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New Player, or stick with XBox ?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Koalaboy, Oct 29, 2004.

  1. Koalaboy

    Koalaboy
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    Hi,

    I currently have a cheap Sony DVD player (£100) which has component out but no progressive. I also have a modded XBox which can act as a multi-region player along with progressive.

    Having just bought a Panasonic PW6, should I look at buying a new progressive capable player, such as the pioneer 575, or is the XBox going to be able to provide the same (or better) picture quality as it stands ?

    I'm not keen on upgrading my dvd player if the quality won't improve substantially, for a while at least.

    Any info would be welcomed.

    Michael.
     
  2. Thunder

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    Well the Xbox is an awfull DVD player. Using that as your main source on a Plasma is a bit like using a lawn mower engine to power a Porsche! :lesson: Decent DVD players cost less than a couple of months Sky subscription nowadays :thumbsup: I just bought my mate a Tosh 330 mutiregion for his Birthday from Richer. It was only fifty quid!
     
  3. Koalaboy

    Koalaboy
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    Hi Thunder.

    I realise that the bog-standard XBox may be pretty awful as a DVD Player, but I'm talking about using XBox Media Center (or XBox Media Player) software to handle all the complicated stuff.

    From what I can gather, they offer various levels of filtering and correction, as well as sending 480p (and 720p, and even 1080i) signals via the hi-def kit, which I would think may be as good as a lot of the budget players, if not better.

    Thanks,

    Michael.
     
  4. MS-Yam

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    Any DVD player over £50 should take pity on any console integrated DVD player. I havent even thought of using my Xbox as a dvd player - theres no need when dvd players are so cheap these days.

    I dont know how you can stand the racket the xbox makes too. It's ok when playing a game, but it would make me go insane having to listen to it while trying to watch a film!

    I would consider the toshiba 340 - £80 from Amazon. It's a steal. Or another excelent choice would be the Yamaha S540 from Richer Sounds (only 79.95 at the minute if you take the advert from the latest What-Hifi mag)... thats an even better steal! I've just got one and it's a great player. Even if i'd paid full price of £150 i'd still be happy.
     
  5. BrianC

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    The media centre DVD play back is still very buggy (for example little or no DVD menu support) and doesn't match a decent dedicated player even taking into account the scaling.

    It is very good at playing back DIVX and simlar video files.

    Prehaps its one for the future (xbmc is still far from finished), but the xboxes build quality (even though its the best of the current crop of consoles) will always be a limiting factor, esp the variable quality of the graphics card.
     
  6. Thunder

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    It still dosnt stand a chance mate, and even get me started on the quality of the audio output :devil: As already said DVD players are so cheap they cost less than a good meal out with friends! Theres no point spending THOUSANDS on a display if your not willing to pay a couple of hundred quid on to feed it a decent signal :thumbsup:
     
  7. Thunder

    Thunder
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    appologise for spelling mistakes :blush:
     
  8. Koalaboy

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    Okay, video comments taken on board. I don't want to go and buy a 'budget' dvd player though, only to find the output is only somewhat better.

    If I spend up to £300, what would be the absolute best for PQ, progressive wise (NTSC and PAL) ??

    I honestly am interested in what's wrong with the audio via an optical out though. :confused:
     
  9. Thunder

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    Its not so much whats wrong with the optical output, its the stability of the digital signal output by the Xbox. There are different qualities of digital output :smashin: Jitter is a big problem. The better the DVD player the better the quality of the Digital out. As for recommendations look at Pioneers, many places discount these players a lot :thumbsup:
     
  10. OneEyedStuart

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    Go spend abut 80 - 90 quid and get yourself the Tosh 340. Spend about 120 - 140 and get the Pioneer 575a ( like hens teeth these at the moment though ). Both will give NTSC and PAL progressive output. The reviews of both ( from professionals and users alike ) indicate both have good quality output.

    I have the Pioneer 565a and the NTSC progresive is very nice. As I have just bought a Panasonic AE700 I am upgrading that to the 575 to get PAL Progressive.

    HTH

    Keith Hurst
     
  11. cyberheater

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    ignore these comments. They have never seen an Xbox push out beautiful high resolution dvd images.
    I bought a progressive scan dvd player and the xbox was much better.

    The dvd player went back.

    Just remember. It's almost the same as a htpc with component out.

    Also. I've never had any problems with the sound.
     
  12. Mr. Wilby

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    I've been using the xbox as a DVD player on a 32" CRT for a few weeks whilst I waited for a replacement stand-alone dvd player to arrive. The de-interlacing is dire and I also agree with the poster that mentioned the noise.
     
  13. cyberheater

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    Yes but your not comparing like with like. I bet your using a standard Xbox (not chipped).

    To get the best out of the Xbox. You need to:

    * Get it chipped
    * Install DVDx2
    * Patch DVDx2 for progressive scan out
    * Change vid output to NTSC
    * Enable 480P in dashboard
    * Enable dolby digital in dashboard. (via co-axial)

    I use mine connected via component leads to my Panny AE200 and the image is stunning.
    I've tried a few DVD players but nothing comes close.

    But you have to enable all the above.

    Using XBMC, you can also add filters, upsample to higher rez etc...

    All in all. Hard to beat.
     
  14. BrianC

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    DVDx2 is actually worse than the standard xbox dvd player when running both in progressive, and both are worse than a £150 progressive player. I have tried this with my (Japanese, chipped) xbox on my TV.

    Xbox Media Player is based on MPlayer, which on a PC can offer DVD reasonable playback, but MPlayer is not a finished project, or one aimed at the specs of the XBox as its a PC project that is ported to the Xbox. This means that enventually MPlayer will require more powerful hardware than what the xbox has to offer, thus trapping XBMC with an old version. This hardware limitation also affects the results of scaling, its no match for a HTPC as it simply doesn't have the processor or memory.

    Some of the more important bugs include no dvd menus, memory leaks that result in the player crashing with long films (3 hours+). I see these kind of bugs as deal breakers, but I accept that it is just a matter of time before they are fixed - however I have been waiting 18 months for this (since xbmp), so I'm not holding my breath.

    There are other issues assoicated with the xbox build quality, like later xboxes having changes to the graphics card making the output soft that has already been covered.
     
  15. Koalaboy

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    Hmmm. Th eplot thickens :laugh:

    Well, I think what I'll do, as a friend is sometime soon getting a Pio 575, is to set my Xbox up with all the aforementioned tweaks, and then do a comparison on my plasma, both going through component inputs and optical audio.

    It has to be said that my eyes and ears certainly aren't up to the standards of many here, but I can tell the difference more than a lot of people I know, so this should let me know if it's worth me splashing out.

    Thanks again for all the opinions, and keep 'em coming if you have more to say :lesson:

    Michael.
     
  16. cyberheater

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    I'd love to see the comparison. Please keep us informed.
     
  17. Thunder

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    Yep Id like to hear the results too with the amount of chroma crosstalk the video out on the xbox produces :laugh:
     
  18. cyberheater

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    They look exactly the same as each other. As I believe. DVDx2 was built using the standard sdk using standard microsoft xbox dvd libriarys.
    In what way are they different. I'd like to know.

    Most of the things you've said about XBMC are true except the comments about the it's limitations compared towards a HTPC.

    I've built a HTPC using a ATI radeon card. Both connected to the pj, Xbox on component and HTPC on vga and I really couldn't really tell much of a difference. I was quite impressed.
     
  19. BrianC

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    Just because they both use the same development libaries (assuming the MS DVD player used the XDK in the first place), the XDK (which covers every single documented aspect of the xbox), does not mean that they are the same, if they were DVDX2 would have support for the remote.

    You need to state what HTPC software you tried, and at what resolutions with what scaling software (and settings) you used, otherwise your test results are meaningless - different PC dvd playing & scaling software produces different results.
     
  20. Mr. Wilby

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    'heater: yes, I do have a chipped xbox and yes I was using DVDX2. No I am not using NTSC progressive (TV is an old 32" CRT).

    The quality is poor - even a cheap Yamakawa DVD player over scart blows it away for quality.

    If you're paying big £££ for a projector then I would go the few extra £££ and get a stand-alone box.

    Personally, I use a DVI 1:1 pixel mapped htpc with my projector and there's no way I'd trade that for a noisy xbox no matter how "good" the picture may be.
     
  21. cyberheater

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    "No I am not using NTSC progressive" - How can you comment on a function you have never seen.

    "noisy xbox no matter how "good" the picture may be" - You got me. To me, this is Xbox's biggest problem which will force me to buy a standalone DVD player.
     
  22. robert_cyrus

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    the xbox may be noisy with the stock fan, but it's relatively simple affair to replace that with an 80mm fan. mine now has a silentx with 9dBA. very quiet.
    see here http://www.leftclicks.co.uk/userimgs/silenx/silenx_fans_80mm.htm

    admittedly i'm using a 28" tv, but the PQ is fine compared with my pioneer 737.

    and sound ? good dolby digital and dts through my processor, no complaints there.

    for £200 (the price of an xbox, plus a new hard drive, fan, mod etc.) it's a great entry to the world of htpc.
     
  23. cyberheater

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    Where did you get the fan from in the UK?
     
  24. wyvern

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    KustomPC's are the UK's sole reseller I believe ... most of the silenx stuff looks to be out of stock though.

    http://www.kustompcs.co.uk/
     
  25. robert_cyrus

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    fan came from leftclicks, http://www.leftclicks.co.uk/home.php though kustompc's are in stock of the 80mm 9dbA fans now. going to get one for my pc.

    and here are your mod instructions:

    http://www.xbox-scene.com/articles/stealth-case.php

    i followed something similar, basically you have to cut down the corners of the 80mm replacement fan, so just two corners remain, at the outer top. then hack the plastic cage around the hard drive to give more space. ended up using a saw on a swiss army knife, cut through the plastic very easily, then a dremel to smooth off.
     

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