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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, I have ordered the C3X1080 for my new home theater, which is under construction. I'm totally psyched! Now, I am looking to assemble the rest of my gear, specifically, the surround processor and Blu-Ray/DVD player. I've got about 400 DVD's in my collection, so this is a concern for me.


In looking for a Blu-Ray player, some will upconvert DVD's to 1080p and some are better than others in this regard, but I am asuming the processing in the C3X1080 will be better than any Blu-Ray/DVD player or surround processor.


Some of these Blu-Ray/DVD players feature a "Source Direct" mode. This allows you to insert your media and the player simply sends out 480i or 1080i, whatever the native format with no processing.


I am assuming that the ideal situation would be to find a player with "Source Direct" mode, a Surround Processor that will pass the unprocessed video without adding any processing to the C3X1080 so the projector can do all of the video processing, including upconversion of DVD's to 1080p.


Check my thinking here.


Do I have this right?


What do you guys do? What players and processors do you use and how do you set them up to work with your C3X1080's?
 

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Hmmm, haven't heard about a source direct BD player....


You might want to consider a Panasonic BD-30 or a PS3. If you have more than 1 HDMI source, you'll want some sort of switcher (the Zektor is highly recommended). But it sounds like you need a processor. Some of us have Integra; I have Denon's top of the line pre/pro (AVP-A1HDCI) and it's very good (@ 5k). The Denon allows you to up-convert or not - totally up to you. The C3X1080's processing is stellar.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I do need a processor and I am looking at those very two models, the Integra 9.8 and the Denon A1HD. They both have HDMI switchers built in. The Integra has four HDMI inputs and the Denon has 6. I'm leaning towards the Integra. When you use the Panasonic BD-30, do you output 480i and pass it through your Denon to your projector? Do you use the processing in the projector to upconvert your DVD's from 480i to 1080p?


My understanding is that you can manually set the BD-30 to output DVD's in 480i, but with a player that has a "Source Direct" mode, you just put your disc in and the player automatically outputs the disc in its native format. Makes it easier for the rest of the family -- if I had to tell them to start going into the buttons looking for format changes, switch to 480i if its a DVD, but 1080i if it's a Blu-Ray....I can already see their eyes glazing over. I'll admit it, even I would rather just set it to "Source Direct" and forget about it, throw discs in and let the player do the right thing.


Of the current players, the Pioneer has Source Direct. Pioneer has a new player coming out that will also have this feature, plus it will bitstream all of the new hi-def audio codecs to your pre-pro, letting your pre-pro decode them. If you have one of the new pre-pros, the Integra or the Denon, this allows them to handle the audio.
 

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I use a Panasonic BD30k blu ray, Integra HD DVD, both of which bitstream via HDMI all high resolutuion formats to my Integra 9.8 preamp/processor, which then outputs multi-channel analog to my Theta CB3 Six Shooter multi-channel analog preamp. And I use an Oppo 980H DVD player which outputs HDMI 480i video. Go for it!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Steve -- I was all set to buy the same exact two separate players, the BD-30 for Blu-Ray and the Oppos for DVD, but I am hoping the new Pioneer 51FD will allow me to have it all in one box, it will bitstream vis HDMI plus it will have Source Direct, which will allow you to set it and the player will output whatever disc you throw in it in its native format, 480i, 1080i, etc.


Do you just pass your HT audio through your Theta? If so, how do you like the sound of the Integra 9.8?


Also, do you let your C3X1080 upconvert your DVD's to 1080p?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsbeck /forum/post/14194824


Hi Steve -- I was all set to buy the same exact two separate players, the BD-30 for Blu-Ray and the Oppos for DVD, but I am hoping the new Pioneer 51FD will allow me to have it all in one box, it will bitstream vis HDMI plus it will have Source Direct, which will allow you to set it and the player will output whatever disc you throw in it in its native format, 480i, 1080i, etc.


Do you just pass your HT audio through your Theta? If so, how do you like the sound of the Integra 9.8?


Also, do you let your C3X1080 upconvert your DVD's to 1080p?

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=981606 tells how I LUV the Integra for HDMI 1.3 audio in combo with my Theta Six Shooter!


I use a Lumagen Radiance for DirecTV and also for DVD. But I use a Zektor HDMI switcher currently for HD DVD and Blu Ray direct to the projector.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsbeck /forum/post/14194824


Hi Steve -- I was all set to buy the same exact two separate players, the BD-30 for Blu-Ray and the Oppos for DVD, but I am hoping the new Pioneer 51FD will allow me to have it all in one box, it will bitstream vis HDMI plus it will have Source Direct, which will allow you to set it and the player will output whatever disc you throw in it in its native format, 480i, 1080i, etc.


Do you just pass your HT audio through your Theta? If so, how do you like the sound of the Integra 9.8?


Also, do you let your C3X1080 upconvert your DVD's to 1080p?

rsbeck - congrats on the C3X1080 purchase. Been following your decision process and think you've come up with best in class from what you were considering. Personally, the C3X is so good with BD, I never was interested in watching DVD's although I can understand the desire if you have a large collection. What I found was being pulled to the best possible video discs possible since the C3X is such a spectacular performer, just like having a high end audio rig would drive you to seek out the best mastered and recorded CD's. Try this if you want to know what to feed your BD ( I bought them all and liked and settled on the Pioneer Elite BD50 as well for it's blacks and IMO very filmlike presentation. Try tier blu discs for starters: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...5#post10733385
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by LJG /forum/post/14194905


Steve:


Who where the 13 originals?

Alan Gouger, David Bott, Rick Cathcart, Larry (whatever his last name, a Florida attorney), ME, and 8 Dopplegangers. Lon, weren't you the 14th???


New hit series coming - Battlestar [email protected]@@ The home theater internet forum wars. Starring your favorite and unfavorite AVS forum members!

Reality HDTV, real time, coming soon to a network near [email protected]@@
 

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Discussion Starter #10

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky /forum/post/14194902

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=981606 tells how I LUV the Integra for HDMI 1.3 audio in combo with my Theta Six Shooter!


I use a Lumagen Radiance for DirecTV and also for DVD. But I use a Zektor HDMI switcher currently for HD DVD and Blu Ray direct to the projector.

When you say the Integra audio *in combo* with your Theta, what do you mean? What do you have each of those players doing with the audio?


I won't be using a stand alone VP with the C3X1080 -- I'd like to let the C3X1080 do all of the video processing, but I don't know if it will upconvert DVD's to 1080p or if I need to be concerned about having that capabiliity in either the player or the pre-pro.
 

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Discussion Starter #11

Quote:
Originally Posted by owl1 /forum/post/14195007


rsbeck - congrats on the C3X1080 purchase. Been following your decision process and think you've come up with best in class from what you were considering. Personally, the C3X is so good with BD, I never was interested in watching DVD's although I can understand the desire if you have a large collection. What I found was being pulled to the best possible video discs possible since the C3X is such a spectacular performer, just like having a high end audio rig would drive you to seek out the best mastered and recorded CD's. Try this if you want to know what to feed your BD ( I bought them all and liked and settled on the Pioneer Elite BD50 as well for it's blacks and IMO very filmlike presentation. Try tier blu discs for starters: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...5#post10733385

Great link -- I'll be using that a lot -- thanks!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsbeck /forum/post/14195422


When you say the Integra audio *in combo* with your Theta, what do you mean? What do you have each of those players doing with the audio?


I won't be using a stand alone VP with the C3X1080 -- I'd like to let the C3X1080 do all of the video processing, but I don't know if it will upconvert DVD's to 1080p or if I need to be concerned about having that capabiliity in either the player or the pre-pro.


Here's a whole thread at this forum re how I use Blu Ray and HD DVD, via HDMI cables, to the Integra 9.8; which does the high resolution audio decoding for Blu Ray and HD DVD; then multi-channel analog out to my Theta Six Shooter; and how I continue to use my Theta CB3 for everything else!


THe C3X 1080 will upconvert your DVD 480i to 1080p and you will likely be happy with that.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=981606
 

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check out the video processor forum, you can get a bd30 sdi modded and fed into a scaler that is said to be even better than hdmi. this would definitely do your pj justice.


btw, i too had been following your threads for a pj, and you pretty much were looking at all the usual suspects that i am. did you ever actually see any of them in person or did you just take a chance and get the sim? if i could afford the sim i would jump out and get it without demoing, but can't so looking forward if you had done any demos on the other pjs.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsbeck /forum/post/14195422


I don't know if it will upconvert DVD's to 1080p or if I need to be concerned about having that capabiliity in either the player or the pre-pro.

Any native 1080 panel, by definition, upcoverts everything to 1080p. The exception being when in "Pixel to Pixel" mode.


The Sim2 VP software is better than any other PJ available atm. Scaling is something it certainly doesn't need a hand with at all from external units. The scaling flexibility, in terms of AR control, smokes anything else out there. Good DVDs scale beautifully.


As to your OP. I feed mine everything, Seymour style....... HD-DVD, Blu Ray, DVD, HDTV, PS3, X-box 360, PC, Apple TV.
 

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I have tried just about every Blu-Ray player on thr market and find the Pioneer Elites to be the best. Great audio, picture, and rock-solid performance.
 

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Discussion Starter #16

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony A. /forum/post/14198805


btw, i too had been following your threads for a pj, and you pretty much were looking at all the usual suspects that i am. did you ever actually see any of them in person or did you just take a chance and get the sim? if i could afford the sim i would jump out and get it without demoing, but can't so looking forward if you had done any demos on the other pjs.

Hi Anthony -- I saw a few of them, researched others, read some customer reviews, made some inferences, etc.


I saw the Sim2 C3X1080 at OB's house, saw a JVC RS2 at Magnolia Hifi in Santa Rosa and saw a Sim2 D80 and Runco RS1100 at Audio Vision in SF.


After seeing the Sim2 C3X1080, the search was on for something that would get me, say, 90% of the way there, but for less money.


I looked into the Marantz 11S2. The Marantz has impressive CR numbers ---- but at very low lamp output/lumens. If you're lighting a larger screen, you're most likely using the brighter setting -- and the CR numbers drop like Paris Hilton's panties.


This brought me to the Samsung A800B, the Sim2 HT380, and the Planar PD8150. These three projectors all seem very similar, based on reviews.


The similarity is that they are considered bright, 700+ lumens with new bulb, accurate colors (Samsung and Planar OOTB, HT380 with CMS), and similar CR levels (Assuming on the Samsung -- haven't seen actual numbers). More importantly, all three of these projectors maintain their CR numbers while lighting a larger screen.


However, the Planar gets its CR performance from a Dynamic Iris. The first reviews all claimed the dynamic iris is seamless, but the first few customer reviews complained about iris pumping.


Here's another similarity, both the Samsung and Planar use the DI and both Samsung (Joe Kane) and Planar (Forgot the name) recommend avoiding the use of the DI.


Problem --- if you look at the review of the Planar, when the Dynamic Iris is NOT employed, CR numbers drop below 2,000:1. Since the Samsung and Planar seem almost like identical projectors based on reviews, I'm betting the same is true of the Samsung.


Interestingly, several reviewers and customers have claimed both the Planar and Samsung still have very good black levels -- even WITHOUT the DI.


This left the Sim2 HT380 still standing. The Sim2's CR numbers were as good as the Planar's best measured numbers, but the Planar had to be in Film mode (a few reviewers did not prefer Film mode for some viewing) with DI employed, etc. Since the HT380's CR isn't dependent on so many qualifiers, I felt its CR was more reliable day to day, film to film, etc.


Still with me? Another interesting point -- several reviewers, including Tryg who owns and loves his RS1, and Kris Deering, who owns and loves his RS2, said the Planar PD8150's CR and black levels are equal to the RS1's. Therefore, I infer that the Sim2 -- without the use of a DI would also have similar CR and black levels to a JVC RS1.


I searched and found a great deal on a used HT380 on Ebay.


Then, I read that some people see Rainbows and get headaches (nausea) while watching single chip DLP's. Oh, well -- I thought -- I'll take that chance. I mean, I didn't see any rainbows while watching the D80, so I would probably be alright, but........what about guests, family members, etc? Still, that deal on Ebay looked damn good -- the guy selling had 100% perfect feedback.


Hmmmmmmm.......


I wrote Jason Turk of AVS to ask him about the HT380, see what he thought.


Jason, who has reviewed both the HT380 and the Planar PD8150 as well as the C3X1080, said the C3X1080's black levels and CR are superior to both of those projectors (CR Measurements posted by Coldmachine bear this out) and added that, though he had a slight preference for the HT380 over the Planar PD8150, he was sure I could be happy with either projector.


Jason also confirmed that the price being offered on the used HT380 was indeed very good.


I e-mailed the seller, the projector was still available. I asked if the HT380 was updated with the CMS, the seller didn't seem to understand -- he told me if I wanted the projector updated I would have to send it to Sim2.


Then, I opened a message from Jason Turk, giving me his (AVS's) price on a Sim2 C3X1080. (I won't go into specifics here, but I will say that if you are ever projector shopping, give Jason and AVS a call!)


I started thinking about a few things; I'd seen the C3X1080 and was wowed by it. Though I am sure the HT380 is a fine projector (the D80 was very good, the HT380 had to be better), I know the C3X1080 is a great projector. While the HT380 has very good brightness, 700+ lumens with a new lamp, the C3X1080 is about that bright on low lamp. So, while the HT380 would start out at exactly the brightness I want and then dim, the C3X would start at the brightness I want and then as the bulb dims, I could keep it at that level -- perfect! Plus, the C3X has extra brightness available for those times when watching sports with some ambient light. No worries about rainbows or headaches with family and friends.


The C3X was the projector I really wanted.


Jason offered a deal that made it a no-brainer.


I consulted my better half.


She had also seen the C3X1080 at OB's house (as well as the RS2 at Magnolia Hifi) and was wowed by the Sim2.


I told her I would save a few bucks here and there with other gear purchases.


She gave me the green light.


Bing, bang, boom.


C3X1080!


*** Special thanks goes to Coldmachine who held my hand through many, many e-mails, pestering him with question after question, and remained patient and helpful throughout.


That's my story.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Now, back to Blu-Ray players and Surround Processors -----


Here are the issues;


There are a few new surround processors that decode all of the new Hi-Def audio codecs. I'm sure there are others, but the two that I know are the Integra 9.8 and the Denon A1HD.


If you have a pre-pro that decodes all of the up-to-date audio formats, you don't need to have this capability in your Blu-Ray Player. You need a player that will send the signal -- BITSTREAM -- to your surround processor via HDMI.


If you have an older (legacy?) pre-pro, you need a Blu-Ray player to DECODE before sending.


If you have a collection of DVD's that you still want to play, you either need a Blu-Ray player that provides top level upconversion, or you need a player that will output your DVD's in 480i so you can let either your pre-pro, Video Processor, or projector (whichever does the better job) perform the upconversion to 1080p.


Some players have the capability of sending 480i, but most do not -- and some of the ones that do, do not make it very convenient.


The most elegant solution, IMO, is the one where the player allows you to select "Source Direct" and the player outputs the disc's contents in its native format, whether that is 480i, 560i, 720i, 1080i, whatever -- leaving the signal untouched to be converted downstream.


Only a few players have had this solution.


In the past, some people have gotten around this by buying two players, one for Blu-Rays and the Oppo 980H for outputting DVD's at 480i. Many paired the Oppo with the Panasonic BD-30 because of the Panasonic's reliability, relatively fast load times, etc.


In the past, there were only a few players that allowed you to play Blu-Rays while also offering "Source Direct."


One was the Sony BDP S-300.


The other was the Pioneer BDP 95FD.


The Sony lacked up to date hi-def audio formats and didn't offer ethernet.


The Pioneer offered most of the up-to-date audio formats, offered both internal decoding as well as bitstreaming, did offer ethernet, offered 5.1 analog output.


Of the new players,


Denon has two players, one (2500) bitstreams, the other (3800) bitstream and decodes -- neither offers "Source Direct." But, the 3800 offers top level DVD upconversion (and costs around 2k).


Pioneer has two new players coming, one -- 51FD -- within the next month that will BITSTREAM all of the up to date audio and offer "Source Direct," and one -- O5FD -- in the Fall that will DECODE or BITSTREAM and it is not confirmed whether it will offer "Source Direct."


No one knows whether the new Sony players will offer Source Direct.


If you have one of the new Pre-pros like the Integra 9.8 or the Denon A1HD, the Pioneer 51HD should be on your radar.


This one has the features needed; Bitstream up-to-date Hi-def audio formats to your Integra or Denon and "Source Direct" to ouput all video in native format to pass through your pre/pro and let your C3X1080 do the video processing.
 

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Discussion Starter #18

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian_Currie /forum/post/14194471


I have Denon's top of the line pre/pro (AVP-A1HDCI) and it's very good (@ 5k). The Denon allows you to up-convert or not - totally up to you. The C3X1080's processing is stellar.

How do you like your Denon A1HD? What other pre/pros have you owned and how would you compare the Denon's sonics to others you've had? Do you find that you can pass video through the Denon without degradation?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsbeck /forum/post/14201216


*** Special thanks goes to Coldmachine who held my hand through many, many e-mails, pestering him with question after question, and remained patient and helpful throughout.

Thats just how I roll.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsbeck /forum/post/14190354


OSome of these Blu-Ray/DVD players feature a "Source Direct" mode. This allows you to insert your media and the player simply sends out 480i or 1080i, whatever the native format with no processing.


The Sony BD players support "source direct" and output 480i for NTSC DVD and 1080p24 (or whatever else is encoded on the Blu-ray) over HDMI. IMO this is a useful feature if you have a very good external or idisplay integrated VP. Many of the BD players limit SD res to progressive output over HDMI meaing that deinterlacing has already been done in the player. Typically deinterlacing is a weakness for many players.


D
 
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