Contemplating a HD-DVD Player

Pulsar

Well-known Member
Hi,

I have previously owned a couple of HD-DVD players and still have a decent collection (100 ish) of films. I sold my last standalone player some time ago with the intention of using a HD-DVD drive in my HTPC for watching the films.

I am now in a position where I'd much prefer to avoid using the HTPC and go back to a standalone player, as long as I can achieve excellent SQ and PQ. So, which players will give me:

1 - 1080p @ 23.976hz / 24Hz output
2 - Bitstreaming of all HD-DVD formats (True HD etc)
3 - Reliable playback (no pausing mid-film etc)

I'm not worried about noise as my player will live outside of the viewing room and I can cope with sluggish menu navigation as long as the playback is spot on.

You assistance here would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers

Rob

P.S. - On average (if there is such a thing) how do HD-DVD films/transfers compare to current blu-ray releases? Do they use similar bit-rates?
 
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a4lloxo

Active Member
to fufill all your criteria you have a choice of 2 players the HDXE1 or the HDEP35,get the XE1 if you can.

with regard to bit rates it varies from film to film,i own several of the Harry Potter series on hddvd and blu and i feel that the hddvd discs have the edge on picture quality.............................
 

Pulsar

Well-known Member
to fufill all your criteria you have a choice of 2 players the HDXE1 or the HDEP35,get the XE1 if you can.

with regard to bit rates it varies from film to film,i own several of the Harry Potter series on hddvd and blu and i feel that the hddvd discs have the edge on picture quality.............................
Thanks for the info. I think I've had both of those players before. I remember the XE1 being fairly chunky (when compared to the EP35). Other than size/aesthetics, and considering my uses (digital audio via HDMI, film use only) should I pay more for an XE1?

Cheers

Rob
 

a4lloxo

Active Member
Thanks for the info. I think I've had both of those players before. I remember the XE1 being fairly chunky (when compared to the EP35). Other than size/aesthetics, and considering my uses (digital audio via HDMI, film use only) should I pay more for an XE1?

Cheers

Rob
yes,the XE1 is streets ahead of the 35 in terms of build quality,and its the same size (maybe you were thinking of an XA1?),factor in a Reon chip for upscaling/picture enhancement duties,nicer remote(backlit).probably looking at around £125-£140 for a boxed,mint condition player,right down to the £35 i paid on the bay for a no box,no remote unit
 

Pulsar

Well-known Member
I suppose my question is, for simply playing HD-DVDs, will an XE1 give better PQ and/or SQ than a EP35? I don't play DVDs, have a Harmony One for remote duties and the player will be hidden from view.

A quick look around suggests I'll be able to get an EP35 easily, an XE1 less-so. I'm trying to ascertain whether it is worth hunting out an XE1 or not.

Thanks
 

owen021173

Well-known Member
I have both an ep30 and an xe1 and from my eyes there's no difference in hd DVD quality.
Upscaling of DVDs is a lot better on the xe1, my current DVD player which I love :)

Just to add, I may consider selling the ep30 . If your interested I can put a post in the classifieds, cheers
 
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namuk

Distinguished Member
seen a few XE1's go on Ebay, also if you end up with a EP35 the remote for the XE1 works on the EP35 and you can get them XE1 remotes on ebay as well:).
 
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with regard to bit rates it varies from film to film,i own several of the Harry Potter series on hddvd and blu and i feel that the hddvd discs have the edge on picture quality.............................
They're the same encodes :)
 

Viking61

Well-known Member
Does the EP10 not match all the requirements that Pulsar is looking for. ?
The EP10 is not capable of bitstreaming the audio to an amp. Of the Toshiba players, only the XE1 and EP35 can do that,
 

hermanmunster

Novice Member
Just had the same issue as the OP.

Had a HTPC for Blu ray and HD DVD. Now have bought stand alone players.

I bought an EP35 still new in box last week. Still had the two free disks shrink wrapped......and all for £26.99 total bargain :D
 

Bald Monkey

Novice Member

namuk

Distinguished Member
:eek: Grrrrr!!! :mad:


And people talk about 'investing' in AV equipment.. ;) :D
yea think same goes for all Av kit remember paying £900 for the 875 a while back and that was cheap at the time, but then i got a sony 760 for £99 to replace the £300 BD30, and that 760 had tech in the player that was in that £1200 S5000 , it goes on mate.

hope i do not see Xe1's for £27 :(


opened pitch black yet? :D
 

Bald Monkey

Novice Member
Nope, still shrink wrapped, as still not played it on my £70 XE1 ;)

And certainly not on my full RRP EP35 :( That's gathering dust very well but at a market price of £35 it's not worth worrying about.

Just glad they both still work fine or I'd be gutted ;)
 

namuk

Distinguished Member
yea i remember :( :D pitch black :laugh: has tobe 07 when you got that.
only thing that went wrong with my Xe1's were the lasers , easy cheap fix though, i do have a Ep35 and not even used it yet, got that off classifieds here for £70 with some rare films ages back.
 

kit1cat

Active Member
Picked up a XE1 off eBay a couple of weeks back for £70, built like a tank, played the one disc my EP35 would not handle with no problem. But I have since had the dreaded 4086 4203 error with a number of discs that plays fine on the EP35. Discovered that if I pop a cd in and play prior to any problem disc, the disc will then usually play, strange.
 

namuk

Distinguished Member
that is odd as the cd laser is different to the Hd laser, could be slightly out of sync easy to swap the head though, around £10 last i bought one.
 

kit1cat

Active Member
that is odd as the cd laser is different to the Hd laser, could be slightly out of sync easy to swap the head though, around £10 last i bought one.
Could be just a coincidence, will keep an eye on eBay for a replacement just in case the problem gets worse.
 

namuk

Distinguished Member
Could be just a coincidence, will keep an eye on eBay for a replacement just in case the problem gets worse.
if you do look for theses models the PHR-803T and the DT0811 both are the same just the DT0811 is the newer/refresh model, both fit fine :)
 

Pulsar

Well-known Member
Hi guys,

Receiving the notification e-mails for this thread reminded that I hadn't posted back since buyer a player.

I grabbed a EP35 with films for less than £50 on ebay. I've sorted through my HD-DVDs and now have small collection of around 80 discs.

I watched my first films last night and was pleased with the picture, sound and overall ease (I use a HTPC for the majority of playback).

If anyone else is considering a HD-DVD player as a cheap way to watching HD movies on disc then I'd say go for it. Just make sure there are enough films in the catalogue that you like before taking the plunge.

Cheers

Rob
 

Donnacha

Distinguished Member
Out of interest why did you ditch the HTPC route for HDDVD? I use one for my HDDVD playback with the Xbox360 drive and Arcsoft TMT5 (gives me bitstreaming and great PQ). Probably about the same price to add those two elements to your HTPC as a standalone player. I have a HD-A1 sitting in the loft !!
 

Pulsar

Well-known Member
Hi,

It's a good question. To clarify, the HTPC is still very much in use, I just fancied giving a standalone unit a try.

Having used a HTPC for 10+ years I just can't resist the urge to 'tinker' As such I often end up with a system that, cometh the hour, may not be ready for action. Seeing the relatively low price of HD-DVD players and looking at the pile of discs i had made me want to give it another go.

For the record i have a PC HD-DVD/Blu-Ray combo drive and a 360 HD-DVD drive here so would only have needed the software to play discs through the PC. A bit of quick reading didn't give me the confidence that I could get a 100% stable solution (leaving back in the same position) so I passed.

I did rip a few discs to the PC and do a back-to-back comparison and couldn't see any noticeable variations in picture. One thing I did notice is that the resultant files show as having a 29.xxx frame rate. I seem to remember (from back in the day) that early HD-DVD players didn't output 24hz, but instead did 59.xxx hz refresh rates. I think the newer players then performed an inverse-telecine process to produce a 24hz image. If this is correct then I'm not sure how well my PC would handle this.

For info I generally use MPC-HC with LAV audio (bitstream), splitter and either EVR or madvr. I get perfect 23.976 with my Radeon too which is nice. :D

Cheers

Rob
 

Donnacha

Distinguished Member
Thanks - I have found that with Arcsoft Total Media Theatre 5 it plays nice with HDDVDs, supporting menus, PiP etc. I was suprised to see that it bitstreams all the HD sound formats from the HDDVDs which PowerDVD never did (as neither products officially support HDDVD anymore). I don't have a 24hz projector at the moment so only outputting at 60Hz for now.

My standalone player is 1st gen so doesn't do 24hz, doesn't bitstream and is sssllllllooooooowwwwww at loading ! Its also a big bulky beast ! I suppose the later gen standalones may be better.

But I just like having one box that does it all, region-free, blus / HD DVDs / DVD / CDs / files off my NAS etc, all through a nice front-end.
 

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