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upgrade thoughts on ancient DVD player

294 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Berryrice
Hey all. Just took delivery of my new Panny plasma, 42". Gotta say I love it. I have my old dvd player from winter 2000 hooked up to it via component, its a toshiba. It doesn't even say it is a progressive scan player (i don't knnow what progressive scan does, but I think its good). :p

My originial thought was to use it till the PS3 came out, then I'd have a blue ray player (i am aware it won't function with all the bells a stand alone player would).

In watching a dvd though, its so clear its just a 480i signal and not getting upscaeled. Is it possible to have a standard dvd look like hd tv without blueray etc?

Would it be worth it to get like a $100 progressive player with HDMI? I know upconverting players are supposed to be good, they are more money though. Thoughts?
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Though the 480i signal is not upscaled by the dvd player, it is being upscaled by your tv. At the very least it is being converted to 480p. It may also be scaled to match the resolution of your display device. In all likelihood, your plasma is an EDTV, which matches the resolution of dvds. So there isn't any scaling going on (which is why EDTVs are so popular for DVD playback).

While you can't match high definition with a scaled standard dvd, you can get pretty satisfyingly close. It won't have the resolution of high def, but depending on the mastering and clarity of the standard dvd, you can get pretty close to high def with a good deinterlacer/scaler. The whole video processor area is for people trying to get the very best results they can from standard dvd. With technology from Gennum, Silcon Optix, and DVDO, you can do very well indeed. Of course, that comes at a cost.

Running a dvd player with component cables means that the digital signal on the dvd disc is converted to analog to go through the cables to your tv. The tv then converts the analog signal it receives back to digital. Depending on how good your dvd player and tv is in converting analog to digital and digital to analog, you may lose a fair bit of detail in the signal. HDMI and DVI are digital connections which allow you to retain the digital signal without any loss from the disc to the display.

The upconverting players will scale the dvd (720x480 or somewhere in that range) up to standard HDTV resolutions. But the main advantage with these new players is the all digital signal path. Some do a better job than others in the scaling.

If you are happy with what you are seeing, I'd say let it be. Just sit back and enjoy.
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thanks for the response! My tv is an HDTV, the 60u series from Panny. When I hit the recal button while watching tv, it shows the resolution 1080i and the aspect ratio etc. When I hit the recal button while watching dvd, it shows 480i as the resolution. I have a post into the display forum if this means the tv is NOT upscaling, or if it is upscaling and just now showing that it is. Thanks for the response though!

Sorta related, its possible to get DVD players with HDMI connections for $100 these days, would that benefit?
croikee, if your DVD player is not progressive scan, the signal sent to the TV will be 480i. This means that the electronics in your TV will have to deinterlace the signal and scale it to the native resolution of the TV the which in your case is 768 lines of vertical resolution. Progressive scan players have the ability to deinterlace the signal and send a 480p signal to your TV. In this case your TV will simply have to scale the signal. Deinterlacers vary in quality and you can choose whether the deinterlacing is done by your TV or your DVD player if one has a better deinterlacer than the other. Note also that differences in deinterlacer quality are more often seen when deinterlacing video sources (like TV series on DVD) than when deinterlacing film sources.

Unlike HD sources, which have 720 or 1080 vertical lines of resolution, DVD resolution is only 480 lines of vertical resolution. Upconverting players try to extrapolate this information to produce a picture with 720 or 1080 lines. Opinions vary on the effectivness of this technique.

As FerretHunter noted above, using component connections will require some DtoA and AtoD conversions which will go away with HDMI, but because the native resolution of your TV (768 vertical lines) is different from any of the possible DVD output resolutions, at least some small amount fo scaling will take place on your TV no matter what the output of your player.

Ther are lots of upconverting HDMI players on the market these days that sell for between 100 and 200 dollars. They vary in features and quality and many have been reviewed on this site. Note that panasonic plasma TVs often experience a negative display effect known as macroblocing when combined with DVD players containing the Faroudja chipset. So you may want to be careful in selecting a new DVD player.

Two players that you may want to consider are the Sony DVP-NS75H and the new Oppo that is set to be released this month. Neither one uses the Faroudja chipset. I think the MSRP of the sony is $129 and it is available at local stores so you could potentially buy one, see if it is any better than the old player you have and return it if not. The Oppo is rumored to have an MSRP similar to the Sony but may only be available online once it is released (no sure about this)? There is a recent thread on this site on the sony wiith over 800 posts. I'm sure the Oppo will generate the same once it is released.
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croikee , I've got a panny plasma 42" with the sony ns75h...works and looks great thru HDMI (cable from monoprice) I came from a 4 year old JVC S500bk progressive scan which looked great on my ols sony 32 nonHD set and I "thought" it looked great on my plasma UNTIL Best Buy had an open box for forty bucks less than retail with an exteded warranty..so I bought it based on the reviews here....I was (dare I say) much better than the old JVC prog player. I don't know if the JVC was a really bad player or the sony is that much better BUT I would pay full retail now seeing the actual difference. I know LG makes a pretty cheap HDMI player too. But try out the ns75h .. I'm pretty sure you'll see a noticable difference from you Toshiba...especially if you've watched a quite a few on your old player like I did. It's a low cost player before the PS3 comes out. Give it a whirl

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