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HDMI Let Down

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Henry, Nov 7, 2004.

  1. Henry

    Henry
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    I've got an Arcam DV79 on loan at the moment and have connected it up to my Pioneer 504HDE using a Chord HDMI cable.

    I've been comparing it to my old Sony 715 DVD player which is connected to the same screen with an IXOS scart and to be honest I've not been blown away by the difference in the picture quality.

    There is a difference but to my eyes not a massive one and not enough to justify parting with £1000. My Sony DVD player is 4-5 years old now so I would've expected some marked improvement just from the advances in technology without taking into account HDMI.

    I'm really shocked that I can't see the difference that I'd been lead to believe existed from everything I'd read.

    I might not have it set up to it's optimum level so any thoughts on what I can do to improve it would be great or I'd be interested to hear whether other people feel the same way.
     
  2. SNICK

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    Law of diminishing returns I'm afraid - yes, you get a subtle improvement, but nothing which blows you away.

    I'd keep your cash :lesson:
     
  3. AgentCool

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    You'll only really notice a difference in using HDMI if you buy a player or other device which features a scaler to upscale the DVD resolution to High Definition levels. Otherwise if you're just carrying the normal 576/480 lines through the HDMI cable you aren't going to see much (if any) difference from an analogue RGB signal.
     
  4. mray

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    Henry.
    Yes I agree with you. I had a 220e set up via conponent and a Momitsu via DVI.
    I thought the pic on the 2-3 year old Tosh was better.
     
  5. ianh64

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    I concur with Mark. Its not light and day between non scaled HDMI->DVI and component, but when I turn on scaling to 720p, the difference is huge.

    -Ian
     
  6. dvdsubtitles

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    I've got a pio 504HDE with a Pio 868i DVD player, and I use a standard molex HDMI cable. I thought the improvement was astounding - howewver, you do need to make sure the settings are optimum - make sure it is displaying in 720p (prog scan). When I first set up with the HDMI cable I found that it doesn't default to the best settings. Go through all the dvd player and plasma screen setup options and make sure they're all set properly.

    Mat
     
  7. mray

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    The Momitsu upscales to 720p and 1080i, but I still think the Tosh gives me a better pic. Maybe the Hitachi panel has something to do with it.
     
  8. Gorshin

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    The Arcam has no internal scaler and will therefore only output 480i/p and 576i/p
     
  9. Henry

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    I'm going to try out a 3910 as I believe that will scale it up to 1080 and see if that makes a bigger difference. I've always had a bit of a need to get the "next big thing" (as I'm sure many others are on this forum) but it's really brought home to me the need to try before you buy!!! Otherwise I'd've been £1000 worse off and a more than a little disappointed!
     
  10. gandley

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    It will probaly be better at 720p. On my PJ 1080i produces a pic thats not great but at 720p the pic is gob smacking because it matches my displays native setting.(1280x720)

    your plasma is probaly(if its the 50ins) 1280X768 so setting the dvd player at 720pX1280 only results in a small scale by the plasma in the vertical. Some scalers dont down convert to well and some do better, its trial and era and also depends how good the scaler is in the Plasma/PJ somthing i dont think the cheaper LCDs(PJ) do so well. So matching as close as you can to your native res is always best, but a direct 1:1 map realy makes one hell of a difference
     
  11. Henry

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    I believe that the 868 and 3910 can scale up. So what would be your recommendation for the optimum resolution for a Pioneer 504HDE. I don't have an external scaler.
     
  12. gandley

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    720pX1280 as said your plasma is 768X1280....very close
    (your plasma has an internal scaler that will scale to fit the left over pic)
     
  13. rags

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    Either way your HDE will have to scale the incoming signal. Given this you should only see an improvement in the picture quality using 720 if the scaler on the dvd player is better than the scaler on the plasma. Im not going to bet on that one.

    I have a 504HDE and I tried it with an Pioneer 868 and with the Arcam DV79. It was close even when using the scaler in the Pioneer. I plummed for the Arcam.

    People do go on about HDMI / DVI to such an extent that people start expecting to much - when you then actually see it in the flesh only dissapointment results. Its better than a component signal but only marginally.

    I think Smurfin has seen a 3910 scaled to 1080i in a Pioneer 504HDE and he as also seen my DV79 playing on my 504HDE. Hopefully he will comment but I dont think there was a huge difference.
     
  14. AML

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    HDMI and DVi wont shine through untl hi def formats like Blu Ray and HD DVD become available. DVD's resolution is simply too low, and the technology is dated now.

    Wait for a while then you will see how good DVi/HDMI can be!
     
  15. rags

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    Hang on just reread the post starting the thread - Henry you should notice a significant difference in PQ between a scart input (even an RGB one) and component/HDMI one. I find it staggering that you dont.
     
  16. gandley

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    the diff with HDMI is that the picture is cleaner and sharper,
    some reason i get less jaggies and better colour fidelity.
    The diff with my PJ is quite noticable but i think that has more to do with the 1:1 map.
     
  17. Henry

    Henry
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    Rags

    There is a difference and it is a sharper picture. However, it wasn't anything like the leap that I'd expected given the age of my DVD player and also the improved connection. Maybe my expectations were too high but from everything I'd read I'd expected better and,as it stands at the moment, not enough to get me to part with £1000.

    I'll be trying out the 868 and 3910 and see if they can sway me.

    Henry
     
  18. Henry

    Henry
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    Got an 868 to play with for a few nights :clap: Hoping to have a good mess around with the settings and see if I can't find something to persuade myself to part with a more cash :suicide:
     
  19. John Dawson

    John Dawson
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    Hi Henry -

    If you haven't already done so, please, please make sure you calibrate your display with a good test disc like Digital Video Essentials, for at least brightness (black level), contrast (peak white level), sharpness and colour saturation.

    If you do not do this, separately for both the analogue and HDMI inputs, then you cannot make a fair comparison. You will need to do this again when you plug in a new DVD player as the video levels can vary significantly between players. In any case even if you then decide not to upgrade you will have a properly calibrated display and hence a better picture.

    If you do then decide HDMI is worth it, please try to re-evaluate the DV79, which we believe overall can give a more filmic and satisfying picture than many other players. It will also definitely sound better, especially when you output stereo analogue to your receiver from CDs etc.

    Hope this helps.

    John Dawson (Arcam)
     
  20. Henry

    Henry
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    John

    I have used DVE to calibrate the display for the analogue input but must admit that I didn't do it again when I tried the DV79. I'll take that on board when I try the 868 out tonight and will see what happens. I'm more into my movies these days than my music and have a Rega Planet CD player which I love.
     
  21. Henry

    Henry
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    I had a bit of play around with DVE following John's advice above and it did make a fair difference and I am much more impressed with the picture now. I didn't get the chance for any prolonged viewing as I was also trying to get my Sky+box working again after trying to upgrade the HDD.

    So a night in watching movies tonight! Marvellous!
     
  22. Thunder

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    Theres a lot of hype at the moment about HDMI and DVI video connections but from what Ive seen if the analogue (either component or RGB H V) output is of a high enough quality then theres nothing in it :D
     
  23. Henry

    Henry
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    I've spent quite a few hours now with each player 868, DV79 & 3910, setting them up properly with DVE (or as well as I can). I have to say that the pictures are really growing on me and I can really see the differences now.

    Setting it up properly really made a difference. My difficulty now is that I'm finding it nigh on impossible to distinguish between the picture quality. I've spent ages staring at the screen watching different films and I find the differences marginal. In fact, I've decided that on more than one occasion, I'm seeing things that aren't there!

    If I have to pick one, I'd probably say the 3910. Can't really put my finger on why but if pressed I'd pick that one. Now, I've just to work out whether the problems with firmware etc are enough to put me off!
     
  24. alancolledge

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    Why don't you ask a partner/friend to help you with a 'blind test'.
    That way you might have a fair chance to choose one without the subconcious playing tricks!
     
  25. NC11

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    the 868 should match better to the 504 IMO. i have tried the DV79 and the 868 and besides the iLink to match my AMP's , i must say that the 868 seemed better suited to the 504. this is without special calibration or something like that.

    perhaps it's the similiar brand , but (for me) the 868 is better suited. with regards to HDMI improvement - VERY noticable.
     
  26. Moviebuff

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    Just changed my connection from component,over to HDMI,using a QED Quntex cable - the picture is bloody awesome - it's better defined,and looks more "real" - to be honest,I didn't expect it to make the difference it actually did.I think I prefer the 720P picture,over the 1080i,but it's a close call - they both look devastatingly good. :smashin:
     
  27. Crustyloafer

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    I agree strongly with John's comments above. There is a huge difference between the picture on component and the DVI sockets on my projector. I was initally disappointed with the picture using the HDMI output on my DV29 but then I recalibrated the DVI input on the projector and it resulted in a vastly superior image to anything I'd seen on the projector before. The brightness and contrast settings on the component inputs are now set as below, notice the huge difference in the settings.

    Component: Brighness = 0, Contrast = +4

    DVI/HDMI: Brightness = -18, contrast = +10

    These figures were both achieved using the Digital Video Essentials calibration disc.

    Regardless of which players you are testing, do make sure that the actual input you are using is properly calibrated for each an every player you are comparing.
     
  28. Henry

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    When testing them all following John's much appreciated input, I did recalibrate each of the relevant inputs using DVE. That did make a big difference. I'm still lacking the WOW factor that I'd been expecting from everything that I'd read on this forum and various publications. But then maybe my expectations were unrealistic.

    Having spent time with it and set it up properly, the picture is clearly better but it's kind of grown on me rather than blown my socks off.

    As I've said above, I'm now struggling to decide between the various players as the differences appear quite marginal to me. Maybe I just need my eyes tested instead! Some glasses might be the best upgrade I could buy! :laugh:

    I have tested it with friends and they agreed that we were really splitting hairs over the differences between the 868, DV79 and 3910. Literally at one point, when we were looking for differences in Theoden's beard in LOTR: Two Towers!

    The only thing I hadn't considered is which (if any) will fit with the rest of my gear in the cupboard. That my ultimately the deciding factor. The cupboard is 43cm deep. Width is not a problem.

    Still I'm in the happy position of liking all of them and would be pleased with any. Decisions decisions! :thumbsup:
     
  29. Henry

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    Does anyone know the dimensions of these players?
     
  30. figlio

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    I have just bought a Pioneer 868 to connected with my projector.I have noticed olso that the big improvement you get when you use the scaler of the pioneer to upsale to the native reolution of the projector.
     

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