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HD, LCD, Plasma, Blu-Ray..... so confusing

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HD, LCD, Plasma, Blu-Ray..... so confusing

  #1  
Old 01-31-2007, 02:30 AM
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Default HD, LCD, Plasma, Blu-Ray..... so confusing

Okay, if you're like me, all this "technology" is confusing. [:@]

I wanted to buy something that would take the guess work out of it and give me high quality, user friendly, and up-to-date. What I got fit that criteria....... for 2 years.

480p.... 720p.... 1080i.... 1080p.... I'm going crazy!!!!

Long story short: I bought a house with a room strictly devoted to movie watching. It has a movie screen, an InFocus HD projector, Harman Kardon receiver, and HD via the DISH. My DVD player is progressive scan. So far, so good.

Now I want to watch DVDs in HD, but the only way to do that is buy a $1000 Blu-Ray or $600 HD-DVD player. Wife says, "no can do", so I'm trying to buy a DVD-upconverter, but the only way to get them to work is with a $75 - $120 HDMI cable which is no problem, except my receiver and InFocus machines don't have a HDMI port. [:@]

So, I got ahold of the InFocus customer rep, who told me about a converter. Cool. Now I just need the DVD-upconverter. Right? Not so fast. All the reviews I've read on them are discouraging, to say the least. They seem to be tempermental. One person will say how great the picture is and another will say it didn't work with the TV they had.

My question to all of you is: Do you have HD via a DVD player and if so, what player do you have? Is it working good? Big difference in the picture (720p or 1080i) ? Any problems? I really wanna get the converter in the next week and hope to buy the right one.

Thanks in advance!
 
  #2  
Old 01-31-2007, 10:29 AM
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Default RE: HD, LCD, Plasma, Blu-Ray..... so confusing

ORIGINAL: Kobegotskillz


480p....

Huh...what?
You lost me right there!

I was recently told that my TVs, DVD players, discs, and sat dish, not to mention my VCR and tapes,will be obsolete in less than 5 yrs. Not just obsolete technically speaking, but I won't be able to use my equip at all. [:@]

I'm not real happy 'bout this. So then what? I buy all new equipment, and then in another 5 yrs, they're obsolete too?
I really think there is a scam involved. "They" could make the stuff compatabe with the old tech, but no..., throw it all away and buy all new.
Tech has it's bennefits I admit, but come on..... I just want to watch the Daytona 500, in color or black and white, no matter to me!
Maybe I'll just forgo the buyin' of all new equipment and buy a ticket to go see the 500 in person, it'd be cheeper!!!

Think I'll just put the money in the "Starship" and say Freek it all!
 
  #3  
Old 01-31-2007, 11:04 AM
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Default RE: HD, LCD, Plasma, Blu-Ray..... so confusing


Nothing will go obsolete that quickly, despite what the big manufacturers would like to happen.

I too have a dedicated TV room, but with 3 small kidlets, having a projection screen wasn't an option for me. The retracting ones will run $3k+ to get something decent.

I went with a Sony Grand Wega 61" 3LCD model. Got a great deal on it, about $2500 last year if I picked it up. An employee had it on lay away when he got fired, he didn't come to pick it up and pay it off within 30 days, so all I had to do was pay the balance as an "open box" (even though the box had never been opened).

The Grand Wega's are 1080p native, so all of the resolutions are peachy. If you think about it, they all have an "up-converter" and a "down-converter" built in, so that they can display the 480, 720, 1080 scan lines. I don't know of any sets that adjust the number of scan lines these days (they used to use a multi-frequency scheme that actually changed the number of scan lines, kinda like a computer monitor). Much easier and cleaner to just up/down convert the signals.

I have a middle of the line Sony DVD player (my high end RCA/Philips finally toasted a couple months back). If you tell it that you have 16:9 as the default display, it will bump the image on widescreen DVDs. Add in the up/down circuitry in the Grand Wega, and you have excellent picture.

Without an HDMI cable, you are likely looking at composite/component video in (the old multi-scan-frequency type of input). Your data source (the DVD) is 480 scan lines. Period. You will be electronically enhancing or stretching the picture. Most HD projectors and rear projection sets do that for you, just like watching normal TV on your HD projector. You can add more "smarts" to the stretching, but that's the best that you can do. Fortunately most of the new DVD players with component/composite video ports do that quite well.

I'm waiting a year for HD-DVD prices to come down as the rest of the cheap Japanese/Korean/Chinese manufacturers catch up (and the technology stabilizes).

bill.


 
  #4  
Old 01-31-2007, 02:51 PM
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Default RE: HD, LCD, Plasma, Blu-Ray..... so confusing

Ooooh, boy, this is a topic I live, eat and breath. I am in the video industry, for my profession.

Regarding HD/Blu-Ray DVD's and "up sampling devices"... my advice? Stay away from it, until the dust all settles.

Up-sampling is a hardware device that takes your native image resolution and tries to "figure out" how to add pixels to the image to make it "look" like it's 1080i or 1080p resolution. It's NOT the same thing at all. You will be able to see the difference, if you have a sharp eye for this stuff. Those up-sampling devices are so poor to me, they drive me nuts. (I watch and disect video and artifacts etc. for a living, so I am very picky about my home system).

The whole HD/Blu-Ray thing is still working itself out. 2 different standards for "HD DVD's", if you will... one by Sony and one by a standards body. I, personally, am not sure who's going to "win" in this epic battle, but if I had to make a choice I'd say the HD standard for DVD's will win over the longrun because it's sanctioned by a standards body, while the Blu-Ray stuff is proprietary to Sony.

This doesn't mean this WILL happen. Take VHS vs. Betamax. Betamax wasa superior technology, all around, but for whatever reason VHS won that particular battle.

We have a 62" wide screen TV at home. We don't have HD stuff yet for DVD's (we won't live without HD TV feeds, though; the difference is beyond amazing) because I don't want to spend somewhere in the vicinity of $1,000 for gear to find out I picked the wrong standard later.

My advice in this particular arena would be, if you are not an "early adopter" who just has to have the latest stuff, no matter what it costs... just wait a bit and let this stuff sort itself out. Besides of which, the gear will be substantially cheaper by then... just my $0.02 worth.
 
  #5  
Old 01-31-2007, 08:10 PM
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Default RE: HD, LCD, Plasma, Blu-Ray..... so confusing

TopSpeed -- good info and I appreciate it. Now I know where to go for my many questions!

Thanks again.
 
  #6  
Old 01-31-2007, 08:24 PM
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Default RE: HD, LCD, Plasma, Blu-Ray..... so confusing

ORIGINAL: Kobegotskillz

TopSpeed -- good info and I appreciate it. Now I know where to go for my many questions!

Thanks again.
My pleasure to help out, my friend! Please don't hesitate to ask any further questions you might have; I can answer quite a few of them.

Also, with all that being said, I don't want to scare anyone away from getting something they really really want. Life is far too short. I am just trying to help folks avoid being disappointed.
 
  #7  
Old 02-02-2007, 12:28 AM
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Default RE: HD, LCD, Plasma, Blu-Ray..... so confusing

After much reading on the net, I've decided on the Toshiba HD-A2. Amazon has it for $365 -- about $300 less then regular advertised price. The 2 previous models (A1 and XA1) are going for just over $400, so I think I got a good deal.

One question about HDMI / Component: My InFocus already has component running from current DVD player to receiver and to hte InFocus. Everything I've read says you have to use HDMI, but a Crutchfield reviewer said there is no difference when viewed via Component.

What is your experience with HDMI / Component ? If I can get away with Component and still realize 1080i and 720p, I'd rather do that.

Also, what's the deal with this "firmware" they say I have to download ???
 
  #8  
Old 02-02-2007, 02:03 PM
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Default RE: HD, LCD, Plasma, Blu-Ray..... so confusing

ORIGINAL: Kobegotskillz

After much reading on the net, I've decided on the Toshiba HD-A2. Amazon has it for $365 -- about $300 less then regular advertised price. The 2 previous models (A1 and XA1) are going for just over $400, so I think I got a good deal.
That's a good price, that's for sure!

ORIGINAL: Kobegotskillz
One question about HDMI / Component: My InFocus already has component running from current DVD player to receiver and to hte InFocus. Everything I've read says you have to use HDMI, but a Crutchfield reviewer said there is no difference when viewed via Component.

What is your experience with HDMI / Component ? If I can get away with Component and still realize 1080i and 720p, I'd rather do that.
Well, I hate to say but I am not completely familiar with the exact gear you've got goin' on there... but, if they are saying that there's no difference when viewed via component inputs vs. HDMI, then that really affirms the initial statements that this is not a true 1080(x) resolution. As far as I am aware, you can only run that true resolution over DMI or HDMI inputs.

For a true HD feed, you've got to use a DMI or HDMI input, as far as I know.... that's a digital connection... composite connections are still analog.

Sounds to me like they're playing all sorts of tricks with up and down sampling on original signal feeds. Have you actually seen this gear in action?

ORIGINAL: Kobegotskillz
Also, what's the deal with this "firmware" they say I have to download ???
With your new equipment, there will be a website you'll have to visit. I suspect you will download a file and burn it onto CD in a specialized directory structure, and boot your system... it will then read this file from the burnt CD and apply the firmware update.

Warning: do not interrupt that process while it's updating. An incomplete update will probably result in your equipment not functioning.

Keep me posted on how things go for you. I am very interested to hear your thoughts and feedback once you get it all going.
 
  #9  
Old 02-02-2007, 04:37 PM
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Default RE: HD, LCD, Plasma, Blu-Ray..... so confusing

^^^^^^^ It is "true" HD 1080i. One reviewer (hometheaterblog) said he noticed no difference between HDMI and Component when viewing the upscaled regular DVDs. No doubt it requires HDMI or DVI to view HD movies.

I should get it in a week and I'll let you know how it looks / sounds.

As for the price, I was pleasantly shocked. $365 at Amazon, but $500 at BestBuy and Circuit City (today).

Amazon has a rebate, where you can get 3 HD-DVDs for free with proof of purchase. That's $90 right there.
 
  #10  
Old 02-02-2007, 05:08 PM
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Default RE: HD, LCD, Plasma, Blu-Ray..... so confusing

ORIGINAL: Kobegotskillz

^^^^^^^ It is "true" HD 1080i. One reviewer (hometheaterblog) said he noticed no difference between HDMI and Component when viewing the upscaled regular DVDs. No doubt it requires HDMI or DVI to view HD movies.
That makes perfect sense. This is the exact same principle as watching an analog/non-HD TV feed through a DMI or HDMI configuration... the source signal is non-HD, so it makes no difference the wiring/delivery mechanism. Watching non-HD feeds over a DMI/HDMI interface, though, leaves TONS of bandwidth left over...

We write tons of video based code here, and some algorithms produce slightly better results than others, with anti-aliasing techniques etc., but by and large, you can clearly see the difference between an upsampled frame and a true HD frame; at least here we can.

ORIGINAL: Kobegotskillz
I should get it in a week and I'll let you know how it looks / sounds.
I am very much looking forward to hearing your feedback on your findings. Thanks for taking the time to post here on topic.

ORIGINAL: Kobegotskillz
As for the price, I was pleasantly shocked. $365 at Amazon, but $500 at BestBuy and Circuit City (today).
Man, bro, at that price, *I* might consider it, too!!! Personally, I avoid new hardware until it hits at least a point with broad market acceptance; it allows the manufacturers to work out any last minute bugs, and usually results in majorly reduced prices... but for $365, that's a WICKED price, NOW you're cookin' with fire!!!!

ORIGINAL: Kobegotskillz
Amazon has a rebate, where you can get 3 HD-DVDs for free with proof of purchase. That's $90 right there.
That even *further* reduces your costs!! So, if you take advantage of that, you'll have really only paid like $275 for the unit!!! You'd be crazy not to, at that price, my friend. COOL! [8D]
 

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