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After watching some SD DVD, Blu-ray and HD DVD movies on the LG "combo" player I can say all-in-all I'm pleased with the purchase.


Pros:


1. It does play back SD DVD, Blu-ray and HD DVD movies.


2. The picture quality of Blu-ray and HD DVD looks similar although I must say MI:3 on HD DVD looked awesome. I have not seen a 1:1 comparison yet as I don't have the same movie in both formats (I'll wait for Total HD). SD DVD looks good for SD. I went from 480p component to 1080i HDMI so that alone was an improvement. Mostly the black levels of the LG on SD DVD was better than my older (expensive at the time) SD DVD player.


3. Sound quality was okay. I listened to DTS and DD 5.1 via SPDIF.


4. Blu-ray and SD DVD menus work just fine.


5. Remote was easy to use but I learned the buttons into my Pronto and put the remote away.


6. Power up speed seemed fine as I have not used any other Blu-ray or HD DVD player. The time to play a disc also seemed fine although it is longer then my old SD DVD player. Menus are fast and response time for fast forward, rewind, pause etc. on Blu-ray and HD DVD is fast.


7. Buttons on top of the unit are cool. Yes they might be in an odd place for some but I like putting a disc in the tray and "touching" the eject button just above the tray. The buttons are touch sensitive so you don't have to push them. And they light up and beep as you glide a finger across them. Setup time was easy as the setup menu was relatively simple and was easy to use.


8. Front panel display is informative and easy to read (from close up). From far away it's easy to see the time and play mode.


9. 1080p was output but my plasma only handles 720p. Actually 1080i looked better especially the menus.


10. I did not have a lock up or skip with the movies I watched.


Cons:


1. High price but considering it's mainly a Blu-ray player it's not that much more to also be able to spin an HD DVD disc. I don't have room in my equipment cabinet for two players and I don't want to use two HDMI connectors just to be able to play both formats so it's a good compromise for me. Plus I lean towards Blu-ray anyway so I can now buy/rent Blu-ray movies and still play exclusive HD DVDs.


2. Non-existent HD DVD disc menus. The custom HD DVD menu is usable but not very friendly. If you can find bonus material you can still play it but since you have no idea what the bonus material is it's more of a "play each title/scene and see what it is". I'm not much of a bonus material person anyway so this does not bother me. I just want to watch the movie.


3. Lame support for newer audio codec's. True HD and DTS-HD output as 2 channel PCM over SPDIF. DTS and DD 5.1 worked fine.


4. LAN port has signals present but is not mentioned in the menus and the manual says it's only a "service port".


5. Does not play CDs.


Conclusion: "B+" and if a firmware update improves the audio output (True HD and DTS-HD) then "A". I'm glad to finally be able to watch HD movies and I think the format war was a dumb idea - didn't we learn anything from Beta vs. VHS and DVD+R vs. DVD-R? I will buy/rent Blu-ray discs and if a movie is only offered on HD DVD then I am covered.
 

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Nice work and thanks for the effort. I can't wait to get my hands on one of these. Any comment on picture quality compared to other Blu Ray players or HD DVD players?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffshome /forum/post/0


3. Lame support for newer audio codec's. True HD and DTS-HD output 2-channel PCM over SPDIF. DTS and DD 5.1 worked fine.

You do realize that that's not lame. 2.0 PCM is actually the maximum capacity that optical can do. What you have to know if what audio decoding is supported over HDMI for this player? HDMI can handle multichannel PCM/Dolby True/ DTS HD MA.
 

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What I meant was True HD and DTS-HD is output in 2 channel PCM over SPDIF. So going from DD 5.1 channels to 2 channels does not produce very good surround sound. My receiver said the output was PCM and was using ProLogic II to handle the 2 channels. It did not sound good.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffshome /forum/post/0


What I meant was True HD and DTS-HD is output in 2 channel PCM over SPDIF. So going from DD 5.1 channels to 2 channels does not produce very good surround sound. My receiver said the output was PCM and was using ProLogic II to handle the 2 channels. It did not sound good.

Again that's the maximum that SPDIF can handle, PCM 2.0. Do you have HDMI capable receiver? The player should be able to send multichannel TrueHD or DTS-MA over HDMI decoded to LPCM 5.1 or higher.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffshome /forum/post/0


Here is a page from the printed manual which is not in the online manual:


Wow, no TrueHD on Analog outs? That sucks. The crippled iHD menu I might have lived with, but I want to hear TrueHD like I did at CES (they had a demo). The TrueHD downmix on my 360 sounds really good (better then DD) and I would to have it for real (yeah, I know I can by the Toshiba).
 

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Anybody know which chip this uses as a scaler?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocDVD /forum/post/0


Con's:


2) No ethernet for direct networking or updating. The RJ-45 is a service port only.

3) No 24P (at least for now)

4) Even though this is the first player with DTS-HD MA decoding internally, LG screwed the pooch as the HD decoding only decodes 2-channel over HDMI. Only the 5 analog outs decode 5.1 for HD. This should be an easy fix via firmware, but again, this is the biggest mistake I have seen on any of the players, as this was a bigger plus to me even than HD-DVD playback so I could enjoy Fox and MGM BDs with lossless compression over LPCM 5.1, but nope. I won't go back to analog out's when I have a preamp that can decode LPCM 5.1 over HDMI.

5) DD+ again is only 2-channel PCM over HDMI when set to PCM. It is decoded as DD legacy when set to bitstream. Plus must also be decode and sent to the analog outs to get 5.1.

6) DD True HD is also 2 channel PCM, and that does NOT change even on the analog outs. Again, as with plus and DTS-HD, this should be able to fixed just the A1 series was upgraded with a firmware upgrade.



This player could be great if it got a quick firmware update, but for now, I wouldn't buy it unless you have no use for advance audio codecs via HDMI LPCM. This lack of support is a generation back at least, and something I am personally extremely disappointed in.

Does anyone know LG's track record re: firmware upgrades for their products?


Hopefully, you will be able to burn an update to a DVD±r(w) (not a cd-r cuz it don't play 'em
).


I'd guess upgrading for outputting the Dolby TrueHD as 5.1 to the analog outs is possible since DD+ can do this.


Less likely that 1080/24p is an easy firmware upgrade. *** edit - I guess others have found it does output 1080p/24 ***


Does anyone know what kind of bass management this unit has for the analog 5.1 outs?
 

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No 1080p/24? I read on another forum here that a couple of ISF calibrators (different posts) had hooked it up to a scaler. The scaler indicated that it was RECEIVEING a 1080p/24 signal direct from the player.


1080p/24 or not? Which is it?
 

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I am the ISF reporting my observations with the LG BH100 outputting 1080/24p with a Lumagen external scaler. I confirmed the output ability with a LG engineer. This player does not support 1080/60p output. AFAIK this is the only player currently able to output an HD DVD as its native 1080/24p.
 

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Thanks Barry! Did you ask him (or do you know) why they didn't include it in the specs? As an ISF calibrator, how's the PQ? I have a Pioneer PRO-FHD1 and have been tempted to pick this up due to its dual output capability. I could probably wait on a gen2 but I am VERY interested to see the difference 1080p/24 makes on my panel. I have also considered trading in my HD-A2 for the XA2 for the same reason. The loss of iHD is just a marginal loss for me whereas the ability to see BR is a larger gain.


Is there a tangible difference?
 

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I am happy with any player that can output the native resolution on the disc. Since I am an external scaler guy that is my primary concern. One of the HD DVD movies I watched was Polar Express since this movie was always such a great audio experience but the DVD picture quality was not good in the MPEG2 480i format. What a treat to have both the audio and video in full quality.


Like you I expect LG to come out with a GEN 2 version down the road fully loaded with all features of both formats. If you can live with the current audio outputs in this player the picture quality is stunning for both HD DVD and BD.
 

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Are you familiar with the PRO-FHD1? I don't have an external scaler but my TV accepts a 1080p/24 signal and upconverts to 72hz. WIll I see the benefits of the 1080p/24? Am I likely to see a BIG difference (READ: worth the extra $$) in 1080p/24 with my panel without a scaler?


I understand this is an opinion-dependent question.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckelly33 /forum/post/0


No 1080p/24? I read on another forum here that a couple of ISF calibrators (different posts) had hooked it up to a scaler. The scaler indicated that it was RECEIVEING a 1080p/24 signal direct from the player.


1080p/24 or not? Which is it?

It only does 1080p/24 and does not do 1080p/60.
 

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When the second gen comes out I'll think about getting one of these. Just think about it guys, 5 years from now there is no format war, just the best of both worlds!
 

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Barry, I jusr reread one of your posts: why are you watching the HD-DVD of Polar Express in 480i? Heck, that HD-DVD can be seen in 1080p. Did I misunderstand?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckelly33 /forum/post/0


Barry, I jusr reread one of your posts: why are you watching the HD-DVD of Polar Express in 480i? Heck, that HD-DVD can be seen in 1080p. Did I misunderstand?

I was making a comparison between the 480i on my SD copy of PE and the 1080p on the HDDVD copy. Just for the record the BH100 does not support 480i over hdmi.
 
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