 times the price of a complete DVD Rom.


I origionally thought i was doing the RIGHT thing purchasing ( some of it VERY expensive) HIGH END components for my AV system, sometimes it just makes you wonder ...how much is "Function"....and how much is" Marketing"!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,660 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by analog8
BTW, if PC sound quality is that bad, why is almost every major record release now remixed on some type of PC based digital audio workstation such as ProTools?


According to the audiophiles, all that dreadful jitter and vibration would ruin the sound quality!
That's because they don't know squat about quality. 'Good enough for ME' seems to be the rule here. Remember, never let your own bias be the arbiter of what is good enough for everyone else.


Judgement is a fool's game, all it can do is anchor you down in the morass of your own bias, and disallow you from moving forward in life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
569 Posts
I'm a newby, so please bear with me :)

I currently using the analog VGA out from an older ATI All-in-Wonder AGP card. I'm thinking of ordering the new ATI All-in-Wonder 8500DV with DVI out. Will the DVI connection to Plasma help in terms of providing the 1280x768 native widescreen mode that my Poneer Plasma PDP-503CMX requires? Or will I still have to use a program like Powerstrip to provide that resolution? Also, will ATI's DVD software create a de-interlaced output that rivals the 480p from a dedicated DVD progressive player? Sorry if these questions have been previously covered. Oh, and also, I'm not sure how people are saying they use their HTPC for DSS and HDTV recording. How can you use a PC for DirecTV or HDTV tuning/ recording? PlasMAN
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
925 Posts
Quote:
BTW, if PC sound quality is that bad, why is almost every major record release now remixed on some type of PC based digital audio workstation such as ProTools?
this is not a cogent argument. while i agree that the audiophile community goes overboard a bit too often, most record releases that sound insanely incredible are not so mixed.


is it good enough for janet jackson? you bet. her records sound just fine for what they are and who listens to them and the equipment they use to listen to them.


is it good enough for the academy of st. martin in the fields? no, and the people who listen to that stuff generally really care.


all that said, people poo-poo pc audio and video capabilities far too loudly (methinks thou dost protest too much). remember, the industry is moving towards computers, not towards new ways to use tubes.


lexicon, meridian, tag mclaren, ead, and on and on are basically "audio computer" manufacturers. faroudja and crew are basically becoming "video computer" manufacturers.


jitter is manageable. over time, you will have a harder and harder time differentiating between a computer and an a/v component. it's the natural evolution. there'll always be some dude happy to sell you a tube amp, but he won't be in anything we could call the mainstream.


and to the previous poster's reply. listen to it. look at it. if you think it's better then be happy. if you don't think it's better, fix it. nobody else's eyes or ears are better suited to making up your mind.


doody.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
925 Posts
Quote:
currently using the analog VGA out from an older ATI All-in-Wonder AGP card. I'm thinking of ordering the new ATI All-in-Wonder 8500DV with DVI out. Will the DVI connection to Plasma help in terms of providing the 1280x768 native widescreen mode that my Poneer Plasma PDP-503CMX requires?
excellent question.


1) it appears that the 8500DV has yet to be released, so nobody can really answer that.


2) i'm hopefully picking up an 8500 this afternoon, which supposedly has DVI out. i will be testing it into my PRO1000HD with DVI input this weekend. will post. given the performance of the unit at native rate with a vga analog in, my expectation is that the difference will be substantially wonderful. we'll see.


doody.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
684 Posts
Plasman:


Looking at the ATI website, they list some resolutions for the All-In-Wonder 8500:


1024x768 @ 200Hz


1280x1024 @ 160Hz


but not 1280x768. These settings apply for VGA output (and can presumably be overridden by PowerStrip), but they may not apply to DVI output. I have not found any info specifically about the DVI resolutions, except that the maximum resolution it can output to DVI is 1600x1200.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,097 Posts
chmiller,


You are right. DVI inputs for plasmas and other display devices have not been very well documented.


I know of one display that will only take 800x600 resolution pumped through the DVI & rescales it to native res (852x480).


Other plasmas (Fujitsu as I understand it) allow you to put through whatever you want on the DVI port and will rescale it to native format. If you pump out exact resolution through DVI, you theoretically cancel out the internal scaler.


This is mostly hear-say, I have not had the chance to touch these plasmas myself yet!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
284 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by analog8
I don't buy into the whole jitter / vibration / interference argument in general. This sounds like the audiophile 'experts' who pay thru the nose for exotic insulation, dampers and cables. I have no objection to paying for expensive audio equipment, but I draw the line at unsubstantiated claims which are all too common in audiophile circles. None of this stuff ever gets blind A/B tests, and the claims always make me cringe - 'this cable made the sound less bleached', 'the dampening improved the soundstage'. It is a placebo effect if you ask me.
Whereas there's a lot of truth in what you say above (especially about cables etc), you may be interested in the *facts* about jitter etc. I did a lot of research about this and found it very interesting.... (and ended up buying a $6000 DVD player!).

Fact 1: ALL DVD players sound the same with ALL DVD's!!!! (Providing you use their digital-out into your amp, of course). They aren't "similar", they are ALL *identical*, sound wise. There is a simple reason for this - its the way DD and DTS encode the data. Its tramsitted to the D-A converters in the amp and when its decoded, the amp's internal clocks re-clock the data so that any jitter in the source is eliminated. The bits are the same, and the timing is also the same, since the data is reclocked. The sound quality is *entirely* dependant on the amp and the quality of its D-A converters and amplification. Therefore there can be NO difference between ANY DVD players. As long as they can physically read the disk, the sound will be identical whether its coming from a $150 cheapy, or a $10,000 state-of-the-art machine!

Fact 2: **With CD's**, jitter is an important factor and all players sound quite different. This is because although the bits are the same, the timing is not. Unlike DD and DTS, with CD's the timing of the incoming data is used by the amp to re-generate the necessary clock signal, and the analogue waveform is clocked out, in time with this incoming data. i.e. it is *not* re-clocked. So any timing errors in the source are faithfully reproduced in the final sound.


This has a profound effect on the sound. Until I understood this, I couldn't figure out why my crappy old Marantz CD63 sounded better than my Sony 725 through my wonderful Tag McLaren AV32R, with its wonderful 96/24 dacs and all the bells and whistles. It just didn't make sense. But once you realise what's going on, it all fits. I ended up buying the Tag DVD32R, which solves the jitter problem by sync'ing the processor and DVD together and using the clock in the processor to clock the data off the CD. (Neat!) So the jitter is astonishingly low.... and the sound is quite simply sublime. Many believe its the best sounding CD player after the amazing £12000 Linn CD12.


Hope this was a bit interesting. Well it was to me anyway :)


Chip
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
569 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by chmilar


Looking at the ATI website, they list some resolutions for the All-In-Wonder 8500:

1024x768 @ 200Hz

1280x1024 @ 160Hz

but not 1280x768
Thanks chmilar for checking. I'd like to hear from ATI owners with DVI out if they had to use Powerstrip to get a 1280x768 out to their plasma. One advantage of nVidia Geforce cards is they have 1280x768 listed as a standard resolution under Windows (it even appears as one of the resolutions on my Geforce 2 MX400 analog card that I have hooked up to a 15" lcd monitor in my kids room. PlasMAN
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top