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DVI/HDMI DVD Players, Scaling and digital displays

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Barnetto, Feb 22, 2005.

  1. Barnetto

    Barnetto
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    I have been reading posts over the last month on this forum regarding DVI equipped DVD players (having acquired a Sharp Acquos LCD which has DVI-D input). It's all pretty confusing (down to different people's different opinions to some extent) but is the following a fair summation of the position (as a bit of a techno numpty I am expecting people to point out the error of my understanding)?

    1. Ignoring high-end models, the choices are Denon 1910, Samsung 745/945, Cambridge Audio DVD79 and a Panasonic ( I forget the model). The two most commonly used by forum members are the Denon and Samsung with substantial posts particularly on the latter.

    2. There is a definite advantage in using the digital input in avoiding the need for analogue conversion. However, in practice, the benefit over component may be slight, particularly on smaller LCDs (I have a 26"). Also the DVI/HDMI out technology is pretty new and hasn't had chance to iron out some of the problems. Analogue including component has and this, in practice, currently limits the benefits of using the DVI on the current models.

    3. Some of these DVD players also offer scaling - Denon via the DVI out and Samsung via both DVI and component. In principle, scaling up the picture to a pixelation nearer the native resolution of the screen is of benefit. However, the scaling technology used in these DVD players (and indeed the higher end versions like Denon 2910/3910) using Faroudja chipset has some flaws. Most noticeably, macroblocking (all) and judder (with the Samsung using PAL50). Some sources/screen seem to suffer worse from these problems than others. (The Sharp provides a PAL60 display so would this prevent the judder problem of the Samsung?)

    4. There is also the point that the scaling offered by these sources is not on a one-to-one basis with the screens available - so the screen has to do some compensatory scaling itself in any event on the already scaled picture. (Given that the screen has to scale all sources to fit in any event, the question arises whether the scaling done by the screen is better than that by the DVD player?) Some people appear to be wowed by the upgrade in PQ, others a bit disappointed.

    5. With digital displays like LCDs that already generate progressive scan, a low end progscan player is unlikely to offer any benefits over the internal progscan of the screen itself.

    6. Inputting through DVI seems to carry some risk (due to HDCP?) of losing some control over the picture display too. Black bars when there shouldn't be, widescreen films shown in 16:9, 4:3 stretched etc.

    7. Prices range from about £110 for the Samsung to about £200 for the Denon and others. I am not sure I have seen anyone try and justify why the Denon and others is more expensive. (The next jump up is to around £500 for Denon 2910. But this uses the same scaling technology, so is there a noticeable difference in PQ using the DVI output?)

    8. There is a perfectly reasonable argument that if you spend £200 on a non-DVI DVD player, which uses the saving on technology to provide a better build, you may well get better results. (Problem is that the near £200 range is not greatly populated and the popular non-DVI/HDMI players (Pioneer 575, Limit etc) all have their supporters and detractors - it is a bit hard to conclude that there is an obvious choice as that much better built non-DVI player.

    So, taking this all into account, do I buy a DVI equipped DVD player to use with my Sharp LCD? To help decide, I would appreciate it if any Sharp owners who are using any of these sources could reply with feedback on use of their particular DVD player with the Sharp.

    Opinions on point 8 above also welcome and suggestions for what that excellently built non-DVI player might be!!

    Thanks in advance all.
     
  2. richjthorpe

    richjthorpe
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    The Denon 1910 uses the Faroudja 2301 chipset. The Samsung HD745/945 uses the Zorran (sp?) chipset so this could be a saving here.

    The Denon 2910 and 3910 use the Faroudja 2310 chipset as does the Panasonic S97. Also, these Denons have DVI and HDMI and better DACs for the analogue outputs.

    I'm in the same position, do I buy a scaling DVD player for my Sharp or a Prog Scan for less than £100 and wait until either upscaling DVD players have got better or even wait for Blu-Ray or HD-DVD. Upscaling really is only a stop gap.

    I've already got a Marantz DVD player but it's only got Scart RGB. Next thing on my list to buy is 5.1 surround sound speakers (March time), so will look into DVD players again in about 3 months time.

    Personally, I would wait until more upscaling players come out to choose from. The current crop are good, but as you know have flaws. If I had to make a choice now, I think I would actually buy a Prog Scan player. I know the picture might be better due to upscaling, but I'd keep looking out for flaws in the image. Just me I suppose !

    Richie.
     
  3. Sheltie

    Sheltie
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    Hi, I was in exactly the same position about a month ago when I received my 26GA4E.
    I decided to go the cheap route and see what comes of the DVI players over the coming months.
    I purchased the Toshiba 340E direct from Toshiba for £69.95 with free delivery and a relatively cheap component cable from TVCables.
    I am certainly of the opinion this was a great move, the picture in prog scan mode is fantastic, I am seeing detail in films I have never seen before.
    I know this player has it's problems reading some DVD media as reported by a number of people on these forums,
    but I personally haven't had any problems.
    So I would certainly advise this route first, I think you'll be quite surprised if not amazed at the picture you'll get from this or the other cheap prog scan players such as the pioneer DV575.
    And lets all hope that someone can come up with the problem free scaling DVI player we all want, at a price we all want, in the not too distant future.
     

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